About Cuba for the First Time

New York, N.Y. At the beginning of September this year, the World Tournament of “The 2nd World Thermal Therapy” will be realized. Organized by the health minister of Cuba, doctors and scholars from more than 20 countries around the world will present on hyperthermia at the Havana Conference Center. I remember the first time I visited Cuba in 2014.

Humble and happy people in Cuba

Interact with Cubans

I flew from Lima to Havana via Panama City. At that time, I could not fly directly to Cuba from the mainland of the United States. The opposite was also true. I stayed in various inns for experiences and tried to exchange with the Cubans.

The currency was the same as the former community sphere I used to visit, with two rates, one for tourists and one for local Cuban people. Unlike other Communist nations, there were two types of peso banknotes in Cuba that are clearly different in design, one for Cuban and one for foreigners. We foreigners can not use local pesos anywhere. For most things the price was fixed, the room charge was 30 pesos per night in Havana, 25 pesos in other cities, breakfast was unified with 5 pesos. Foreign pesos are more than 25 times the price of local pesos. That means that the Cubans can buy anything in one-twentieth of us.

The most significant difference between past past community experience and Cuba is that the Cubans seem to be less afraid of the country’s threat. Even by meeting foreigners, the people of other countries were afraid, in Cuba they wanted to talk very much with foreigners and the conversation was bright and free. There seems to be little oppression of speech and human rights. The Cuban who is in America exiled from Cuba naturally does not tell the truth

Huge signs and posters depicting political slogans often seen in other countries were not on the street or the expressway. Sometimes I see the poster of Choi Guevara, but it was surprising that there were no posters of Castro in ordinary shops, restaurants, and offices. Running on the highway in the city of Havana and on the outskirts was a very refreshing feeling. Because there is no advertisement trying to sell something.

Mankind has enthusiasm for success in any society. This is the natural appearance of human beings. In a capitalist society, this is often economic success, political power, desire for an influential and well-known position.

As there is no “economic success” in the capitalist society in Cuba, goals are set for personal fulfillment. Because economic superiority is impossible, people are satisfied with accomplishing things better in their field, rather they seem to aim for self improvement in that field purely. This will produce great physicians, dancers and athletes. Alicia Alonso’s wonderful ballet group

One evening, I went to a performance by young dancers most Alicia Alonso Ballet Company (Cuba National Ballet Company). I was surprised by the wonderful ballet team. Especially, there are many talented male dancers! I have been promoting for more than 25 years, so I am confident in my judgment. My eyes are fertile. Bringing the Cuban National Ballet Company to the U.S was once my dream. Of course it could not convince the US Department of State and it did not come true …. Alicia Alonso was a blind dancer, but he made the best ballet team in the world. The tradition still lives in Havana

Everyone we met in Cuba was very nice people. I am kind and compassionate, thankful to everything, and I am humble and western monetary greed. I did not see any hungry people either. Sick people are often nursing, basically the citizens are well care.

There were two very impressive meals on this trip. Home cooking at home of someone who visited the airport before leaving at the airport. Another was a meal on the street where many Cubans come to eat. There is no table, no chair, no waiter. The old man is making amazingly delicious Cuban cuisine for men alone. I sat down on the street and ate it. I will never forget the dish of this old man. Since then I went to Cuba for the 10th time, but I am always very happy and fun.

World Competition “The 2nd World Thermal Therapy”

@ Cuba-Havana Conference Room

Period: Monday, September 3 – Friday, September 7

Doctors and scholars in more than 20 countries will present about hyperthermia.

Originally published as Vol. 37 in Weekly Biz, July 28, 2018; translated by Jim Luce.

See: Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura Column in Japan’s Weekly Biz



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About Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura

View all posts by Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura
Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura
Dr. Kazuko was born into a distinguished old family in Kyoto, Japan, and graduated from Toho conservatory of Music in Tokyo. In 1961 she came to U.S. as a pianist sponsored by the Boston Symphony. She studied at Boston University, New York University, and received her Ph.D. in Oriental Medicine from New York State University and the International Academy of Education in Tokyo. From 1968 to 1992, she promoted cultural exchanges from East to West and vice versa, and became a world famous impresario, producing 2,000 events each year all over the world encompassing over 140 countries. In this connection, in 1972, she went to Dharamsala to find the lost Tibetan Folk Opera, and met His Holiness the Dalai Lama, with whom she remains a lifelong friend. In 1973 and 1991 she arranged and funded personally the tours of the Folk Opera of Tibet to the West. She has received many medals and honors from different countries. Her tireless life long work in Philanthropic field is vast and well known ranging from Save the Beacon Theater, Save the Boat People, Help the Homeless, natural disasters of earthquakes and tsunamis, as well as relief to AIDS and HIV positive children in Africa. She has been a dedicated Board Member to both the J. Luce Foundation and Orphans International for years. Her work focuses on the Tibetan people; Tibetan children remain especially strong in her heart. She raised fund for the new academic building for Manjushree Orphanage in Tawang, India and supported many aspects of the school. See HuffPo pieces entitled Japanese Holistic Healer in NYC to Build School for Tibetan Orphans in India, A Japanese Dinner with Raul Castro’s Daughter, and NYC Gala in Support of Tibetan Orphans Set for January.

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