‘Park Fantasia’ in Oriente, Santiago de Cuba province, is a ghostly Cuban version of the famous American amusement park, and it is a poignant reminder of the state of the country.
A life sized cartoon-style statue of George W. Bush as the devil is set amongst odd symbols of economical achievement (such as a stylised space ship rocket) and popular Western Disney-type characters, which actually symbolise the American way of life that average Cubans desire to have.
The other part of the ‘Park Fantasia’ is more educational, focusing on prehistoric animals
and the beginnings of mankind. Both areas are deserted, with only a few passers-by;
mostly un-employed Cubans who live in the neighbouring villages, trying to make a living
or just kill time in this hurricane Sandy devastated area.
Cuba itself is a kind of Disneyland. What attracts tourists most about Cuba are
exactly the things that are bizarre and otherworldly - the buildings in Old Havana that are falling apart, the old American cars, the simple way of life - driven not by choice but necessity and far less romantic then it sounds.
The spooky ‘Disneyland Cuba’ symbolises both the promise of change, and the absurdity and the failed Utopia of the country - Seven Dwarfs are admired by a lost donkey, while a shepherd relaxes under a shade of a Pterodactyl.