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Walk Through Habana Vieja

Walk Through Habana Vieja

Cuba is a confused nation with a posh historical past and unsure future. This future has just lately turn into extra unsure when President Trump announced his intention to impose new sanctions and travel restrictions on a small island state.

Additionally it is complicated because the lip service paid by individuals who might or might not know the true nature of Cuba. Some say that Cubans are the friendliest individuals on the planet. Others – often those who have never been there – recommend that Cuba is dangerous.

I needed to see this place myself earlier than the autumn of communism and the wave of American tourists sweep it, turning it into the Caribbean model of Cabo San Lucas

Meet the information

On the second day in Havana I threw caution and located myself in the wind. Whereas dwelling with a digital camera and a hundred Cuban pesolla, I walked the vacationers in the other way, freshly out of the cruise ship and went in the direction of the drums on the outskirts of Habana Vieja.

I clung my digital camera firmly while strolling within the morning alongside heat streets. American automobiles because the 1950s and bikes darted in and out of visitors. Each time I crossed the junction, it was like enjoying with Frogger. Obviously, transport laws is just a proposal in Havana.

Half have been waiting to hit or take my digital camera into use, I walked over my head. Typically I ended and took footage of superbly ruined buildings and historic automobiles.

I went to men who sat at the door (seemingly) to do anything. There have been beggars to ask for a number of pesos and youngsters walking to high school on recent new uniforms. It was confusing and galvanizing to see proud individuals getting so little.

I ended and appeared inside the superbly renovated previous constructing on the open door.

"Good morning," stated the man who leaned towards the door.

"Hola," I replied.

"Are you a professional photographer?"

"No, I'm a writer."

He advised me that the constructing was once a theater, nevertheless it had been transformed into an evening membership. He asked if I needed to look inside.

"Yes, of course," I informed her. He turned and went to the constructing and climbed right into a dimly lit staircase. Discovered Societies.

I instantly apologized for my determination. "I have a trap for walking?" The visitor subsequent to the street and the occasional constructing in all probability had a nasty concept

I imagined this is able to be some extent in a horror movie where the viewers shouted, "No, don't go!" [19659002] Niel's worry and anyway.

At the prime of the steps came the curved Portico, which surrounds the morning-lighted courtyard. I appeared down and admired a rigorously managed backyard with flowers in full bloom.

My new pal smiled. "You like it?" He requested:


Previous Havana

There was a small bar with musical gear within the yard. My new pal, Alvaro, explained that he was a musician and invited me to return and see his band play that night time.

"Do you want to show you around Havana?"

"Yes, it would be great

" What do you need to see? "

I told him I wanted to see a real Havana. "No vacationer areas," I stated.

“OK, come with me.”

I adopted my information on the slender streets and alleys of Previous Havana. The laundry hung from the home windows above, floated in the morning.

It shortly turned clear that communism had failed. Fidel Castro's revolution, which promised a greater life for the poor, had failed. There were, nevertheless, small income. In most accounts in Cuba, violent crimes are negligible, and while food is usually not sufficient, Cubans still take pleasure in free public well being and schooling

Alvaro informed me, “There is no mafia in Cuba. Do you have a Mafia in California? ”

” I don't know, I do know we’ve gangs. "

" No gang in Cuba, "he stated. "You're always safe here."

Compassion shouldn’t be restricted to Democrats

  Small Boy at the Door

And right here's the large query: How does Cuba keep some constructive things which have come to revolution, a democratic and capitalist financial system? How do they keep away from crime and drug problems that plunder many "first world" peoples?

Once I appeared round, I needed to agree with Alvaro. We have been in the midst of slums, and I wasn't in peril. In reality, I used to be happy. Individuals on the road seemed completely happy that the American would go out of his true Havana – get away from the tourist traps and see how individuals really lived.

Once we walked down the alley, a young boy in a faculty uniform stopped me. "Americano?" He asked:

"Si," I replied.

He made his fist and collided together with his fist. Without another phrase, he continued to go down and disappeared around the corner.

Alvaro turned to the native market. I ended and took footage of colorful fruit and veggies that alternated on each side of the store. Behind the building was a butcher that hit his clients with meat.

Several grocery shops smiled at the digital camera. I observed that one among them was sporting an Oakland Raiders T-shirt. "Do you like Raiders?" I asked.

"Yes. They are the most effective! “He said broken in English.

"It's too bad that they don't win a lot," a joke.

She laughed and smiled back at me.

Through the tighter feet I noticed that the price of most products was just a few pesos. "It's so cheap," I thought. Then it happened to me that most Cubans live only about 25 pesos per month.

I asked Alvaro if things were better for the Cuban people because the US government opened tourism five years ago.

"he said." Before that, we didn't have enough food. Now things are easier. Obama was a good friend to us. "

He wondered if the new administration had the same compassion as the Democrats.

“ Compassion is not limited "All Americans have compassionate people, regardless of the political party they belong to."

"I hope you are right," he said, when we left the market and turned to the big fairway.

Part of the new movement

The smell of diesel vapors filled the air. My guide looped back and began to head east.

When I was on the road, I noticed an old woman sitting on a corner of a street with a walking stick and proudly sitting next to a table full of extraordinary items for sale, including bug spray, lighters and keyrings. "Is It Pest Control?" Yin Alvaro


Although, according to American standards, his show was almost comical, he was part of a new movement where more and more Cuban entrepreneurs start

The government has in recent years made economic reforms that have given it to citizens opportunity to obtain private commercial papers. Since 2016, more than 500,000 licenses have been granted. A lot of entrepreneurs work under the table outside the formal economy

We continued on the street because sweating dropped down my face. It became hotter and the moisture climbed. Alvaro walked the streets and the zigzag back and forth to avoid future traffic. Occasionally, it seemed that cars were going to target us.

From time to time Alvaro would stop and highlight important landmarks or points of interest. I noticed a well dressed man sitting on the doorstep. I pointed my camera in his direction and asked if I could take a picture. He lifted his fingers and waved it back and forth.

"I think it doesn't mean," I said. Alvaro spoke to a couple of minutes in Spanish. I couldn't do what they said, but the man at the door didn't look happy.

"It's a brothel." Alvaro told me. “He doesn't want to take his picture.”


Havana is in a transition

In the distance I could see building cranes that rose above the horizon when the city was renovated.

My goal was to see this place before it changed, but it's also exciting to imagine what it looks like in 20 years. It could easily become the most beautiful city in America.

I was reminded that Habana Vieja was named a World Heritage Site in 1983 by the United Nations. This nomination is given to cultural and historical sites that are important to the common interests of mankind

My goal was to see this place before it changed, but it's also exciting to imagine what it looks like in 20 years. It could easily become the most beautiful city in America.

Havana reminds me in many ways about Barcelona, ​​Spain. Its historic center has a similar baroque and neoclassical architecture

Still, there is much more poverty in the streets. In other ways, it reminds me of Tijuana, Mexico. I think if Barcelona and Tijuana came together and get a baby, its love came from Havana.

“What do you think of Cuba's new president, Miguel Diaz-Canal?” I requested Alvaro Tulla to get indignant. I had read someplace that tourists should never speak about politics in Cuba.

"It's the same government," he replied. "No change."

"Do you think things will ever change?"

"I feel 10 years. I feel we have now a democratic authorities in ten years, he stated.

It's our crucifixion

We went previous the park and went back to our start line. I fought to comply with my guide as he marched down the sidewalk. Virtually ten years older, he was okay.

Once we approached the theater the place we started our tour, I needed to ask Alvaro another question: “What do you think of President Trump? "

" I think he's a good man, "he said. "I think he's trying to put the screws on our board so things change."

I got into my pocket and handed him a $ 10 bill. “Thank you for showing me. I really appreciate it. ”

“ You're welcome, ”he replied. “I wanted you to see that Cubans are good people. We are poor, but we do our best to what we have. ”

” What occurs to the Cuban individuals if President Trump's sanctions get rid of tourism? ”

Alvaro paused for a second and his face stopped critical. "It's our crucifixion."

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1 Pixabay 2 Pixabay three Pixabay 4 Pixabay 5 Pixabay 6 Pixabay; All different photographs by Bob Kelsoe