I woke up at dawn and decided to do my post office run before traffic hit. I momentarily forgot that on Veterans Day there would be little traffic anyway, so the streets were empty. I was delighted to see a letter from a friend in Camagüey, Cuba in my box. The cancellation stamp says it was sent on Sep-20-11. I retrieved it today on Nov-11-11, but I only go for my mail once a week usually, so it could have been put in my box as early as Nov-6-11. That would indicate that it took about 7 weeks to get here. The Cuban and American post offices like to let things age properly before shipping them on.
I've always made an effort to befriend people in those "forbidden" countries as part of my tiny piece of citizen diplomacy. Yeah, I know, Cuba, Fidel Castro, communism, yadda yadda, whatever, but I think Cuba is a great place. Everybody I have met from there is totally sharp, full of knowledge of the world, outgoing, and sociable. I've always gone out of my way to know people in all parts of the world even before the Internet made it easier to do so. I had an elementary school teacher back during the 60's who often said, "it's a lot harder to drop bombs when you have friends on the ground." That impressed me so much that, even decades later, I clearly remember the moment she said it. She wrote it on the chalkboard as our thought for the day.
So, here is the postage from my friend's letter from Cuba. Across the bottom of the stamp it says, "40th Anniversary of the Fall in Combat of the Che." The stamp is a little old.