Margarita Alarcón Perea
It was to be expected, Havana is slowly turning into the “in spot” of the hemisphere. Like the rhythmic movement of the waves in the ocean, Havana a continuum, a whole in history made up of many parts; it plays a roll, not unlike a theater production, to entertain, make a statement, and create illusion, changing while yet remaining the same.
The illusion in this case, has really been created by others who are under the impression that magically things, after December 17th of 2014, have changed in the country and that is the reason why everyone is visiting.
On a weekly basis since the beginning of the year 2015, ever since the first bilateral talks began, members of the press, the Congress, the Senate, all levels of government, the arts, sciences, intellectuals, business men and woman are prancing around town in awe.
This is not something that should shock anyone. It was to be expected. Havana had always been a sort of “private getaway” since back when Bogie and Bacall were the ¨in couple¨ and a 56´ Buick was the car of the year. So, now that it’s chic and above all, easy peasy to come down to Cuba, why not do so?
Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy actually ecstatic that so many people from the United States are taking those first baby steps and getting on flights to visit, see, scout about, gaze in awe and wonder and then go back home. I just find it funny, how suddenly it’s “ok” to come down, when the only thing that has changed on the island is technically and practically the fact that there is a US flag waving on the Malecón after 56 years. That’s it! Everything else is exactly the same.
So next time you wonder about Cuba and Havana, don’t go off thinking that things changed on the island hence making it easy for you to get there, think that things changed –somewhat- back home and now you can travel -sort of – freely down to Cuba and check the scene out.
Might be a good idea to make sure the next 16 months include steps that guarantee you make those trips as often as you desire by say eliminating stuff like, I dunno, the US Embargo against Cuba, maybe?
Tic toc Clarice…
Also published in Latino Voices Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/margaritta-alarcon/the-times-they-are-a-changin_b_8306176.html