This selection of people (including one shot of the rooftop across from our room, which I could not stop watching as the days unfolded) reveal Cuba – and yet of course, they only scratch the surface. The people are genuine, generous, resourceful and inventive, sad below and funny on top, hopeful yet discouraged but always determined, forever musical and artistic as you might find (almost) anywhere in the world under a dictatorship. Whatever is squashed in people will find its way out, somehow and some way. Spirit and energy seize the day because everywhere people are always people. But Cubans are heartbreakingly suppressed, crushed and pounded into obedience, held captive on an island 100 miles from our coast, where every boat owner is under constant surveillance. Whatever your beliefs are in regard to immigration, anywhere in the world, on any shore and in any border town, you should visit Cuba. It is a country with an old soul that is dying to be set free. The people will enchant and surprise you with their indomitable spirit. You need to go to Cuba. Stay in Casa Particulars with Cuban families who are trying to make an extra buck by opening their homes to tourists and where you can eat a home-cooked meal in their immaculate kitchen and you are able to have a real conversation. You do need to go to Cuba.
My next post will be about Ernest Hemingway; his home and his legend, and his love affair with Cuba.
Jo Ann Brown-Scott – Author, Artist, Photographer
New novel – A Canary Flies the Canyon, Amazon & Kindle
Non-Fiction – The Creative Epiphany, Amazon & Kindle
By the time we left Cuba we were in love with the country and its people. We had many discussions, political and otherwise with our various hosts in the Casa Particulars where we stayed, inside the privacy of their homes and in cars whenever the driver could speak a bit of English. No one would dare to speak about the dictatorship freely in the plazas or the restaurants for fear of being overheard; the police were ever-present. We spoke, sometimes in whispers, about the inevitable change of power when Castro died, having no idea how eminent that was at the time of our conversations.
Since that trip to Cuba in early November Castro has died and the country has mourned. There was no dancing in the streets – that would have been foolish. The next shoe might already be dropping. The beast of communism is very much alive as I write this and the uncertainty of Cuba’s future looms large. The industrious, inventive, energetic, constantly musical and delightfully humorous people of Cuba wait and wonder what is to come next. There is a high degree of melancholy underneath the bustle of Cuba but hope is very much alive; I hope that their powerful hope is rewarded in the months to come. The contrasts are sharp between the arrival of the cell phone and the women lowering their baskets on ropes from 4th story windows in the early morning light to buy bread from a kid on a bike yelling “Panooooo.”
Change is a constantly grinding wheel and it will not be denied. But at what cost?
Attached are some photos; for more please visit my recent Archives about this enlightening journey to another exotic world just 100 miles from our shores where dictators deny their people freedoms and basic staples of daily life. The beauty is evident, the evidence of brutality is everywhere. More blogs to come, including the Ernest Hemingway experience…
Author & Artist Jo Ann Brown-Scott – http://www.thecreativeepiphany.com
New novel – http://www.acanaryfliesthecanyon.com
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