Monday, February 6, 2017

Cuba is a Country Firmly Set in the Past

Cuba is a Country Firmly Set in the Past
February 5, 2017
By Laura Vazquez Lopez*

HAVANA TIMES — I still remember the smell of a storm that was constantly
lingering in the air, those beads of sweat that ran down my neck because
of the humidity, the most beautiful skies I have ever seen and the
warmth and friendliness of its people.

Cuba was a good place to travel to; maybe if somebody thinks about Cuba
as being Old Havana and Varadero, they won't understand everything the
island has to offer. Every alley, every business, every church and
monument was a work of art in itself, intertwined with the brightest
colors that you can imagine and the most ruined buildings I've ever
seen, but maybe that's where Cuba's magic lies.

It's a country firmly rooted in the past and you can see that just by
looking around and seeing its cars, traditions, almost nonexistent
technology, or in the lack of telecommunication infrastructure, or a lot
of other things which, thanks to the type of government they have, have
been banned over the years.

However, if I have to pick one thing that stood out the most it is the
Cuban people who, although the majority doesn't agree with living in the
situation they find themselves in, have an almost enviable patriotic
pride. They are people who even disagreeing with their current situation
and wanting to contribute something so that this changes, live happily
with the little that they are allowed to have, even when they are forced
to work long days for very little money.

It's been several months now since we came back from that Caribbean
paradise which we traveled across for 10 days and I can still remember
everything quite clearly. Cities like Trinidad or Remedios, the
beautiful colonial architecture, made for photography and tourism, where
every place looks like a holiday postcard.

The Cays in the North and West, with the finest, whitest sand I've ever
seen, where it seems that the sun is only hot but it burns you in
excess. Viñales, a treasure located in the interior of the country, with
its famous mogotes (hills), its vegetation, its animal-drawn carriages,
its immense plantations, I'm pretty sure it's on my list of favorite places.

And what can I say about Havana… I would be lying if I said that it was
how I imagined it would be. I really didn't imagine that it would be in
such a poor state, except for the tourist area. But even so, it's
beautiful; it has a special beauty unrivalled by any other place I know.

In conclusion, now writing from Spain, I can only remember those 10 days
as an amazing experience, discovering all of these places, the way the
Cuban people live, the smells, colors, life on the island…

* A visitor to Cuba in August 2016.

Source: Cuba is a Country Firmly Set in the Past - Havana -

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