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Michael Hyatt's Photography
Cuba Portfolio thumbnail
My Cuba 1947-2017
Photographs by Michael Hyatt
DESCRIPTION & SAMPLE PHOTOS

In 2012 I made my first trip to photograph in Havana, Cuba with a Witness For Peace delegation. Our highly recommended educational tour there included visits to medical facilities, artist's studios and museums, lectures on the economy, organic farms, vocational schools and cultural events. I was inspired to go to Cuba by stories my mother told me about the time when my parents and I lived in Havana for 9 months during 1947. She was appalled by the extreme poverty, illiteracy and lack of healthcare for most Cubans. Years later she gave verbal support to the revolution and admired the changes Fidel Castro made to support most Cubans. The history of Cuba in the years following the revolution is too complex and controversial to generalize about here. Needless to say it’s a story of great fascination for me and one I enjoy sharing visually.

As stated, prior to the revolution most Cubans were illiterate and lacked basic health care options. Batista's repressive dictatorship favored American corporations and Mafia owned casinos. Cuba is now internationally recognized for high educational standards and universal health care. Since 1959 the basic needs of Cubans have mostly been met by the Socialist government. But the blockade, AKA embargo, the US government's weapon, among others designed to overthrow the Castro Regime, has placed an economic burden on Cubans without changing the regime. Recognizing this fact, the Obama administration moved to normalize relations with Cuba in late 2014. However, only Congress can end the blockade. All politics aside, doing so would help improve the living standard of Cubans in all walks of life.

I returned to Cuba in 2013, again in 2015, and most recently right after the death of Fidel Castro in late November, 2016. My plan for that trip was to explore the east end of the island. By chance my trip coincided with nine days of nation mourning following Fidel’s death on November 25th. I flew into Holguin on one of the first direct flights to Cuba from a US city, thanks to President Obama’s efforts to normalize relations with Cuba’s government. Also, by chance, my travel plans coincided with the three-day funeral procession that transported Fidel’s cremated remains by motorcade from Havana to Santiago, birthplace of the Cuban Revolution in 1953. Along the route from Holguin to Bayamo, part of what’s known as the Freedom Caravan highway that Fidel and other rebel fighters took to Havana in January 1959, I saw many supporters placing flags and commemorative photo banners in front of their homes. Preparations for Fidel’s expected arrival in Bayamo’s plaza were under way as well. School children and military cadets joined adults young enough to recall the historic events of 1959. Many waved small Cuban flags and expressed intense emotion when the flag draped coffin slowly passed by that evening on its way to Santiago. The next day I joined several hundred thousand at Antonio Maceo Revolution Square for a rally that included many foreign dignitaries and culminated in a speech by President Raul Castro. All around me that afternoon people paid homage to Fidel with dramatic shows of solidarity, especially during the singing of the national anthem, and with chants of Yo Soy Fidel (I am Fidel) and Viva Raul.

The balance of my 2016 journey included travels to Guantanamo, Baracoa, Mayari and to the birthplace of Fidel and Raul in Biran. As with previous trips in Cuba, I continued make portraits and street photographs in the social documentary tradition.


SAMPLE PHOTOS

Bayamo, Cuba 2016. Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Bayamo, Cuba 2016
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Bayamo, Cuba 2016. Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Route of the Revolution
Bayamo, Cuba 2016

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Bayamo, Cuba 2016. Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Mother & Son - Parque Cespedes
Bayamo, Cuba 2016

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Bayamo, Cuba 2016. Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Waiting For Fidel's Funeral Procession
Bayamo, Cuba 2016

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Bayamo, Cuba 2016. Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Camilo Cienfuegos, Hero of the Revolution
Bayamo, Cuba 2016

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Fidel's Remains - Bayamo, Cuba 2016. Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Funeral Procession for Fidel
Bayamo, Cuba 2016

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Bayamo, Cuba 2016. Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Grief at Passing of Fidel's Funeral Procession
Bayamo, Cuba 2016

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Santiago de Cuba, Cuba 2016. Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Santiago de Cuba, Cuba 2016
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Santiago de Cuba, Cuba 2016. Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Santiago de Cuba, Cuba 2016
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Santiago de Cuba, Cuba 2016. Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Santiago de Cuba, Cuba 2016
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Santiago de Cuba, Cuba 2016. Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Santiago de Cuba, Cuba 2016
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Guantanamo, Cuba (Cuba, 2016) Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Portrait of General Antonio Maseo,
Hero of the Independence From Spain Movement
Guantanamo, Cuba 2016

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Parque Antonio Maseo - Guantanamo, Cuba 2016. Photograph by Michael Hyatt
President Raul Castro
Parque Antonio Maseo
Guantanamo, Cuba 2016

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Parque Antonio Maseo - Guantanamo, Cuba 2016. Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Parque Antonio Maseo
Guantanamo, Cuba 2016

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Parque Antonio Maseo - Guantanamo, Cuba 2016. Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Parque Antonio Maseo
Guantanamo, Cuba 2016

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Parque Antonio Maseo - Guantanamo, Cuba 2016. Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Parque Antonio Maseo
Guantanamo, Cuba 2016

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Cupey, Cuba 2016. Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Santa Ifigenia Cemetery
Santiago de Cuba 2016

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Santiago de Cuba (Cuba, 2016) Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Santiago de Cuba 2016
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Cupey, Cuba 2016. Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Cupey, Cuba 2016
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Guantanamo, Cuba (Cuba, 2016) Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Guantanamo, Cuba 2016
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Guantanamo, Cuba (Cuba, 2016) Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Fashionable Youth and Santeria Priest
Guantanamo, Cuba 2016

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Guantanamo, Cuba (Cuba, 2016) Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Guantanamo, Cuba 2016
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Jose (Baracoa, Cuba 2016) Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Jose
Baracoa, Cuba 2016

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(Baracoa, Cuba 2016) Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Baracoa, Cuba 2016
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(Guantanamo, Cuba 2016) Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Child Mother
Guantanamo, Cuba 2016

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(Guantanamo, Cuba 2016) Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Guantanamo, Cuba 2016
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Jorge Luis, Guantanamo, Cuba 2016 Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Cockfight Alley
Guantanamo, Cuba 2016

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Angelina & Gabriel, Nicaro, Cuba 2016 Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Angelina & Gabriel
Nicaro, Cuba 2016

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Mayari, Cuba 2016 Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Mayari, Cuba 2016
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Elisa & Dimitrio<br />Tacamara, Cuba 2016. Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Elisa & Dimitrio
Tacamara, Cuba 2016

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Dimitrio<br />Tacamara, Cuba 2016. Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Dimitrio
Tacamara, Cuba 2016

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Eveline & Roberto (Holguin, Cuba, 2016) Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Eveline & Roberto
Holguin, Cuba, 2016

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Confluence (Trinidad, Cuba, 2013) Photograph by Michael Hyatt
Down the Street
Trinidad, Cuba, 2013

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Cobblestone Futbol Trinidad, Cuba 2015. Photo by Michael Hyatt.
Cobblestone Futbol
Trinidad, Cuba 2015

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Trinidad, Cuba 2015. Photo by Michael Hyatt.
Confrontation
Trinidad, Cuba 2015

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Cuba Libre
(Trinidad, Cuba, 2013) Photo by Michael Hyatt
Cuba Libre
Trinidad, Cuba, 2013

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Alberto, Trinidad, Cuba 2015. Photo by Michael Hyatt.
Free Enterprise
Trinidad, Cuba 2015

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1955 Chevy Bel Air-Trinidad, Cuba 2013, Photo by Michael Hyatt
1955 Chevy Bel Air
Trinidad, Cuba 2013

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Iglesia Santa Ana, Trinidad, Cuba 2015. Photo by Michael Hyatt.
Iglesia Santa Ana
Trinidad, Cuba 2015

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Trinidad, Cuba 2015. Photo by Michael Hyatt.
Trinidad, Cuba 2015

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Che at the Job Site
(Ciunfuegos, Cuba, 2013) Photo by Michael Hyatt
Che at the Job Site
Ciunfuegos, Cuba, 2013

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Once a Dancer...
(Ciunfuegos, Cuba, 2013) Photo by Michael Hyatt
Ciunfuegos, Cuba, 2013
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Cathedral
(Ciunfuegos, Cuba, 2013) Photo by Michael Hyatt
Cathedral
Ciunfuegos, Cuba, 2013

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Land of Plenty, Ciunfuegos, Cuba, 2015. Photo by Michael Hyatt.
Homeland Promotion
Ciunfuegos, Cuba 2015

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Countryside,  Cuba, 2015. Photo by Michael Hyatt.
Flamboyant Tree, Country Road
Cuba 2015

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Free Enterprise - Regla, Cuba 2012 Photo by Michael Hyatt
Free Enterprise
Regla, Cuba, 2012

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Calabaza Grande
Calabaza Grande
Regla, Cuba, 2012

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Sweet & Sour - Novia del Mediodia, Cuba, 2012, Photo by Michael Hyatt
Sweet & Sour
Novia del Mediodia, Cuba, 2012

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May Day, Revolution Square
Havana, Cuba 2015, Photo by Michael Hyatt
May Day, Revolution Square
Havana, Cuba 2015

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May Day, Revolution Square
Havana, Cuba 2015, Photo by Michael Hyatt
May Day, Revolution Square
Havana, Cuba 2015

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Framed Portrait of Eduardo Chibas & Museo
Abel Santamaria director Sariosha. Photo by Michael Hyatt.
Framed Portrait of Eduardo Chibas
& Museo Abel Santamaria Director Sariosha
Havana, Cuba 2015

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Evis Survives Selling Peanuts-Havana, Cuba, 2015. Photo by Michael Hyatt.
Evis Survives Selling Peanuts
Havana, Cuba 2015

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Columbus Cemetary-Havana, Cuba 2015. Photo by Michael Hyatt.
Columbus Cemetery
Havana, Cuba 2015

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Playing for Tips on the Malacon-Havana, Cuba, 2015. Photo by Michael Hyatt.
Playing for Tips on the Malacon
Havana, Cuba 2015

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Afternoon-Havana, Cuba, 2015. Photo by Michael Hyatt.
Melodrama on the Malacon
Havana, Cuba 2015

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Mother's Day Shopping-Havana, Cuba, 2015. Photo by Michael Hyatt.
Free Enterprise - Mother's Day
Havana, Cuba 2015

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Young Love on the Malecon, Photo by Michael Hyatt
Young Love on the Malecon
Havana, Cuba, 2012

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Fortune Teller, Photo by Michael Hyatt
Fortune Teller
Havana Viejo, Cuba, 2012

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Havana Viejo, Cuba, 2015. Photo by Michael Hyatt.
Havana Viejo, Cuba 2015
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Raul Castro - Santa Clara, Cuba 2013, Photo by Michael Hyatt
Raul Castro
Santa Clara, Cuba 2013

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Che - Santa Clara,  Cuba 2013, Photo by Michael Hyatt
Che
Santa Clara, Cuba 2013

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Dr. Ernesto Guevara-Santa Clara, Cuba 2013, Photo by Michael Hyatt
Dr. Ernesto Guevara
Santa Clara, Cuba 2013

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Che - Matanzas, Cuba 2012, Photo by Michael Hyatt
Che
Matanzas, Cuba 2012

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Sanctu Spiritus, Cuba 2015. Photo by Michael Hyatt.
Sanctu Spiritus, Cuba 2015
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Cafeteria-Sanctu Spiritus, Cuba 2015. Photo by Michael Hyatt.
Cafeteria
Sanctu Spiritus, Cuba 2015

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Casa Particular-Sanctu Spiritus, Cuba, 2015. Photo by Michael Hyatt.
Casa Particular
Sanctu Spiritus, Cuba 2015

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Woman with Child, Sanctu Spiritus, Cuba 2015. Photo by Michael Hyatt.
Sanctu Spiritus, Cuba 2015
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Carniceria, Sanctu Spiritus, Cuba 2015. Photo by Michael Hyatt.
Carniceria
Sanctu Spiritus, Cuba 2015

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Bodega, Sanctu Spiritus, Cuba 2015. Photo by Michael Hyatt.
Bodega
Sanctu Spiritus, Cuba 2015

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Taxi, Remedios, Cuba, 2015.  Photo by Michael Hyatt.
Taxi
Remedios, Cuba 2015

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Remedios, Cuba 2015. Photo by Michael Hyatt.
Remedios, Cuba 2015

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Francisco Carrillo Primary Schooll, Remedios, Cuba 2015, Photo by Michael Hyatt
Francisco Carrillo Primary School
Remedios, Cuba 2015

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Maria, Remedios, Cuba, 2015. Photo by Michael Hyatt.
Maria
Remedios, Cuba 2015

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Homes, Cardenas, Cuba, 2015. Photo by Michael Hyatt.
Free Enterprise - Home for Sale
Cardenas, Cuba 2015

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Land of Plenty, Cabagan, Cuba, 2015. Photo by Michael Hyatt.
Land of Plenty
Cabagan, Cuba 2015

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