My first blog- Cuba


So, I finally decided to try and create a blog- got my Facebook and Twitter, but seems like there may be interest in writing longer reflections, maybe just mine. Not sure whether I’ll have the patience to keep it going, or indeed anything interesting to share. Time will tell. If you want more about my wine activities check out our facebook sites Kilikanoon and Seppeltsfield  Music will come through Soundcloud- work in progress!

This first blog is about Cuba. The photo above tells it all- Cuba; resourceful, exciting, colourful and endlessly frustrating. BTW that’s a cut down rum bottle finding new life as a draught beer glass. Need to be a bit careful with the lip…

Daughter Mina lives in Santiago, Cuba’s second city, with her new husband Eduardo. They are both great dancers. We visited over Xmas/New Year- we being my “wife” of 30 years, the gorgeous Candice, 27 yr old son Sam, who came from France where he lives, and me- born 1951, musician and winery owner.

Visit Cuba now before it changes forever. The Castro boys are not getting any younger, and the Revolucion has run out of puff. The younger generation really wants change, and if they don’t get it soon, they will probably invite the gun-toting Miami Cubans over to help, and that would not be a good thing.

Change is happening though, and we have witnessed it over the 11 years we have been coming.

Most recent and fundamental changes are;

  1. 2010 when they allowed a large number (about 180) small business activities to operate privately
  2. Late 2011, when for the first time private house sales were permitted

This latter change will probably have the greatest effect, as a lot of money is going to start sloshing around the (mostly black) economy. A modest house is Santiago is worth about $US 6,000, a regular wage (everybody earns about the same officially) is around $30 a month, so work it out. $6,000 can buy a lot in Cuba.  

So why go now?

  • It’s still a place where people talk to each other face-to face, as mobile phones are not common and internet virtually non-existent.
  • Crime is almost non-existent, although the locals are fearful of increase as new money comes in. Many have elaborate iron gates to protect their homes, even though there’s not much that a Western thief would want to steal inside
  • The people are friendly, passionate, highly educated and they can all dance
  • Food is improving, although the local diet is still terrible- cheap calories through fat and carbs
  • 1950s American cars

Why not wait?

  • You might have to share the street with gun-toting Miami Cubans
  • You want to see lots of tourists who can’t dance?

I’ll write more about Cuba in a later blog- just want to get started!