Cuba free..

4. March 2010, Thursday
20° 2' 44" N, 75° 49' 19" W Cuba........just one drink, nothing more!

The people are just as trapped in the local regime of scarcity - and in the country - as the citizens of the former GDR. (Only without Stasi)

For example, we are not allowed to let any Cubans onto our ship, and they are also forbidden from entering state marinas and ports for fear of escaping.

There is a lack of everything and everyone organizes where and what they can.

Officially there was no diesel, so we looked for an "organizer" who would get it for us in old canisters, which we could bring onto the ship at night - and without fog.

Provisioning with fresh fruit and vegetables was almost no problem thanks to our personal “organizer” Piedro.
Even if it doesn't look quite as fresh and delicious as organic products at a German weekly market, we're happy to have gotten a lot.

Piedro is actually a construction worker, lives with his ex-wife, 3 children and daughter-in-law in a 2-room hut and earns the equivalent of 12 € a month.
When we were in Santiago de Cuba we often ate at his humble cabin.
Admittedly more bad than good, but for him it was more than a nice extra income in addition to his “procurement work”, because of course we rewarded him royally for the “great menus”, and his wife Rosa for local standards.

Even things that we actually wanted to throw in the trash, such as empty disposable lighters or plastic bottles and broken flip-flops were little treasures for him.
Disposable lighters are drilled out and refilled, plastic bottles are reused and broken flip flops are repaired.
As I said: everything is missing!

We are only guests in this country for a few weeks or months, but for the Cubans this is and has been the daily propaganda in the media for over 50 years, about the great progress of the revolution, the daily completely normal madness.

Despite everything, most of the Cubans are the nicest, cleanest and friendliest Caribs we have ever met. (Exceptions prove the rule!)

By the way - the fact that there were no internet entries in the last few weeks was not due to our laziness in writing, but to the fact that we were hanging around with the "Kismet" in the archipelago "Jardines de la Reina" (the Queen's garden).

Hundreds of small, uninhabited and untouched islands, which appear to us today just as they did to the first Europeans 500 years ago. There is not even a trace of tourism!

If an old fishing boat hadn't crossed our course in the archipelago from time to time, we could have thought we were alone in this world.

We dive in the coral reefs with sharks, barracudas and all sorts of exotic colorful fish, have a barbecue on the beach, swap old tools, old hats, soap, odds and ends or rum with passing fishermen for "tons" of freshly caught lobster and the most delicious fish and feel good like in paradise.

It could have gone on like this for weeks, but unfortunately our visa expires and we therefore had to go to Cinfuegos to deal with the authorities, put this entry on the Internet and, as far as possible, finally answer outstanding emails from friends.