Most of the photographs were taken on my first visit to Havana in December 2002. The reason for my visit was ostensibly to photograph at the jazz festival but it was actually an escape to a place that had been on my mind for as long as I could remember.
I arrived late at night on a flight from Paris, and at that time Havana really was a different world. You could buy live lobsters in the airport if you wished.
During the day, and some nights I wandered around the city with a pair of Leicas photographing the people and their city.
On the first day I took pictures in The Museum of the Revolution - the former Presidential Palace with its opulent interior designed by Tiffany Studios of New York.
It's a very interesting place. Wax figures of Che Guevara and fellow revolutionary Camilo Cienfuegos emerging from the jungle, the engine from the U2 spy plane shot down during the missile crisis. Beautiful wooden sculptures and exquisite chandeliers.
In the late afternoon of the same day I went to a small bar on a square were there were hundreds of people lining the streets along with limos, armoured cars - and lots of soldiers and assorted heavies eyeballing the crowd, I had stumbled upon Fidel Castro.
I decided not to approach El Comandante - no sense in getting shot on the first day.
For reasons of personal safety, and I photographed him from the bar.
Unbelievably I actually have Fidel Castro's email address.
He was cc'd in a round robin email sent to me and many others by a Cuban journalist with whom I had become friends after meeting him at the jazz festival.