March 18, 2017: Havana, Cuba – The So-Called October Crisis

The commanding heights of Havana are controlled by two imposing forts on the east side of Havana Harbor.  They’re impossible to miss from the Malecon, and for nearly four hundred years, with the exception of a brief British interlude, they kept Havana safe as a rallying point for Spanish galleons laden with successive waves of Aztec, Inca, and native-mined riches.

Continue reading “March 18, 2017: Havana, Cuba – The So-Called October Crisis”

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March 17, 2017: Havana, Cuba – Necropolis Cristobal Colon and Other Things Well-Named 

For the last three mornings, Yurien’s Mama and Papa have prepared and served a truly titanic breakfast – honestly enough to bring lesser men to their knees crying, “Mercy!”  Scrambled eggs, sausage, cheese, two kinds of sweet pastries, a heaping fruit plate of bananas, pineapple, and guava, bread, butter, mango marmalade, the blackest coffee you can imagine, and freshly pureed and chilled smoothie, all taken up on the roof of their little casa overlooking the sunrise on the most picturesque mogote.   Continue reading “March 17, 2017: Havana, Cuba – Necropolis Cristobal Colon and Other Things Well-Named “

March 14, 2017: Vinales, Cuba – There’s an angry horse tied up on the road ahead.

Cuba is one of the most challenging places I have ever traveled.  Little about the way this place is transparent.  People are very thorough, checking every box, but not necessarily in order. Continue reading “March 14, 2017: Vinales, Cuba – There’s an angry horse tied up on the road ahead.”

March 13, 2017: Hemingway’s Havana

This morning, my mission was clear.  Find passage for tomorrow to Vinales, by reputation the most beautiful countryside in all of Cuba.  The state-owned bus company was no help – the only bus there being full and sold out online weeks ago.  Thankfully, the lady behind the counter at Infotur, the state-owned tourism office was able to work a little private sector magic and get me set up in a shared taxi for just five dollars more than the price of the sold out bus.  And apparently I owed her nothing more for this service than a sonrisas grande e un muchas gracias. Continue reading “March 13, 2017: Hemingway’s Havana”

Bartolomé de Las Casas and the Atrocities of the Spanish Conquistadors

Continue reading “Bartolomé de Las Casas and the Atrocities of the Spanish Conquistadors”