Irina Pino’s Diary

Cuba: “Much Remains to be Done”*

September 29, 2015 | 3 comments

President Raul Castro’s speech during the Global Leaders’ Conference on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women: A Commitment to Action was very well received by participants. I don’t know whether everyone gets a courtesy applause, no matter what they say, but he got quite the ovation.

An Unforgettable Al Pacino

September 26, 2015 | No Comments »

Seeing Al Pacino in the film The Humbling, from director Barry Levinson, is nothing short of spectacular, where the theatre is his character’s raison d’être; a medium which saw his professional development in his early beginnings, and to which he occasionaly returns to work.

Helping Others Should Be an Anonymous Task

September 23, 2015 | 2 comments

“How poor am I really? How impoverished is my inner world?” These were some of the questions posed by Pope Francis during his homily at the Havana Cathedral, on the afternoon of last Sunday.

The Clitoris: A Beloved and Unexplored Organ

September 15, 2015 | 12 comments

There are plenty of men who fail to meet women’s expectations when the latter ask for oral sex. They make excuses, saying they fear contracting venereal diseases, even though there are many treatments that eliminate vaginal parasites.

Some Notes on High-Brow Cinema

September 8, 2015 | No Comments »

The industry resembles a sausage factory, where action and eye-candy are the one thing that matters. Messages of understanding, non-violence, personal growth and ethical values recede to the background.

Gay Issues in Cinema

August 31, 2015 | 1 Comment »

I’ve seen a number of films dealing with gay issues recently (a friend who buys the weekly “package” makes copies of these for me). These kinds of films (particularly those with sex scenes) are barely shown on Cuban television.

Cuba: Hello Wi-Fi

August 25, 2015 | 9 comments

I hope Wi-Fi services last in Cuba. It’s been a phenomenal idea to set up these networks, and it’s both curious and humorous to see people congregate to download information and videos and to chat with relatives and friends.

The Jesus Christ Who Is Not a Superstar

August 17, 2015 | No Comments »

More than forty years after its release, I was finally able to enjoy Norman Jewinson’s rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, featuring music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, now being screened at Havana’s La Rampa theater as part of a “rock golden age” retrospective.

The Forgetful People Who Leave Cuba

August 7, 2015 | 11 comments

Over time, it becomes clear that very few friends who leave the country remain in touch with those who stay. This is particularly true of those who leave for the United States. My friend “L” left three years ago.

Searching for a Boyfriend

July 22, 2015 | 3 comments

The idea of using Havana Times to find my friend a boyfriend isn’t an experiment but an attempt at finding an alternative for her. My friend needs a partner. Her loneliness and depression could harm her psychologically in the long run.