Thursday, July 24, 2008

At the Che Memorial

friday july 11th, 10ish in the morning, on the bus from sancti spiritus, returning to havana

click here for photos from sancti spiritus

photos from the resort hotel at the beach

photos at the che memorial (with a police escort, for some reason, then lunch with a revolutionary)

more sancti spiritus photos, including lunch at a cooperative farm

we have a stop somewhere this morning -- i can't believe how busy our schedule has been. events here, meetings there, with a variety of cuban people - government officials, representatives from community organizations, doctors, church people, and then the opportunities to just hang out and talk to people.

oh, i remember, we're going to another che memorial. i sure hope people remember the underlying philosophy of the revolution as they move forward. already it's possible to see some of the detrimental effects of capitalism - people asking for money in the marketplace, on the streets .... in trinidad i found a rather largeish store with various forms of merchandise. i don't have anything against the opportunity for people to purchase or barter for products, but i fear the imposition of all kinds of consumer crap made in faraway lands by factory slaves - like what we're exposed to in canada and the united states - if capitalism proceeds in its typical unbridled fashion. leonard, from denmark, offers us some hope - they too have universal education and health care in their mixed economy. why is north american style capitalism so over-run with greed and excessive consumption, whereas european style free market economies seem able to remember the value of sharing and caring?

at the che memorial, built around the same time that elian gonzales was kidnapped, and the cuban five were imprisoned, and the big resort was built near trinidad, we learned that there's a woman entombed along with the men. this is where they brought che's ashes, after he was murdered by the cia in bolivia. the statue is enormous, he's looking towards the mountains where they battled the american funded contra rebels in the jungle. in the museum there are lots of artifacts from the revolution - clothing, weapons, radios, and photos - one with che reading something written by the german philosopher goethe.

we met another revolutionary who fought alongside che in the congo.