CUBA TRAVEL JOURNAL

We Visit Nearby Cumanayagua

July 16, 1998 8:00pm

Today we decided to hire a car to take us to Cumanayagua, a town about an hour from Cienfuegos to see some friends of Chris'. As usual, they took great pains to make us comfortable. This home was typical of Cuba, very small and old but clean. The walls and roof are riddled with worm holes and the concrete toilet is outside and no more than a hole in the ground. We gave the father some beer and the grandmother some cigarettes, which she tucked inside her bra for safekeeping.

 
 

Back in Cienfuegos everything is very busy. For two days now, the entire city has been preparing for the Grand Prix - a speed boat race which seems to be a cause for quite a celebration.

Many tourists are arriving and the police are everywhere. They watch our every move, and when they see us talking with Cuban people, they harass them. Identification papers and explanations of their business with us is demanded.

This is causing us some anxiety as we don't want to cause our friends any problems but they don't seem too concerned even though they have been questioned twice already.

1998 John Petrak

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