Caribbean

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012
We returned to Havana Monday night. On Tuesday, there was a discussion on US/Cuban Relations led by Dr. Raul Rodriquez, a professor at the University of Havana who has written extensively on US-Cuban relations.

After the discussion, we walked to the Museo de la Revolución.  The idea of putting the Museum of the Revolution in the former presidential palace of the dictator Fulgencio Batista was clearly symbolic.

Monday, June 4th, 2012
On Saturday, we began a short, 2-day trip to southern Cuba, and the village of Cienfuegos and the city of Trinidad.  On the way, we arrived at the Bay of Pigs and the actual landing point where, in 1962, about 1,300 heavily armed CIA-trained Cuban exiles came ashore, fully equipped to provoke a counter-revolution to topple the Castro regime.
Sunday, June 3rd, 2012
On Friday, we traveled to Vivero Alamar, a state-owned research garden, to learn more about urban gardening in Havana.  The effects of the "Special Period" (as the period following the collapse of the Soviet Union is called) and consequent food shortages have had the greatest repercussions in the city of Havana.
Saturday, June 2nd, 2012
On Thursday, we participated in a discussion led by Ricardo Torres Perez, a macro-economist and professor at the University of Havana, on "The Changing Faces of Cuba's Economic Structure." Monumental changes have been announced by Raúl Castro in the Cuban economic model, including, among other things, the laying off of more than half a million state workers, the privatization of small businesses, a new credit law offering certain Cubans bank loans, and the devaluation of the peso to bring it on par with the dollar.
Friday, June 1st, 2012
From April 24-May 2, 2012, I traveled to Cuba with the UCLA Alumni Association on a "People to People" exchange trip licensed by the Treasury Department.

On arriving in Havana, we immediately realized that we were no longer in the US of A - passport control resemble

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