Last night, another Washington dinner (this one at that charming bed-and-breakfast, the Mayflower Hotel), so of course another devoted Fidel-hater seated right beside me. Earlier this month, it was Lincoln Diaz-Balart, the Miami congressman who thinks that Fidel Castro is Satan, but smells worse. Last night, at a dinner for the non-partisan International Foundation for Electoral Systems (where Mrs. Goldblog formerly worked, and which truly does God's work, though a little less so since the departure of the aforementioned Mrs. Goldblog), it was Adolfo Franco, a Cuban exile who had the Latin American account at USAID in the Bush Administration, and was in charge of promoting democracy in Cuba. (It didn't take, by the way.) Over the course of the dinner, we had a full and frank exchange of views about the American travel ban. According to Franco, any attempt to lift the travel ban, or to open up Cuba to American trade, will only serve to prolong the rule of the Castro brothers. I said that the Castro brothers have been in power since 1959, so it might be time to consider a new strategy. And so on. Very charming guy, Franco. He now works for the Direct Selling Association, which looks after the Washington needs of such companies as Amway. The Amway model, by the way, would be a very good one to apply to Cuba's slowly-opening economy, he said.

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