Cuba, a people who has absolutely nothing but who gave everything to us, western tourists, to live an amazing experience. The time seems to have stopped, here we’re in a scene of a 60s movie, a latino version of “Back to the future”.
And I will confess something to you : it feels good to go back to years ago, to lay down few minutes, far away from this digital pollution which makes us forget how to live with a Capital L.
As Yadira would say « A mal tiempo, buena cara », would be the equivalent of « Bad fortune, good heart », which signify that no matter what difficulties, we stay positive and generous with the future to make it better.
Cuban people didn’t have choice : they are used to not have Internet. To use it they have to buy a special Wifi card, bought generally by tourists. They are limited to few hours just enough to respond to tourist’s demand. They also can’t buy the new day cream or the last Braun razor.
When I have offered a product to Yadira or when Alex gives to her husband Apple headphones, respectively aged of 30 and 28 years, we didn’t think to see them so happy. It’s simple, all products that we find so easily in our supermarkets are very pricey or simply don’t exist here. Why ? Because supermarkets don’t exist. To buy supplies they go in a rationing shop where they will get limited quantities to consume during the entire month.
An underground economy has developed by Cuban people to satisfy our needs of western tourists, our Cuban friends are fulfilled of creativity to find rice, fruits, cheese, and even air conditioning to sleep well with fresh air.
Sacrifices with a capital ‘S’ ! This is the key word that I will use to define this people. A cultivate one, engaged, frustrated but not worn out by life !
Cuba is beautiful, the people fights to make things moved. We have met some very altruists people, very welcoming, capable of sacrifice for other comfort, to give help without interest. In Cienfuegos, Ester was explaining to us that her and her husband, was waking up during the night to welcome tourists, or going to bed very late or have their nights cut, or waking up very early for be there for the arrival. The most extraordinary is that they always doing it with a great smile. This people is an example for us.
Frustration to have nothing like other people, gives them a desire to entrepreneurship and to create, as if this frustration were pushing them to action. I never felt jealousy, or envy from Cuban people only joy and optimism. Is it because everybody has the same salary, waiter, doctor and plumber. Indeed, this absence of social classes can bring an inside peace and a willingness to help, that we have lost in our capitalists societies.
The fact that there is no publicities on billboard, outside the city, in the city, on TV or on radio, does not permit to have the envy to own.
When we get to the airport, we have been arrested by Cuban customs because we were transporting commercial document to be diffused like publicities. Gratefully, custom’s agents were very young woman who have been very nice to us and let us enter in the country.
But if Cubans, intelligent, cultivate and entrepreneur people haven’t access to all of those things, but they develop everyday alternatives to have access to this consuming society, do they will be like us ? Because even if they are not jealous or envious like we can be in Western countries, they have conscience that having Internet 24/24, traveling to Paris or New York or to make their life better would participate to their well being. We can ask us a question : Will their generosity or their happiness will be preserved when they will have access to the consuming market ?
Cubans haven’t forgot that even if life is cruel and hard, it was precious and beautiful too, and they are the first enjoying every minute of it, despise obstacles, Cubans are a joyful people, who teaches us to be patient, tolerant, positive, and to share everything that you have. Finally, isn’t the Cuban people who is the creator of the economy collaborative ?