Photos That Define Cuba

An Island That, Frankly, Needs Defining
{Updated Thursday, April 17th, 2014}

Americans are now visiting Cuba in record numbers.
Despite the embargo since 1962 restricting most U. S. travel to Cuba.
An excellent map of Cuba.
The 14 Cuban provinces; notice Isla de la Juventud.
The Isle of Youth, formerly the Isle of Pines, is a separate Cuban island.
It still has lots of pine trees but Fidel Castro was once imprisoned there.
Nueva Gerona {see 1st map above} is a vibrant city on the Isle of Youth. 
Tourists in Cuba flock to the statues of Celia Sanchez.
Photos of uniformed Cuban schoolchildren fascinate tourists.
Alberto Korda's photo of a child in Batista's Cuba pretending her block of wood is a doll.
The majority of children in Batista's Cuba went to bed hungry at night.
By daylight on Jan. 1-1959 Cubans were destroying {aboveall the Mafia casinos.
The casinos were symbols of the massive Batista-Mafia thievery and brutality.
The U. S. government supported the Mafia reign of terror in Cuba.
Lucky Luciano {upper-left} is/was the all-time most powerful Mafia leader.
The State of New York had Luciano safely locked up in prison for 50 years!
The U. S. government, incredibly, over-ruled New York and freed Luciano!
And that's how Luciano and the Mafia raped and robbed Cuba in the 1950s.
On January 1, 1959 the Cuban Revolution defeated the Batista-Mafia dictatorship.
Even more incredibly, Revolutionary Cuba has survived deep into 2014!

Cuban girl thanking a tired rebel -- January 1, 1959.
Cuban elementary students heading to their classroom in the spring of 2014.
Revolutionary Cuba prides itself for its education that starts in kindergarten.
Schoolgirls raise the Cuban flag each morning.
Girl skipping rope in Trinidad, Cuba after school.
Cuba is one of the safest nations in the world.
Since 1959 Committees for the Defense of the Revolution patrol each block.
Cuban schoolchildren often spontaneously perform for visiting photographers.
 Tourists sometimes bore schoolchildren in Cuba, such as this texting girl.
Ten years after her death, this Cuban stamp honored Celia Sanchez in 1990.
Celia Sanchez dearly loved Cuban children.
In 1953 she believed children were being mistreated in Batista's Cuba.
So, she decided to do something about it.
Later, as the top decision-maker in Revolutionary Cuba, Celia wrote:
"The Batistianos will never regain control of Cuba as long as I live or as long as Fidel lives."
Celia Sanchez died of cancer on January 11, 1980 at age 59.
In April of 2014, 87-year-old Fidel Castro is still alive.
And therefore, so is Celia Sanchez's proclamation.
2014: College student studying in Santiago de Cuba.
Education, health care, food, and shelter are free; no student loans, no Obamacare.
Cuban farmers are growing more food on the island.
Needing to purchase food has highlighted a major revolutionary weakness.
In 2013 Cuba spent $2.5 billion importing food.
Cubans are amazed that a 2nd generation Miami Cuban is a U. S. Presidential candidate.
But they assume only extremists can make it to Congress or compete for higher offices.
The 3-wheeler in front is a typical Cuban taxi for short urban trips.
They get great gas mileage and I found them very comfortable, cool, and scenic.
Cubans are amazed that a liberal U. S. President is forced to defend the Cuban embargo.
Cubans are aware that the yearly UN vote shows the entire world opposes the embargo.
The strongest supporters of Revolutionary Cuba are Cuban women.
Most Cubans on the island today consider dissidents to be products of U. S. Cuban extremists.
There are not nearly as many dissidents on the island as Americans believe.
Average Americans are not allowed to visit the island where they could see for themselves.
Cuba allows famed dissidents like Yoani Sanchez to leave the island AND RETURN.
Cuban-exile extremists such as Senators Rubio and Menendez treat dissidents like rock stars.
Now Yoani Sanchez flocks to the U. S. to promote her books and blogs.
On her recent U. S. celebrity jaunt, she announced her new anti-Castro digital newspaper.
If the Batistaianos recapture Cuba for her, Yoani might be appointed Cuba's President!!!
Meanwhile, Cuba has already named Miguel Diaz-Canel to be its next President.
He is neither a Castro nor a former rebel.
Miguel rides his motorcycle to rural areas and reportedly cares about poor people.
This young Cuban teacher is typical of Miguel Diaz-Canel's biggest supporters.
The BBC didn't ask her what she thought about Yoani Sanchez.
      These two Cuban women are not dissidents in Cuba and therefore Americans are not supposed to know them although they are exceptional, interesting and exciting. On April 14th-2014 Havana Times.org journalist Helson Hernandez published a long Q & A with Susana Frade {left} and Zuleida Suarez. They are members of the Sonatas Habaneras Guitar Orchestra and have branched out to form a musical duo called Con-Trastes. As a talented combo, they are already extremely popular on the island. Because they are a positive and not dissidents, they would not be treated as the rock stars they are if they ventured to America. They would either be ignored or shunned. That's because seven entrenched and powerful Cuban-exile members of the U. S. Congress -- Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Bob Menendez, Mario Diaz-Balart, Joe Garcia, and Albio Sires -- dictate that only negatives about the island should be reported. Five ultra-powerful and unchallenged sycophants -- Mauricio Claver-Carone, Gus Machado, Otto Reich, Frank Calzon and Lincoln Diaz-Balart -- are just as dictatorial in the U. S. regarding Cuba. That's twelve people who essentially tell Americans what to think and what to do when it comes to Cuba, creating an anti-democracy phenomenon that has persisted since 1959. Susana and Zuleida are positives that democracy-lovers in America should be allowed to know, even in a weakened democracy.
Twelve like-minded zealots should not dictate to 315 million eclectic people.
And 85 people in the world should not have wealth equal to 3.5 billion people. 
The BBC featured these teenagers enjoying ice cream on a hot Cuban day.
They are in the little Cuban town of {yes} Florida, Cuba.
England's BBC often features normal Cubans and even some positive Cuban news.
The U.S. media only features Cuban dissidents and negative Cuban news.
Senators Rubio and Menendez want Americans to know only Cuban negatives.
Of course, no overthrown Cuban dictatorship fled to England to regroup.
Rubio-Menendez may tell you these girls are unfed, unsafe, and unhappy.
Others in the U. S. are supposed to be too ignorant or too afraid to question them. 
From 1952 till 1959 the U.S.-backed Batista-Mafia dictatorship ruled Havana.
Today most Cubans on the island prefer that the Cuban Mafia rules Miami, not Havana.
Today Tete Puebla is a General in the Cuban Army.
By the time she was 15-years-old, Tete was a legendary anti-Batista guerrilla fighter.
Americans are not supposed to know what motivated the teenage Tete Puebla.
But to this day, she would fight to the death against a return of the Batistianos.
This Cuban girl in 1976 just learned a terrorist bomb had killed 73 on Cubana Flight 455.
As a woman today, she is aware that such bombers are well protected citizens of Miami.
She's also aware that the U. S. has Cuba on its Terrorist List to appease Cuban-exile extremists.
Moderate Cuban-Americans in Miami needed gun permits for protection.
As a top newsman in Miami, Emilio Milian denounced Cuban-exile terrorism.
Then Emilio Milian was car-bombed.
The Cuban Revolution began with brave female marches led by fed-up mothers.
From start to finish, women played decisive roles.
1957 guerrilla fighters: Vilma {standing} looking down at Haydee and Celia.
Vilma Espin, Haydee Santamaria and Celia Sanchez are legendary revolutionary heroines.
Without these 3 women, the Cuban Revolution would not have triumphed in 1959.
Americans don't know them because it would be impossible to vilify them.
     Vilma Espin                    Celia Sanchez              Haydee Santamaria
Their legacy, more than anything else, has sustained Revolutionary Cuba since 1959.
Women have fared much better in Revolutionary Cuba than in Batista's Cuba....
....despite such things as the Bay of Pigs, the Embargo and Cubana Flight 455.
This guy is the tiny, beautiful Cuban Tody.
Regardless of what Cuban-exile extremists may tell you, the Tody is a Cuban positive.

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