Saturday, November 06, 2010

Airplane crashes in Cuba

A few days ago 68 passengers died in an airplane crash in Cuba, including nine Argentines, seven Mexicans, three Dutch citizens, two Germans, two Austrians, a French citizen, an Italian, a Spaniard, a Venezuelan and a Japanese. 28 persons that came to Cuba attracted by the promises in Tourists Brochures that show them a Cuba that only exists in those pages and that only materializes for those that were not born in that Caribbean Island.

I'm not going to write here about all the technical data about the planes and the how the Cuban government keeps them flying in Cuba, or about how Cuban pilots rights are violated daily making them to work up to the exhaustion without a proper rest regime. You can find that everywhere and I'm not who should be talking about it. I'm here to tell you what happened to me and my daughter went we left Cuba in 1998.

There are not direct flights from Cuba to USA, direct flights are from Miami to Havana and are booked in Miami. Most of the time you have to fly to another country, usually Mexico, Bahamas or Cayman Islands in a Cuban Airline and then switch to any other country airline flying to USA. In our case we went via Cayman Islands and from there we took a British Airline to Miami.

It was a cloudy day since we left Cuba and very rained when we arrived to Caiman Island. The Cuban plane when we where approaching that island was trembling making all kind of noises. The noises that you hear when metal moves against metal. Everybody was sick around me, vomiting and praying when they were not vomiting. I was scared and prayed, prayed like I never have done it in my live. I'll never forget that feeling in my stomach every time that the plain moved down and up within the clouds, and the noises, those noises like somebody was tearing apart the plain.

In Caiman Island we rested for a few hours and then we took the British Airplane. My daughter was crying like I was punishing her forcing her to take that plane. An animal that she already hated it. The plane took off and little by little she started to calm down until she finally smiled, the most beautiful smile that I ever have seen in her face. Then she looked at me and said something that I'll never forget: Papi, this is a real plane.

If you are reading this because you already surrendered to a night of pleasure in Havana. Please, remember what my 10 year old daughter said to me. Fly in a real plane.

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