Cuba. While ‘western’ in terms of its outlook (America’s only 100 miles away), its ideology looks to the European east of the past, and a communist regime. As a result of US sanctions against the communist government, the country (I’ve visited) has a sense of being time-warped. Very much ‘American’ in a sense until the outset of the communist government in 1959, it has meant it is a country still peppered with American cars for which no spare parts can be sourced, leading to a sense of invention and ‘make do and mend’.
While some communist countries were abject failures, and the very few that remain are laughable in their definition of communism, some worked to greater or lesser degrees. Czechoslovakia might have been regarded as a success of sorts (but how much of a success it was has to be measured by the fact that there was an intelligentsia in the country who were tempering communist excess. East Germany was a semi-success in terms of its industry (great cameras, great radios), but that has to be measured against stereotypical German industry, and East Germany’s a definite failure if one examines the paranoia of its secret police, the Stasi.
Cuba, despite overwhelming odds, ‘worked’. Certainly it worked in terms of education, literacy and universities, and is possibly the best example of Caribbean education systems at work.
My observations were that the country, while being ‘communist’, contained people aware of and connected with American culture. Their ‘communism’ wasn’t dogmatic, more something they did while not really believing in it too much other than making the right noises for those in authority. For a ‘communist’ country, there was also a deep connection with Catholicism, the state having previously dropped the old communist idea that they were all atheists.
It’s also worth pointing out that Cuba has a tradition of naturism, notably at Cayo Largo.
It’s odd, isn’t it, how ‘repressive’ regimes have a history and tradition of ‘ease’ with nudity.
A new sim in SL combines these elements, at Pappa Dom’s Havana Hangout. Is made by the same people who brought you the lovely ‘Lupe’s Magical Forest‘, very much a naturist location we recommend and a place where, if you know it, also contains a Cuban ballroom.
Trine and Fidel
I’ve spent some time there recently, and I happened to bump into avatar Ellana, a Floridan with Cuban roots which had attracted her to the sim. The naturist beach there has a nice geography, not the usual palm trees by the score, that gives its naturist area a unique feel much in the same way Lupe’s feels unique.
We’ll be publishing more ‘Havana’ photos, both from the naturist area and the old town area itself, in the coming days on our Flickr page.
Ellana in Havana
The naturist sauna