Jimmy Roque’s Diary


Cuba’s Renowned Ice-Cream Parlor & its Notorious “Hollow Scoops”

September 6, 2014 | 2 comments

Cuba’s official press and blogs have published several articles dealing with product thefts at Havana’s Coppelia ice-cream parlor. Specificially, there are reports of so-called “hollow scoops,” ice-cream that’s round and full on the outside but hollow on the inside.




Cuba: One Ration Booklet, Different Bread Rolls

August 26, 2014 | 4 comments

Until some time ago, I thought everyone got the same daily bread roll in Havana. Then I discovered that I was wrong: the quality of the bread one gets depends on where one lives. This is not officially established, of course, but it happens this way in practice.




Cleaning Havana’s “Malecon” Sea Wall on 8/16

August 15, 2014 | 4 comments

As many Cubans and foreigners gather along this coastal strip, especially the area between the US Interests Section and Old Havana’s Prado street, the water tends to be littered with garbage that are thrown onto the reef and sea. Here’s something you can do about it.




Havana’s Ocean Drive Protests: 20 Years Later

August 6, 2014 | 3 comments

Twenty years have passed since Cuba’s maleconazo, the demonstrations that took place down Havana’s ocean drive on August 5, 1994 – in protest of the extreme economic crisis the Cuban people were enduring at the beginning of the 1990s as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union.




Brazil’s Poor, the World Cup and TeleSUR

July 9, 2014 | 4 comments

I am not against having TeleSUR broadcast the World Cup, but I believe it should try to tackle the problems this sporting event has caused Brazil’s poor in a more in-depth manner. That should be its priority, for it is an issue that affects it’s raison d’etre, the dispossessed.




Too Far to Be Heard: Varadero, the other Cuba

May 21, 2014 | No Comments »

The 6th International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and Intersexual Association for Latin America and the Caribbean (ILGALAC) was held at Varadero’s expensive and luxurious resort in Cuba this year. I had the fortune and privilege of participating in the gathering as a member of Cuba’s Rainbow Project.




The Earth Trembles in Cuba

May 3, 2014 | 3 comments

At the close of the recent congress of the Cuban Workers Federation (CTC) president Raul Castro asked Cuban workers to “shake the earth” on this year’s International Workers Day with a giant parade. As requested by the boss, the streets of the island shook on Thursday.




Repression in Cuba during Times of Peace and Transition

April 7, 2014 | 3 comments

I first saw footage of an official act of reprisal (mitín de repudio) in Cuba in the Cuban film Memories of development. The footage showed a group of people beating up a person. The images were from the eighties, during the Mariel exodus. Seeing those images was painful.




Cuban Doctors Abroad: On Individual Responsibility

March 21, 2014 | 1 Comment »

Having worked on a previous mission abroad (ideally in Venezuela) is one of the requirements that Cuban medical doctors in Brazil’s Mas Medicos (“More Doctors”) program must meet. As such, all Cuban doctors were perfectly aware of the “protective” restrictions that apply within such programs.




Cuban Doctors in Brazil: Are They in the Dark or Not?

February 24, 2014 | 3 comments

Practically no Cuban working abroad as part of an international brigade contracted by the their government knows exactly how much the host country pays Havana for their services, but most content themselves with the money they get, which allows them to buy certain things they need and is always much more than what they earn in Cuba.