cj#726> Our woman in Havana


Richard Moore

Dear cj,

As a respite from yesterday's sizable missives, I'd like to share this
letter just received from a close friend in Bristol.  Interesting how
travel seems to be a universal muse.  If you have suggestions for reading
material, let me know and I'll forward.


From: [Jan in Bristol]
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997

Dear Richard


I thought I must write and tell you, I've just spent the most amazing
week in Cuba. I've always been interested in Cuba and especially so
since having my 'conscienceness raised' by you and some of the
books you introduced me to about the CIA and covert operations etc.

And now I've seen it for myself. Have you ever been there?
The people are desperately poor, but they all have a smile, stop
you in the street for a conversation and to tell you how they love Cuba.

We spent a week in Havana on a package tour.
It's probably the least lit, scruffiest, but very safest city I've ever been
in at night. There does not seem to be the fear and violence and drugs
of other (US and UK) cities. I just wish I knew Spanish. I think I'd
like to go there again, perhaps to learn Spanish on a study holiday and
stay at the university. We stayed in tourist hotels which are rather
artificial, and though comfortable in the physical sense, are rather
uncomfortable in the moral sense when you know that the cost of
our round of drinks equates with a doctor's monthly salary.

I got by with a few words of Spanish but it's not enough to really
find out about how people feel about things.

I just got back today (after the predictably gruelling journey) and feel
exhausted but quite fired up with excitement. It is wonderful to see
how Cuba has stood up against the US, and I am ready to read and
learn more. There are Cuba solidarity groups here which I think I
will contact, and if you have any suggested reading matter please
pass on titles.

Well I hope all is well with you.