Monday, March 26, 2007

EDGE of PARADISE Episode 4

Castro's Cuba

Gibardi's life came crashing down around him when Fidel Castro marched into Havana and took control of the government establishing his revolutionary army and political machinery. Sam Gibardi escaped Cuba with his family and his life, nothing else.
His entire fortune was nationalized by the Castro regime. The estate and Casa's Del Joven was used by Castro's government leaders as a retreat for a few years until it fell into regrettable disrepair. Juan luis Diega, the architect who built and designed the estate, was drafted by the revolutionary army to design schools and hospitals for Castro's redevelopment plans. It was widely known that Diega and Castro became good friends until 1991 when Diega disappeared.
Today the estate has been restored to all of its former glory and then some by its current resident, Antonio Diega, the son of Juan Luis. Antonio, an international businessman, acquired the home after guaranteeing and backing new development plans for the island and its 6000 plus residents.
Antonio has gathered with his guests in the pool room just as his predecessor Sam Gibardi always did. The view of the pool and the surrounding Caribbean is unsurpassed and makes for a surreal backdrop. Antonio is with two very well dressed men and in the back of the room are two Latina girls looking to be in their mid to late 20's. The girls are both wearing stylish but revealing swimwear. They have sprawled themselves across a large couch, sitting very un-lady like and looking very bored, totally uninterested in Antonio's two guests.
Commander Rasheed stands and takes a Cuban coffee from Antonio. The thick black coffee is a staple in Cuban life, a treat many Cubans look forward to throughout the day. Rasheed looks to his partner, Commander Alexsad. "Mr. Diega's father built this estate for a prominent casino owner in the 50's, and later he became a trusted advisor to Fidel and his brother. The mysterious disappearance of his father in 1991 has lead Mr. Diega to believe his father was disappeared by the "Say-Ah".
"Say-Ah?"" asks Alexsad quizzically. U.S. Central Intelligence, C.I.A. they call it Say-Ah here in Cuba." "That is correct," comments Antonio, "I must say you have certainly done your homework, Commander." Antonio holds his hand up, "One minute please." Antonio looks at the two girls. They both get up and leave, but not without a silent protest. They are making faces of impatience like children who are ready to go out and play.
Antonio returns his attention to his guests. "Gentlemen, I am very pleased to hear that our mission went so well and totally according to plan. I must say, rarely do I see such precision. It's impressive."
The two men seem appreciative. "As you know we are former Israeli strategic planners for the Israeli military air command," Rasheed says with obvious pride. "So our clients benefit greatly from our experience, Mr. Diega.""Please call me Antonio, Commander Rasheed ""Very well. I think we have taken the Americans' drug war and put it right up their ass."
Antonio, Rasheed and Alexsad hold their coffee cups up and clink the small demi-tasse cups together in a salute. Antonio has a broad smile upon his face, it's clear he is proud of this moment.
Commander Alexsad places a folder on the table before him. "Antonio, we have reviewed your request for the next mission it is very original, extremely original, but it will be enormously expensive. I'm concerned with the costs.""Cuanto? Commander, I mean how much?" asks Antonio slipping from Spanish to English, a slip he makes when excited or angered. " Twenty-five maybe Thirty,” answers Alexsad. "You see that large tablet on that pedestal over there" barks Antonio. The commanders acknowledge his question. "That's a hand written religious manuscript, written by a 14th century monk which probably took his entire lifetime to complete. It was taken from a bombed out monastery in Northern Spain during the Second World War. I paid 51 million for it. Senors, I did 1.3 billion in sales last year, and I expect to do 30% more business this year. The point I want to make is 25 or 30 million is meaningless to me. However, I'm not in the habit of throwing perfectly good money away. Therefore, I will instruct my accountants to review your cost projections. A 100% markup will be acceptable. I think you will find I can be quite generous, gentlemen.""Mr. Diega, we are very much aware of your resources and capabilities," replies Rasheed. "Please keep in mind that it's in our best interest to know as much as we can about a potential client. One of the things we are most curious about is a client's ability to see a project through. Not only to protect our global reputation, but as a precautionary measure for the client as well."
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to snap. I'm so inundated with incompetent help that I jump off on people as standard course. Cubans today are thought of, in general, as poor poverty stricken peasants living in hovels, or refugees fighting sharks and currents out at sea in a rubber inner tube. I'm always dealing with those images which are sent out to the entire world everyday. Look around you and you can see that I am not that kind of Cuban."
Antonio places an attractive leather briefcase on the coffee table in front of Commanders Rasheed and Alexsad. Commander Rasheed pops the latches on the front of the briefcase and opens the lid. The case is filled with small credit Suisse platinum bars, 1120 ounces to be exact. "See guys, I told you I could be generous. My way of saying a job well done. Now, I'm very late for my next appointment. I'll have Andreas show you to your car. " Antonio steps from the pool room and walks down a hall and up a short staircase to a room where the door is cracked open. The two Latina girls, Luz Marie and Lucinda are laughing inside and Antonio can hear them through the crack in the door. Antonio slowly opens the door, and he can see the two young women have removed their cover-ups revealing their young taunt bodies, sporting bikinis. Antonio can see that Luz Marie and Lucinda are engaged in obvious lesbian love making. Antonio knocks at the now already open door. "Ah Mi, lesbianas," he sighs.

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