Cuba - Island of blissfully naive people
IT IS incredible that Cuba "occurred" to the world. On the doorstep of the United States, in the midst of the Cold War, adventurer Fidel Castro made his socialist revolution. Although twenty years ago almost all Communist regimes fell, the Cuban regime is "forcing" the same failed story even today.
This bizarre political anomaly has made Cuba unique in its own way. People are able to adapt to everything, mass of industry and entrepreneurship turned into other areas.
Cuba, with cigars and rum, became a country of incredible music and dance. Blend of Spanish guitar and African rhythms with elements of jazz, you would want to listen to them all day long.
Naturally gifted in music, their cheerful and optimistic mentality very easily transmits in a rather complex music. Usually two singers communicate with each other, and they both "talk" in the polyphony with other members of the band. Keyboards accompany the band with a very complex chords that give jazz overtones, and bassist "weaves" the fretless whole time. On top of this, add all kinds of percussion and guitars, saxophones, clarinets...
Interestingly, the quality is not at all "bumped up" to expensive gyms and clubs. Great bands can be heard everywhere, literally everywhere. Sit on a bench to res, and then - guitar, percussion, singers...
When you sit down for a coffee somewhere in Croatia, in the best case, you will listen to the radio. In Cuba, often for just a few guests, a band is usually playing. And what for bands and what a musicians! You must be careful not to drink too much, so that the "brakes do not lossen"...
And passers-by, especially the elderly, simply stop and start dancing. It`s all as simple and natural as it`s normall to sing, dance and play at any time of day. Cuban music and dance was the best we have experienced not only in Cuba, but in the entire region that we visited.
However, as soon as we have a little peek beneath the cheerful surface of Cuban music and dance, we noticed numerous similarities with our (post) communist situation in Croatia. As with us, politics crawled its tentacles everywhere in Cuba. She completely determines the life of people. It is impossible, therefore, to speak of Cuba, and to not talk about politics.
Although many in Croatia still "swallow" a propaganda story that Tito, Yugoslav communist dictator of Yugoslavia, uniquely positioned the state in the geopolitical realities of the Cold War, the Cuban dictator Fidel Castro has made it very simple and Cuba - took the position close to the U.S. coast, so that the whole nation lived comfortably with abundant help from the USSR.
Very similar was done by Tito when Yugoslavia was an interesting to western and eastern bloc (couse it was officialy non-aligned), and the 70 and 80 was well lived from hand to help with the economy in collapse. In these strained relationships, Cuba and Yugoslavia were possible. Today, more than that there is no benefit, no matter how persistently Castro pander to Russia and China.
Cuba also gave us the answer what would happen if Tito would be miraculously alive and that Croatia is still a communist country. The second the Cold War was gone, they failed to exploit "brilliant" geopolitical combinations - as soon as the Russia stopped assisting Cuba, the gross domestic product in a single year fell to more than halv, and the country has experienced a complete economic collapse. That is why Cuba looks far poorer now than in the eighties.
No matter how tough, Castro was forced to soften the regime in 1993. So, we could even get to Cuba, because Castro then opened the country to foreign tourists in order to facilitate some kind of foreign exchange inflow.
Another travel books from the region:Travelogue Honduras