July 2017- Matthew Drennen
The Cuban people are incredibly strong and outgoing.
To begin with an Americans stereotype of the Cuban people before visiting the island. I believe that Americans,( and me before my trip) have an unique view of the people of Cuba. We think that the Cuban people (to be straight up) are hardcore soulless communists. That hate America and the outside world. Before going to Cuba, many Americans tried to tell me that Cuba was similar to a North Korean Dictatorship, with the people doing their jobs and not getting out of line. I also had an opinion that the people of Cuba were very harsh to foreigners and others coming into their country. However, this is not the case. So in summary of this, I believe that Americans have a view which is completely straight out of the cold war.
Foot Note To Above- Some Cubans are very hardcore about their communism and outsiders, but the ones I met were extremely outgoing.
Cubans Citizens and the Government have gone through some extreme challenges; like the US Embargo and the fall of the Soviet Union. The people have suffered a tremendous amount in Cuba, because of the Embargo that has made supplies and materials difficult to buy. This is especially true when the Soviet Union fell and Cuba lost all of its main partner and ally. This period many Cubans starved and it became harder to live. This special period in time the Cubans people had to become strong to survive and it caused them to rely on one another more to live their lives.
Furthermore, When I visited the Island I was completely shocked about how friendly and nice the Cuban citizens were to tourists. The people I met were extremely nice and would do anything for you. For example, We met this Cuban couple Isa and Julio. They both worked in European hotels so they had better pay then a majority of Cubans, but they were incredibly friendly. They would do anything for you, and this really shocked me because this was exponentially different then anything I have ever heard. I also had the chance to talk to many other Cubans, and the summary of our conversations and the main message I got from the Cuban people is this.
We are all the same people of the world, so we need to look out for one another. Also, we may be different and think uniquely, but we all deserve respect from one another.
Finally, I believe the Cuban people actually really enjoy outsiders in their country because they want to here the stories from the outside world, and even though our governments are at odds or disagree we are all the same people.
The lesson I learned is “Do not Judge a book by its’ cover”