London Travel Blog

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I wanted to visit Cuba because I have long been fascinated by its storied culture and history. The stories I had read, and the images I had seen, gave me the impression of a people living in extreme hardship but at the same time stubbornly determined to have a good time. As a student of the Cold War and post-revolution developments in China, I was also intrigued by communism and its evolution over the years. Cuba appealed to me because it is one of few truly communist states left in the world - the likes of China and Vietnam are only nominally communist, in truth they are more capitalist than most Western countries including the United Kingdom, where I currently reside.

On the other hand, beyond all the poverty and hardship, Cuba also exuded a certain kind of romance. It has steadfastly resisted the onslaught of globalisation, in particular, the proliferation of Pax Americana. Visits to storied cities like Venice, Paris and Marrakech left me in no doubt as to just how pervasive big business has become - not a single square mile was spared from annexation by the ubiquitous golden arches of McDonald's or the distinctive, generic whiff of Starbucks Coffee. As the world becomes smaller and smaller, individual cities, communities and civilisations will inevitably see their identities erode. Cuba, however, has remained intrasigent in the face of this cultural invasion, and has bucked the trend of "standardisation" in major cities across the world.

In this travel blog I will be recounting some of my thoughts as I passed through this beautiful island nation.

Vagabondatheart says:
I want to visit Cuba in Dec. and as an American, I know that I'll have to go through Canada or Mexico. I look forward to your elaboration of your experience in Cuba.
Posted on: Jun 13, 2007
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7,492 km (4,655 miles) traveled
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photo by: ulysses