The simple pleasure of a warm cup of coffee with a tender heart, a journal and a world of my own thoughts. The sweet woman at the cafe at the airport who gifted me a coffee reminding me once again of the kind, generous heart of the Cuban people. In the airport in Havana now, everything has once again changed. In line with the rest of the country’s stores and government locales, ash is useless, no matter what currency you have. Without a MLC card or Euros, there’s nothing to buy here. Usually I purchase my coffee, rum and cigar gifts for friends here on my way out, but today I purchase nothing, so when the waitress here at the cafe came to ask me what I wanted, I realized it didn’t matter what I wanted because I had no purchasing power. She was kind and brought me a coffee on the house, saying “I can help you, what do you want?” This simple kindness and compassion just always touches me. She gave me a coffee at no charge because she understands perfectly well how it is to not be able to buy what you want even if you have money to buy it, without the cards even Cubans themselves are not able to purchase goods in their own stores.
The impact of CoVid overlaid with the already debilitating reality of the crushing embargo have made Cuba’s situation so much worse than it was a few years ago. The stores in the airport, usually bustling with people eager to bring goods over to the USA, are empty. I mean empty, not a person inside. I can’t imagine how this is good for Cuba in any way. At least that revenue was something consistent for the airport stores, and now virtually no one is buying in these stores because they simply can’t. Not for a lack of money but because of the new MLC system.
Oh Cuba, my love, my heart..
This island and it’s people deserve a break but it is almost impossible to see change of the kind it needs coming in time to save it from a worse fate yet to come. Most everyone I know has either left the island already or is making plans and trying to leave as soon as possible. Soon there will be little left of the Cuba I once knew to return to. Soon Cuba will be an island of the elders and those who are truly incapable of leaving. On one of the most beautiful and rich islands in the Caribbean, we may find only hopelessness and death as the final frontier for change. All because of the agendas of selfish, greedy men with agendas not in service to the true wealth of this island which are it’s people, it’s music and it’s philosophies on living. Not in service to the tenderness and love of the people here who sweat and struggle through dirty piss filled streets and lush green valleys the same, always with a song in their heart as they carry the weight of their ancestors on their backs and in their souls.
Vive Cuba. I pray every day for your future to brighten. Adelante.