Havana revisited

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View from the top of Hemingway’s Ambos Mundos hotel.

WEEPY BARRY recently visited Cuba, posing in front of the murderer Ché Guevara, glad-handing with Raúl Castro, and getting dissed by the dictatorship after he’d gone home.

He’s ever the embarrassment.

This foolishness inspired me to flip through our Havana photo album from our anniversary trip in 2012. And I’m going to share a few photos from the visit, some of which some of you have seen already. But some of you have not.

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Felipe poses in front of the tank Fidel manned at the Bay of Pigs.
View over the tail fins of a 1059 Buick Invicta.
View over the tail fins of a 1959 Buick Invicta cruising Havana’s Malecón.
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From our bedroom in the Mansion la Orquidea, a B&B in Vedado.
Felipe in "Old Havana."
Felipe in “Old Havana.”

It was a memorable trip, my second visit to a dictatorship, the first being Baby Doc Duvalier’s Haiti in the 1970s. Baby Doc’s despotism was far preferable to the Castros’.

As ever, a full report of that trip can be found here, and more photos can be found here.

9 thoughts on “Havana revisited”

  1. Nice pics…you look quite dapper in Old Havana…only thing missing is your linen suit and a nice walking stick! We still want to go before Hilton and McDonald’s arrive…maybe later this year…have a good weekend!

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    1. Charles: If I’d had a linen suit and a nice walking stick, I would have used them but, alas, I did not. We were there in April, and it was fairly warm, but not excessively so.

      I too decided to visit Cuba before it embraced capitalism — a move I heartily support, of course — and it was mainly the old cars that inspired me. I certainly was not disappointed in that respect. Quite the contrary.

      Visiting Cuba now, something done by hordes from all over the world, presents a moral dilemma. Cuba is an economic basket case, producing virtually nothing at all but misery for its people, and counts on tourism these days to keep the dictatorship alive and the island from sinking entirely into the sea, figuratively, of course.

      So if you visit, you’re helping the Castros. No way around that. I’m glad we went once, but we won’t be returning.

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  2. Hmmmm, how about a pic of Nixon with Mao? Or Rumsfeld with Saddam Hussein? Talk about murderers. You’re a fair and balanced fellow, aren’t you?

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  3. Felipe: Thank-you for sharing your photos. The pre-Castro Cuba that my parents and grandparents knew and loved no longer exists. It is a very sad realization. True, Batista was an awful dictator, but he was never as bad as Castro and did not perpetrate a genocide through mass executions, gulags, and lives lost in mass exodus. When Batista ruled, certain civil liberties such as free markets and the free press (though harassed) still remained intact. People have forgotten that pre-Castro Cuba was a very prosperous and developed nation. The cities were beautifully maintained and cared for. According to the Cuban census and the United Nations, infant mortality rates were low and literacy rates were high. The average Cuban enjoyed a high standard of living even better than many European nations. Today, all of that has changed. Castros’ rule has devastated Cuba. I agree that foreign commerce and tourism money in Cuba only empowers the corrupt regime, and therefore, I will only return to a free Cuba. I have not seen Cuba since 1967. It is a heartache that exiles feel deeply.

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    1. Babette: People often point to Batista as justification for Castro. Phooey, I say. Batista was just one of a number of tinpot dictators in Latin America in the early part of the 20th century. They’ve pretty much all been swept away, and much of Latin America is thriving.

      Except Cuba, of course. It’s the worst of the worst.

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