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April 20, 2011 Permalink

Cuba looks back - and forward

Cuba this week concluded two events, one looking back, and one - ostensibly - looking forward. The 50-year anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion was observed with parades and speeches. Victory in the three-day war against a covert US operation to overthrow Fidel Castro, the then-new leader of revolutionary Cuba, is celebrated every year. But 50 years on, a stagnant economy and calls for political reform from a younger generation were an undercurrent during the first party congress in 14 years. What real change will come, and when, remains to be seen. Collected here are some archival images, scenes from the congress and political process, and daily life on the island. -- Lane Turner (31 photos total)

Cuban soldiers march during a military parade in Havana's Revolution Square April 16. Cuba readied for a Communist Party congress about its future with a tribute to the past, staging a military parade for the 50th anniversaries of the U.S.-backed Bay of Pigs invasion. (Desmond Boylan/Reuters)
more photos
This page lists only comments and the first photo for the entry.
To see the entire entry, with all photographs, click here.


104 comments so far...
1.

#1 - Why are all the Cuban soldiers women?

Posted by Frank April 20, 11 02:13 PM
2.

I don't believe in their revolutionary point of views, but they are fantastic photographs. Cuba does seem like a beautiful country. Very colourful, very alive, and very hungry.......thanks for sharing these.

Posted by Enrique April 20, 11 02:17 PM
3.

poor dog in #25 :(

Posted by Same April 20, 11 02:19 PM
4.

Porque la OEA y la ONU siguen permitiendo el bloqueo que estados unidos mantiene sobre cuba ?? Estas fotos demuestran que a pesar de lo duro del bloqueo, el pueblo cubano se mantiene firme, orgulloso y trabajando duro para seguir adelante. Viva Cuba su humildad y la grandeza de su pueblo.
Why the OEA and the UN continue to allow the U.S. blockade on Cuba remains? These photos show that despite how hard the blockade, the Cuban people remains strong, proud and working hard to continue. Viva Cuba humility and greatness of its people.

Posted by Juan Carlos Contrera April 20, 11 03:00 PM
5.

I saw a spring flower today and it was yellow. It still didn't occur to me to jump into conclusion that all flowers are yellow. Generalizing a tad too much, Frank?

Posted by Arttu April 20, 11 03:38 PM
6.

Oh dear, where I can buy some cubinian cigars?..

Posted by Iggy April 20, 11 03:47 PM
7.

Really fine photograph's.

Posted by bruce feldhammer April 20, 11 03:50 PM
8.

Hopefully one day Cuba will be granted the right to grow and prosper as it should be. A beautiful Country with Beautiful People.

Posted by GjP April 20, 11 03:51 PM
9.

Fascinating glimpse of today's Cuba. Would love to see much more.

Posted by Bruce April 20, 11 04:26 PM
10.

Look at all these people. They could've been so much more, they're practically living on an Island paradise, and yet the place looks like a dump, and the people look miserable... some of them rolling tobacco like it's 1965, and yet dressed in 21st century outfits.

So pitiful.

Eventually the people will wake up and realize how far they've been held behind by 'El Presidente'... By then, unfortunately, he'll be long gone.

Posted by Eric April 20, 11 04:27 PM
11.

Cuba, great people very gentle. I went when I was a kid. I hope to go again soon...Nice pics

Posted by Sebastián April 20, 11 04:34 PM
12.

En la primera Fotografía...hay un copy/paste (primera soldado con la que va atrás)...

Posted by jabp80 April 20, 11 04:35 PM
13.

@ Frank

Why not?

Posted by Melanie April 20, 11 04:42 PM
14.

The picture probably simply shows a unit comprised of females; and there are several other units similarly comprised in the Cuban armed forces.

I'm more interested in the way that all of the insignia and medals copy the Soviet pattern.

Posted by Pottapaug April 20, 11 04:49 PM
15.

10) Eric -- And someday, Americans may wake up and realize that we have a lot to do with why Cubans seem stuck in 1965. The 12th photo's caption is a hint.

Posted by Alkhateeb April 20, 11 05:27 PM
16.

Man, what a beautiful country. I think I want to live there sometime in the future.

Posted by Schmierwurst April 20, 11 05:32 PM
17.

why does some pictures looks like they were taken in era of 1990's though they are taken recently i guess ! like the 7th no look at the t.v !

Posted by at boom April 20, 11 05:40 PM
18.

What a coincidence; I've just discovered I'm going to Cuba! This photoset really whets the appetite.

Posted by Thomas O April 20, 11 05:49 PM
19.

I think all the soldiers in the picture were woman, because they wanted to drive home the point that they believe they are fair to woman.
And yes they are treated the same as men... like trash, only the state is important in communism.

Posted by Wanda Zippler April 20, 11 05:51 PM
20.

Great photo report, it shows the realities (both good and bad) of Cuba's history and Cuba's present, this country's situation is very complex and cannot be judged without learning first about their history and culture.

Posted by Manuel April 20, 11 06:22 PM
21.

@jabp80 - Sí, sí, ella es la misma mujer...

Some great photos. Cuba has always intrigued me. It's long past time the U.S. opened communication and lifted travel restrictions. It would be a great place to visit... at least for 10-20 years or so, before the condos and resorts spoiled it all.

Posted by Ed S. April 20, 11 06:34 PM
22.

Pobres cubanos, es un país hermoso regenteado por un puñado de dirigentes que rayan en la senilidad y que viven en la opulencia. Y no me vengan con que en Cuba la gente no anda descalza y que tienen el mejor servicio de salud y educación de toda América Latina. Si tienen esas cosas no es de a gratis, el gobierno los explota cual viles esclavos y lo menos que puede hacer es eso, si el gobierno les da un par de zapatos o cupones de racionamiento es porque lo han pagado con creces. Saben cuanto gana un profesionista excelentemente bien pagado en Cuba? 35 USD al mes!

Posted by Ivan Groënstad April 20, 11 06:59 PM
23.

The Cuban people do not want change in their country - they love their government, their politics, their way of life in general. They are the kindest, most gentle people I've seen, and I've been back to Cuba three or four times now. Its refreshing to be away from western civilization - and is always slightly depressing landing at Gatwick and seeing all the adverts for Coca Cola and McDonalds...

Hopefully it can stay like it is for them - they way they want it.

Posted by Tom April 20, 11 07:33 PM
24.

Cuba, stuck in the past.

Posted by José Jiménez April 20, 11 08:02 PM
25.

Great pictures. But remember, don't let the US press fool you when discussing these topics. Viva Fidel.

Posted by Yoredis April 20, 11 08:07 PM
26.

#10 its hard to get a hand rolled cigar if you lay them all off and replace them with a machine, besides that have you ever seen a picture of people making an ipod not much different.

Posted by Kevin April 20, 11 08:24 PM
27.

Cuba é um Grande exemplo de humildade, grandeza e proeza. Símbolo da força que faz um povo unido superar qualquer dificuldade.

Posted by Fábio Villela April 20, 11 09:39 PM
28.

Cuba is steel writting its history with an spectacular way of real democracy. Cuban`s people has to be proud of theirselves. It is a brilliant socialist country.
Like Eric said "They could've been so much more, they're practically living on an Island paradise". I`d add on and SOCIALIST island paradise.
LIVE TO THE REVOLUTION!!!

Posted by juan agustin April 20, 11 09:49 PM
29.

#15 is an excellent photo!

Posted by Mike Mayer April 20, 11 10:23 PM
30.

What a shame that after 50 years of communist rule, they have nothing to show for it. If they had to copy a Marxist country, why didn't they copy China, why copy a failed state like the former Soviet Union.
While the premise of total equality among the masses sounds good on paper, it doesn't necessarily work in real life. There's really nothing special about Cuba, even their cigars are over rated. The blame for Cuba's stagnant, decaying society are the Cuban themselves.

Posted by Jose A. April 20, 11 10:26 PM
31.

I don' t think Frank was trying to insinuate that soldiers shouldn't be women. I was also wondering if there was a reason as to why they were all women opposed to all men or both men and women. I think it is common for people to attack a question if they don't actually know the answer.

Posted by Christina April 20, 11 10:29 PM
32.

May 2011 will be my third trip to Cuba and I must admit these people are somewhat the most down to earth,real and true persons you can ever encounter in this time and age!
As a north American native I see some strong resemblance in their ways of education and caring for each other we were once taught by our parents and elders.
They do have poor salaries and not much communication with the outer world except visitors that bring them hope of better living on the outside...
Reality...They have all what the others wish they had...Each Other and loving,caring for one another.
We think we have it all.
Little we know we are just spoiled rotten and appreciate nothing not even the beauty of a country that is less fortunate economically than ours!
Cuba is beautiful and so are the people that serve in that country!
Long Live Cuba! Viva Cuba!

Posted by George Hoff Normand April 20, 11 11:26 PM
33.

#2: Everybody's marching, nobody's seeing it...

Posted by Tee April 21, 11 01:07 AM
34.

In photo#1, the three women in the front look like the three women directly behind them. Are they sisters or are they matched or is it photoshopped?

Posted by nerd April 21, 11 02:03 AM
35.

#1 twin soldiers women !!

Posted by sak April 21, 11 02:42 AM
36.

A beautiful country indeed. I went there 7 years ago with bunch of friends and had the time of my life there. We got out of our resort which was full of Canadians to see the real Cuba in Cardenas and Havana. In many respects Cuba is doing even better than the US; providing cheap and adequate Health Care and cheap drugs that sell more than 10X in the US (see Michael Moore's movie). They are starting to do well in agricultures. True the market has been starving and there is much more potential but going there and walking down the dark streets of Cardenas and listening to all that music and all those people dancing in the streets you would think that money and material world are not the only thing that make a community or a society happy but again that's being naive. Maybe Cuba needs to restructure its core industries before joining the over competitive, biased and corrupt global trading system that tends to kill small businesses and local productions.

Posted by Alex April 21, 11 04:03 AM
37.

BRAVO CUBA

Posted by gza April 21, 11 04:07 AM
38.

MUDANÇA JÁ PARA CUBA, O POVO MERECE AO FIM DE 52 ANOS DE MISÉRIA

Posted by CÉLIO MARTINS April 21, 11 07:08 AM
39.

What a sad - horrible little nation. Cuba could be one of the greatest islands in the Caribbean - instead it is an impoverished skid row.

Posted by Jake April 21, 11 08:37 AM
40.

@28, you must be high on something to think that Cuba is a "SOCIALIST island paradise". Oh but then again, you must believe that Lenin was right all along. The difference between China's version of communism and that of the Soviet Union and Cuba is that controlling everything is not sustainable and that progress will only happen if a bit of free enterprise is injected into the system. China knew that and took steps that propelled the country into becoming an economic juggernaut. China in government is still communist but in economic terms, it is democratic free enterprise. That goes to show you that Asian are extremely intelligent and always willing to work outside the box to accomplish great things. It's just too bad Cuba's reform is a day late and a dime short. As long as the old party line members are still in power, Cuba's deterioration will continue. It's sad that the people of Cuba are so brainwashed to believing everything their government tells that they fail to see what damage it is causing the people and their society.

Posted by John S. April 21, 11 08:42 AM
41.

Excellent photo report from Cuba. Friends if you want to know more about Cuba and its people, I invite you to visit sites: www.juventudrebelde.cu and www.cubadebate.cu
Greetings

Posted by Juana Barrios April 21, 11 09:15 AM
42.

Excellent photo report from Cuba. Friends if you want to know more about Cuba and its people, I invite you to visit sites: www.juventudrebelde.cu and www.cubadebate.cu
Greetings

Posted by Juana Barrios April 21, 11 09:16 AM
43.

Many economic problems and struggles in this country, however no crime and very high literacy rate. You move a little south and you find: many economic problems and struggles but with lots of crime and homicide and very poor literacy rate. On top of that you have a system with many errors and mistakes that it is able to reinvent its own self in order for the population to survive. You move a little south (or north!) and there is no hope to evolve politically or economically.

Posted by J. Espín April 21, 11 09:30 AM
44.

lucky for Cubans, when they get laid off they still get health care coverage! One day Americans too will be "granted the right to grow and prosper as [we] should be."

Also really...just end the stupid embargo already. At this point it just smacks of a child throwing a temper tantrum.

Posted by Adrienne April 21, 11 09:38 AM
45.

Re No.24.

Stuck in the past?

the rest of the world would say `Held back by the USA for having the temerity to follow a different path`
Do Americans know why their country continues to squeeze the life out of Cuba and her people?
If so, how do they justify the behaviour of their country for over fifty years?

Posted by jacknimrod April 21, 11 09:53 AM
46.

@Yoredis

Are you kidding? The U.S. press is fooling you? It's a photo documentary - which means the images speak for themselves. Even the photo captions state no opinions, only the facts of what's in the photographs.

You are absolutely deluded by Fidel and 'la revolucion' if you don't believe it is the only reason why Cuba looks like these pictures today instead of a thriving island nation.

Posted by Fernando April 21, 11 11:28 AM
47.

Why isn't a single person smiling? Oh that's right... communism doesn't allow you to smile unless the state approves it and you have a permit.

Posted by Fernando April 21, 11 11:30 AM
48.

Cuba is held back by it's leadership. It is called communism. When everybody works for the state, nobody prospers.

Posted by Mark G USA April 21, 11 11:47 AM
49.

If you respond to these photographs, as I do, it would be worth taking a look at www.ambphotoworks.com and its link to "Images of Havana."

Posted by Alain Bourgeois April 21, 11 12:39 PM
50.

Re No. 32

¡Gente dense cuenta! Cuba no es menos afortunada economicamente que EE.UU.. Cuba es una muestra de que la economía estadounidense no es afortunada sino que es asfixiante! ¡Viven de la angustia del resto!

People get aware! Cuba isn't just less fortunate economically than the US. Cuba is a sample of the fact that US economy isn't lucky, it is suffocating! Rich countries live at the expense of everybody's anguish!

Posted by Pablito April 21, 11 12:44 PM
51.

Am I the only one who thinks it's kind of wrong that Jimmy Carter, a former US President, is asking for an autograph from a Despot like Fidel Castro?

Posted by IrishPat1591 April 21, 11 01:01 PM
52.

Apart from Canada ( my home country) Cuba is my favourite place on earth. Wonderful people, art, music and culture. So misunderstood in the eyes of western media. If you get a chance to visit, go.

Posted by Collin Grasley April 21, 11 01:10 PM
53.

Antes que nada mis mayores felicitaciones al fotografo por todas esas grandes fotos, me gustaria que en un futuro pudiera publicar fotos de Oriente en especial Guantanamo y Baracoa, Gracias

Posted by Brunilda Planes de Bosch April 21, 11 02:59 PM
54.

@ #45

A different path you say?

How long, pray tell, will the Cubans follow this path before they have a say as to which direction *they* themselves wish to turn.

Who chose that path? And under what authority?

Posted by Eric April 21, 11 04:06 PM
55.

#23.
¿en la foto puede verse como afuera, en la calle, se protesta en contra de las damas de blanco? es lo que me parece.
the picture shows a protest against the ladies in white, just in the street, in the front the house? I think so
@ma_prensa

Posted by miguel angel April 21, 11 04:43 PM
56.

In photo #1 it looks like the 2 "squad leaders" (squad comrades?), are sisters. Also, the third from the left (furthest right in the first squad that is visible) is clearly not supporting the weight of her rifle. Only sloppy, weak recruits woulod try to rest their pistol grip on their buckle.

Posted by JHB April 21, 11 04:53 PM
57.

Why is there a need to pass judgement on Cuba? "Socialist Paradise" vs "stuck in the past, stagnent, decaying society etc etc"
Why not admire (if you like) the way they are and respect their choice of government?
After all you don't have to be rich to be happy!

Posted by yogeshmk April 21, 11 05:08 PM
58.

@jabp80 No, no es la misma mujer, serán hermanas, serán madre e hija. Pero no son la misma persona.

Posted by peixe April 21, 11 05:44 PM
59.

Of the above comments I suggest # 32 is one of the best.

My added thoughts: Before the revolution, there was likely large disparity between the rich and poor. Now there is little disparity; everyone is poor. As far as I know the US is the only country applying an economic blockade and all other countries are free to trade with Cuba; therefore Cuba has trade opportunities. Hence it is not the lack of trade, but rather the communist economic system which seems the main cause of the poverty everywhere in the country. It appears to me the revolution has been an economic failure.

Yet not all is bad. Despite lack of money and supplies, Cubans do enjoy free education and health care. The literacy rate is higher than that of the US. People are friendly and appear happy. It surprised me that there still seems great popular support for the goals of the revolution. There seems no discrimination on skin color. There appears to be virtually no drug abuse. Violent crime seems quite low. So in at least those areas the revolution has been a social success.

When I asked, I was told that Cubans do want changes ... they see that European (and some American) visitors have much more material wealth ... yet at least one person said that the challenge will be to preserve their current social equality and society as the economic change happens.

I like the Cuban people and the country. But it's too warm for me there. About ten days ago I came back from Cuba to a late spring blizzard here in Montana with about 8" of fresh snow. It's springtime in the Rockies. I like it and will keep Montana as my home.

Posted by Steve April 21, 11 06:47 PM
60.

lol @ Eric

I don't believe people as naive as you are still around. It's not their fault, nor the fault of their "Presidente"

The United States has made sure that Cuba has remained stunted, via a variety of economic sanctions, for the past 50 or 60 odd years.

This is the reward all nations receive if they deviate from the "pax americana".

Posted by Bazza April 22, 11 05:02 AM
61.

You say Cuba is stuck in the past, and could have fared so much better without communism. But look at the non-communist regimes of the Carribean - those are much worse than Cuba, and not only by statistics, but by actual social gurantees the state provides.

Posted by danvolodar April 22, 11 09:07 AM
62.

I was in Cuba as a visitor from April 12 till April 18th in Havana and Camaguey. I left as a child with my parents and brother escaping communism. I came back to see what was there and to get in touch with my roots. There is no social equality where the native population has a different currency and is not allowed the privileges of the tourist population. Side by side, my Cuban counterparts were not able to enjoy the taxi rides, double decker buses or restaurants that I enjoyed every day if I wanted them. Most of all, they were not able to travel at will or gather in peaceful assembly. I also saw a population that is very proud of their country and who want the best for its future. The stamina of Cubans is uncontested. The hope that it will happen is somewhat challenged by a government bureaucracy that is there to hinder rather than to facilitate the changes that are required. Raul Castro has done far more for the country than Fidel Castro undid in 50 years. Yet, their industry seems more geared for a war that does not exist than for peace and tranquility. Young people still leave in droves looking for a better life in other countries. I also liked the Cuban people in the country. I like their generosity, hospitality, candor about their plight and disappointment in their government and the insanity of the Miami exiles. Most of all, I like their pride in their beautiful land.

Cuba is no longer my country. My country is a place where vineyards are plentiful, wisteria blooms in April and where the weather is dry, but there is plenty of rain the winter time. I live in hilly California since 1972 and was educated in the East Coast prior to this date throughout the sixties. I visited a country where I loved the people but despised their government for attempting to make them into second class and equal citizens.

Posted by Alina M Lopez Marin April 22, 11 09:14 AM
63.

Yo vivi bajo el regimen de Castro por siete años he sacado en consecuencia que Cuba podia comerciar con infinidad de paises para seguir el rumbo comunicta si es que queria Fidel hacerlo, para que criticar tanto a los Americanos porque no quieren quitarles el bloqueo, que bloqueo?, porque no comercia Cuba con otros paises y se dejan de tanta propaganda echandole la culpa a los demas de sus fracasos, esa es la realidad de todo, avaricia de poder, el pueblo les interesa para que trabaje mientras esta pasando mil necesidades, porque no dejan el libre INTERNET para que la gente se entere de lo que pasa en el resto del mundo, miedo?, precaucion?, no es que no tienen que ofrecer y como tal no quieren que el pueblo sepa lo que pueden ofrecer los paises LIBRES ese es el problema de todos los sistemas comunistas, si dan estudios de gratis, pero no te dejan salir del pais si antes no les pagas lo que ellos creen que costaron tus estudios y cuando te envian a otro pais a especializarte si estas casado no te dejan salir con tu familia vas solo para que asi no se te olvide que tienes que regresar para poder ver aquellos que dejaste atras, es asi o no Fidel?, entonces si es asi que regalais?, nada, no regalais nada.
Si estas en los Estados Unidos y quieres ir a Cuba a ver a tu familia tienes que sacar VISA, saben cuanto cuesta una visa? minimo de $150.00 dolares, eso no es un robo o un ensañamiento con los cubanos ?, yo creo que si, en fin que para finalizar dire algo mas, ningun regimen comunista triunfo, ni triunfara, porque si asi fuera pobre de aquellos que tienen la ilusin de tener su casa, su auto, sus ahorros, su bien vivir, sus vacaciones fuera del pais en que viven, cosa que en Cuba no se puede hacer porque se le van todos en cadena, al final no los dejan moverse de donde estan, ES ESO LEBERTAD?, NO, ESO ES COMUNISMO QUE NO SABE LO QUE SIGNIFICA LA PALABRA LIBERTAD O DEMOCRACIA.

Posted by Rafael Falin April 22, 11 12:35 PM
64.

Bloqueo ? de que bloqueo habla usted ? ,el unico bloqueo que hay en Cuba es del propio gobierno ,es penoso que un cirujano ortopedico en Cuba ,tenga que viajar en bicicleta hasta su hospital para despues hacer intervenciones qirurgicas ,se imagina el pulso de ese profesional? ,porque continuamos viendo los campos de Cuba ,por kilometros y kilometros sin sembrados ? con una tierra tan fertil como la cubana ? porque la mayoria de la juventud solo piensa como meta salir del pais ? ,porque Cuba tiene que importar azucar ? ,porque los cubanos no pueden elegir su propio gobierno ? porque tienen los cubanos que soportar despues de medio siglo este intento fallido de una mal llamada revolucion? ,resulta que despues en este famoso congreso en Cuba ,el nuevo jefe del gobierno la arremete contra los dirigentes de la revolucion ,como los culpables de todo esta debacle economica,? ,porque tienen los cubanos que seguir aceptando la idea que todos los males vienen del "enemigo " del norte ? ....basta ya de experimentar con el pueblo cubano ; la famosa Union Sovietica que tenia los verdaderos recursos para hacer funcionar un sistema economico se vino abajo en menos de un siglo ? , basta ya de discursos con palabras populares y aceptemos que todo esto no es mas que un fracaso ,y no precisamente por los de afuera ,sino porque el sistema como tal no funciona ,muchas consignas de Patria o Muerte o Socialismo o Muerte ,los unicos que se sacrifican en este medio siglo han sido los cubanos de a pie y no por deseo propio ,los que establecen consignas son los que mejor viven y sin limitaciones...Viva Cuba Libre !!

Posted by Fidel Garcia April 22, 11 02:38 PM
65.

Nice pics. They show how is Cuba seen by he eyes of photographers. Please, american people, let Cubans live by ourselves, end US embargo and yo will see what the cuban socialism can do for cubans. Please, free the cuban five US prisoners. Listen to Carter´s message about it!

Posted by Carcharodon April 22, 11 03:11 PM
66.

Lo mas horrendo de todo esto ,es ese adoptrinamiento a los ninos ,de consignas como "Seremos como el Che" ,que horror !!

Posted by Fidel April 22, 11 04:22 PM
67.

It is absolutely ridiculous to me that some of the comments here are in favor of socialism or communism. I lived it and it is not a paradise, nor does it benefit the Cuban people in any way. Everyone suggesting otherwise has obviously lived in ignorant bliss their entire lives.

Great pictures, I like that you didn't try to idealize it. Cuba is wonderful, but it's also dirty, poverty-stricken and in need of a big change.

Posted by Anonymous April 22, 11 06:57 PM
68.

Dejen en paz a Cuba y a los cubanos. ¿Qué es la libertad acaso?, los que hablan de falta de libertad en Cuba ¿están muy seguros de conocer su significado? Cuanto odio y mediocridad en algunos comentarios...

Posted by Marriot April 22, 11 09:29 PM
69.

#7 could have been taken in any of the ex-communist countries of eastern Europe. This is what 50 years of Castro have bestowed upon the Cuban people. Communism my arse...

Posted by Lucho April 22, 11 10:58 PM
70.

Great pictures! Thanks Bigpicture!
@ Lucho: you obviously say things you don't understand.

Posted by Hristo April 24, 11 03:32 AM
71.

Cuba is not a paradise. However, I prefer it to any of the island nations surrounding it. Compare it to Haiti and then we'll see how horrible socialism is. Cuba is doing well, it is not perfect, no one claims it to be, but people have a stable life and are healthy, not so much as we can say for Haiti for a number of reasons, one of which is their private economy. I've never been to Cuba though many of my peers have, and I went to school with a guy from Cuba (he never said a bad word, by the way... just saying) and they all agree, it is not a first world nation, so comparing it to first world nations is flawed logic.

It has its flaws, but everything together, Cuba is much better off than I'd argue the majority of nations on earth.

Posted by Truth April 24, 11 08:47 AM
72.

It is unfair and naive to label the Cuban people as "piteous" because of their given conditions. Simply because they lack the lavish luxuries so perversely available in capitalized nations does not imply that these people are necessarily unhappy. Assuming one's respective way of life being deemed as "superior" would thus constitute an act of ignorance on behalf of cultural imperialism. As such, it is a common misconception to see a nation such as Cuba and automatically label it as "sad and hungry."

Posted by Tom April 24, 11 01:38 PM
73.

Buen trabajo de photoshop, caradura, si es cosa de observar las dos primeras fotos y como la primera soldado se repite en la segunda fila.
Cuba es una dictadura militar latinoamericana, nunca se olviden de eso. Sus ciudadanos no gozan de libertades básicas, y el nepotismo estatal parece nunca acabar. Me gustaría que este fotógrafo captara la represión policial y los sabotajes contra los disidentes o la miseria en algunos barrios habaneros. Seguro que sería más provechoso para la discusión, pero siempre el interés es hacer un prosletismo comunista y dejar en evidencia que unicamente estados unidos se equivoca. Por lo demás, he ido a Cuba 5 veces.

Posted by Alvaro April 24, 11 09:41 PM
74.

Cuba look much better than North Korea - nice to see Cuba starting move out of the shit.

Posted by Long Nguyen April 24, 11 11:47 PM
75.

Cuba is doing well ? are you serious ,Mr Truth ? everything in Cuba is wrong ,there is no hope in Cuba ,this has been a battle between Castro and freedom ,between Castro and the cubans ,the cuban people is the one suffering all this madness and mess that this dictatorship has established in Cuba for over half a century ,and still we have in this world people defending this horrible regime,the reason ? ask them ,almost two million cuban abandon the isle after castro and his group took the goverment ,of course US policy toward Cuba is wrong too, but there is no way this cuban regime doing anything good for Cuba ,nothing !!

Posted by Fidel April 25, 11 03:34 AM
76.

Such sub standard conditions they have for the workers and general population in Cuba. Communism rocks huh?

Posted by Oscar April 25, 11 10:20 AM
77.

There are many of the comments in this page that are out touch , say : without the least knowledge of Cuba or its last 100 yrs history.Yet these people write biased or worse ignorant comments on a country they do not know, except for the 52 yrs. of disinformation and propagande by that regime. Even journalist fall into the same errors and many of them even do by their own biased favoring a tyranny that has killed thousands of cubans and people around the world, such as Africa and latin America.
i.e. the Angolan War where land mines are still maiming angolan children and women.
On the embargo ,some blame for all these miseries and retrograding of the island into the XVIII century, but they forgot the $ 45 billions the ex-soviets granted to Castro during the first 35 yrs.of its takeover .
Also these people ignore that while the cubans are rationned, like never prior to 1959, any canadian or spaniard , or italian can find COFFEE at their own stores in each respective country. And that today, it is the U.S.A. where Castro buys many of the products for his tourist industry. USA is the third trading partner of Castro. I wrote Castro, not Cuba, because nobody else in Cuba has the right to trade with foreigners...

Posted by Pedro Martori April 25, 11 11:24 AM
78.

Cuba has no malnutrition. That's a good measure of health. All Cubans have health, dental, orthodontic health, and a roof over their heads. That's a good measure of community care. Anything they don't have - including pencils and books for schools - is the fault of the US embargo. This alone interferes with Cuba's own brand of progress.

Don't compare having only the basic necessities for life in Cuba as being somehow inferior to the gross over-consumption seen in the US. Cuban cities do not have people living miserable lives on the streets such as the fine example of New York City where there are 50,000 known homeless people. And remember that Cuba knows how to protect its people from devastating hurricanes, and clean up the mess afterwards. How many people in the souther US states died in the Katrina hurricane, where are the displaced people, and is the mess cleaned up yet?

May Cuba never be like other Caribbean islands that have been ruined by the US!

The "horrible regime" resides north of the Mexican border, not in Cuba!

Posted by Ann Coffey April 25, 11 01:47 PM
79.

The Work Will Set You Free

Posted by Kevin April 25, 11 02:42 PM
80.

The first picture was Photoshopped.
Do people actually look at pictures ? The girl on the bottom left
has got a twinsister which is holding HALF a gun on her stomach..
Seriously.. why show us fake pictures?

Posted by Xander April 25, 11 04:52 PM
81.

Just sad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by madeleine April 25, 11 07:24 PM
82.

Cuba can´t be a good nation because USA do everything to make their lives miserables since 1961.... remember that.

Posted by Rodrigo April 25, 11 08:12 PM
83.

que viva cuba! que viva fidel!

Posted by Marina April 25, 11 09:23 PM
84.

Cuba has a 99.8% literacy rate (education, including university education is free), an infant death rate lower than some developed countries, and an average life expectancy of 77.64. In 2006, Cuba was the only nation in the world which met the WWF's definition of sustainable development; having an ecological footprint of less than 1.8 hectares per capita and a Human Development Index of over 0.8 for 2007. Cuba has protected 24% of land as natural areas.

I agree with what Truth said (above), "It has its flaws, but everything together, Cuba is much better off than I'd argue the majority of nations on earth."

Posted by Ann April 26, 11 12:08 AM
85.

#29 is definitely the best !

Posted by v April 26, 11 07:08 AM
86.

Le pays va bientôt s'ouvrir entièrement au monde, le peuple cubain a soif de liberté : il reste donc peu de temps pour contempler ce pays isolé tel qu'il est encore avant que les américains ne viennent le bétonner.

Posted by elmer April 26, 11 09:03 AM
87.

Unfortunately, a country stuck in the past, unwilling to let their people to be free. Their concept of freedom strives in being there for their regime, enabling them to be more powerful than ever. While the rulers engross their pockets and their bellies, children starve, mothers are not allowed to bear their children. It is very sad indeed.

Posted by Zoe April 26, 11 11:20 AM
88.

Wow! It's saddening how many people here give their opinion about about how Cuba seems stuck in the past and then forgot that it's mostly a fault of USA.

For deny a country to live they way the think, to deny a country to rule the way the want, to isolate a country in a effort to break it down just to embrace USA democracy and economic view.

Viva Cuba! It's without doubt a beautiful country with one of the most kindest people on earth!

Posted by Cess007 April 26, 11 08:31 PM
89.

As a Cuban-American, I can't help but feel deeply offended by the photo of former US President Jimmy Carter smiling, waiting for an autograph baseball from one of the world's longest ruling dictator. With all of Castro's documented human rights violations, isn't it at the very last "innapropriate" for Carter to behave that way? I would really like to see Carter's face if he is ever approached by a family member of the any of the many who have lost their freedom or even their life because of Fidel and his communist cronies. Carter should really, really be ashamed of himself.

Posted by Alberto April 26, 11 10:55 PM
90.

Pict #9 is a really lovely and superb photo! I really really wanna get a big print/ high res of that photo, any idea how can i download it without having to right click 'Save image As'? I would really love to have it as my MacBook's wallpaper :(

Posted by Wilson April 27, 11 08:46 AM
91.

#22 What a Joke!
Che - What a Murderer!
Communism - What a Failure!

Posted by Dave April 28, 11 09:17 AM
92.

Le deseo al pueblo cubano que pronto salga de la exclavitud.

Posted by Lucas April 28, 11 12:28 PM
93.

Viva Cuba y Espana, la misma cultura en los dos lados del mar

Posted by Juan April 28, 11 05:21 PM
94.

Soon will come the "democracy" and capitalism, the education will get worse, violence, crime, corruption, drugs will grow, but hey, you will be "free"... to work 12 hours a day to pay a car that you probably don't need, new clothes every month, a new TV every 2 years, etc.

Posted by anon April 29, 11 01:10 AM
95.

Seems that people here want to give lessons concerning freedom...
and it's funny cos most of them are from US....

What do you know people about freedom ?
What's your definition of freedom ?

Working from 18 to 75 as a slave makes you happy ?
Having only 13 days off a year makes you free ?

Posted by bib April 29, 11 07:01 AM
96.

viva fidel!

Posted by sb May 1, 11 08:54 AM
97.

Those arn't women,,, those are cuban guys!

Posted by jitterbopper May 1, 11 10:59 AM
98.

I was just wondering what kind of long term view can a cadre of 80+ year old running the Island have.....?

Posted by Luis A. Espino May 1, 11 11:39 AM
99.

I don't want to offend any one, but as a cuban-american, I lived in a communist, and I know how cruel and heartless this government is. If the cuban people were happy and content, it would'n have been necessary for us to leave the island, and be scatter in many countries beside the US seeking for freedom.
Cuban people are not free, they are control under the treats of Castro's people. Education is free, but a doctor might make 300.00 Cuban pesos a month, beside if they are not part of the government & they see that patient brings them a gift, they will remove this doctor and send them to another city, so they will not get any help( my cousin who is a doctor & now reside in another country after fleeing from Cuba, experienced it many times while practicing in Cuba), He also said that while He was studying at the University, many nights He used to wake up hungry & had to drink warm water to calm his hunger, mine you He was studying to be a doctor)
Health is free, it might be free, but there isn't medication, hospital are dirty due to the lack of cleaning material except the hospital Castro & his people go, Cuban doctors are great but they don't have resource or material to work with.
For those of you who claimed that the Cuban people are happy, that have the necessary things to live, free health care, free education, unfortunately it is your ignorance & lack of experiencing living in a comunist country, everything has been taking away from the Cuban with the exception of our determination to survive in such a condition.. There is not freedom of speech, everyone lives in fear, they can't trust no one. In each block there is a Comitte de Defensa de la Revolution, (these are comunist group that are watching the entire block who comes & goes every day)... Is this a way for a human being to live?
My grandmother was taking to jail twice at the age of 70 yrs old, not only once but twice, because she helped the rebels in The Escambra mountain
in the beginning of the revolution...as well as those who worked for her at the farm, none betrayed her, because she was a woman of faith, strength, determine, just...most of her workers had to served yrs in prison because they helped the rebels...which were later killed by El Che and his men at the farm and their surrounding... Freedom? Is that what many of you call Freedom? Happiness? Our country has been destroyed by Castro and his followers..All the private properties were taking away from the people, such as my grandmother who worked very hard to have her farm and made cheese and grew coffee to sustained herself & our family. One of grandma's cousin, was in prison for 20 yrs together with 2 of his sons, just because He had a nice farm...He was tortured in many different ways, a many others who have lost their lives defending what they believed.
People were fired from their jobs, my mom & dad lost their jobs, just because we were leaving the country, my dad was taking to a concentration camp until we left the country....Many stories about living in a concentration camp....not only men were taken by women & young girls as well...
Children are brain washed since they are young, our school was taking to a farm(was called la escuela al campo), which meant they had to study & worked on the field, & it was divided by groups, some worked on the farm i the morning & then study in the afternoon, and viceversa... after a child of 14 yrs old worked in a field starting at 6:30am, do you really think they can study?
Forgive me for being very strong on my opinion, but because you never lived in a comunist country, you don't know the truth
I was harrased by my teachers in scholl once they found out we have filed the docs to leave the country in 1961 & it took 8 yrs for us to leave Cuba under the Flight Freedom.
Cuban was a beautiful country, our fertil land, our mountains, beaches & the determination of the Cuban people to fight back & make things out of nothing.. it is one thing Castro has not been able to take away...we are fighters, we are strong....
For those who knows spanish you can check on the website a book written: El Escambray, la guerra olvidada, by Escinosa, these are interviews to the farmers who lived in EL Escambray Mountains & the experienced they lived, most of them were taking to prison and their properties were taken away from them.
Again, Cuban was La perla de las Antillas, an educated country, love music, help others, always trying to survive, creative and fun....unfortunately our country has been destroyed in the hands of Castro regime...Please, before you condem the US because of the blockage, Castro can negotiate with other countries, but He always blames US of his failure as a government...
Again, you can't understand what really Cuba is all about when you never lived in a comunist country.. and many of us would have never left our land. I am thankful for US and I am very proud being part of this country, who helped our family to make a new life for ourselves...& today many of my family have business, some are doctors, nurses, teachers...
I am very proud of my roots, but I am proud of being part of this great country... God bless America, and I hope & pray that Cuba will be free one day, just as my grandmother dreamed.....
I am also proud to be the granddaugther of a woman who fought back for what she strongly believed....May she rest in peace....


Posted by Rita May 1, 11 05:29 PM
100.

古巴,社会主义的灯塔!

加油,卡斯特罗。加油,古巴!~~

Captitalism is not perfect, so everyone pls don't be so arrogant to judge a regime which have been isolated and sanctioned by US for so many years. There is not only one definition on "freedom" in this world.

Posted by Vincent.shen May 2, 11 08:55 AM
101.

Nadie puede dominar ni someter a un pueblo armado y por lo visto este heroico PUEBLO CUBANO lo está, así que no me guio por cuentos ni dimes ni diretes de los cubanos gusanos de Miami. Veo lo que miro........ Viva el hermoso pueblo cubano y viva la Revolución que les permitió salir de la ignorancia y debajo de la bota del imperio........

Posted by Greis Elìas May 2, 11 12:03 PM
102.

Ileft Cuba in 1962, a'm glad i did it son, so my children live in free country
and studied and get a good education, i love cuban people, i visited cuba
in 1999 for two week, i see how cuba changed, how they have hard time
to have what we have for granted. They are survivor
Comunismo is the word cancer!!!

Posted by E Ferrera May 3, 11 03:28 PM
103.

OMG there all girls in the photo.!.!.!.!.!.

Posted by syl May 3, 11 04:03 PM
104.

From Turkey which is really too far away , Cuba seems to be a great place for a touristic visit. Most people think , they shall visit this beautiful country before Fidel passes away. He is considered as the last standing icon of a solid communist regime , which has allready dissappeared in Europe after the collapse of former Soviet Union. Apart from habitants of Cuba and as for overseas visitors , Cuba looks like an openair museum where you may travel to the past and alive.

All regimes which has arised as a result of a revolution, first targets to preserve itshelf. Therefore it wont be mercifull to anyone who rejects to accept it. The stories of people who had to immigrated to US due to unfair actions are very similar to many others but in different parts of the world.

Accept it or not. Cuba is unique. Fidel may be a tyrant but he will seem as cute as Santa Claus to people around the world when compared to US who doesnt give up using the unfair force to shape the world as it wishes. No matter how miserable Fidel might become in time, he still symbolises a gracefull attitude against the popular values which are imposed as right to all over the wolrd

It will be Cubans at the final point to decide whether to remain the same or adapt themselves to the modern wold. No regime and no system lasts for good. Even the Roman Empire or Ottomans couldnt do that.

Posted by Undaunted May 5, 11 09:25 AM
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