The Havana, Cuba I see on social media and the news is a fake Cuba. Havana hashtags show tourists in pretty clothes, smiling happily in front of 1950s colorful cars with backgrounds of colorful government owned buildings. But the real Cuba lies in the unseen corners of those pictures.
Last Tuesday and Wednesday (June 20-21), 19 family members returned to Cuba (our roots), to see it through the eyes of my Tia (with her grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and her primas) as well as other cousins who were born there. In 3 full vans we went through Havana returning to our homes, storefronts, my Abuela's apartment building, the cemetery where my Abuelo and Tio rest, and the synagogue where so many of my family were married and celebrated life and love.
The Cuba they left is a stark difference to the Cuba that is today.
The following photographs are the unseen corners.
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