An Emotional Meeting
13.02.2015 - 13.02.2015
Until I visited Guantanamo, I knew only two things about Guantanamo:
1. The song Guantanamera
You might remember Jose FelicianoJ singing it, but every group throughout Cuba sings it at every performance. (PS - I have to admit I thought Jose had passed until I Googled to get a link!)
2. The American-held Guantanamo Bay including the notorious prison camp. (oh, go ahead and really learn about a prisoner's experiences.
But on this visit, at the Casa Del Changui -(you will need to translate this link) I learned there is a Province and city named Guantanamo.
This band and this man made me clap, smile, and cry.
As our Cuban guide interpreted, this man asked us to learn about Cuba and know that it was more than Guantanamo Bay. He talked about how we are neighbors and how we as people could be friends and know one another.
After the performance, I asked our Cuban guide to interpret my message to him about how many people from the USA are shamed by the prison and the history of Guantanamo Bay. Many of us also want to be friends and throw aside old wars of religion, politics, and torture.
We embraced. I wept.
We also attended the LaTumba Francesca Pompadour to learn this type of dance and see performances.
We had a dance lesson, but I neglected to get photos and don't know if anyone else has any of me waving my fan.
This is another UNESCO site, so this link will give you more information, sounds, and sights..
This place is quite well known, but don't know if it is government sponsored.
Our guide also wanted us to see a ration store and learn how to use a ration book. He took us to a Guantanamo City ration store.
It was quite sparsely supplied. Ration stores and books only provide the basic minimum. Notice the sign lists what is available today and the cost in ration coupons and Cuban pesos.
Everyone receives a ration book with allotments for basics like sugar, coffee, oil, meat, etc. No matter who you are, you will receive enough to survive. You must shop in the ration store assigned to where you live. Our Cuban guide could not shop here; he must shop at the ration store for his neighborhood.
In this ration store, as all over Cuba, posters reveled in the US release of the five Cubans charged with conspiracy to commit espionage.
I enjoyed this entire day in Guantanamo.
Of course, I enjoyed every single day of the 14. This one was just a wee bit more special.