14ymedio, Marcelo Hernández, Havana | August 14, 2018 — While the word “communism” leaves the Constitution by the back door, in Cuba, Soviet nostalgia feeds all types of businesses. Around Plaza de Armas in Havana, various old people offer old medals obtained in the Soviet Union and small replicas of busts of Lenin that once decorated the offices of civil servants.
On Avenida del Malecón a private restaurant has been converted into an obligatory pilgrimage site for those who want to remember the years when the Russian bear embraced the island so strongly.
The privately-owned restaurant Nazdarovie sets out to offer its clients the experience of a journey through time, its walls decorated with matrioshkas, smiling workers from the extinct Eastern Bloc, and optimistic-looking kolkhozniks (Soviet collective farmers).
Founded by a Cuban who studied in the now-extinct country of the Soviets, the place combines, along with shots of vodka and a Russian menu, an iconography that at moments provokes laughter. Like the happy mix of the sickle with a glass of wine, which replaces the hammer in the emblem of the worldwide proletariat with something more hedonistic and fun.
On the spacious terrace, with the sea right in front, a red flag flutters to the satisfaction of utopians and to the amusement of passersby. Some come to take a photo with it, like a last bastion of the communist system that they once attempted to build in Cuba and that ended up defeated by the demands of the market, foreign currency, and the tourism of nostalgic ideologues.
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