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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I was taken with the touches of colour and beauty in the photos – the tiles, the paint, the flowers. I can’t wait to get there. I didn’t realize how subjugated the people are, even though I know it’s a communist country. That was naive of me. And yet from what you describe they are like people everywhere – resilient, energetic, and humorous. No doubt making the best of it in what ever way they can. It’s always the people that sing a place alive to me. I’m looking forward to hearing the song of Cuba.
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Thanks for that wonderful comment! The future will be fascinating to see unfolding – hopefully is a positive way. The people have so few choices about their own futures that it is clear that some major change is required for them to enter the free world. They deserve better….