Cuba Blog August 2004 - May 2006

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Reflections on Cuba and related thoughts

May, 2006 -- Summary of Impressions

This is another email from my young American friend who spent several months in Havana.

This afternoon I went to lunch with a good friend and she asked me a couple of questions that, although simple enough, kind of caused me to think for a while. Below is what I have come up with:  

She asked me, having lived in Cuba and having some personal experience with it, what did I think about Fidel’s socialist system?

Hmm. Good question. What do I think? Well, I don’t know how it was in the sixties when he first took over and I don’t know how it is for everyone now even. I know what I saw and experienced and I know the quality of life my friends live. So what do I think? I think it is a joke, an insult, una galleta fuerte en la cara… and maybe some other things that would require uglier language. I think it is openly hypocritical, dangerously failing, and if I had been raised within that system, knowing my nature and personality, I would have clashed strongly. I don’t know. I just know that I am very grateful that I was born here and not there.....  Read the entire message on Cuba Blog.  

April, 2006 -- A Cuban Diva -- Anaís Abreu has a contagious laughter.  She loves refrains, old sayings, and spirited conversations among friends.  She is a complete Cuban woman, with rhythm, beauty, and a great sense of humor.... But Anaís is out of our reach because she lives in Cuba.... Read more.


April, 2006 -- Andy Garcia's directorial debut is the film "The Lost City."  Read more on the Cuba-Blog and see a preview clip.

March, 2006 --  Cuba-Blog Topics: Letters from a visitor; Cuban dissidents remain jailed in Cuba; more.... click here.

February, 2006 -- My friend Ileana Sánchez Hing, a naif artist from Camagüey, Cuba, is beginning a series of paintings to honor Gay and Lesbian couples.  This is the first painting of the series.  She has already been promised space at one of the best known galleries in Havana.  Are the tides changing?  Read Cuba-Blog.

January, 2006 -- A new year begins. Cubans continue to invent.  Read Cuba-Blog.

Sunday, September 11, 2005 - Read about Cuban musician Bebo Valdés.

Saturday, July 30, 2005 - Read "Dentro de la jaba de yagua  --  Inside the straw shopping bag"
Commentary on living without water in Cuba.

A street in Camaguey, Cuba

Sunday, April 3, 2005 - Cuba-blog has relocated to


Church of  St. Lazarus, Camagüey, Cuba




Voter Info

Southwest Voter Registration Project
"Su Voto es Su Voz"

La Raza

(League of Latin American Citizens)

League of Women Voters
(Info & Voter Registration)



Flag of the United States of America



For Cuban-born Americans, their birthplace is more inaccessible now than ever before.  

Sunday, August 1,  2004 - I, along with thousands of other patriotic U.S. Citizens was born in Cuba.  Thanks to a more stringent travel ban, we are only allowed to return to Cuba for family visits for two weeks, once every three years.  For some reason, the Bush administration has deemed it necessary to increase travel restrictions for Cuban-born Americans, as of  June 30, 2004. If you are an American in Cuba on June 29, you have until today (Aug. 1) to get out of the country.  Get out or what!?

My human rights are being violated.

I know a person whose 100 year-old-plus mother still lives in Cuba.  The family was too poor to get all of them out of Cuba, so the parents stayed, hoping -- as many people living on that island hope -- that by letting go of their loved ones -- sons, daughters, husbands, wives, parents -- they would be giving the very tangible gift of freedom to the sons, daughters, husbands, wives and parents whose journey they might never share.

Having outlived any remaining family in Cuba, this abuelita has survived in reasonable health thanks to her son in the U.S.  He has been her sole support, managing to give her what she needed, and has done so from the U.S.  He is a good son, caring for his aged mother as we all hope to be cared for in our declining years.  It is a bond between parent and child, mother and son, a family matter.

Aren't we taught to 'Honor thy Father and thy Mother?'

It seems President Bush has added some fine print to his Bible -- a footnote that says 'Honor they Father and thy Mother for two weeks every three years, AND, while you're there, you can only spend $500.  (This commandment subject to change without notice.)'

Is there a reason for this usurpation of my rights?  Is this action taken because of the hatred of one man? Is this action taken because 2004 is an election year? Has politics always been this visceral?  Based on emotion, not logic? Will the candidate who fuels the fire of hate in the hearts of Miami Cubans win their vote?

Let's look at this again.

If I had been born in China, Libya, Korea, or one of many other countries that the U.S. interprets as non-democratic, I could fly to my birthplace tomorrow and visit relatives and friends living in those countries. But I am not ethnic Chinese, nor am I Libyan or Korean.  I am ethnic Cuban.  I have no right. My president says so.


Center for International Policy's 
Freedom to Travel Campaign

American Civil Liberties Union

Cuba Policy Foundation

Churchgoers Test Travel Ban




I left Cuba in 1969 and never saw my father again.
It is the same for many Cuban-born Americans.


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Although support to ease restrictions on travel to Cuba for non-Cuban born Americans appears to be growing, it is still illegal for most U.S. citizens to travel to that island.  The U.S. Department of State website and the U.S. Treasury website contain regularly updated guidelines for the public.  

NOTE:  The U.S. Interests Section, Havana lists the latest U.S. Government Statements and News on U.S. Policy toward Cuba.

©Teresa Bevin 2010
Updated 06/17/2011