Veronica Vega’s diary

Some Thoughts on How Cuba Can Undo the Disaster

April 4, 2014 | 6 comments

While often I have heard that Cuba’s gradual moraI regeneration is unlikely in the short run, I began to reflect on what we could do if a legitimate will to change things existed (not only among the people, of course, but also within the government). These are the points I came up with…

Cuba and Beyond: The Thin Blue Line

March 24, 2014 | 3 comments

As one who spent her childhood watching the horizon that stretches past the ocean surrounding this island and thinking about the many who have left (and still leave) and the mystery of their inaccessibility, I’ve thought that blue line is a fatal demarcation for Cubans.

Cuba: the Invented Country

March 14, 2014 | 13 comments

A monopoly over information is power. I don’t doubt this, but the truth has its own wings. When I come to feel that we’re in an invented country, where mountains of drowned voices wander in the fog of omission, I recall the movie “The Truman Show.”

Abortion: Right or Alternative?

February 24, 2014 | 3 comments

In a recent post, fellow Havana Times blogger Dariela Aquique comments on the thorny issue of abortion. The piece focuses more on the right to abort than on the responsibility of avoiding an unwanted pregnancy, which ought to be the guiding premise.

Cuba: On Borrowed Dignity

February 12, 2014 | 5 comments

A friend who is about to take her first trip abroad tells me she has already packed her bags and that she’s borrowed nearly everything she’s taking with her. As we know, in Cuba, not even thirty-seven years of work in the public health sector gives one enough for a trip abroad…or to have things to pack.

Cuba: Our Daily Chick-Peas

February 2, 2014 | 2 comments

I recall my high school history teacher once telling us that, “before” (the revolution), chick-peas were used as pig fodder. This anecdote promted some rather nasty jokes and comments. It was the glorious 80s, but the thick, yellow soup was a common lunch or dinner dish on most Cuban tables.

Saying Goodbye in Cuba

January 23, 2014 | 3 comments

I thought I knew death – at once the negation and the complement of life – but I now feel obliged to admit I only had a mental image of death, a theory. True death, tethered to the intensity of one’s affection for the loved one we lose, is very different from this rational interpretation of death.

Cuba’s Elderly: Protecting the Last Leaf

January 20, 2014 | 4 comments

In The Last Leaf, the ill person, who would look out the hospital window from her bed and see how the winter winds stripped the leaves off an old climbing plant, became obsessed with the idea that her life would end when the creeper’s last leaf fell.

The Ways of the Lord in Cuba

January 7, 2014 | 26 comments

Every so often, early on a Sunday, two Jehovah’s Witnesses – the kind who, certain of their noble mission of saving souls, go from door to door confront all manner of reactions – knock at my door. Putting on my best face, I tell them that I believe in god but that I already chose my path.

Cuba and Diogenes Syndrome

December 30, 2013 | 1 Comment »

A woman who’s taken in a stray dog and eight street cats told me she saw a TV show that described the habit of having so many animals as a “condition.” “It’s called Diogenes Syndrome,” she said, somewhat embarrassed.