Cuba is one of the last communist strongholds in the world, and its capital, Havana, is where politics, sport, religion and music combine to create a place like no other
Watch the video and answer the questions below.
1 What happened in 1959?
2 What is the favourite pastime in Havanna?
3 What's the alternative to taking a taxi?
4 Why do people make offerings to saints?
5 What makes havaneros so special?
6 What does the rapper Raúl Collazo raps about?
One of the last communist strongholds in the world, despite all its struggles, the people remain upbeat and proud of their city. Hi, I’m Lilieth and this is my city.
Famous for its mojitos and cigars, it was (1) the 1959 communist revolution of Fidel Castro that transformed the lives of everyone here. Little has changed since I grew up. At every school, children still swear an oath to communism. But it is not just politics that concentrates young minds. Pelota, everyone is (2) baseball crazy, from games on the streets to organised matches, it is the pastime of choice. Along with health and education, sport is one of the success stories of the revolution.
When I grow up I want to play for Cuba's national team and go to the World Baseball Classic.
Getting around in Havana is unpredictable but always an adventure. Most of the old American cars you see around here are taxis. But havaneros, the locals, can't really afford them, so this is the alternative: (3) Hitchhiking.
Communism means that this is a secular society. For decades, religions were banned, but Afro-Cuban beliefs, along with Catholicism, have always been part of our culture. Now, ceremonies like this one have become widespread. Offerings are made to saints in the hope of (4) protection and good health.
In every house of every Cuban family there are at least one or two followers that believe in the Yoruba religion and whenever someone is in trouble they turn to those family members for help.
There is one ritual that all true havaneros follow religiously, and that’s socialising.
So what makes havaneros so special? Whether you are from just around the corner, or the other side of the world, (5) making friends is always easy.
… to the beats of salsa but it’s not all about twisting and turning.
Many here dream of a freer Cuba. Raúl del Collazo raps about (6) the failures of the government, so he is banned from radio and TV. His music is spread by word of mouth. Raúl believes his rapping has revolutionised the way people think.
When I look at my city, I still adore it with that same childish innocence I once possessed. I see a place that is evolving, it is slowly opening up. Its lust for life, never fading. Havana is my city.