Happy in Havana (Cuban version)

    A Made-in-Cuba version of the video clip “Happy,” by U.S. musician Pharrell Williams is circulating on the social networks and the alternative weekly audiovisual package.

featuredimage Cuba’s New Private Sector Employees Reveal Where the Reform Process is Heading

The Cuban government’s reforms continue to make slow, somewhat erratic progress and to evince a series of unique characteristics and tendencies that are food for thought. Let us recall, first, that Cuban politicians like to refer to this process as the “updating of Cuba’s economic system.”

featuredimage How to Break the Chains on Cuba’s Economy

The Cuban government-Party-State has acknowledged the poor performance of the country’s economy during the first half of the year. Criticisms among Cuban economists are more frequent. There is a consensus about the need to free Cuba’s productive forces.

featuredimage Homes in Miramar, Havana

While the sad state of buildings in many areas of the city stands out to any visitor or resident, there are those people in today’s Cuba who have the financial resources to keep up their homes. Today we bring you a small sample. (14 photos)

featuredimage The “Virtuous Circle” of Cuba’s Reforms

The slow implementation of economic reforms in Cuba is justified with the argument that the government does not want to make any mistakes. Every step taken is allegedly preceded by a pilot test used to evaluate the consequences of the change. This is doubtless a new way of doing things in the country, in which concrete results matter more than inspiration. Many Cubans, however, have grown impatient, because the waiting period is sometimes longer than what they deem necessary.

rightcolimage Havana’s G Street and its “Magic Grass”

Some good friends of mine refer to the spot on Havana’s G avenue they habitually sit at “The Magic Grass.” It’s the only affordable and desirable place where an entire night can be spent with a guitar and a bottle of wine?

rightcolimage “Poor Me”: On Life in Cuba & Abroad

My friend Paula wrote me from the United States. “People are strange here, it’s not like down there” she told me. “Where we live, people are really snobbish. No one even looks at anyone. To many, we’re just a bunch of dirty immigrants…”

rightcolimage A Popular Hangout in Alamar, Havana

I called a friend. We agreed to meet up at an establishment very close to a place people call the “Curve”, in Alamar, to have something to drink and talk. The first thing that struck me when I went out was the profound darkness that envelops this part of the city.

rightcolimage My Friend Lazaro: The Dreams of the Common Cuban

At 35, Lazaro is a Cuban like many others, a good person without great ambition, that is, someone with a run-of-the-mill job and rather humble income. He has a girlfriend whom he very much wants to marry.

rightcolimage A Favorite Havana Beach and its New Visitors

Years ago, the small 16th Street beach in Miramar, Havana, was a very popular spot. People, particularly the very young, travelled far to go swimming there and enjoy its peaceful atmostphere. It was a place where beauty and youth met.

rightcolimage Cuba’s Organic Urban Gardens Now Cater to Private Businesses

Though I am surrounded by large urban organic gardens where I live, putting fresh, healthy food on my table is becoming harder every day – and not precisely because of the prices. Aimed at benefitting the low-income population, they are now the chief supplier of Havana’s private restaurants.

rightcolimage A Cuban’s Visit Abroad and Eternal Dissatisfaction

I have a neighbor who travelled to Italy on an invitation from his daughter, who left Cuba 15 years ago, when she married a foreigner. His only son also lives there. He had planned a three-month stay, but, a week after arriving…

rightcolimage Holy Chocolate: On Agro-Industrial Speculation in Cuba

Drinking hot chocolate in Cuba is almost a privilege, an exotic experience, an act denoting social prestige. Few Cubans would believe that, for the longest time, hot chocolate was one of the most popular breakfasts in the country. Once the companion of people’s morning toast, it has become a true culinary luxury.