Back when I was still living in Cuba, white-skinned women were generally the ones fortunate enough to be able to climb the social ladder set up by the Cuban “de-evolution” – by marrying or becoming the lovers of “bigwigs” or high government officials.
Alexis graduated from a Cuban tourism school. He studied to become a chef for years and graduated with honors. In a number of competitions, his teachers praised his dexterity and good taste, as well as his cleanliness and ability to improvise and innovate. Alexis, however, hasn’t had much luck finding a job.
Cuban President Raul Castro recently acknowledged that “what we do isn’t perfect. Sometimes, lacking experience in some areas, we make mistakes. Cuba’s challenge today isn’t to try and restore that false image of unanimity but in creating spaces where people can participate in the country’s changes.
No one wrote the Colonel in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ novel – he never received the letter with the pension he was waiting for and ended up living in poverty. Similarly, no one [on the inside] is criticizing General Raul Castro’s “reform” program.
Aldo Menendez is a Cuban artist who left Cuba in 1991 and currently lives in Spain. There, he has organized a campaign “Raul Castro: Unrestricted Internet Access for all Cubans.” In Cuba, he was a member of the ArteCalle group and, in Miami, he created the visual arts space La Clinica del Arte (“The Art Clinic”). He is also the author of the book La Obra Entornada (“Half-Open Works”) and the blog Castor Jabao.
Havana is a city of loud people. No sooner has the sun risen (before the roosters start to crow) than yelling begins to be heard over every other city noise: the voice of the neighbor who wakes up those who have no alarm clock, the mothers getting their kids out of bed on school days, the street cries of the baker and screams of an elderly woman asking someone on the curb to turn off the water pump.
Two teenagers were talking at a bus stop. With the habitual idioms that characterize the parlance of a good many Cubans these days, one of them was showing off his IPhone 5, saying to the other: “Bro, this thing’s off the chart. Look at the cell my old man got me, it’s smokin’.
Trumpeted as a gathering of major importance, the 8th Congress of the Cuban Writers and Artists Association (UNEAC) to be held in April this year points towards the complete failure of the organization.
When I was fourteen, I got the crazy idea I wanted to learn to play the guitar. My parents didn’t have the money to buy me the instrument, so I decided to talk with Barbara, a friend of mine who lived in the building across the street and owned a Pablo Quintana guitar.
Raul Castro says a raise in salaries without an increase in productivity would lead to inflation. This may be true, but it is also true that Cuba’s economic inefficiency is not chiefly the fault of workers but of those who manage companies and head ministries.