Veronica Vega’s diary

Cuba: Memories of Endless Underdevelopment

April 22, 2014 | 1 Comment »

Watching Cuban filmmaker Tomas Gutierrez Alea’s legendary Memories of Underdevelopment (1968) with my son, I somewhat cynically mused that the author of the novella on which the film was based, Edmundo Desnoes, could have said much more on the subject – hell, he could have written a whole saga and even a soap opera.

Like Stars on Earth

April 18, 2014 | No Comments »

Although I don’t watch a lot of television, I think that the most familiar aspect of Indian culture promoted here are the products of Bollywood. These Indian films repeat the same formula over and over again: sentimental songs, an ultra-standardized type of beauty and every kind of figurative cliché in a dazzling visual vertigo.

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.