You are so right - the amazing thing is how much ordinary people can accomplish.
Most recent example - the Cuban peasant woman, Irania, who cleaned up a dump heap and turned it into The Garden of Eden - captured on camera by CNN. Was awarded the Save the Planet $l0,000 prize. BUT our government prohibited CNN from giving the money to her - gave it to Unicef instead.
Kristi Weeks, a friend who has been to Cuba on several occasions, with delegations which included her husband and children as well) visited Guantanamo, saw the Garden, returned to St. Augustine and as owner of a highscale beauty salon pledged to raise $10,000 for Irania. Their fashion show, with her staff as producers and modelers of crazy, gorgeous, outrageous creations using only recycled material (bottle tops, plastic bags, newspaper, used computer posters, etc.) raised not $l0, not $15 but $20,000 last Sunday evening. Admission was only $25 or $35 for a reserved seat. All the rest came from donations, program ads,and auctioning off several of the dresses -- the one, fitting like a body shield, made entirely of shiny bottle tops, went for $260. Another, entirely of sheer recycled Publix plastic bags, went for $200 -- amid cheers, applause, , incredibly happy vibes.
This effort, originally, to make Baracoa a sister city, was foiled mostly by ex Cubans from Miami who came in bus loads to our City commission meetings to defeat the initiative. So my son and daughter in law, Jo and Sali, with just a few others, opted to withdraw the resolution and go for it on a people to people basis. Six years ago. Since then, there have been some three delegations to Cuba each year, 20 40-ft. containers sent down, packed with humanitarian aid, art shows, books published, concerts, and more.
Ordinary people, accomplishing extraordinary things, for ordinary people. Amazing.