Saturday, November 8, 2008

Cuba, sanity and the Marine Corps

The Marine Corps celebrates its 233rd birthday on Monday. Marines stationed in Havana sell shirts and other items to mark the affair.
Proceeds go toward the Marines' November ball, one Marine told me at the U.S. Interests Section, where U.S. officials in Havana are based.
I get a kick out of the slogans the Marines come up with. "Behind Enemy Lines," the Marine shirt read one year.
This year, shown above, it's "90 Miles from Sanity."
The shirts are unusual souvenirs and I usually get a few when I'm in Cuba.
I don't envy the Marines stationed in Cuba. Marine rules and diplomatic protocol probably prevent them from traveling and getting to know the country. I would imagine they go stir crazy, which could explain the "90 Miles from Sanity" slogan. But at least no one's shooting at them.
Below is the logo from a rumpled Marine polo shirt, and a black-and-white photo of the Marines birthday celebration in Havana in 1953 before the Cuban revolution. I swiped that last photo from this Web site.
The color photo of the Marines, above, is original. I shot it at the residence of the U.S. diplomatic chief in Havana.

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