In June, I was a part of a research delegation to Cuba, during which time we visited oraganic farmers, medical doctors and holisitc researchers, agricultural professors, environmental scientists, and historical preservationists. These visits were all set amid the backdrop of Havana - the infamous capital city - as well as the tropical mountains of the Sierra d'Escambray, and the beaches of Santa Cruz del Norte. Needless to say, it was an amazing and moving experience that we got to absorb for the ten days of our professional tour.
Sometimes, traveling to a foreign land where not too many others have been, makes it difficult to return to the U.S. It is not always hard to describe, but it can be quite the challenge to convey the essence of a place, its people, and the various surroundings. When speaking of Cuba, it is especially challenging to convey its political climate for two main reasons. One, Americans tend to have many preconceived notions about what life must be like in a Communist/Socialist country. The second reason is that there is not a clear answer that can explain why Cuba is the way it is today, much less what it will be like in a few years from now.
After hearing both the party-line and the subversive low-talk about the government, one thing can be said for certain: Fidel Castro reigns, and has since the last day of 1959. His recent return to the public eye is shocking to many who thought that he may not have survived this last health bout that forced him to cede power to his brother, Raul, four years ago. Nevertheless, the fearless leader is back in action, making more claims about the uncertain future of international security. Thus, it is a critical time to speak about the essence of Cuba. The world may not have a unanimous opinion about Fidel Castro, but the unanimous and ominous opinion is that no one quite knows what Cuba will be like after he officially expires.
*Stay tuned for updated reports on our visits, as well as further commentary on the state of Cuban affairs, its courageous people, and the successes and failures of a 52-years-and-counting Revolution.
*Also, as the reports start flowing, be sure to chime in to ask questions or request a topic.
Some topics on the rise include:
- Cuba-ism: A Paradox in Paradise
- Ladybugs: A Boon for Organic Farming from California to Cuba
- Successes of the Cuban Revolution: Health Care & Education
- and more!