Havana was calling and I was ready. Always the good citizen, I jumped through all the official hoops and got a license from the State Department as a journalist/writer. I had always dreamed of seeing Cuba. Everything about the place fascinates me. At the age of six I convinced my single mom to move to Florida. If I had given it a little more thought we would have ended up in Cuba.
It saddens me that our friends just to our south have suffered and sacrificed due to our political embargo. Sure they have a corrupt government. Who don't?
Preparation for the journey meant preparing myself for the sights of crumbling infrastructure and lines for food. Yeah, I saw that. The spirit of the people, however, more than made up for the sadness of the decaying architecture and the failing utilities. All of the folks on the street were kind and polite and they seemed to take particular delight in meeting Americans. The innocence of the uniformed school children holding hands to cross the busy streets reminded me of simpler times in our country. The music was phenomenal and seemed to be everywhere. In fact the arts seemed to flourish and it was all beautiful.
Nobody told me about the dogs, though. Hungry, sad and homeless. When the people don't have enough to eat the animals move down a notch or two. There was one stray who hung around Ambos Mundos, where I was staying. I brought him food over and over. It appeared that he was too far gone to eat it. I'll never forget his eyes.
Politics is bad mojo. I don't really care what side you're on. All you need is love. Lots of folks have told us that.