I’m back from our travels in Cuba and have begun the process of sorting though 2300 photographs and millions of impressions I brought back. While I’d love to post the definitive analysis of the current socio/political scene in Cuba—perhaps something President Obama would use to prepare for his upcoming trip!—and accompany that with Pulitzer prize-winning photographs, I think it might be simpler and more honest to just give you my impressions over the next few posts along with a few of the fabulous images I saw. OK?
There is much I don’t know, and I believe Cuba is in good shape—literacy is over 99%, health care is 100% and free, there is virtually no hunger and all people have roofs over their heads, even if they are very humble. Children appear to be loved deeply in multigenerational families and old people are respected and cared for. Women hold equal footing to me as nearly as I could determine. There seemed to me to be a widespread and genuine pride in achievements of The Revolution. The Castro brothers are deeply respected. I left having seen what the United States has done over the past 70 years has done significant damage to these proud, resilient people. They are excited about Obama’s visit. Eliminating the embargo the United States has will have a large, and mostly positive, difference in the daily lives of Cuban people.
Now, on with the photographs. It was, in a word, orgasmic! First, yes, there are old cars. Who can resist! Some are wrecks that spew black smoke while others cater to tourists with chrome and shine. Having spend hundreds of hours under a ’55 Chevy long ago, my heart did jump just a bit! Here are a few.
And, of course, the Cubans have become masters at keeping these old beasts running, at least most of the time!