Irina Pino’s Diary

Cuba’s Inept Police

February 10, 2016 | 1 Comment »

Years ago, someone broke into my home in Vedado. I’ll give you a short version of the story. It was the early morning and the entire family was sleeping. I recall it was a very hot summer and that we used to sleep with the windows open – the mistake we would later regret.

The Human Thing

February 4, 2016 | No Comments »

La cosa humana (“The Human Thing”), a film by Gerardo Chijona, has just been released in Havana’s theaters. This comedy seeks to pay tribute to such mafia films as Coppola’s The Godfather and the US television series The Sopranos, where violence is the best means people find to solve conflicts.

Cuba’s Wild Tales

January 29, 2016 | No Comments »

In 2014, the Argentinean film Wild Tales won several awards at the Havana Film Festival. The movie is an oddly entertaining experience for spectators, who see the strings of violence move characters and are left with only two alternatives: to burst out laughing or feel aversion towards these.

On Appearances and Pedophilia

January 19, 2016 | No Comments »

The Austrian film Michael, telling the story of a pedophile, was recently aired on Cuba’s La septima puerta (“The Seventh Door”). I must say I had no interest in watching this film. The issue is repulsive and hard to swallow, but the critic’s introduction persuaded me to see the film.

Truths and Lies about Sex

January 12, 2016 | 1 Comment »

People tend to lie to their partners in matters of sex. Nothing is what it seems. I see marriages based on lies that nonetheless project an image of false happiness to others. Ups and downs are the norm and routine tends to be stronger than love, so feelings change despite appearances.

Cuba Libre in Local Cinemas

January 7, 2016 | 1 Comment »

Written and directed by Jorge Luis Sanchez, the story is set during the Spanish-Cuban-American war and the US occupation of Cuba that followed. The events are recreated through the eyes of two children.

Bland Flavors and Scams

December 30, 2015 | 8 comments

People speak of underground factories of every kind, which produce phony products that are ruining the reputation of genuine goods and helping stores steal from customers mercilessly.

Cuba’s Faux Christmas Celebrations

December 23, 2015 | 9 comments

Do people actually celebrate Christmas in Cuba? This is a tough question and every Cuban will likely have their own story to tell and share about the season.

My Own, Private Havana

December 18, 2015 | 3 comments

There’s a beautiful Havana out there. It’s the Havana sold to tourists, the one that appears on postcards, with startling architectural treasures, an abundance of hotels, beaches, restaurants and freshly-restored vintage American cars.

The Prostitutes I Met in Cuba

December 10, 2015 | 4 comments

In the 1980s, when I lived in Vedado, I met a number of prostitutes. Pepe, a gay friend of mine, would take me to their homes so I could trade items of clothing with them, which was a common practice at the time.