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  Back From Cuba
December 16, 2013

If you have missed the E-FORUM, it’s because I have been in Cuba since December 5, just returned this morning. I’ll be preparing a detailed report that will take some time, but suffice it to say that it was a fascinating, educational and unforgettable trip under the umbrella of the 14-year-old sister city relationship between Regla, Cuba and Richmond. Regla is the port-industrial suburb of Havana across the bay to the east, originally built to maintain the Spanish fleet and warehouse its cargo. Havana was awash in a vast amount of sugar money for centuries, but with the sugar industry substantially diminished, it is now a beautiful and historical world-class city awash in UNESCO World Heritage sites. It is also awash in tourists from many countries, excluding the U.S. because of the anachronistic embargo. Like Richmond, Regla has a refinery (state-owned), but by appearances, probably substantially more polluting than Chevron. It’s also about 400 years older than Richmond. Cuba continues to evolve and constantly reinvent itself politically and economically.

Following are a few sample photos and sketches.

Tom Shirley Statute

Group Shot

Cathedral Sketch

Chevron Sign


Evening square

Evening two



Drinking wine


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