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Cuba Libre

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It has been a while since I posted a blog. Why? We went to Cuba for a much needed family vacation.

Cuba is a curious little island nation neighbouring the giant USA. It is a small boulder that defies the tides of cultural, economical and political changes. Cuba, in a sense is a time capsule of world history.

The Good

The Cuban people are very friendly. They have simple needs and they do not have the outside world constantly blasting them with messages that their lives are not good enough. As a result the locals appear content and satisfied with their status. This is not to say that everyone is happy-go-lucky all the time, but most of the people we met are in a state sanctioned blissful ignorance. As far as third world latin American countries go. I see Cuba near the top of her class in terms of general population happiness and stability.

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The Bad

Some of the roads are very bad. The resort food is boring after three days. The locals’ pay cheques are bad. The lack of freedom of expression is not healthy. The lack of choices in stores is not great. Public works and infrastructure are inadequate. The real Cuban life feels like a daily struggle. Meaningful struggle to carve out an experimental socialistic existence in a capitalistic consumerism brain-washed world, but a struggle nonetheless.

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The Unforgettable

To me, Cuba will always be the smiling children’s faces as they wave us by; the wrinkles on the old men’s faces by the park bench; the voices of the youths hiding in the bush trying to make a buck or two selling shells and starfish.

This is a tough and resilient people. This is a beautiful and defiant people. This is a people full of love for their country, for their history, for freedom and life.

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Many years ago a wise man named JFK said: “Let us not be blind to our differences–but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”

Therefore, let us live with a focus on our similarities and not a biased hatred on what makes us so different. From outer space we are one. Cuba Libre! One World! One Dream!

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