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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels across country in my mobile billboard truck as I attempt to engage in dialogue with people in hopes to wake us up and inspire action to change our country and communities and selves. And it is froth with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society and life we want

Friday, May 13, 2016

Oh the fuckin tourists...

I'm walking through the dinner seating this evening after getting a plate of delicious food when a bloody white skinhead sitting at the table next to mine stops me and asks me in a thick accent which I think is either English or Australian - English it turns out - to explain my t-shirt.

He is one of those really white people whose eyes would normally blend into his forehead because his eyelash and eyebrow hair is so white it hides it plain sight like the lizards I photoed today at Las Guanas, except for his blazing red sunburn. Besides the fact that he never once blinked.

He wants to know the purpose of my t-shirt. I look at his girlfriend sitting across from him expecting her to express some sort of embarrassment or attempt to pull in the reins. She’s shooting daggers – at me – as he repeats, wanting me to explain "Black Womyn's Lives Matter".

I'm incredulous. I ask him U.S. news doesn't get to his part of England and he claims it does but he doesn't understand. So I begin to tell him: one Black person - woman, man, child - is murdered by police in the u.s. every 28 hours.

He responds by stating as if fact "oh, that many Black people are criminals". I tell him, yes, just like in England, it is criminal to be Black. He says slavery is over and besides, white people saved Blacks from starving to death in Africa by enslaving them.

I can't believe this guy is for real. I look again at his girlfriend and she's turned even more hateful. I tell him he's an ignorant asshole - not one of my finer moments or more brilliant retorts - but then, I continue, your people have had 500 years of practice being ignorant assholes.

And I stalk off to try to enjoy my dinner....grrrrr

Las Guanas Sendero - to be continued



Today I go west, trying to find Las Guanas Sendero, which I eventually dp but not until I ride maybe ½ mile beyond it. I turned around and headed back, finally reaching the park.

$3 pesos later, I took the wonderfully self-guided trail, reading all the signs, and exploring the woods as well as the ancient cave. I will attach pictures here and explain more when I get somewhere I can attach pictures!

There are two lovely womyn again who work at the park: one works the concession stand and collects the entrance fee for the park path (sendero) and the other is like a ranger. We talk for probably way over an hour, in the shade with a nice cool breeze, and I’m getting better at asking about fear and government.

I tell Lourdes directly that I’m asking because I know a Cuban American who claims this. She laughed and said that he is getting paid to say these things that are not true – because he wants to have the things that we have in the u.s. he has to believe these things. He might not be getting paid directly to say lies about Cuba, but he’s getting paid in some way.

She went on to say that it is true, that Cubans don’t get much money. She is lucky she has this job but even so, she makes little. But she doesn’t pay any rent for her home, she (and all Cubans) get a certain amount of food every month, she has free health care and she’s gone to school many years for free. She says she pays taxes but it is so little it is not worth mentioning. 

Neither of these womyn talk about a spouse nor do they ask me about a spouse. It is so interesting. One womon does say that she has a sister who has two children, but that’s it.

We talk over the dangers of more people from the U.S. coming to Cuba and Lourdes says they discuss this as a community once a week, every week. I’m fascinated. She tells me there are community meetings where people hash out problems, bring up ideas, and basically check in with each other – if I understood. 

Lourdes speaks more English than I do Spanish so she again ends up correcting my Spanish and translating for her friend. Several men appear but they sit behind us and rarely say anything. It is very interesting. 

Before I leave, I go to the other side of the park where it is advertised for $50 you can “swim with the dolphins”. I’m thinking that they take folks out on a boat and then you jump in the water if or when you spot dolphins. I’m horrified to see 3 small wire fence cages cordoning off tiny spaces in the ocean less than half the size of a half a basketball court where I see at least one dark grey dolphin swimming. 

I go back up the path to retrieve my bike and express my dismay to the womyn and men still sitting there discussing plastic and war – I had told them about the 1,500 plastic bottles a SECOND we use in this country, and the wars we’ve embarked on to ensure the ‘free flow of oil’ into our industries. I let them know how stricken I was, that dolphins need to be free.

That’s how I left today to return to the hotel.

Day 4

My routine is down now - I wake up between 6 and 7, step out the door onto the beach, stretch, run 30 minutes, tibetan stretches, buffet breakfast, and then my day starts.

I get a bicycle again and this time head east to Las Guanas Sendero - I have not been able to attach pics to my blog here in Cuba = the internet is VERY slow. But I will as soon as possible. The natural beauty of Cuba is only topped by the calm, loving beauty of her people, especially the womyn.

I feel it is my duty to warn as many people as possible of the potential destruction capitalism will probably make of their amazing calm ways and lives.

No one seems afraid to talk with me, no one shies away from the difficult questions. No one is censoring me or restricting my movements. People are not whispering or looking over their shoulders when I ask about communism, about equality, about womyn's rights, about privatizing businesses. I put this in here now because an acquaintance in the U.S. who is from Cuba warned me that this would happen.

Today I asked two womyn about their fears: they laughed out loud when I mentioned my Cuban American friend saying they would be punished if they spoke against the government. Again, one womon spoke more  English that the other, so she would correct my Spanish and also translate for the other womon. Both womyn were so interested in talking with me.