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Travelling to remote and not so remote places


Che Guevara

Colonial Cuba

Indeed there is a backlog of impressions from Cuba! Regular blog updates require an internet connection and in this respect Cuba still lives in the Cold War era. Obtaining an internet card (that buys you an hour of service) is a bureaucratic process that would make a Russian state employee proud. Once a card is purchased, you have to find a wireless “hotspot” to get online. A sure spot is around high-end international hotels, where you at night find a gathering of locals whose smartphones light up the dark like fire flies.

Whereas the cold wind of communism still can be felt in Havanna, the bittersweet smell of colonialism still hangs over Trinidad in the south of Cuba. Some say time has stood still here, and it’s a beautifully preserved colonial town but it felt a little bit like an open air museum.

Nevertheless we housed in a lovely Casa “Juan Carlos y La China” where colonial furniture was still in use and three stories towered over an inner courtyard. From there we had beautiful views over Trinidad and the Escambray Mountains. And the Mojitos were delicious!

Casa Juan Carlos y La China
Many old colonial buildings are still in the hands of the original families

Trinidad’s heyday was in the 18th and 19th century when wealthy families traded in slaves and sugar. When slave trade stopped and the sugar business petered out, Trinidad went to sleep for a 100 years and the buildings remained the way they were. Until the 60’s…

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A Rum diary

I love Cuba! It’s a friendly, feisty, charismatic place! Like an old woman, worn down by age and hardships, a bit rough around the edges, but still not having lost the sparkle in her eyes! A place where an underdog can win an impossible fight.

The Bay of Pigs was named in the good ole’ times when starving pirates came to the natural harbour to stock up on food from a local pig farmer. After Che and Castro released Cuba from “decadence and corruption”, the place again got on the international map in 1961 when the Americans decided to support, and train, a group of counterrevolutionary Cuban ex-pats who would invade their home country and crush the communist dogs. But the invasion was an embarrassment, Kennedy got nervous, withdrew his support and unceremoniously left the soldiers at the mercy of Castro (who later traded them for medical supplies and food). The Cuban American love affair was over and Castro and Che promptly got in bed with the Soviets instead.

Bay of Pigs invasion info
The invasion plans were anything but secret. Kennedy had apparently exclaimed: “Castro doesn’t need spies, all he has to do is read the news!”

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