The Duality of Cuba
Updated: Apr 18
Go on Instagram. Search “Havana Cuba”. Isn’t it beautiful? So many bright colors! Probably seeing a lot of pictures of beautiful women in dresses, sitting in or on a newly remodeled 1950s corvette. Oh, isn’t life just perfect! …Maybe if they moved that camera over a bit you would see some broken down buildings. Unfortunately, what you see on Instagram is not what you get. Many people take these photos in the more pleasing areas of Cuba and use editing tools to make them look brighter and more appealing. I am not saying these people are trying to misguide you, they are just trying to appeal to their followers. Because in all honesty, more appealing photos = more likes and follows, no getting around that. However, I want to shed the fur coat and show you what’s underneath. No doubt that Cuba is still a beautiful country, but I believe that the country has a duality to it.
It is split between a new Cuba and an old Cuba. Meaning, new infrastructure and entrepreneurship for the tourists, and old buildings destroyed by time and the struggles of the Cuban people. The Cubans are however hopeful that with the money coming in the country from tourism and the government slowly loosening the leash, that Cuba can become the country they have always dreamed of; it will just take time. Not everything is bubble gum and sugar drops people, which most of Instagram focuses on. Maybe it’s a way for people to escape into another world, but at the same time, its very misguiding.
Most of the cars you see in Cuba are old and broken down; they don’t have new paint and most of them sound like an old truck. The streets are not well paved, so you have to step over a bunch of rubble while you walk. The dogs are starving and filled with fleas, roaming the street. Most of the buildings are naked to the world; no windows/doors with chipped paint. The other thing Instagram doesn’t show is the daily struggles of being a human living in Cuba. Not all of them have the necessities we do. Sometimes it’s even hard for them to get toilet paper, a basic item we use daily in western culture. In Cuba you will find lines of people outside super markets to see if there are any specific products left, like cooking oil. Basic necessities aren’t always on hand, which is why Cubans have to get creative.
This picture below shows that there is only one bottle of oil left. Unlike America, this wont be restocked for that day.