Dmitri Prieto’s Diary

Conservative Mentalities and Cuba’s Exchange Rates

July 15, 2014 | 1 Comment »

Many years ago, the US dollar – then on a par and freely exchangeable with the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) – was valued at 20 Cuban pesos (CUP). With time, the value of the CUC went up (or that of the CUP went down).

Linguistic Misunderstandings in Cuba

July 7, 2014 | 1 Comment »

I had met with some friends at the park in front of Havana’s main bus terminal. It was hot, and I headed down to the station to buy a bottle of pop. I asked the clerk for one the way I normally do where I live: “Could I have a “shell” of Tu-Cola, please?”

I Support Federalization (For Cuba As Well)

June 26, 2014 | 6 comments

That whole business of “partisans of federalization” is a politically correct phrase used by Russia’s official media to refer to activists (some of whom have formed armed contingents) currently fighting the Kiev government in eastern Ukraine.

The Day My Cuban City Was Occupied by the Military

June 23, 2014 | No Comments »

My mom had asked me to buy some tomatoes for lunch, but a big combat helicopter had just landed on the field of the baseball stadium behind our apartment building. It was a camouflaged Soviet chopper with insignias that aren’t used by the Cuban military.

Cuba’s Largest Overseas Diaspora is the Least Known

June 17, 2014 | 9 comments

Much of the data collected during Cuba’s last Population and Housing Census, conducted in 2012, has now been published. One of the questions in the census was the place of birth of those surveyed. There was a space on the questionnaire where the person’s country of origin could be registered.

She Is One of My Readers

May 26, 2014 | 2 comments

In this day and age, where we co-exist with an Internet that is too virtual, slow and expensive for Cuba, we have become accustomed to having readers that are, in some way, just as virtual as the web. She is one of my readers.

Blessed Are They Who Work for Peace

May 20, 2014 | 3 comments

The world we see in the news today is a world torn by civil conflict. I ask myself: what could someone who is professedly opposed to war and to leaving things in the hands of the powerful do in the face of all this? Can one do anything at all?

Cuba: Proletariat or Precarious

May 14, 2014 | 5 comments

The word proletariat historically refers to a class that lacks property and possesses only its offspring. In classic capitalism it’s used for the working class, who according to Karl Marx are free in two ways: as free people (that is, never slaves) and free of property.

Socially Useful Spy Satellites

May 8, 2014 | 4 comments

We find ourselves immersed in a growing atmosphere of scandal regarding government spying on the digital signals generated in the public or private lives of citizens, chancellors and presidents. E-mails are read, telephones tapped, lists of cell phone numbers are sold among companies.

Cuban Capitalism Already Has a (Human?) Face

May 1, 2014 | 4 comments

Among the many believable characters in the recently released Cuban film Conducta – a film that has already begun to receive international recognition – we find one that is especially realistic. Ignacio likes to call things by their name and has a very clear idea of everyone’s private interests.