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Cuba Libre


Resources are limited due to the US embargo, conveniences, spare parts and material in this economically depressed island are missing, agriculture is enormously unproductive, there is no free press and free speech, the average monthly salary lies between 12 and 15 Euros and people are predominantly poor, some don’t have running water nor power. Nevertheless Cubans are patriotic and proud of their country’s independency brought by the revolution. I would say that Cuba stands as an example to others that it is possible for a small country to defy the might of the world’s major capitalist power. Although the Cubans might not have the western home comforts, though some things has to be taken into account, such as staple foods, rent, power and gas are subsidized by the government, health care system and education are free.

While people in major european metropolises are stressed by economical crises and obsessed with their own selves, coming to Cuba is certainly a breath of fresh air and people’s smile and joyous way of being seems a cultural trait while they overcome difficulties with good ideas. Cubans have the gift to simply conjure tropical delights. On the weekends whole families squeeze themselves into their old cars and drive to the beaches to play volleyball, while lovers hang out under the parasols and palms to flirt with each other. Women put their rocker chairs in front of the front door for chatting while shirtless men play Domino in the shadow of some trees. They smoke some cigar, knock down a cheap rum and meet for a spontaneous street festival. Simple things like music, friendship, love, family, and nature become essential when it comes to fulfillment and achievement. Qualities like an inventive talent, a entrepreneurial attitude and resourcefulness are essential for surviving in a society where you won’t find spare parts. Then you’ll see handwritten road signs on a wooden piece or car tires’ holes patched with condoms.

© Carina Wachsmann

Year: 2012 Location: Cuba