Friday, April 28, 2017

You Say You Want A Revolution - Well, Ya Know...

One of the most exciting things we did in Havana was the Museo Revolucion (Revolutionary Museum).  It has three stories of displays and information about how Fidel Castro helped save the Cubans from Bautista and how the Castro government has provided education and better lives to all Cubans through reforms and programs, which they didn’t have under Bautista.  The information also explains how the US was working in conjunction with Bautista and has continually tried to take over the island.  There was information that I’m not sure was accurate such as the Americans stealing 14,000 Cuban children (Operation Peter Pan), or that Americans brought dengue fever to the island with the intention of killing the Cubans – something we read even said that Americans sprayed mold on their crops.  It is very interesting how perception can be very different than reality. 

Cubans (at least the ones we met) don’t hate Americans and they are proud to be Cuban.  The people who remained on the island have suffered hard times – after the Revolution in 1959, the US and its allies placed an embargo on Cuba – which in itself was not devastating since Cuba could still trade with USSR and other smaller countries.  However, when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990, they had nothing – and it was one of the worst times in the islands history.  Now that the relationship with the US has started to change, it could help the Cubans and their posterity,  However, there is a new administration in the US, so who knows how that will play out and the Cubans still have Raul Castro in power, but there will be an election next year when it is rumored he will step down. 

I have always thought that money and greed can ruin people and cultures so I hope that Cuba can reduce it’s poverty as well as maintain its strong culture and pride and not be corrupted by the money and materialistic society of the US and it’s allies.  The island is the largest in the Caribbean and could be a major force in the world as it once was under the Spanish and the British.  (Incidentally, after the British defeated the Spanish and gained control of Cuba,  they soon enough traded Cuba back to Spain in return for England to have Florida as a colony – which the British then lost in the American Revolution).

On the 2nd floor of the Museo Revolucion - In front of me under the banister are bullet holes where students unsuccessfully attempted to assassinate Bautista before the revolution.
Che Guevara - Many Cubans treat him as a hero
The Revolution Museum used to be the residence of Bautista - it had beautiful architecture and was once decorated by Tiffany's of New York

The three main leaders of the Cuban Revolution - Fidel Castro, Camile Cienfuegos and Che Guevara
Taking a ride with Ray...Cubans who are taxi drivers have to have a license from the government...sometimes you can get a cheaper ride if you find someone who may or may not have a license.
Bunkers under the Hotel Nacional - these were used by the Cuban military during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Canons were pointed into the Havana Harbor (over my left shoulder) and then a tunnel system was used as protective cover.  There was also a phone that was connected directly to the Kremlin and periscope tunnels so the army would not have to come out from below ground.


Sabrina and Tom said...

VERY interesting.

S/V Terrapin said...

It really gave me a better understanding of the Cuban government and the Cuban people. One of the highlights of the trip!

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