“Revolucion Siempre” Always the revolution. In Cuba, revolution counts, and not just the one in 1959. Signs and slogans are everywhere. Cuba is a country of revolutions: against Spain in 1868 and 1895, and Batista and imperialist intervention in 1959. When I think of Cuba it is one-dimensional: Fidel/Communism/State; for Cubans this is not true. Cubans may not have confidence in Fidel but Cubans never fail to support the revolution. (more…)
19 December 2013: LA HABANA de CUBA
“Havana is Havana, the rest is grass,” probably said by a Habanero.
I prefer “If you don’t get out of Havana, you haven’t seen Cuba.”
Everyone is ready for Havana. We speed along the Autopista, a bumpy, wide, but straight highway from Che to Fidel. The highway was designed for landing airplanes in case of war. War was a real fear for Cubans: both because of the one-sided political rhetoric and because we Yanquis are only a few miles north. Our drive is comprised of cane fields, banana trees, a few ox carts, grazing cattle, and acres of fertile land vanishing under thorny marabou. (more…)
15 December 2013: TRINIDAD, CIENFUEGOS AND SANTA CLARA – AWESOME THREESOME
Rough and narrow roads filled with more horse carts than cars. Dense fields of maribou; grazing cows and horses, pigs and chickens running through yards; vegetable gardens; men cutting marabou for charcoal, machetes chopping away; mountain peaks to the north, and everywhere the banana tree. Temperatures cooler and humidity lower. Lush and green Cuba is a tropical paradise. Columbus thought the island “More beautiful than any I have ever seen.” (more…)
13 December 2013: SANCTI SPIRITUS
I experience a four-hour bus ride through the least developed area of the island: narrow road with no paved shoulders, some sugar cane fields, pig and chicken farms, goats, sheep, busy small towns, cattle, horses, trucks, bikes, people transports, and pedestrians. The slim road is a gauntlet of movement. (more…)
Drove bumpy, two-lane, horse and bicycle filled roads to Camagüey. In the mining town of El Cobre is Our Lady of Charity Basilica where resides the patron saint of Cuba in the form of a 16″ statue of the Virgin Mary, visited by everyone from Hemingway to Fidel’s mother. Prayed for her son’s longevity?
After much research, my final decision was to ask my government’s permission and legally travel to Cuba. I remember the revolution and Fidel’s verbose entry to international politics, sweated the missile crisis, lived 50 years with the U.S. Embargo of this island, and read about Cuba. Now I wished to meet Cubans and see Cuba for myself – B.C. (before capitalism – alas. I am too late.) (more…)