While the right continues to believe that isolation will force out the Castros, the left is worried that capitalism will transform the system by other means. Cuba is like a vast undervalued neighborhood outside of Miami that's ripe for gentrification, and capitalism abhors such a vacuum. Some in the Cuban government fear that the proffered carrot has been poisoned; others are hoping to get a nibble for themselves. Cuba stands at a historic crossroads. Down one path lies strict adherence to the revolutionary legacy of the Castros. Down another path lies a revival of Cuba as a playground of rich moguls and shadowy criminal types, as it was just before the revolution. Are there any other paths that Cuba can take?
Any number of roasters may pay a decent price for coffee, visit a farm, or offer a good cup. But no matter how much direct trade coffee you buy, or fair trade coffee for that matter, we won't transform the current system that puts corporate profits first and marginalizes small-scale farmers until we become politically engaged and start supporting the democratic organizations that advocate and agitate for change from the grassroots up.