Monday, May 22, 2017

Cuba 2017

I recently had an opportunity to visit Cuba together with several government and business leaders from Utah. The trip was a "People-to-People" educational experience sponsored by the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce and World Trade Center Utah. It was fascinating. I had a great opportunity to polish my Spanish language skills. More importantly, I gained perspectives on Cuba that were very different than what I previously believed to be true. Fidel Castro, Che Guevara & Camilo Cienfuegos are honored and revered by many for their efforts to return Cuba to the people. The Castro brothers have orchestrated a socialized approach to healthcare, education, housing for the last 60 years that has impacted many millions of people, not just in Cuba. There are more than two sides to the story, but here are a few tidbits to consider:

Regardless of what you believe to be true, Cuba is worth a closer look. And as the Castro period comes to an end and U.S. sanctions ease, it is poised for growth and even broader impact. Even now the government is allowing some foreign entities to operate in Cuba with majority ownership.

I am pleased that Dell Technologies has been involved in Cuba for several years. We helped the Finca Vigia Foundation digitize the Hemingway library. And we are currently exploring other ways to be engaged.

PS - It is important to note that local Cubans see things very differently than most Cuban Americans.
My wife & I at Revolution Plaza (Note Che Guevara on the building to the left and Camiilo Cienfuegos to the right)
No, this is not a car show . . . It is a taxi stop!
View of Havanna city and port 
A sculpture by Osmany Betancourt Falcon AKA "Lolo" 
High school music choir about to perform -- It was beautiful!
Entrance to Ernest Hemingway's home -- Finca Vigia
Inside Hemingway's home (Note the typewriter where he stood to work)
Hemingway's boat -- Pilar
View of Havanna city & port from the old Spanish fort
Old canon at the Spanish fort
Percussion & dance company performing a colorful blend of Afro-Cuban-Flamenco
Local supermarket -- Canned & frozen food, if you time it right
Bullet holes from the revolution at Batiste's Presidential Palace 
Batiste's office at his Presidential Palace
Vehicles of the revolution on display behind the Presidential Palace
Photo studio and chic restaurant in old Havanna
Me with Cuba Emprende incubator lead (center) and Dell EMC colleague Adam (left)
Inside the National Library (Note paper card catalogs and large bust of famed Jose Marti)
National Hotel overlooking the famous Malecón Esplanade and coast
Tobacco fields and drying barn in lush Vinales Valley
Tobacco farmer in the drying hut smoking one of his own
Mamão fruit (papaya) 
Cacao fruit
Green mangoes
Coffee beans
Spectacular farm-to-table organic meal in Vinales Valley
Looking across Vinales Valley
Sunset in a classic taxi along the Malecón roadway
Me with my wife & Adam outside the U.S. Embassy

1 comment:

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