A year ago this month, we were in Habana, studying with the great Peter Turnley. The world already knew that the Obama administration was seeking to reestablish ties with Cuba, and the Cuban people were, even at that time, very enthusiastic. They wore US flags and sang Obama's praises to us as we walked the streets.
|Portrait of President Lincoln, Habana. Peter Turnley, Mar 20, 2016|
As the President deplaned at Jose Marti, I couldn't help but think, "We were there!" I remember landing on the airstrip, in the middle of the jungle, slowly coasting up to the small concrete buildings that are the Jose Marti Internationale Airport. Luckily, as an important person, the President and his people were loaded into limos and driven out to take the 15 km drive into Habana. We had to brave swarms of people and long lines to enter the country. Imagine your local municipal airport: that is Cuba's main point of arrival and departure. We wonder aloud, frequently, how in the world they are going to accommodate the rush of people who are arriving in this new age.
We hope that trade and commerce with the US will bring prosperity to the Cuban people. We hope corruption can be kept to a minimum, but knowing human nature, that seems unlikely. We are looking forward to the broadcasts over the next couple of days, and we are glad that he has taken this step, a step that will be difficult if not impossible to back-track on, whomever becomes the next President.
I feel incredibly lucky to have traveled to Cuba on the eve of such dramatic change. We will return, but I'm a little apprehensive about what we will find there. Will they completely tire of us and our ways? Will they still feel the love? I hope so. I fervently hope that we move forward in the most civilized and generous way possible.
Todo buena suerte a la gente de Cuba y el pueblo de los Estados Unidos.
All good luck to the people of Cuba and the people of the United States.