Reports from Cuba: A portrait of today’s Cuba

Kamil Kenders writes in Havana Times:

A Portrait of Today’s Cuba

In the past, Cuba was known for having low levels of poverty and violence, but that is not the case anymore. While I do not wish to discuss the current violence, I would like to draw attention to the many people who are forced to beg for money or sleep in public spaces. It is a sad and unpleasant reality that we see every day on street corners and in doorways.

Cuba, like many other countries, was divided by class before 1959. Certain areas such as Miramar, Vedado (a neighborhood belonging to the Plaza municipality), and Nuevo Vedado were always reserved for the aristocracy, as evidenced by the imposing houses in these places. Today, most of the population living in Miramar is foreign, either because they are diplomats, conducting business, or simply visiting Cuba on vacation.

It’s shocking to see how foreigners come and enjoy our island and our tropical products when we, the locals, cannot. For them, there is always the best. I am not against tourism, it was always said to help the country’s economy and development. However, the reality is quite different.

It hurts me to witness the many hungry Cubans who have to search through the garbage for leftover food, old shoes, and torn coats thrown away by others. Cuba today is suffering from hunger and sadness, disappointment, and yearning for something that was promised but never delivered.

Yesterday, I took a walk along the Malecon, one of the few remaining places Cubans can visit without paying. I enjoyed the sunset and the sea, which was priceless. However, I was saddened to see the Gran Aston Hotel, with tourist buses parked outside and foreigners enjoying the beautiful view, food, and drinks.

A poor and dirty man with a crutch and a container for collecting money approached me. He was hoping to get enough money to buy food for the day. I gave him a bill which made him happy, but then he started asking if I had a place for him to sleep. I wondered where he would go to spend the night, perhaps he would look for a doorway. Meanwhile, it’s disheartening to see how we offer lodging to those from other countries while our people go hungry and cold in Cuba.

1 thought on “Reports from Cuba: A portrait of today’s Cuba”

  1. :”Cuba, like many other countries, was divided by class before 1959. ”

    As your article point outs, the Cuba of today is divided by class. The entire history of humanity has been this way. Nobody likes the inequslity, but capitalism has done a much better job of lifting people out of poverty.

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