My Cuba trip was all about President Obama’s visit. I’ve been going to Havana for forty years, starting back in 1978, but this particular trip educated me far more than ever before, in terms of the deep and varied layers of history, politics, economics and strong emotions swirling around the divide—and the potential full rapprochement—between our two nations.
Below is a link to my blog on Huff Post today, should you care to read my personal takeaway from the trip.
I of course couldn’t help but feel while I was there a flood of memories from the four attempts and the final victorious swims across that epic ocean. I took some quiet time to walk down to the very starting place, the rocks at Marina Hemingway. I remembered gazing out at that distant horizon, filled with both courage and fear. I remembered my team, on our flotilla of boats, just meters away, honking their horns and yelling their adrenaline-fueled cheers. I remembered Bonnie looking me square in the eyes before the plunges, each time with a different phrase: “Onward”. “Courage”. “Find a Way”. It was a lifelong dream, the Cuba swim. I first imagined it at age 9. I first tried it at age 28. I finally made it across at age 64. And it was always, always a matter of soul, of human spirit, of reaching out to literally and figuratively touch our two countries at almost the same time.
It’s deep for me, Cuba. It’s noble. And I am so very grateful to President Obama for inviting me to partake in this unique experience.
I also got a mention from President Castro in the news conference with President Obama.