|In Cuba in 2007|
How are you doing? I am writing this from an airplane speeding towards Mexico City at about 37,000 feet. I am heading towards my favorite place in the entire world, Cuba.
Few USAians get to visit Cuba since the US blockade began in 1959, and I feel so fortunate to be on my 3rd trip down there. My way is being paid by an NGO in Cuba that I have worked with before.
Cuba is a tropical island that is free of most of the grit, grime and pollution in the States, but also free of most of the crime in other tropical tourist destinations. I have rarely felt more safe than when I am in Cuba and one of my favorite things to do is sit out on a patio in the evening (after a day of meetings and such) sipping on a Mojito or other cold drink and feel the warm, sweet breeze blow over me.
Just a few weeks ago, US President Obama was asked about the possibility of opening up talks with Cuba to help thaw the needless block of ice that has frozen diplomatic relations between our two countries. He answered: “Cuba has to change its society first!” Fidel Castro called him, “stupid,” and I agree with Fidel and here’s why.
I would like US society to change the way Cuba’s society is. Besides providing every resident with a free and outstanding education through university and outstanding health care in a system that trains foreign doctors to work in economically and socially disadvantaged areas (yes, even Americans), the lifestyle is simpler and community is not just a concept, it’s a reality.
In 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba went through what it calls the “Special Period,” where its imports and exports were cut by 80% and the Period was defined by a lack of petroleum products. Less emphasis was put on the automobile. Hunger was rampant, and the people of the nation are rightly proud of the fact that everyone worked together to survive and make food security a number one priority. Sustainable farming was instituted by necessity. I was told that the Mothers of Cuba are honored for their commitment during the Special Period to finding enough food to keep her family alive, and ways to prepare it that were not too disgusting to ingest.
I have heard stories from the Revolution and stayed, once, in a hospitality house that are staffed by descendants of men and women who allied with the Revolution in the Sierra Maestras and helped the Castros be victorious. It is a very honored position.
As Fidel said, the US empire with probably collapse before the Revolution fails in Cuba.
I believe that every American that has the opportunity should travel down to Cuba. We have been propangandized about that country for decades now and Fidel has survived hundreds of CIA assassination attempts. With the profound meddling of the US, how has the revolution been able to continue for so long if it is unpopular?
Since my son was killed and I occupied Crawford, Texas, I have been so fortunate to be able to travel around the world and experience things that few Americans have and one of these things has been to go to Cuba and bear witness to the truth.
I will try and post an update everyday, but Cuba is not a frenetic, "we must be hardwired to our technology" kind of place.
Long live the Revolution!
Hasta la victoria, siempre.