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Cuba on the Cusp

Leah Abrahams | Massachusetts, Cuba

1. Now—Banners, signs and billboards extolling the revolution and reminding Cubans to keep true to those values are ubiquitous as one travels through Cuba.

Thanks to the openness of the Cuban people, even a tourist-Sociologist can begin to make observations about a neighboring Communist country that has been designated as “forbidden” since the American embargo went into full force in 1961, two years after the Revolution headed by Fidel Castro. This series looks at several aspects of a Cuba that almost lost its outcast status recently, but has again been denigrated by the US Administration in 2017.

The Cubans generally blame the US Embargo for its problems, but clearly the government has had only two major achievements in all the years since the Revolution: literacy and healthcare—as well as good medical training. There are still very poor people living in dangerously old buildings and there is unemployment and hunger. While the crime rate is low, the ability to earn enough in what we Americans would call a middle class or working class job is very difficult. With the expectation of a thaw in relations, some Cubans have returned to start restaurants and other businesses. We’ll see!

Content shared by Cuban guide.

USA Today, Florida Edition

The Guardian newspaper

The Cubans encouraged exchange of words and hospitality, not discouraged by my minimal Spanish language skills. I have shown some key aspects of Cuban life today: prominence of Revolutionary slogans; workers in their environment; the decrepit architecture that was once magnificent; religious observance and street life. I am wondering if good health and literacy will decreace when "capitalism" comes back to the Island.

Leah Abrahams



575 Hammond Street Apt. 1, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

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