A letter and photos from Cuba

Just received from our very good friend Carlos Eire:

Dear Val:

A Canadian email friend of mine just sent me these recent photos from Havana. They speak for themselves.

Which circle of Hell are we viewing here?

I thought you might want to share these with the Babalu readers.

The text that goes along with the photos was provided by the photographer…..

From the photographer:


Here in these photos is everyday life in Havana; what you will see is that, just as in New York or in my city, everyone is too preoccupied with their own survival to help others;

Photographs, along with my own comment and the photographer’s commentary below the fold.

Photographers comment below photo, in italics.

Most of these pictures pretty much disprove many of the lies and myths of the “revolution.”

Myth: “There is no homelessness in Cuba:”

This alcoholic was passed out on a main thoroughfare and everyone stepped over him and ignored him, (as they do in Toronto).

Myth: The elderly are very well nourished and taken care of in Cuba:

This elderly woman is typical of the very old; so thin and wasted from malnutrition. I’ve seen strong young men toss such women like potato sacks to get a place on the bus.

Myth: The revolution feeds it people:

These people have taken a burlap bag hoping to find scraps at the peso food stall on a Saturday afternoon at closing time.

Myth: Alcoholism is an evil of the capitalist bourgeois:

These alcoholics are cleaning an oven on the street for money to buy rum.

Myth: Again, there is no homelessness in Cuba:

Here is a one-legged man looking through garbage for anything, food, something that he can sell.

Myth: The revolution is all about educating the masses:

Here is a once-magnificent industrial college, now derelict, with no students.

Myth: Again, the revolution provides ample, “healthy” sustenance for the people:

Take a close look at the meat; it is the only kind of meat available to Cubans at highly inflated prices, (one day’s pay for a pound of meat) and it’s completely fly-blown.

Myth: No homelessness, no alcoholism in Cuba:

Here is another alcoholic passed out and nobody cares.

Myth: Cuba is one of the safest countries in the region:

Robberies and murder are now so common in Havana that desperate home owners (and even apartment dwellers) have erected gates, fences, iron bars to surround their homes and porches. To walk in the suburbs these days, as you’ll see in the final shot, it’s hard to see the home for the fencing. A friend walked me for hours and said, “How do you like the prisons we have made from our own homes?” Even rocking chairs on front porches are commonly chained.

When I first saw these, I thought I’d seen them before, because almost every single photograph of the real Cuba and not the “tourist” Cuba depict exactly what you have just seen in these photographs. It truly is hard to fathom how some people can still support this ridiculously oppressive revolution despite being hit hard in the face by its reality.



3 thoughts on “A letter and photos from Cuba

  1. This is so heartbreaking. Lately, I have been looking at old stock footage of street scenes of Havana dating back as far as the 1920’s [available on different internet sites such as Youtube] and what is evident from those films is that Havana had more in common with a well-to-do cosmopolitan European city than it did with Latin America. The buildings regardless of their age [and we know that Havana is an old city dating back to the 1500’s] were all maintained, the streets were beautifully paved, the trees and shrubs were all manicured, private businesses were thriving and prosperous looking store fronts lined busy streets full of well-dressed, elegant pedestrians. Cars and public transportation teemed and the overwhelmingly European stock had a look of leisure that one only sees in the populations of prosperous countries.

    Fast forward to the present and one sees a THIRD WORLD CITY: falling, abandoned buildings, empty storefronts, broken curbs, unpaved streets, uncollected garbage, wild shrubbery and unmaintained trees, a ragged, population of tired third-world looking people.

    Astounding [and hurtful] that with all of the empirical evidence that is out there, there are still people around that will tell you that Cuba is more prosperous today than it was prior to castro!

  2. Aside from what has become the “everyday” photos of Cuba, well documented here and in other Cuban specialty sites, but that are not so well distributed in the msm, does that photo of the “meat” appear to be backbone/spine? But of course mad cow disease never happens in Cuba. Officially, nothing happens. All the children are happy, just ask the masters…


    “The scientific consensus is that infectious BSE prion material is not destroyed through normal cooking procedures, meaning that contaminated beef foodstuffs prepared “well done” may remain infectious”

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