Maybe I’ve read too much Hemingway and his descriptions of Cuba. Maybe I’ve heard too many stories about the bar at the Hotel National. Maybe it’s the incredible architecture.
I’ve read many books about life in Havana. It’s a hard life for most, but most seem content. It’s all they’ve ever known. As an American, life in a Communist country cannot be imagined. Maybe that is the appeal of visiting, to learn first hand about a concept so foreign to me.
Most people here in the United States live an easy life. Yes, we have to work, but we have a choice about what to do for a living. We can go to college and have a career. We can own our own business. We can strive to change the circumstances we are born into.
We have discretionary income here and a lot of things we can spend it on. We have freedoms that people in Cuba probably cannot even imagine. But does that make us any happier?
In every documentary I’ve ever seen about Cuba, the people do admit their life is hard but that they are happy. I don’t know if they say that because their government is watching, but it seems believable to me. Maybe I’m just naive.
We Americans are forbidden to visit Cuba as tourists, although slowly those restrictions are easing. Havana calls to me. The city has such a vivid history, with pirates, the mob, the revolution. It looks beautiful, historic. Time is ravaging it, though. Perhaps I will be able to visit there before the grandeur is gone forever.