Cuba is in a state of change. Not so much politically, but economically some big changes are happening, albeit only in some areas of the country – most noticeably in Havana. The changes are above all evident in the industries related to tourism. Every day a new private restaurant or a new private bed and breakfast is opening somewhere. Every day new offers of excursions or activities pop up in town. There is almost a feeling of frenzy in the private tourist businesses these days. Everybody wants to take part in what right now is a booming money machine. Moreover, everybody in the tourism industry is waiting for the massive incursion of US tourists as soon as the political connections between and are fully normalized. In the meantime, tourists from the rest of the world flock to the country, wanting to experience the «other» Cuba before it’s all gone and turned into McDonalds-culture and taken over by the corporate mass-industries.
Also people and customs are changing, most visibly among the younger generation who are attracted to a more international flair of living. Cuban youth these days looks like youth in any part of the world. They are seeking the same goals and the same living standards as any other youth. You see them on the streets with their smart phones, taking selfies, texting and playing, as if they could be in New York, Paris or Singapore. Today they even got internet access. This has not been the case up until quite recently. Cubans in general have not had access to the world by proxy of internet. However, during the last year the Cuban authorities have established a number of wifi hotpots around the country to which anybody can connect. Only a couple of years ago this would have been completely unthinkable. Now you find particularly young people flocking around the wifi hotspots with their cell phones.
However, as massive as the changes appear to be, they still only affect a minority of the Cubans, the once lucky enough to be able to build for instance a restaurant or a bed and breakfast. For most of the 11 million Cubans, life still goes unchanged as it has for the last 20 or so years. There is probably a general improvement compared to the special period in ’91, ’92 and ’93, but it will still be a long time before the majority of the Cubans are able to benefit from the present economic development.
The pictures in this post are all taken in Havana over the last week or so – and are of course only a few of the many thousands I have taken so far. It’s going to take some time before I will have them all edited, but I hope to be able to get back with more images from Cuba not so long in the future. Talking about posting, I appreciate all the likes and comments you have given on my previous posts. Internet is still a slow disaster here in , so I don’t have any way of responding properly as of yet. But I promise, as soon as I am back to high speed internet access again I will respond to your all.