Bienvenidos a Cuba
Cuban Hospitality and Cuban sense of Social Responsibility
Exactly one month ago, the curator of the National Museum was in Paris and I was proud to show her around the Quai Branley Museum of Anthropology in Paris. She spoke fluent French and was more at home in Paris than I was, remembering every street and metro station from the days when she studied Museology at Louvre. We had a lovely lunch at Samiya Lebanese resto when her daughter joined us.
She had sent a very large bottle of rum and a Litre Cola, so that my days in Cuba can be slowly begin in the mellow mood. Soon she herself appeared in person and I began to realize that friendships have a depth which is not found in many countries.
Social Responsibility is not a Gift..
I had no more than about 24 hours in Miami on my way from Paris to Havana. I received an email:
A mutual friend, a professor of medicine, had taken ill with cancer and needs nutritional supplements, which are not easily available in Cuba. Could you see what is good and try to bring it with you?
At the same time a little incense also please..
The Cuban incense is the fragrance of percolating Coffee .. but it is good to have a variety..
My sister and I set out to buy these things. At Serrano’s a Cuban American supermarket, I did not hide the fact that I was looking for things for Cuba, and a passerby overheard me and remarked, They have nothing there.. I briskly turned around and said, I don't believe what you say, and I have been back to the island much more recently than you. The remark attracted the attention of some shoppers. Miami and the Cuban economic refugees there thrive on the hatred they have created for their land of birth and to maintain that hatred they create scenarios which suits them and there is a symphonic following to their pronouncements, either on radio or in common discourse.
Questions asked frequently in Miami.
Are you not scared to go to Havana?
I have stock answers: I rather go to Havana than Overtown, a neighbourhood avoided by these very same virtous people. When was the last time you went to Overtown?
They have nothing to eat there?
I would say: there are no homeless people either, by the way no drive by shooting either.
People who look at the world from the limited perspective of their own hatred will see hatred everywhere. Cubans harbour no animosity towards Americans and in fact most of the island Cubans are smart enough to understand that it is the Cuban economic refugees in Miami who are brain washed.
My own feeling is that when the situation normalizes, whenever that may be, between these two neighbours, the boiling anger in the minds of so many of the Cuban migrants to Miami would require an army of psychologists to heal.
In the end we manage to locate at Costco:
6 lb bag of Protein which the doctor could make into drinks twice a day for nearly two months.
Multivitamins, Calcium with Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Chondroitin Sulfare, Vitamin D
Because of the added weight of these, I had to take out some of the gifts I was bringing for my friends.
But I felt genuinely good about being able to do that, I never realized how much it would be appreciated in Cuba. Bringing something special like this nutritional supplement or the best chocolate from Le Roux in Quiberon, symbolically has an effect of healing as well as cementing further these good friendships.
In her email my friend wrote to me, please try to bring the nutritional supplement, I will pay you back when you get here.
Here is one point I wish to make. I am sick and tired of hearing, Cubans make so little money every month, and they convert it into Dollars … and of course it looks pitiable.
But what you do with that money?
Are you willing to do, donate that money, hard earned for the welfare of another?
This is comparable to someone who makes $1000 a month wanting to help a colleague with a medication that is worth $1000 or an office worker in Europe giving the entire months salary so that one of their colleagues can get nourishment.
As Dalai Lama has said, it is what you do for others that brings happiness to you. I am never impressed with the rags to riches stories of the western world but I am very impressed when they donate that money hard earned to good causes.
Cubans in the Island do that all the time, believe you me. Ask the 10 medical students from Solomon Islands studying Medicine free of charge in Cuba, they are among the 18 000 students studying Medicine free of charge in Cuba..
Let me see if any of the Economic Migrants to Miami can top that? Whenever you hear the name of Alvarez or Fernandez or Dominguez in Miami it is always in relation to the money embezzled from the Government. It is well known that nearly 50 % of the Medicare Fraud with regard to Type 2 Diabetes in Miami is carried out by these Economic Migrants from Cuba