Leaving Via VIP Lounge

Skyscraper with a airplane silhouette

Looking for space and inner beauty? Mercedes tuner Brabus’ vision of a Conference Sprinter VIP Lounge is your destination, a bus overflowing with luxurious decoration. The Brabus Sprinter comes with a conference table that can be easily taken out to free up cabin space, six USB ports, a fast mobile Internet connection thanks to the onboard LTE-compatible router and an air suspension to soak up any road bumps and cocoon the plush cabin. The Alcantara-covered headliner is home to additional air vents, which can be remotely controlled too.

It is not the first time that Brabus fully loaded a Sprinter. Two years ago we got too see such a bus, the one that stands today on stage, is a sequel to it. In the long list of available gadgets we also find heated leather seats, an abundance of TV screens, tablets, Apple TV, fridges, BlueRay players and so on. Under the hood lies Meredes’ capable 3.0-liter V6 diesel that kicks up to 190 hp.

 Cuba is, as everyone knows, one of the last bastions of Communism. Its near-neighbour, the USA isn’t too keen on this and they’ve not been friends since Castro came to power in 1959. So instead of ads for Pepsi, Coke and Macdonalds plastered everywhere, what you get instead is Communist propaganda, pictures of Che Guevara, and slogans about the Revolution. There is evidence of the ’Russian’ period everywhere (when the USSR was pouring in aid), especially in the trucks you see everywhere. There are more subtle influences too.

The government does not, by and large, allow its citizens to travel. This makes them fairly curious about the ’West’ and you get the sense that they are hungry for information, many of them tuning (illegally) into TV beamed from Florida.

Cubans have a love hate relationship with their governance.  In some ways they see it as intrusive and creating many rules (some that do not even really exist).  On the other hand they see it as comforting in that it provides safety.  An example was a security guard when in a conversation, could not understand why the Canadian Government would not force Wendy’s Restaurant to hire security or provide security for the late night closing staff.  This simple example explains a deep issue, in that Cubans have come to expect the government to deal with many things, and further than the separation of the state and business is very vague in Cuba.  They see many television shows and commercials about Western culture, (Americanized) and desire things like the Nike Logo caps, but do not understand that a simple hat that should cost pennies, with the addition of that logo is worth many many dollars.  It is an almost naive response to what they see but cannot quite understand.


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