What else could one expect from a guy who displays a photo of Che Guevara in his office?
Scott Gilbert — who served as Alan Gross’s attorney — is now hoping to cash in on his Castronoid connections by importing “artisanal” Marabu charcoal to the U.S.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past few years, you have undoubtedly grown weary of the word “artisanal,” which is liberally used to designate any product that costs a lot more.
Artisanal this, artisanal that, artisanal schmartisanal…. it’s supposed to mean that something has been made by hand, in some old-fashioned way, but “artisinal” is a term as fluid as “natural” or “organic.”
You know “artisanal” has gone wrong when someone tries to sell you “artisanal gas,” and, no, that gas is not a fart.
Well, leave it to Castro, Inc. and some leftist Washington, D.C. shyster to call the burnt residue of an invasive weed “artisanal charcoal.”
It’s a scam worthy of Castro, Inc. and all leftist shysters.
Marabu weed (Dichrostachys cinerea) has taken over the Cuban countryside, especially those once-fertile fields that grew sugar cane but were abandoned due to Castronoid inefficiency and neglect.
Marabu is an aggressively invasive weed, an environmental nightmare. Once it takes over, the only way to get rid of it is to strip all the topsoil.
And Marabu wood is no good for building. It’s too smoky for cooking or heating. It doesn’t even float.
So, abracadabra, presto-chango, meka-leka-hi-meka-hiney-ho, Castro, Inc. is selling its ashes as “artisanal charcoal.”
It really doesn’t matter whether or not it turns into some very special sort of charcoal for restaurants that cater to Hipsters, aging Yuppies, and wrinkly Baby-Boomers.
This deal is such a load of crap — reminiscent of Fidel’s innumerable insane agricultural schemes — and such a fitting symbol for all that has gone wrong with Cuba and all that is wrong with the Normalization Circus.
But, ah, imagine how this must make Fidel feel, down there in the Nether Regions?
Imagine the advice he’s giving Raul as Trump looms on the horizon.
From Granma Lite (Associated Press) via The Spokesman Review
Artisanal charcoal will become the first legal Cuban export to the United States in decades under a deal announced Thursday between Cuba’s government and the former lawyer for imprisoned U.S. government contractor Alan Gross.
Attorney Scott Gilbert, who has sought to build economic ties between the two countries since Gross’ release, said a company that he founded will buy 40 tons of charcoal made from the invasive woody plant marabu. The charcoal is produced by hundreds of worker-owned cooperatives across Cuba and has become an increasingly profitable export, valued for its clean-burning properties and often used in pizza and bread ovens.
Gilbert’s company will pay $420 a ton, which is significantly above the wholesale market price of about $360. The first delivery is scheduled for Jan. 18, two days before the inauguration of Donald Trump as U.S. president.
Products of privately run or cooperative farms in Cuba can be exported to the United States under measures introduced by President Barack Obama after the Dec. 17, 2014, declaration of detente with Cuba. The measures loosen a 55-year-old trade embargo on Cuba.
The charcoal is sold by cooperatives to a local packager, which sells it on to state-run export firm CubaExport. Each middleman takes a 1 percent or 2 percent commission, CubaExport general director Isabel O’Reilly said. CubaExport said the charcoal would be the first legal export to the United States in more than five decades, and it hoped to expand the deal to include honey and coffee.
The charcoal will be sold to restaurants and online to consumers in 33-pound bags under the brand name Fogo, Gilbert said.
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