Only the top dancers are accepted into the Cuban ballet. It takes tremendous work and dedication to make it. I've seen glimpses of that when visiting a Cuban friend, Ismael. His son, Alejandro, is in the ballet and underwent a painful knee operation earlier this year so he could continue performing.
Coincidentally, NBC quoted Alejandro in a news report that had nothing to do with ballet. It was a man-on-the-street story about ordinary Cubans' preference for Barack Obama. Alejandro said he favored Obama because he just might loosen U.S. economic sanctions.
"Breathing space," he called it.
In his latest essay, Fidel Castro seems to want some "breathing space," too, but says the old carrot-and-stick approach won't work with Cuba.
Still, he says, Cuban officials believe they can talk to someone like Obama and will meet him whenever he wants, Reuters and others report.