Cuba, the Caribbean’s most enigmatic island, is a cultural, visual feast; Olivia Tallet; Houston Chronicle


Cuba – Old Havana and its Fortification System

The Caribbean’s most enigmatic island is a cultural, visual feast

Welcome to Cuba, my native land: a place where time seems out of joint and where all the old certainties are jumbled.

Surprises confront first-time visitors from the moment they leave Havana’s airport. Yes, there are images of Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos, together with Fidel Castro: the triumvirate of the Cuban revolution. While corporate advertising is scarce, political propaganda still appears; similar visual displays have disappeared in other countries. Of course, Cuba’s communism was never the grim Soviet system. Ours was a tropical invention, spiked with salsa and humor, Cubans’ best survival tool.

On the island, amid the colonial architecture and 1950s cars, you enter another dimension. You’ve seen photos of scenes like these, perhaps in a book or movie, but are you really seeing them now?

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