Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Friendly US/Cuba Relations

Any animosity between Cuban people and the United States lie solely with the two governments, not the ordinary, everyday people; at least not with Cubans.

When I visited Cuba, I never noticed any animosity from Cuban people when they realized I'm American. I remember people practicing their English with me, or simply shaking my hand saying, “nice to meet you!” In the worse case scenario, some would try to hustle me and get me to spend my money on them, considering their abysmal economy in relation to ours. This ridiculous trade embargo against Cuba only makes matters worse; not for the Castro government, but for every day people, including children who have no beef with the U.S.
Any animosity between Cuban people and the United States lies solely with the two governments.. Cubans love it when American visitors come to get to know their country, spend their money, and bring their t-shirts, CDs, and other American-style items they no longer need to give away. I was sorry that I didn’t bring more things to give away. A professional dancer gave me a free private salsa lesson because I gave him a jazz CD. The seven-year old child of a woman I developed a rapport with, high-fived me as though I gave him a $20 bill when I gave him a package of pencils, pens, and writing paper.
Almost everyone in this Spanish-speaking city of Havana wore English-speaking t-shirts like it’s a fad. I remember meeting a woman on the malecón (the waterfront) wearing a New York Knicks jersey, and I shouted to her in Spanish, HEY, THAT'S MY TEAM :-) She looked at me bewildered as it turned out that she did not know what she was wearing. I just hope that when this political riff-raff is over between the US and Cuban governments, that Cuban people do not become too Americanized. The island has much to offer in terms of culture, which attracts people, like me, from all over the world.