Communism in Cuba

Sanna, the Swedish girl from the hostel was very pleasant and the night before we had been talking a lot. We decided today to go out together touring Havana. I had already seen a lot of the city, but I liked it here so much that I didn't mind to do the trip to the same majestic buildings and cobbled streets again.

The university of Havana.

The university of Havana.

Before we left we tried to first buy a bottle of water, because it’s really important that you stay hydrated in this hot and humid place.
The funny thing is that we found more stores where you could buy rum or other alcoholic beverages than shops that sold water.

Because of the communist system in this country, it was often very difficult to find a supermarket and if you then found one, there wasn’t very much to buy. Often the stores were quite large, but there were no more than ten to twenty different products. Everything in such a large quantity that it almost seemed impossible for a store to ever run out of products.

When we finally found water, we strolled along a very busy road that would eventually bring us towards the city center.

The pollution in Havana is horrible! Because there are so many old cars it would’ve been a good idea to put on a mask before you even dare to breathe.

Sanna and I were very impressed by the beautiful buildings such as the Capitol, the Museum of the Revolution and all of the other buildings in Havana.

We ate together in Habanna Vieja and paid about seven and a half euros per person. Not very expensive, but last night we had the exact same meal near our hostel for only 1 CUC (= 1 dollar)!

The dollars of my first exchange were almost all spent and I decided to head into a bank to get myself some extra CUC.
Before we could sit in the waiting room, there was a lazy woman who printed out a ticket with the waiting number. Every five minutes she yawned while she almost slid from her chair.

In total there were ten counters. All ten were occupied by clerks, but only two attendants actually seemed to work.

The remaining eight clerks polished their nails, had a chat with their neighbors or simply stared in front of them without really doing anything.

An hour later I finally came out with some extra CUC. The communist system clearly leaves its marks…

I noticed that during the day a lot of people just sit on the streets and they basically just seem a little lazy…

The Plaza de la revolucion in Havana. A good example of how communism is still very visible in Cuba.

The Plaza de la revolucion in Havana. A good example of how communism is still very visible in Cuba.

Because of the communist system, the average wage is twenty-five euros per month. Guaranteed. They also get free education, free doctors and hospital visits each month and they are provided with a standard number of eggs, milk, flour and other products.

Once we got to our hostel nearby the Malecon we went to get some food at the dirt-cheap restaurant nearby. After this, me and Sanna made plans for the next few days, because we were certain that we wanted to travel together a little further.
Before it got dark, I decided to visit a few more things. In my cab, I had seen the plaza de la revolucion, but only swiftly. And since this really was a landmark in Havana, I needed to see it still!
On this gigantic square I could see three monuments: two structures showing prominent Cuban figures. And a large obelisk in honor of Jose Marti.
This concrete landscape seemed to me the most communist place I had seen in Havana. The great leaders are celebrated in a desolate landscape of sad looking buildings. Behind the square there was a “military-only zone.

Sanna knew a German girl, Maaike, who would also arrive in Havana tomorrow, so for the next day, we went our own ways, and after that we would travel together through Cuba.

My last day in Havana I spent mostly in a beautiful, old convertible Chevrolet which showed me lots of beautiful, touristy spots throughout Havana. In fact, I had already seen most of them, but to sit in such a car is well worth the experience!

By the early afternoon I went to the Museum of the Revolution. A beautiful building in which a lot of propaganda was shown from Cuba and his hated enemy: the United States of America.

The admission fee, 8 CUC for tourists and 8 CUP for locals (even museums rip you off…) was way overpriced. There were some beautiful, preserved rooms used for important meetings, but for the rest you couldn’t do much more than to read the propaganda from the Cubans. I quickly grew tired and walked, for the last time, back to my hostel in Havana.

The Museum de la Revolucion in Havana. Overpriced but nice to see!

The Museum de la Revolucion in Havana. Overpriced but nice to see!

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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.
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