Last Night in Cuba
In April 2016 Transparency TV travelled to Cuba to film the changing nature of this Caribbean island and was surprised to find more than we bargained for!
How did I deal with the 24 hour fly-transit-fly-transit-fly journey from Australia to Cuba? Then the hot, humid and dusty streets of Havana once there? With my protective moisturiser, Limonada (freshly-made Cuban lemonade) and a new-found love for the soulful inhabitants of this, the sexiest socialist country on the planet.
They are embracing change in Cuba once again; from Communism to Micropreneurism and they are well prepared. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 (on whom they relied for free petrol among other things) facilitated a new self-reliance, a resourcefulness, an ability to get by - together. Relying on free education, free healthcare and their age-old african/hispanic/french traditions of music and dance to get through what is known as 'the troubled times'.
As a community they have found a way to make the decaying communist and plumbing systems work. Alongside their government jobs the men and women of Cuba may be teaching tango, driving taxis, performing their music or selling access to the year-old public wifi service.
I witnessed these passionate people using Salsa to resolve a tense situation. The dancing and the music are the soul of this island, almost everyone does one or the other or both at the same time. A singing violinist, Tamny Lopez Morendo 'fights for her music' to be heard in Cuba and while travelling to represent her country internationally. She is passionate, creative, cheeky and affectionate. Like many of her fellow Cubanos she is unique in her heritage, her endeavours and is embracing the evolution of her country with verve.
Cuba, I salute your desire to be a part of the world while retaining your roots, may you grow and evolve under your own delightfully warm sun.