H A V A N A , Cuba
Underneath those pretty Cuban salsa smiles may have a different story within themselves. My trip to Cuba was the most eye opening experience. Quite shocking to learn how deprived these people are from the Castro regime. There are secret cameras all around Havana to catch locals bad mouthing the government. Because if they do, they go straight to jail for twenty years with only 14 hours of visitation allowed.
I met a smart guy while taking photos on the street. He’s a Cardiologist who earns $25 a month. I asked him what he thought about the government, he just smiled, and pointed at the street camera above us. But as we walked away and clear of any cameras, that’s when he honestly voiced his opinion. Cubans frequently get asked for ID by the corrupt police. They cannot be hanging around Havana if they’re not born in Havana, Also they’re not even allowed to set foot in tourist hotels. You can see some cubans peeking their heads in hotel foyers trying to get a glimpse CNN. As they remain curious about the free world.
The first three days I arrived, it was pouring rain. But the lure of this city kept me visually fascinated, and I just couldn’t help but take pictures. But not only the visuals, but also the sounds! You hear music all over the streets . You could be the only person in a café and there will be singing and salsa no matter what.
Some other facts about Cuba:
1. Cuba has a 99.8% literacy rate which is one of the highest in the world.
2. Cuba is the most populated country in the Caribbean, with more than 11 million residents.
3. Cuba has the highest doctor to patient ratio in the world.
4. The average salary in Cuba is $20 p/month
5. Christmas did not become a holiday until 1997