(Editor’s Note: News of Cancun and the Riviera Maya can be found in the Blog preceding this one below.)
In this blog we’re visiting the island sounds once again with the music of the Buena Vista Social Club from the Caribbean Island relatively close to Cancun, approximately 115 miles northeast of Cancun and 107 miles northeast of Mexico’s own little Isla, the Caribbean island of Isla Mujeres, that other island, of course, is Cuba. The Cuban presence in the Yucatan has always been part of a shared cultural heritage of the region due to geographic proximity and most recently, part of the freedom road for expatriated Cubans seeking shelter from the storm via often illegal immigration to Isla Mujeres and then Cancun. Cancun offering a multi-cultured experience and blending area for Cubans that arrive there before traveling North to the United States hoping to find sanctuary.
(Courtesy of www.caribbeanmag.com/search/map/Cuba/ )
Under the U.S. President Barack Obama, a normalization of relations is beginning to occur between Cuba and the U.S. for the first time in many years after 40 odd years of isolation. In Cancun this means that another potential, powerful competitor in the tourism business may be set to rise on the Mexican horizon a short distance away with Caribbean beaches and historical lore, a short distance from the U.S. mainland whose citizens are the backbone of Cancun tourism.
And yet, despite the political, the economic issues, and the illegal immigration that often goes hand in hand with drug trafficking, money laundering, and other criminal acts, there’s a social issue, a widespread feeling that with the aging Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro close to the end with deteriorating health and increased age, and his brother precariously running the country, Cuba may soon return to joining her fellow North American and Latin American nation states as a contributing member with the possibility of full freedoms and human rights for her people.
In this corner, whether your American, Mexican or a citizen of the world, shouldn’t we all be, it’s a door we should leave open, and one that should be explored, especially for the Cuban people themselves.
In any case, geopolitics aside, there’s always been a strong cultural influence in the Yucatan of Mexico and U.S. Gulf States from Cuba, especially in Florida, where as Jimmy Buffett says, “everyone has a cousin in Miami”. As such we bring you the sounds of the great Buena Vista Social Club doing “Chan Chan”, a song for the traveling and brokenhearted from our favorite Island Sounds collection. So grab yourself a Mojita, sit back, turn up the volume and enjoy this classic Cuban sound.
(Courtesy of YouTube/gypsyplayer85)