Tuesday, 3 April 2012

love letter to Cuba

Dear Cuba,

I love your funky, retro, ultra cool cars. I love your socialismo and your anti- American determination. I love your laid back beaches. I love your lush dilapidation, your optimism in the face of adversity.

It disingenuous to say that you are generous, warm, welcoming, kind, nice. You are, but I believe that most people in the world are like this. I've traveled a lot and I can honestly say that this is true. Most people in the world are good. You are good, and sexy to boot.

So, what is it about Cuba? What makes people fall in love with your lovely island in the Caribbean Sea? Is it the near- fatal attraction of the love triangle: Rum and cigars and coffee? Maybe that's part of it. Food and drink are good in Cuba. They are clean and untainted. You do not leave the palate wanting, despite the relative simplicity of your food.

Certainly the weather is fantastic- warm, with a soothing ocean breeze, if you are on the coast. Warm days, cooler nights. Hurricane season is probably a different matter, but for the most part it is always quite lovely.

Your landscapes are stunning- topical vegetation, rugged coastlines, manicured gardens, and fine sandy beaches.

La Habana is a cosmopolitan city of joys and sorrows.  A beautiful city that proudly wears the battle scars of your fascinating history, past and present. The city boasts gorgeous architecture influenced by numerous cultures and eras. You display your dilapidation without apology. You have been through more than your share of tough times. But amongst your decay, the sorrow, and the stamps of better times past you bear a marked resourcefulness and  resilience.

The various invasions, occupations and revolutions may have taken their toll, but you are strong; you glow with health, untainted by American junk food and dietary horrors; you are proud and resourceful. You are smart and independent. You defy the commonly held perception that the world needs the mighty U.S.A to survive. You are, despite the challenges you have experienced, your own people.

Yours forever,

xo Jo

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