skinster wrote:They seemed fine when I was there.
I have seen people that visited Alcatraz and tell me it was a nice experience... I guess that means Alcatraz prisoners used to have a very nice life in there
Or what about the handful of "tourists" that make it to north korea... how often do you think they see people complaining or crying in the streets?
People in oppression can look just the same as anyone else.
To be fair, Cuban people are not even remotely close to what the poor people of NK are doing, but it does illustrate my point.
Between indoctrination, censorship of information, deterrence/fear of the government and plain old financial motivation (e.g. they wan't your dollars), there is plenty of reasons of why you had the experience that you did.
99/100 of the waitress that I see appear exceptionally happy and cheerful. Could it be because they get more tips? I don't know, this phenomenon eludes me.
When you go to cuba, as a tourist, knowing that you will be out of there in just a few days. Spending $$. Dealing with people that are used to dealing with tourists (meaning that they have a better economic situation than the rest of the population) people that KNOWS what you want, etc... you tend to have a great time and to take the impression that they are doing better than what they really are.
I also sold $3 pesos coins to tourists that had the face of "Ernesto (Che) Guevara". Many tourists would pay a couple of bucks for a coin that was probably worth less than 10c USD. I also put a big smile in my face to the tourists that would come stay in my house when my mother desperate to make $$ to feed us would rent one of the bedrooms of our house.. A single mother of 2 children illegally renting one of the house's bedroom to complete strangers that don't even speak the same language and would often return drunk to the apartment. And we would put a smile. And if they wanted to hear that Fidel was great we would tell them that, if they wanted to hear that France was gay, we would tell them that....