arch_detail_colon_cemetery_havanaIf you’re a regular reader of this blog (sure you are!) you know we love cemeteries and couldn’t get enough of our visit to La Recoleta in Buenos Aires. In Havana, we loved wandering around the sprawling Necrópolis Cristóbal Colón, resting place of many an ex-president, dictator, and revolutionary figure as well as countless ordinary folk.

Was it Winston Churchill that described something as a “riddle wrapped up in a mystery inside an enigma?” I think he was talking about Russia, but the same could be said for Cuba. After spending 10 eye-opening days there, we’re left with a profound sense of wonder, and an abiding respect for the spirit and resilience of the Cubanos. The history of the 1959 Cuban revolution is well-documented, and it’s known that the early days of the Castro regime were ruthless, bloody, and authoritarian. But just how oppressive is the regime today, especially now that Fidel is gone? And if this is a truly classless society, how do some people seem to be relatively well-off, approaching middle-class, when so many others are just scraping by? How does this communism thing work (or not work), anyway? And how could this system have been allowed to operate virtually unchanged for as long as I’ve been alive…

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