Tuesday June 5, 2001

OK, here's my favorite picture from my week in Cuba. This is on Calle Manrique in Centro Havana where I stayed.

There are so many abandon store fronts and businesses. It was really sad. This area of town, which was a glorious center of culture and commerce for 300 years, is a shell. I think of all the industrious people that would love to get something going but you know what, there isn't anything to sell. No products and nobody with money to buy them.

This is the most shocking thing that you notice walking around. Your average store has a couple of employees leaning over a glass case filled with soda, beer and cigarettes and behind them, beautiful carved antique hardwood shelves gathering dust. No signs for Coke and no Pepsi cooler and no football playing Budweiser bottles either. Everybody knows that their country can put food on the selves and they believe they can do it without the ads. The economy is in ruins and everybody blames Castro.