Previous participants in this occasional travelogue know that I usually include pictures along with the text. In this case? Not possible due to dodgy internet connections. So all I have to offer are words and this image of the Cuban flag. Enjoy anyhow. Don’t know if I’ll be able to send more than this and one more.
So our Cuban tour starts in Miami. Naturally. It’s where the disaffected and disenfranchised from the 1959 revolution hit land. Still is. It was a colorful ride with not enough photo ops. Couldn’t really do justice to Gay Pride Weekend in Miami Beach (take my word, but sorry, SF, you’re outdone). Also no stop for a shot of the eternal flame burning in memory of Bay of Pigs. And no chance to look around Freedom Tower, tall and proud, where all the refugees were processed. It’s a bit of a museum now, I guess, and there was talk of putting the Cuban Consulate there, but the Mayor said no, so the honor when to Miami Beach instead.
There’s a Chinatown in Miami Beach begun by cane cutters from Cuba. Didn’t know there were Chinese cane cutters in Cuba. How about you? There’s a disgusting line of 4000+- passenger tour boats that would stretch beyond a dozen or more football fields lined up in some canal.
Nothing particularly special about Miami to tell beyond that because it’s pretty much all palms and sunshine and beaches just like you’ve seen in the movies. Very interesting, though, was our driver. A guy in his early sixties, I’d guess, a Cuban who came over not so long ago. He sounded off pretty bitterly about his life on the island.
He said he was a chem teacher at the Universidad for many years till he took off across the waters with his family, and is very pessimistic about the future. He had high hopes for a while. Maybe the people would rise up when Obama came. He felt O. was insulted by the Castros because no one of any rank met him at the airport and the prez and family had to carry their own umbrellas. But the people did not arise. Then when the rolling stones came, he thought maybe the next revolution would start. But neither event happened, so he doubts it will happen in his lifetime. He told of a thoracic surgeon friend who spends the morning doing bypasses, then drives taxi and makes more at that than in the OR. Go, he said, you ordinary Americans are our hope.
Okay, Oscar Luis, we will go.