Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Dear Cuba

Dear Cuba,

You are a funny little country and after spending twelve days with you, I have very mixed feelings. 

This is the airport in Havana. What more can I say?

I am sad to leave my hosts but let's face it. They are only living with you to serve the diplomatic aims of their motherland, Malaysia. Not because they love you. Because - let's be honest - they don't.

Havana city center on the distant horizon, this afternoon's storm gathering force

I mostly adore your jungly piece of Caribbean real estate. Sure, your August days are a bit hot and steamy, but your insane cloud formations and monstrous tropical storms really do it for me.

Heading north to Florida, the Keys appear below me in fascinating detail. I could trace out the causeways that link each one to the next

Your beaches are sweet. Not always turquoise blue, but rich in velvety soft  sands and warm waves. Me gustan muchas las playas. 

Clouds over the Everglades. I have no words for this sight either. 

But here's the thing. I am deeply worried about your people. They seem to me like ghosts; pale, washed-out inhabitants of what should be a vibrant, lively culture. There is precious little joy on your island, and that is a tragedy. 

Shame on you, Cuban leaders, for letting it come to this. 

I don't know how to help you, Cuba. And to tell you the truth, no one in this whole world does. 

Waiting in Miami for the morning to come, and the plane to take me home. 

But I wish you all the best, with your neat agromercados and vintage cars and dozing dogs. I hope to see you again. 

Muchos besos y abrazos,


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