For more than half a century Cuba has been infamous for its politics, dominated by the enduring, if un endearing Castros. Whatever your political views, it is hard not to feel involved the moment you spark up a conversation with local people. I was amazed at the hardships people suffer just to go about ordinary business. Medical staff waiting by the roadside, often for hours, beholden to considerate individuals who would stop to offer them a lift , to and from their place of work. The rife black market, a necessity to enable foods banned by the Castro regime, to make their way onto the family table. The sense of sadness at this broken paradise island, crushed by a cruel dictator for so many years. More recently since 2002 the appalling atrocities and breaches of human rights leveled at prisoners incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay, just add to the feeling of desperation one senses among ordinary Cubans.