LA HABANA They say Cuba has changed, they say the golden age has gone, they say that the jineteros in the Capital never leave you alone, that mass tourism is destroying the Cuban authenticity. Well, I didn’t believe them and I went there to check personally though many of my friends had discouraged me.
So, after a two-week tour on an old ’54 Chevrolet, I can easily say that Cuba still has its spirit and I strongly believe it will be like these for quite some time. Without going down to the political level, with no controversy or easy stance, what I saw is people with a great lust for life, willing to deal with other people, to assert their individual identity … and the Revolución is something else.
Because you myight happen to get lost in of the countless alleys in La Habana, turn the corner and meet Rafael, white hair and long beard, sitting at the edge of the sidewalk, far away from tourists, lost inside a story of his own. Your slightest attention is enough to enlighten his face, to take him back to this Earth and to be part – even just for a moment – of somebody else’s story. And when you ask him the permission to take a picture, his expression changes, he turns serious, he stares at the camera and gets ready for the shoot as if it was his only opportunity to tell you about his life. It may sound strange but he fully succeeds, just with one look. One single picture and you realize that his eyes are saying even too much.
And then you realize that Rafael is Cuba.
Rafael is the dignity of all Cubans that you will meet during your trip.
Rafael is the need for attention of every Cuban.
Rafael is the contradiction of a freedom that is extended only to the borders of their own island.
Rafael is exactly the reason why you decided to go to Cuba.
Cuba 2016 in pictures | www.simonebardi.net