Cuba · inform and influence activities · Information operations · Inter-cultural communication · Propaganda · Public Diplomacy · Strategic Communication · U.S. strategic communication

Hemingway’s Bar: Propaganda Genius?

Coat of arms of Cuba.
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The vast majority of Americans are law abiding citizens, they would never knowingly violate US law.  Say, for instance, they would never travel to Cuba because, darn it, we’re just not allowed!

Well, now the Cuban Interests Section, the official representation for the Cuban government here in Washington DC, is opening a “Hemingway’s Bar” at 2630 16 St. NW, Washington DC.  Before you run off and try to get in the door, it’s by invitation only and it doesn’t open until October 6th. If this is a new form of Public Diplomacy, sign me up!

I was introduced to Cuban food and drinks while on a business trip to Tampa, FL in 1996, what a place!  The food was delicious and rich, the drinks were superb and the people working at the hole-in-the-wall restaurants were warm and friendly.  Most of the food was fairly plain, but everything just worked together.  Nothing seems to compare with that first time, all subsequent meals have failed in comparison.  Thanks, Cal and Debbie, for introducing me to some really great food!

Until then, I suggest you make a few Cuban drinks on your own, try to make a bit of the food, and see how close you can get.  If you can’t wait that long, I can suggest you try a few of the Cuban restaurants in Tampa, FL.

Is this a new form of Public Diplomacy?  Many cultures are known for different things, is the old proverb true, is the way to a man’s heart through his stomach?  More importantly, is the way to a man’s brain, his perceptions, attitudes and behavior through his stomach?  Have the information operations, public diplomacy and strategic communication communities been doing it all wrong?  Or is this another tool in our toolbox?  …and is this propaganda?


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