The Lesson from Cuba

Today’s post comes to us from Crystal Bay.

My son, Steve, along with his girlfriend, sister, and best friend, all returned from Cuba three days ago. He said that the trip was life-changing and overwhelming. Unfortunately, all four suffered “Montezuma’s Revenge”, and were violently ill the last day and are still sick. Imagine a 12-hour flight while being sick from both ends?

It’s worth noting here that it hurt my feelings that I wasn’t invited. He’d told me that I’m not physically strong enough to endure 15 hours a day hiking and walking. When he shared the horrific illnesses they all suffered, my exclusion from this adventure quickly felt like dodging a cannon ball.

Steve and his girlfriend, Lani, went to Cuba to film an episode for their hopefully upcoming reality cable series. My daughter graduated with her BSN a month ago, so this was his graduation gift to her.

He said that he’s never met a more loving, kind, happy population in his life. He joined a little band on the street and played guitar with them as they sang and danced.  He told me that Cuba doesn’t have toilet paper or even toilet lids!  He shared the surreal beauty of the architecture, plant like, and generosity of the Cuban people.  I asked how they could be so happy given that they live under a dictatorship. He replied; “You wouldn’t know it. In fact, these people are far happier under a dictatorship than we are under a democracy.”

This leads me to the most “life-changing” part of his adventure. He spoke of meeting people from every corner of the world and, without exception, the very first thing out of their mouths was; “Why did you put a man like Trump in office?” Every single one. They shared how Trump’s impact on their own country has been devastating because it’s unleashed extremists, racists, bigots to gain traction and threatens to endanger their own democracies. Steve and the others were stunned by learning how foreigners around the globe are now viewing the United States, and how our president has the power to damage so many nations abroad. “It’s like a cancer, Mom”.

He, Lani, Mary, and Sully found themselves profusely apologizing and saying, “This is not who we are as a people – please know this”. It’s a very sad day when my own children have to apologize for being Americans.

What do you think kids studying this era in 20 years from now will be reading?

21 thoughts on “The Lesson from Cuba”

  1. hey cb
    cuba is in my bucket list

    what kids will read in 20 years is way beyond me
    my guess is there will be a short youtube video recapping the trump years when it was discovered how far wrong things can go

    remember the scene from the time machine when all the young people on white togas sat on the shore and watched as yevette mimmuix almost drowned? and the books were discovered turned to dust from non use?
    that’s my concern for the next 20 years

    my daughters 16 and 18 are activists along with my wife and sister in the woman’s march and other issues but it is the only sign of life i see out there as folks are content to let it slide

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I was a young man my country sacrificed the lives of more than 58,000 young American men because the US didn’t want Vietnam to become another communist country. My plan was different. I thought the best way to kill communism was to let a country try that form of government and get sick of it. And that is more or less what happened, although a tragic number of US and Vietnamese warriors died before Vietnam could experience the shortcomings of communism.

    The US now struggles with Trumpism, the greatest threat to our democracy to occur in my life. Many progressives want to believe there is a cure for Trump, perhaps in the form of the 25th Amendment or impeachment or maybe holding him accountable for criminal conduct. My sense is that those remedies will not work. Our best hope might be to let him continue to demonstrate his unsuitability for the job. He’s doing a great job of that.

    The way to correct a towering election mistake is by having another election that sets things right. I pray that in three years a strong majority of Americans will ask “WHAT were we THINKING?” And vote accordingly.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Nice post, CB. I remember how odd it sounded when we lived in Canada and friends would talk about their vacations to Cuba. The US had portrayed it as such an evil place as I was growing up.

    I hope that in 20 years, 45 is just a minor footnote in the history books.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s a neat story CB. How did they all get sick? Not sticking to the bottled water or something more nefarious?

    My mom is not a fan of the current president either. She keeps saying ‘God will take care of us’. Boy, I hope so.

    20 years makes it 2038, I’ll be 73.
    I hope students are still studying history or government. Maybe information can just be ‘inserted’ into their brains. In which case, do you include these years or leave them out??
    Seems like we wouldn’t want to leave out WWII and Hitler, so then we shouldn’t leave out Drumpf.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I would love to believe Trump will sink so low, but I don’t expect it. When I was a kid the huge threat to democracy was Joseph McCarthy. Twenty years later my college profs were celebrating his demise, seeing it as proof the country’s principles were sturdy.

    Then came Nixon, the biggest threat to constitutional government the country had seen. The battle to prove how badly he had mangled things was a tough one, but in the end he was put away. People celebrated his demise as if it were proof “the system works,” but I was not encouraged. It took a great effort to uncover his mischief and stop him, and that was when there were many ethical, responsible Republicans in office.

    To my eyes, Trump represents a new and terrifying level of threat. I hope I’m wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve just finished reading Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, about what life is like under a dynasty of self-serving despots. Not an easy read (for a local book club), but something I’m glad I’m now aware of. It sounds like life under the Cuban leader is much different… in a way, maybe life in a given “despotism” (I looked it up, it is a word) depends not so much on the type of government as the type of despot.

    By 2038 people will probably have all kinds of things implanted, and who knows WHAT will be transmitted to their brains. I hope they can still get “Cat’s Cradle” and “To Kill a Mockingbird”.


  7. I am going to assume that there will be many wonderful new books that come out in the next 20 years. Think of all that have come out in the in the last 20 years.


      1. Really? Usually the opposition response is awful and gets scorn for days after. I will watch online.

        I could not think of any response to what kids will be reading about yeRs in the future, but it is an interesting post.


        1. Well, I suppose I could have been swayed by the contrast of what he says compared to 45 (almost anything would sound good after that SOTU speech). But, yes, he is articulate and his words seem genuine.


  8. We were all rather shocked when Jesse Ventura was elected governor of Minnesota. A lot of people were wondering if something had shifted and that a different sort of candidate would be elected in the future, no more of the traditional Republicrats. After a few years, though, things more or less returned to where they had been before. Most young people don’t remember that much about Ventura. Maybe Trump will similarly fade away.


    1. Unfortunately he will have had a much bigger impact and done a lot more damage. I truly fear this man and his GOP cohorts are willing to do irreversible damage, not only to our nation but to the world, for short term profits.


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