What we learned from spending two weeks in Cuba

Most Americans probably haven’t thought much about Cuba since the missile crisis of 1962.

It is, however, only 90 miles from Florida, and is our closest neighbor other than Mexico and Canada. It has also undergone many changes, especially in the last decade.

Mike O’Neil recently visited Cuba along with Bryan Montanio, an architect from Portland, and Gloria Lawyer, a retired teacher and school principal from New York City. The three join the show to discuss what they saw in their recent two-week visit.

A lot of what they found will likely astound most listeners whose views of Cuba are locked in from decades ago.

We will discuss, among other things:

  • Is Cuba still really communist in practice?
  • What has changed, particularly in the last 10 years?
  • How do most Cubans describe “freedom?”
  • Do they support their government?
  • Is there free access to news and information?
  • Can Cubans criticize their government? Do they?
  • Are they free to leave the country?
  • Who is visiting Cuba? In what numbers?
  • What pieces of history do they not hear? What pieces do they hear that we do not?
  • What are the impacts of the American embargo?
  • What are attitudes towards Americans?
  • What is the significance of religion, especially Catholicism, in Cuban life?

Many of the answers will surprise you.