Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Day 3 - Havana

I was starting to get used to the place by day 3, the crumbling buildings were no longer shocking, but surprising, the food no longer bland but variable, depending on the temperature of the rice and the greasiness of the chicken. The beautiful 28°C weather was very easy to get used to!

We decided to visit the Museo de la Revolucion, which was an extremely interesting place. It was full of information about what led up to the Cuban revolution, Che Guevara, Fidel Castro and all that. Preceding 1959, it also tells of the harsh conditions under the US-appointed dictator Batista. These conditions are thoroughly shown (and perhaps exaggerated), as the current Cuban leader has played on the horrific lead up to his own rise to power in order to continue convincing Cubans today that really, "Vamos Bien".

The propaganda in the museum is pretty impressive, and you can almost start believing that Cubans are better off now than they ever were before 1959. In fact plenty of the "socialist" systems were in place in the constitution of 1940 anyway, but I won't go into that in too much detail as you can see for yourself on other sites like this one.

Just for a taster of the general pro-revolucion advertising (because there is no other), here are some of my pictures:

On the evening of our last day in Havana, we visited a Paladar, a privately owned restaurant. The HurĂ³n Azul restaurant was like a drink of water in a desert. I'm not one to turn my nose up at a bit of muck, but walking into the plush furnishings, sitting at a table with a table cloth and choosing from a menu which wasn't wet or dirty was just wonderful. The restaurant was great, delicious, interesting food and friendly service. This is Cuba as it could be, I think.

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