CRISTIAN MIJEA – HAVANA, CUBA
Cristian Mijea is a Romanian freelance photojournalist based in Montreal, Canada.
He contribute to BPA, an agency based in London, UK and Demotix, a Corbis subsidiary.
A second trip to the Caribbean island, home to 11 million Cubans.
While Cuba tourism industry generates over 3 million arrivals per year, most of the people visiting the country are unaware of what goes on far from the carefully managed resorts. Even the ones who venture into Havana are mesmerized by the architecture and charmed by the talented Cuban performers, oblivious – sometimes on purpose – to the hardships endured by the locals. This is the other face of Havana, where people are struggling to provide for their loved ones every single day.
A few faces among the crowd of 2.1 million people that are living in Havana.
They are the ones who will see a different Cuba. The government is taking small steps to allow more freedoms and new technologies that will forever change the country. mong others, ECTESA, the only telecommunications company in Cuba is going to allow internet browsing and email on mobile devices.
At any hour there’s at least one couple hugging and contemplating the open sea on the Malecon Boulevard in Havana. Across the sea there’s the US of A. Fun, fishing, tourism and freedom. Few of the meanings the water surrounding the island has for Cubans, the latter being the most dangerous one. The infamous US “dry foot, wet foot” policy is not helping either. Any Cuban refugee retrieved at sea will be returned to Cuba, while anyone who managed to set foot on US soil will be allowed to stay.
Perhaps it was due to being in September and the harvest season, or the low tourist season meant a lot less produce was distributed to the resorts, or maybe the upcoming CDR celebrations meant more food being distributed towards the population, but the stores in Havana were better stocked than usual. Still, Cubans get their basic staples subsidized by the state, but in strict quotas for each family member.
Cubans celebrate 53 years since the founding of the Comités de Defensa de la Revolución, or CDR.
The CDR was formed by Fidel Castro on the 28 of September, 1960.
The traditional meal cooked is called Caldosa. The stew goes back till the Independence war of 1895.