Cuban change

Cuba is a hot topic at the moment. There are flags going up, American’s (!!) visiting, and oh my gawd do you think they’ll get a McDonald’s?! It’s going to change, stress. I happen to think a bit of change is a good thing, perhaps not for the tourists wanting a journey back in time to the 1950s (though I’m pretty confident the tourist dollar will ensure you will still be able to cruise Havana in a classic American car), but for, you know, actual Cubans.

Consider this, if I were Cuban:

  • I would have access to free territory education but have to work for the government for at least 3 years after graduating. I wouldn’t get to choose my job and if I quit, because maybe I don’t like said job, I forfeit my qualification.
  • If I decided to become a doctor or a lawyer or a teacher I would get paid about the same as someone waiting tables.
  • If I want to travel, it would take me at least a year to save for a passport and I have to ask the government if I’m allowed to leave. Oh and most country’s I want to go to require I get a visa, even if I’m only transiting and don’t leave the airport.
  • If I happen to own a house and decide I want to sell it, I have to sell it to the government. Or if I want to buy a house I have to buy it from the government.
  • If I want to go the the supermarket. Oh wait, I can’t. There aren’t any. Only government run ‘Russian stores’ (they are called Russian stores because the stock used to come from Russian aid) where I can only buy as much as the government says I can and if it’s not enough I have to go the the expensive shop for extra rice.

I could go on, but you get the idea. Change might be ok for Cuba and regardless of change or not I already want to go back. Here are some wanderings from Cienfuegos and Trinidad.

Palacio de Valle, Cienfuegoes.
Palacio de Valle, Cienfuegoes.
Palacio de Valle, Cienfuegoes.
Palacio de Valle, Cienfuegoes.
Plane detail. Bay of Pigs.
Plane detail. Bay of Pigs.
Colourful Cienfuegos
Colourful Cienfuegos
When in Cuba...see a Cuban crocodile.
When in Cuba…see a Cuban crocodile.
That's my $10 lobster lunch right there. Yum!
That’s my $10 lobster lunch right there. Yum!
Trinidad from above.
Plaza Mayor from the Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco, Trinidad
Looking out. Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco, Trinidad.
Looking out. Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco, Trinidad.
Bell Tower, Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco, Trindad.
Bell Tower, Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco, Trindad.
Trinidad doorway.
Trinidad doorway.
Roystonea regia, the Cuban royal palm, the national tree of Cuba. Trinidad.
Roystonea regia, the Cuban royal palm, the national tree of Cuba. Trinidad.
The cool reward at the end of the hike. El Cubana waterfall, Trinidad.
The cool reward at the end of the hike. El Cubana waterfall, Trinidad.

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