Dmitri Prieto’s Diary

Welcoming Inflation in Cuba

November 28, 2014 | 2 comments

Two weeks ago, the Cuban television program De economia y mas (“The Economy and More”) tackled the issue of inflation. Since such issues have never before been discussed in Cuba outside of expert circles, the show took me by surprise.

Forgetting Cuban Independence General Quintin Bandera

November 13, 2014 | 2 comments

Can facts that have already been brought to light be shrouded in silence once again? What forces are at play in that vague and surreptitious power that places the freedom we have conquered in chains, makes us forget again and blocks the paths that words can trace?

WiFi in Havana?

November 5, 2014 | 11 comments

What is this sign really saying? The picture was taken at the entrance to the art gallery located in Havana’s Yara movie theater. Is the ad actually offering a service, or is it an artistic performance? Could there really be WiFi available to Cubans?

The Myth of a “Sustainable Primitive Community” in Cuba

November 3, 2014 | 1 Comment »

I attended a thesis defense on Cuba’s first inhabitants. It was a very interesting paper that compiled a lot of archeological data and studies conducted with advanced technologies. I will comment on a small debate that took place during the discussion of the paper.

On the “Physical Disappearance” of Cuba’s Historical Figures

October 28, 2014 | 9 comments

Ernesto “Che” Guevara was taken prisoner and assassinated on October 9, 1967 under orders from the CIA. We know this thanks to testimonies offered by the person who executed him. Why falsify the historical record?

Elegant Curves and Smiling Murderers, in Cuba and Elsewhere

October 21, 2014 | 1 Comment »

The guillotine was dull. That is why we had to use scissors to cut the heads off. One is hard pressed to find anyone willing to have their head cut off with a pair of scissors just like that, so they taught us a technique.

Who Are Cuba’s “Frikis”?

October 13, 2014 | 1 Comment »

Reading a recent Cuban sci-fi fanzine, I was very much surprised to find out that people referred to as frikis are the ones who take an interest in (and, in some cases, become obsessed with) science fiction, fantasy, Manga comics, anime, videogames and comic books in general.

Are Private Secondary Schools Emerging in Cuba?

September 30, 2014 | No Comments »

A brochure handed out in Havana’s neighborhood of Vedado offers a “package” of refresher courses for high-school students. Parents are invited to pay between 5 CUC (Math only) and 15 CUC (Math, Spanish, Physics and Chemistry) a month to ensure their “son or daughter becomes a university student”.

The New Cuban Habit of “Offering Apologies”

September 8, 2014 | No Comments »

To “offer apologies” is becoming a common practice in Cuba. Apologies, however, aren’t offered – they are asked for. To ask for someone’s forgiveness is a gesture of humility that stems from our awareness that we have done something wrong.

Chemo at Cuba’s Oncology Hospital is Free

September 2, 2014 | 3 comments

It was Friday afternoon and the bus stop was full of people. Suddenly, a Transgaviota bus pulled up to the curb and its doors opened. Maneuvering among the throng of people scrambling to board the bus, I managed to climb the steps of the vehicle but…