The news from Latin America indicates that our more than half-century old feud with Cuba might be coming to an end. I imagine there are plenty of politicians who have tied their political careers to real and imagined threats from Cuba who will resist such a change. And there are probably others who out of habit will always regard Cuba as a dangerous enemy a mere 90 miles from American soil. But it appears that cooler heads will prevail and a more normal relationship between our country and theirs is in the offing. As someone who is often combing the Cold War archives for useful bits of historically accurate information, the history of Cuba for the last 50 plus years is an obvious treasure trove. When I first came up with the primary plot for Silent Vector I decided to put Nick Temple on vacation in the Caribbean. As the plot began to take shape, I looked to Cuba for a push, and the Cuban Missile Crisis eventually became a welcome addition to the larger story. The great thing about writing fiction is that I could take that generally familiar geopolitical event and create a fictional backstory for it that fit with the book's primary premise: the Soviet Union attempted to engage in a biological warfare attack on the U.S. by introducing a vaccine resistant strain of the polio virus on a massive scale. The Cuban Missile Crisis, widely regarded as the closest the two superpowers ever came to nuclear war, becomes in the fictional world of Nick Temple a mere diversion, a way to concentrate America's attention on a feint while delivering a literally crippling biological agent.
All in all it seems like a good thing that we are moving in the direction of normalization with Cuba. From the selfish viewpoint of a writer of Cold War fiction, I am grateful for the half-century of material our less-than-normal relationship produced. As a citizen of the U.S. and the world, I'm not sorry to see that state of affairs come to an end.