Havana, Cuba

Cubans think that cabaret shows are still in vogue. Every hotel seems to have their own show, from the overpriced Tropicana, down to this saucy little joint that we visited. It was excellent value for $10, considering how well the dancers could shimmy, how heartfelt the Spanish love songs were, and how vividly the male g-strings defined their owner’s packages.
At the end of the exhibits in the Museo De La Revolutión, is a comically huge mural dedicated to the “cretins”, the enemies of the revolution. Next to each ridiculous caricature is a plaque thanking the cretin for their contribution. Batista “Thank you cretin for helping us make the revolution” Ronald Reagan “Thank you cretin for helping us strengthen the revolution” George W Bush “Thank you cretin for helping us make socialism irrevocable”
One of the highlights of Havana’s cultural circuit has to be the Museo de la Revolutión. It has plenty of propaganda-laden exhibits that explain everything about Cuba’s recent history, from the revolution to the creation of the socialist / communist system. It ends with gushing admiration for the amazing strides that have been made in recent history. A cursory glance out the window is all that’s needed to refute the lies.
Sitting along the famous Malecón with the guitar out, we bought bottles of rum and cigars and chatted to locals. Roisin blinks, and in that time, I steal and finish her mojito. Jazz bar in the new town. Undoubtably the best bar in Cuba. Mojitos were $2, a huge plate of decentish food was only $4.
One thing that you can get in Cuba remarkably consistently is ice cream. The Cubans love it. So, Fidel decided that the state should be in charge of making sure that everyone has access to tasty cones, and built the Coppelia Ice Cream Parlour. It’s as grim and communist as you’d imagine. However, not being a free market and having artificially low set prices, Coppelia suffers from queues that stretch around the block and getting your hands on one often requires waiting over an hour.
The height of 50’s-era luxury is found in The Hotel Nacional de Cuba, available for anyone with the CUC currency. A state store where Cubans can get rations and pay in the worthless currency (National Pesos). Bare and crumbling.
Storm over Havana. We were on the opposite side of the bay and seeing this was a special treat. Fixing a car on the side of the street. These impromptu workshops spring up everywhere, as enterprising mechanics fashion new parts for 60 year old cars. Che is everywhere. Storms approaching. This is the actual bag that Che used in one of his operations. Sunset. Everything in Cuba is falling to pieces.