Ultimately, if we were really interested in changing Cuba, being in such close proximity, we'd declare it open for business, and obliterate it with American style consumerism

Thats exactly right and sadly Cuba would become another Caymans/Bahamas/Turks and Caicos in a couple of decades. Right now Cuba is different; as a photographer it has a different flavour from anywhere else in the world. The moment there is a rapprochement with the USA that difference will erode fast. The first time I see a Dunkin' Donuts along the Malecon, the place will be wrecked for me. I've met a number of American tourists in Cuba having displayed the ingenuity required to get there indirectly. It is already past its best for the photographer, though still worth a visit. Of the 12 best photographs I took on my first visit in 2001 only three or four remained substantially unchamged when I next returned in 2005.