A Cuban Expedition


I, inspired by a semi-argument I had with a friend of mine about Cuba, have come up with a modestly brilliant idea. Here is how it started and what it is:

John and I were chatting on G-Chat. He told me that just the other day, he went to a conference commemorating the anniversary of the Cuban Revolution(1959). He further stated that Cuba’s system of government is an example of how socialism can work. I firmly disagreed. What the argument finally came down to was what sources we used to inform us about Cuba. I stated that I read dissident bloggers online, and even read Fidel Castro’s “Refleciones” on the state-run government newspaper’s website, http://www.granma.cu. He countered that the bloggers are not objective sources, and I could do nothing but agree.
In fact, in a place with no freedom of press(Fidel admits it) it is quite hard to get an objective view on how socialism affects Cubans’ lives. Is it good for some and bad for some? Is it good for all? Or is it only good for a select few, with everyone else miserable?
All this thinking made me see the most effective way of determining how Cubans live under socialism: Go there and ask the Cubans. Ask the city-dwellers, the rural farmers, the sleepy fishing villages. Not one demographic will go unaddressed. Or at least ask as many people in as much time as we have, which will probably be around three weeks.
There are many facets of this project that need to be refined. This trip will not be until December, so there is time to fine-tune it. Of course, what is written can radically change due to changed circumstances. We are, after all, going into a country where freedom of speech does not exist. We are gringos, too, so it is not like we won’t draw attention. Either way, whatever results from this expedition, it will be well worth the time and a blast to read afterwards.

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