I know I’ve been posting a lot of photos from Cuba, And it’s funny because through the various Instagram filters I’ve used, I am romanticizing the city. As I edited my photos in Instagram I’d show my Tia Gladys my pictures and she was like, “Wait, that’s my street or that’s the city? You’ve made it look so nice!”
As a Cuban-American who has gone twice now I have mixed feelings on how everyone views Cuba as a tourist destination and how everyone is anxious to go. It’s like a new hipster destination and the old cars and crumbling structures are quaint photo ops.
Look, I’m not against Americans going at all but I do hope that if you find yourself traveling to Cuba, that you educate yourself on the realities of what the Cuban people have been through and are still going through. As a tourist, you see the romantic, sort of cleaned up version of Cuba, not the hardship going on behind closed doors. Did you know they still have rationing? And the reason they have all those old cars is because no cars could be imported until recently? Oh, and Che Guevara is NOT the hero history has tried to make him be.
I can recommend several books if you are interested. “Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know” by Julie Sweig may be a bit heavy & academic on the history but it’s great background.
And I leave you with a picture of the market where my Aunt shops & picks up her rations – whenever they get the limited items they do get.