We have had bridges since prehistoric times; our need to shorten distances and to cross streams and rivers gave rise to them. According to those who are interested in unraveling history, the first bridge may have been a tree that was used to span two riverbanks. Later on, wooden planks and stones were used, and as time went by and the need to span rivers and facilitate transportation grew, we improved our techniques, eventually building the great bridges that today join mountains, cross bays and connect large cities and even countries.
The world’s most famous bridges include: the oldest, Ponte Vecchino (Florence, Italy); the longest, Lake Pontchartrain Causeway (New Orleans, USA); the highest, Millau (Aveyron, France); the most-photographed, the Golden Gate (San Francisco, USA); and, of course, the Ponte del Sospiri (The “Bridge of Sighs,” Venice, Italy), all of them unquestionably admirable and inspiring great masterpieces.
However, in my humble opinion, the distances that are most difficult to overcome are not those created by nature; they are those created by human beings, the ones that separate us from each other, and put us on the opposite side of our desires and happiness. For example: arrogance, bitterness, political and ideological differences, and apathy.
And we should also mention distances and separations that are imposed or self-imposed; restrictions and measures that create divisions, such as those that prevent us from moving about freely as we like. For example: the measure that prevents my friends Jonathan, Edward, Félix and Dan from experiencing, along with me, Varadero beach, due to the current restrictions that prevent U.S. citizens from traveling freely to Cuba.
One does not have to be a great engineer or architect to join our two banks, to counteract these psychological and distorted distances. All that’s needed is to find the individual determination to build strong, real bridges of dialogue and communication, integration, participation, friendship and love.
OnCuba aspires to somehow shorten that distance a bit, to build bridges of connection, understanding and tolerance. Hopefully, that is what we are achieving.