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When Castro Died...

We partied in the streets.
It's not kind to rejoice in anyone's death but  the Cuban exile community had been  waiting for Castro's demise or death for  almost 60 years. The rest of the world may think of El Che and Fidel Castro as heroic revolutionaries, but we know better. Castro was a tyrant who ruled through oppression and propaganda. He and his cronies, like El Che, executed thousands of innocents by firing squad and jailed countless others simply because they opposed them. Castro took away people's hard-earned businesses and properties, my grandpa, mi viejito lindo, being one of them. He brought sugar and all other production to a standstill, made it difficult for people to find and afford food, and brought a previously economically successful country to depend on foreign aid from the Soviets, and when that didn't pan out, oil from Venezuela. He made it illegal for people to leave the country, forcing millions of people to flee via makeshift rafts. Those who were lucky left while it was still legal or as young children in the "Peter Pan" Operation, in which parents made the desperate decision to send their children to the states alone. My mom was supposed to be one of them but my grandma backed out. Instead they came in the "Freedom Flights" of the 60s and 70s, but she and my grandpa had to "buy" their way through forced agricultural labor for three years. My dad came in the 80s through the Mariel boatlift, the last time Fidel opened the floodgates for all those "gusanos" (pejorative term meaning "worms" to refer to those who opposed the communist regime) who wanted to leave. The raft phenomenon really exploded in the 90s and continues to this day. So many lives have been lost at sea, including Elian Gonzalez's mother who risked her life to bring her son to this country. Of course, the United States government cited with the communist father and returned the child to Cuba, where he was indoctrinated and made a national symbol and spokesperson for the merits of the regime. His mother's death was in vain.

Castro was a tyrant who ruled through oppression and propaganda.
And what are these so-called merits? Well, there's the fabulous health and education systems that Cuba boasts about. The world has swallowed this particular propaganda hook, line, and sinker. You see, supposing that Cuba has an excellent education system that has produced many doctors, nurses, engineers, etc., those doctors are exported to other countries such as Venezuela in exchange for their oil, and they love it because it's one way out. Everyone else who earns a professional degree ends up working in the tourism industry, whether at hotels or as drivers and so on, because there they can earn American dollars, which actually has real purchasing power in Cuba as opposed to their peso. As for the quality of Cuba's healthcare... It's laughable what they claim. The hospitals are dirty and always in dire need of medication and supplies, which are often sent to Cuba as remittances from American family members. 

So as soon as my dad and I learned that Castro had really died this time (he "died" so many times since 2006), we went straight to the unofficial headquarters of the Cuban exile community: Versailles  Restaurant. Never mind that it was 2 am--  the mayor had already asked the police to  close off that section of Calle Ocho so that people could gather. The city apparently had  a "Castro is dead" plan for years, and it  was finally happening. We stayed until 3:30, and the next day we went back for more.

Cuban Hipster-- check out that 'stache.
There were several Venezuelans celebrating in solidarity.
Me and Saavedra, a figure known to many in the Cuban exile community here in Miami. He's extremely vocal at Versailles and is often interviewed by the press anytime something happens with Cuba.
Speaking of the press, my dad was interviewed by a Japanese reporter. It was an international reporting event at good ol' Versailles.

Cuba was in official mourning for 9 days, culminating in the burial of Castro's supposed ashes yesterday. There are many videos showcasing the grief and devastation of his commie supporters. But behind those mourning his loss in front of the cameras are people who had to show face at these events or they'd risk outing themselves as opposers, which could lead to trouble with el comité (watchdog type neighborhood groups with eyes and ears everywhere), your workplace, the government. 

Yes we were celebrating Castro's death, but we were also celebrating in hopes of a new Cuba, one that is free to pursue economic, religious, and political freedoms it has been denied for almost 6 decades. Let's see what happens for my motherland now. Opening up the island to American tourism and business, plus this guy's death-- let's hope Cuba can make a new name for itself beyond the legacy of this communist mafioso who oppressed and murdered his people, reaped in all the benefits (he was worth $900 million-- talk about a humble communist), and conned the world.

My only regret is that mi viejito lindo and so many others died too early to see this day.


And hey, thanks for reading. Because this is a style blog... Here are my outfit details.

TOP: Tommy Hilfiger // JEANS: Denim & Supply // BAG: The Sak // AVIATORS: Francesca's Collections // FLATS: Target // LIPS: Sephora lip stain in Always Red 


Shoesday Tuesday: Nike Rainbow

*Click on the arrow to the right for the second page*

Longest Shoesday Tuesday I've ever done but I just couldn't stop myself once I started browsing these Nikes. Having "shoe game" is one of the most important superficial things for a born and bred Miami native. I have never been part of this club, because I've always preferred girlier shoes and I've also never had a reason to. But ever since I joined the gym in the summer I've been eyeing all the pretty workout gear on the bodies of people I will never look like. If I can't have their butts, at least I can have their workout clothes amirite? (No but seriously, the internal social comparison at the gym is not as intense as I imagined it'd be. Halleluyah).

But anyway, I started by investing in some VS sports bras during the semi-annual sale, then I moved on to leggings from Marshall's (great deals lemme tell ya), and now I'm thinking it's time for shoes. Hence this Shoesday Tuesday. I wanted to organize them by price, low to high, because that's how I shop always (budget life).  But those pretty colors were begging to be put into a rainbow, and also you can compare similar styles more easily this way.

These are the cheapest at $45.99.
And these mermaid colored beauties are the priciest at a hefty $225.

So there it is, the longest Tuesday Shoesday I've ever done. Are you into sneakers? Do you call them that, or tennis shoes? Fun fact: South Florida takes this term from our northeastern transplants. See below.

Fun Stuff Friday: Stylish Rain Gear (brought to you by Hurricane Matthew)

South Florida took Hurricane Matthew very seriously. We are a party people, but when it comes to hurricanes we know the importance of preparing (and maybe throwing a hurricane party indoors). But it ended up missing Miami-Dade County entirely. We've had worse storms this year that weren't hurricanes. Still, most offices closed here as of yesterday afternoon and everything else shut down today (rightfully so). Meaning that I had nothing to do but sleep, watch Netflix, and put together this rain-inspired Fun Stuff Friday because, though I hate rainy and stormy days, I do love rain gear!

I LOOOVE all these jackets. I actually don't own a rain jacket... or a bubble umbrella, which I've always wanted. Hmmm....

I do own the red TOMS (here's an outfit post with them and some recent photos below) and I get tons of compliments every time I wear them! Which is a lot, because it's always raining here. I wore them to work yesterday and 3 people complimented me on them and asked me where they're from. They're only $59, and the best part is they fit my wide calves!


Well, thanks for reading! Hope you liked my rainy day gear. And stay safe out there, northern FL, GA, and the Carolinas!

Anthropologist Style in Ancient Greece

Well hello! I started my new job and have fallen behind on my Mediterranean cruise sharing extravaganza. Today is all about our excursion from the port at Piraeus to Sounion and Athens. I begin with the Temple of Poseidon in Sounion and then we move on to the wonderful buildings of the Acropolis in Athens.

The beautiful Temple of Poseidon, as seen from the eastern side
For Athens and Pompeii I wanted to wear something very anthropologist-like. I was an anthro major in college, so it makes total sense. I went with this breezy blouse with an interesting print to it-- reminded me of the patterns in Ancient Greek vases. Such a nerdy thought process now that I think of it. I just really like matching my outfits to the places I'm visiting. Lol. Then I went for this white scarf with tassels from Francesca's, because it just seemed like something my archaeology professor (the amazing Dr. Geller) would have worn. The distressed jeans I did more for the modern aesthetic of Athens. I also added some dangly leaf earrings (like the leaves in the ancient Greek crowns!) which you can see in a selfie below, some aviator sunglasses (because aviators are the official explorer sunglasses in my mind), and my gray TOMS for comfort. Yeah, I take this travel dressing thing really seriously. 😂

PicMonkey Photo
Tour headset covering my LOFT arrow necklace!

Blouse: LOFT // Jeans: J. Crew // Shoes: Toms via Nordstrom
Scarf: Francesca's Collections // Backpack: Target // Sunglasses: LOFT
Necklace: LOFT // EarringsLOFT // Fitbit Charge HRTarget
Bracelets: Candles & Confetti bangleMaria Shireen hair tie bracelet,
Asos heart bangle (similar)

Click to continue reading!

Fun Stuff Friday: Kate Spade New York Minnie Mouse Collection

So apparently this collection has been out since March but I'm just now discovering it.
I was Minnie Mouse for Halloween in 1992 (a cute little toddler Minnie Mouse I was) and I guess you could say that's where my love for Minnie started. These Minnie creations are perfect for a trip to Disney but would also work great to add to your Minnie costumes on Halloween.  My two-year-old-self would approve. Especially of that shiny clutch. 😍

Kate Spade Minnie Mouse
I mean look how cute this clutch is!
P.S. Not my photo - photo source here