Transparency.tv takes a peek into the heart of Cuba’s resilience and how it’s affectionate and soulful inhabitants are dancing to a new rhythm as they open up to the world.
After nearly five decades of socialism, sweeping economic reforms hit Cuba in 2008.
Transparency.tv heads to this vibrant island nation to capture the transformations reverberating across political, cultural and social realms.
The last twelve months have seen the country welcome the first Hollywood film production in 50 years (Papa: Hemingway in Cuba), a Chanel fashion show, an American president, public Wifi and The Rolling Stones. While in November this year thousands of Cubans took to the streets to farewell their controversial leader Fidel Castro, who led the country into revolution and established the first communist state in the western hemisphere.
Cuba has had a colourful history, having braved a Spanish invasion, an American trade embargo, a near-missile crisis, the collapse of Communism in Europe, and chronic food and fuel shortages. Yet its inhabitants have remained resilient amongst the scarcity and the daily struggle to survive, feed family, pay debts and find work. Despite the challenges, it remains an island of rhythms, rum and resourcefulness, where little has changed over the last 60 years.
In the 1950’s, Cuba was known as the Paris of America, a playground for wealthy Americans and film stars such as Marlon Brandon and Ava Gardner. Mob-run casinos flourished and Havana was famed for its wild and exuberant night life. In 1959 Castro and friends overturned the government and turned revolutionary ideal into communist reality. Since then, we in the West have known Cuba primarily through its socialist politics and iconic cars – cars that have stood the test of time, driven purely by Cubano pride and inventiveness.
Yet when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990’s, the buildings, economy and food supplies deteriorated, however community spirit, free healthcare and free education thrived.
The Transparency.tv team explores the island and gets to grips with the new face of Cuba. Forget Viva la revolution...these days its all about Viva la Evolution!
Photo credit: Viktor Rising cubanaproduction.com
(Link to Cuba Re-evolution video....)