I know folks want to turn this into a political debate, but I'll just note that 732s are not that uncommon in the Americas. According to various sources, you can still find them operational in Mexico, Chile, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, and Canada (the most Communist of them all) /sarcasm
The later vintage 737s were all from the mid to late 1980s which makes them no older than some of the DC-10s that still fly all over the place for top tier carriers like FedEx or MD-80s flown by Delta.
Seriously, no - us 'folks' don't want to turn this into a political debate. It's that seeing a thing like CU having to resort to chartering a cheap, beaten up, 40-year old 732 from a shady Mexican outfit BECAUSE of the embargo is just shouting for a reminder of the impact sanctions are having on the daily life of Cubans. The civilian population lacks access not only to western non-essential *recreational* goods, but also to medicines, surgical tools, diagnostic machinery, as well as spares to keep all sorts of machinery safely operational.
The fact that people are actually trying to keep politics quietly aside I find most irritating. The accident is a direct consequence of the sanctions, make no mistake dear fellow A.netters.
Do you seriously think that otherwise, CU would not be flying A320s (as they did in the past) in lieu of An-148s (currently grounded) or wet-leasing random capacity from external sources??