Tropical Storm Isaac pushed over Cuba on Saturday after sweeping across Haiti’s southern peninsula, where it caused flooding and at least four deaths, adding to the misery of a poor nation still trying to recover from the terrible 2010 earthquake. Isaac’s center made landfall just before midday near the far-eastern tip of Cuba, downing trees and power lines. In the picturesque city of Baracoa, the storm surge flooded the seaside Malecon and a block inland, destroying two homes. We were on our way from Toronto to Havana at that time, when the plane suddenly made a Isaac-related U-turn. Upon arrival finally in Havana, there was still heavy weather, but nothing like a hurricane. I shot these photos in Cienfuegos, shortly after the hurricane had hit Cuba.
The practise of communism, wherever regimes chose it, brought downright human, social and economic failure. However criticized by foreigners and by its own people, this is not the case in Cuba. People are, to our standards, poor, yet, I have never anywhere seen such conviviality. This makes Cuba, to me, a confusing experience. In four series, I try to depict the country as I saw it, the Cubans, those who did not or cannot leave the country, as I got to know them: warm-hearted, very hospitable people with a great talent for survival.