The place in this blog entry is wrong, in real we did arrive to Cancun, Mexico, just a few hours ago. But the entry is about Cuba, so that is why it most probably is revelent and better to mark La Habana as the place. This blog entry is probably the most difficult one to write, much more then any of those ones before. And that is because Cuba is so incredibly contradictory country. It was amazing and it was disappointing, it was so black and white that makes you wanna clean your eyes because at times it is so incredible and great, and then to repeat the same movement when it asthonishes you bringing you down so quick. And sure, because talking about Cuba, it is so really impossible not to talk about politics. Latin America is so political continent though, that the subject should probably had been crossed very long time before. It is hard to leave from here without having learned so much, and head full of thoughts never thought before. Something is happening in the world, and in Latin America it is not so much about global warming.
Anyhow, to go to the subject itself, let´s talk about Cuba. The beatiful island on the caribbean. It was exactly it, gorgeus beaches, beautiful weather, great rum drinks and well... happy people. We stayed the most of the time in La Habana, did one day trip to the country side in order to visit a cigar factory learn something new about the society, another part of Cuba instead of the international and relatively rich Havana. The place was called Pina del Rio. The very last day we went to the beach Santa Maria, about 30 km from Havana. That was supposed to have been relaxing not-much-to-say-about-it kind of day, but it ended up being the most memorable of all our time in Cuba. Why is that? Because we met lot of cuban people there, had kind of a beach party with people playing live music there and talked a lot with them. But as in all good stories, it was too good to be true, and we found out, once again, how tourist are used for money. So everybody wanted to go to dance with us - and we were supposed to pay the taxi for all the group. After refuses were not being heard, we escaped with another taxi with two girls who seemed the nicest and most trusworthable. And yet they were not... we had the regular gringotreat, payed for their food and drinks and had tourist extra on those ones, and later were basically forced to pay their taxis home also. Well... so much for friendship, and that is what became a huge disappointment in Cuba. Not only them, but almost every single cuban we met, was after the money. They all seem awefully nice to begin with, and are so great when seen with eachother, singing and dancing, making spontaneous music on the streets just like in Brazil, but the question about money pops out way too soon and in the ways that dont make you feel so nice afterwards.
In a way it can be understood, Cuba is a poor country, and it is a communist country, which means the everybody are basically equally poor. It would be hard to find a cuban richer then us, but still nobody is as poor as so many in all the other parts of latin america. But a problem there is, and it is so obvious that even cuban tend not to see what´s going on. Capitalism is not entering Cuba, it is already there. And everybody has the same bling bling in their eyes as most people in Europe. I dont know if it was a mistake, or whether Fidel knew exactly what he was doing when creating the market for tourists. Maybe he had ran out of ideas, i dont know, but how could you bring invidual consuming in the country that you so hard fought to become a communist one? The question remains in the air, and nobody knows, but when tourists have money, the cubans want money. And the only way for them to get it is from the tourists, since that is the main income for the whole nation. All the taxi drivers love grey work and like to say how the govermental control tool called meter is broken, so they can put the money paid in their own pockets. And each waiter wants a tip, sometimes so much he doesnt give you a change to choose the amount but gives you the rest he thinks is good.
Well..slowing down here, Cuba is not so bad. To be honest, i think is the best poor country ever been. It doenst have much, but still they have the great free public healtcare system, free education, and nobody dies for hunger. That is much done, though the means to get there might be discussable. The co-operation between people was the most beautiful thing. Specially after seen all South America being in the state of just almost having a continuos civil war between the rich and the poor. I mean... how else could it be called when there are two parts of the city where others cannot enter? But in the same time, all this co-operation mentality in Cuba is scary. People still disappear in Cuba. The biggest crime for cuban to make would be betraying his homeland. Contradictions are not allowed. Propaganda is everywhere, and though so many people sacrificed their lives in the fifties for revolution, people never got the power. It was transferred from money to Fidel. But cubans love Fidel, or atleast once loved, so many dont mind, but those who do just have to keep it quiet. Well... talk about Soviet Union, i guess the generations before us already knew this. But it still, makes you think and doubt so hard about everything, while reading the cuban newspaper, who really does speak the truth? Both channels of information, ours, and theirs, are saying the same things, they are just saying them in a very very different way. The same news have different pictures, different retoricts and different points and conclutions. Are ours really so much trustable in the end? While talking to a journalist in Colombia, he made pretty clear that he has to write what the politician says, no matter what he would like to. And Colombia is an extreme capitalist country, but it does not mean a free one i guess... and while in Bolivia we received so much govermental information, or propaganda maybe, about Murales reforms and stuff, and everything sounds so great what they supposingly are building there. But one can never know. The minister of Human rights and Justice there, was very nice and friendly, and seemed passioned about his job and all these changes too, while we drank some Cuba Libre's with him.
But it is here that I will stop. The politics of this continent are so complex, and i am getting way too tired to make any more desent conclutions. Anyway, Cuba was much more then rum and cigars ;) Ohh yeah, and the live music there is THE best. And cheap too, being a musician is a job like any other.. right?