Chasing Che

Trip Start Apr 13, 2011
Trip End Apr 20, 2011

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Flag of Cuba  ,
Monday, April 18, 2011

We stopped here in Santa Clara on the way back to Havana, mainly to visit the Che Guevera Monument. It's the biggest statue of a man I've ever seen, and it tops a museum full of photos with propagandist captions about how pitiful Cuba was before the Revolution, and how wonderful it is now. I don't mean to pass judgement on the Cuban system (I haven't earned the right), but the country's museums certainly don't present balanced viewpoints about anything - they are simply vehicles for promoting the current government's agenda. 

I noticed on the highway the essentially organized hitch-hiking system that stands in as a main form of public transportation to supplement the few buses that are in various states of repair. As we sped along in our air conditioned mini bus, Cubans were waiting for rides outside in the stifling heat. Our guide pointed out rural boarding schools surrounded by vegetable crops where students would spend time working in the fields each day. He remarked on the Doctors' homes along the highway which double as clinics. Although medical care is free,doctors aren't paid any better than anyone else. Therefore, those who bring gifts tend to be assisted much sooner than those who don't. Another example of that "under the table" economy. Capitalism persists in one of the most socialist states in the world.

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