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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Habana vieja!

We are staying right in the bustling, beautiful heart of old Havana at a 'hostel' that is in a beautiful building that is at least several hundred years old.

I listed earlier a lot of the differences for my traveling this time to Cuba but one BIG difference I forgot is that I'm with both children and adults who are speak Spanish - most better than me and some even fluent!

I LOVE the streets of Habana: they are quite narrow, almost all one way (so less chance of being hit by a car, a bicitaxi, or a motorbike!), and surrounded by lofty ancient buildings that would be beautiful if one can forget who was forced to build them, who occupied them, and fled them dismantling all they could.

The marble steps, staircases, floors, even walls glow, the blood of the slave laborers long forgotten and hidden, the tallest doors and windows grace the multitude of openings, and fancy wrought iron decorates the abundance of small balconies protruding over the street on every floor above the second!

Bright colors mix with music, honking horns, and people - both Cuban and tourists (way too many tourists) to lend a vibrancy - mingling with enticing smells of street & restaurant food.

This is the view out the 2nd story 14 foot tall window of our hostel:

This is the view down the street from our hostel!

Regreso a Cuba!

Today I'm returning to Cuba. This will be a much different trip than the one I took in May last year. I'm going as a chaperon of my grandson's school! So I'm going with my daughter, my grandchild, and his second and third grade students - with their moms and some more grandmothers - and a few of their teachers.

Plus we're going to Habana, and we will be on several tours designed for tourists. Still I'm looking forward to it with great excitement and anticipation, prepared as I am to be part of a city of 2.2 million people that is 281 square miles big.

Also, Cuba is where Europeans murdered every single Indigenous person existing on the island, then forced so many Africans into slavery, the island's population was 45% Black during the height of slavery.

And also just remember, neither sugarcane nor tobacco is endemic to Cuba but is an invasive species coerced upon the island by Europeans as they took over the island and exploited the rich soil and Black people to make them wealthy beyond imagination.

One of the changes Castro put in motion after the fall of the Soviet Union was to turn sugarcane and tobacco fields for export into veggie and fruit fields for feeding the Cuban people: yet another reason he was/is so hated by capitalists!

I will keep these facts in my consciousness as I explore Habana and Cuba again!

On the plane to Cuba!!!!