Cuba is a nostalgic island that creates a romantic feel with the hustle and bustle of daily life, whether you are going to work, school, offices, doctor, lawyer, sports or working for government institutions or whatever you do, the people still have the same trends and lifestyle.
The people still have their ration book (Libreta), which was introduced by Che Guevara in 1962 where Cubans are entitled to a basic ration of groceries (rice, beans, coffee…) which they can buy at their local bodega (shop) at subsidized prices. An average wage is $40 a month, how can you survive with that?
The Cuban libreta book indicates the rations each family is allowed to buy depending on the age and gender of the family members. Milk can only be bought for children below the age of seven years and pregnant women. There are often shortages and the distribution is sometimes delayed. Products like soap, eggs, thootpaste, coffee are often not available. The government blames United States and is liable for the shortages on the economic embargo. Cuba is importing huge quantities of food from, China, Vietnam, Thailand and the USA.
President Raul Castro announces that it is the intention of the government to ultimately abolish the libreta. Some products like potatoes, peas and cigarettes are already refrained from the ration, forcing Cubans to buy additional food on the free market at a much higher price.
There is a massive danger in this move for a creating a dual society, some Cubans have access to foreign money sources, they work in the tourist industry or receive money sent by family or friends from abroad and can afford to pay higher prices, but almost half the population especially eldery retired Cubans or single mothers with children can’t spend more on food.
Still with all this hardship, pain and suffering everyone remains peaceful and harmonic and continue their daily lives with love and tranqility. Everyone is equal and its fantastic because everyone is in the same boat trying to get by, by helping one another. The country is laid back, but hard working and when its time to enjoy, it is ENJOY!, trust me.
This is a country where people appreciate each other and don’t take things for granted as oppose to the “Western World” or “Concrete Jungle”. Cuba has reserved its naturalness and authenticity proudly keeping its special character. Here, discipline and honesty is always honoured highly as it gives you a tremendous reputation to be trusted by each other and amongst the community. Obviously not everyone is the same, its like from 10 bunches of apples there will probably be 1 that is not ok, but that’s life, you have to continue!
On the other hand, life in general is beautiful, people are always smiling, talking, singing, shouting or discussing yesterday’s baseball, football or boxing match, children playing, ladies talking about their men or vice versa, or some kind of debate or protest, but there is always some sort of entertainment going on and music is heard everywhere apart from important areas.
Food as in groceries, poultry, fruit, seafood, bread, cheese, yoghurt etc is always fresh, organic and healthy, hence the average expiry age is around 80-90. Cuba has a great health and education system that it offers to its people, probably one of the best in the world. Cuba also helps the elderly and retired, by having social events involving dancing, swimming, painting, cooking to keep them active. To add to this, is ultimately the climate, great tropical sunshine and the nourishing warm breeze releasing its natural healthy minerals that are excellent for your skin.
To conclude, people still continue to be happy and survive having all these limitations, but never give up!
Please have look at the gallery as it consists of some family photos, videos and images in Cuba. We hope you enjoy them!
If you click on the photo above⇑ you will see the team in Havana Vieja going to attend to some clients. Unfortunately we cannot show you the clients for data protection.
If you click on the photo above⇑ the family is visiting the exact spot where our father died on August 4th 2016 in Varadero, so we are paying our respect with some flowers in his rememberance. This is a very sad moment for all of us.
Late Mr N. C. Rana (1938-2016) great happy person!
AIR FRANCE USA