October 26, 2005

Holiday in Havana

It seems that between 2-300,000 American citizens travel to Cuba each year. Most go through Mexico or Canada, and stay only a few days. Many come back on the same day, fearing the punishment for visiting forbidden territory.

At best, the numbers are only a guess, but Havana is likely to be the most popular destination for American tourists, and The City is as great a subject for photographers as it would be for filmmakers, if not for the embargo.

Tina Panziera shot one of my favorite photos of Cuba (above). Her photo shows more than just a country. It brings to life the goals and dreams of Martí, Maceo, Gómez (Maximo and Juan Gualberto) and many others who sacrificed everything for that dream.

These children are loved. They’re cared for. Their faces are as moving as a Chucho Valdéz piano solo. Whatever our politics, they don’t deserve the outpouring of our hate, even when we have nothing but the very best intentions.

Other photographers, Javier Santos, Ronny Leva and David Stanley show us The City through their eyes. Havana is 500 years old. She’s been attacked by pirates, conquered, defended, burned down and rebuilt. Hurricanes and rebel fighters and terrorists have rocked her… and she remains a beautiful testament to her own history.



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