Before the Changes

Yesterday I ran into a teacher of mine from the past. She asked me briefly about what I have been doing since MIT. I naturally mentioned that I have been living in Cuba on a family visa this past year. She responded that she’d like to travel there herself, “before it changes.” I’d forgotten this rather ignorant attitude that many non-Cuban Americans have about the island. But the honest truth is, the changes have already happened, they are invisible to the untrained eye. A more subtle and sickly kind of commercialism plagues the island, it commercializes the bearded heroes of old and the Revolution, long dead. It breeds jineteros, hustlers, and thieves that take not only iPhones and wallets, but dignity and peacefulness. Cuba changed in the ’90’s and it’s never going back, sorry.