Despite the American Embargo

Despite the American Embargo against Cuba, I went to Cuba this year, twice. The embargo has little to do with me, and Cubans seemed to care less about the things their government and my government do. Cuban ingenuity and tenacity shined through on my visit and I felt welcomed and very safe walking the streets of Havana day and night.

Despite the Embargo imposed on Cuba by the United States, goods are still sent from the US to Cuba. On my most recent visit to the island, I saw boxes unloaded from a  truck that were clearly labeled “product of the USA”.  Also, at least once I saw cans of Coca-Cola being sold and consumed by Cubans.

I snapped these photos on my most recent trip to Cuba.

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I arrived in Havana on the night of August 26. Carnival was in full effect.
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On the morning of August 27, I awoke and walked along the Malecon. There, I found Cubans fishing.
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I found the threshold to Barrio Chino.
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I thought the imposing clouds would cause rainfall, but it was not so. Over the course of the ten days I remained in Havana, it rained for about 20 minutes on two occasions. The rest of the time the skies were clear. I consider myself very lucky because on the day that I departed Cuba, Hurricane Irma had begun her journey toward Cuba. My plane ride from Havana to Mexico City was extremely turbulent due to Irma’s strength.
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“Continuamos Defendiendo La Revolución”
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Entrance to Salvador’s Callejon de Hamel
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Sunrise along the Malecon
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“United States Interests Section of the Embassy of Switzerland”
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Monument to Calixto Garcia along the Malecon
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High school students in Mantanzas, Cuba
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It was the first day of school. Schoolchildren in their uniforms could be seen in the streets. There were also many Cubans carrying pictures.
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Universidad de Habana
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While walking around Havana Vieja, I passed an open door behind which I found something I did not expect to see — a classroom.
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The teacher was gracious enough to let me indulge my curiosity and snap a photo of the next generation of Cubans.
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The staff at Cafe Bohemio
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A man walks in front of an artist’s studio.
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Sia Kara Cafe
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I read somewhere that Cuban cigars, and rum, are NOT to be consumed by Americans any place on the planet Earth! It’s so difficult to regulate this rule, and deny the temptation to try both in Havana, Cuba.
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Che Guevara’s image at Revolution Square
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The beaches are off limits to Americans because the US government does not want its citizens partaking in any pleasurable activity in Cuba. That is, travel to Cuba must not be for pleasure, but rather for displeasure? Furthermore, Americans are not supposed to be “tourists” but must plan their travel well so that their itineraries include include cultural, historic “tours”? What do you call a person who goes on a tour — a cultural anthropologist? No, we are called tourists. The rules and limitations set on Americans who travel to Cuba are ridiculous, confusing, and unconstitutional. What about those American values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Maybe the US government supposes this is limited to North America. But, isn’t Cuba the land that Columbus discovered and named America? Isn’t Cuba really the only true America?! Where does the American government think Columbus landed — Florida, Texas, New York, Massachusetts?
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Real Cubans
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The man in red
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I had Ernest Hemingway’s favorite drink at Floridita — a Papa Doble
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Coppelia — Cubans love ice cream
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Dancing in Havana Vieja
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Havana
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My Cuban friend from Santiago

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