Cuba’s Customs and the Import Market

July 24, 2014 | 1 Comment »

An old joke says that, had Jesus Christ been Cuban, he would never have been crucified because, if you’re lucky to get your hands on a hammer in Cuba, you’ll soon find out that nails are few and far between and wood is nowhere to be found.

Confessions of a Cuban Plumber

July 22, 2014 | 5 comments

Last Sunday, I washed some rotten lentils down the drain and ended up clogging the pipe. I had no choice but to look for a plumber and pay to have it fixed. I called a plumber who had fixed a number of other things around the house, with whom I’d never exchanged more than a few words of greeting and the inevitable “how much do I owe you?”

Why Did Fidel Castro Recklessly Blame the Ukraine?

July 20, 2014 | 33 comments

In a show of gross political indecency, Fidel Castro accused the government of the Ukraine of having downed a Malaysia Airlines plane – without the slightest shred of proof. In his juicy diatribe, dated July 17, the impetuous Comandante mixes the downing of the airliner with Israel’s invasion of the Gaza Strip and throws Barack Obama into the mix.

Havana’s Siberia

July 19, 2014 | 5 comments

They gave us the keys to our new apartment in Alamar. The year was 1987. Even though the property title was the same as that of the other apartment in that sprawling neighborhood, even though it was located in a five-story tenement (without elevator) like the other place, the area it was in was significantly different to Zone 6, where we had lived until that point.

Fidel Castro Blames Ukraine and Israel

July 18, 2014 | 47 comments

In a short commentary published today in the official Cuban media, entitled “Astonishing Provocation”, Fidel Castro insinuates that the fault that a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane crashed on Thursday lies with the government of the Ukraine, the position taken by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The former Cuban president also lashes out at Obama and Israel for the hundreds of deaths in Gaza.

Cuba: Decolonizing the Subject for a New Citizenship and State

July 17, 2014 | 9 comments

A number of comments to my previous post – as well as other posts and their corresponding comments – suggest to me that we could profit from delving more deeply into the concept of “coloniality” as a means of formulating a new, Cuban society that is more just and inclusive.

Isbel Díaz and Mud-Slinging

July 17, 2014 | 1 Comment »

Havana Times blogger Isbel Diaz (ID) has honored me in a very special way: he has written a response to my previous article. For this I am grateful to him, particularly because, after writing that my article is misguided, misinformed and disinformative, biased, disrespectful and fraught with blunders (among other things), he shows the kindness of heart to affirm that the article is at least “interesting.”

The Russians Are Back in Cuba

July 17, 2014 | 8 comments

Few times does one witness – within the course of 50 years – a historical cycle like the one Cuba and Russia have just closed. Relations between the two countries will of course not be guided by the same parameters, but the fact of the matter is that Havana and Moscow are once again aware that they need one another.

Raul Castro’s Not-So-Innocent Slip of the Tongue about Russia

July 15, 2014 | 32 comments

“We support the current policy of firmness and the intelligent policies being pursued in the international arena by the Soviet Union – I mean Russia,” declared Raul Castro.

Cuba: Synecdoche of the LGTB Community

July 14, 2014 | 3 comments

I believe this step back – not only for the LGTB community, but for all of Cuban society as well – teaches us two things. The movement for the rights of different sexual orientations cannot continue to move forward in the shadow of the CENESEX, even if it considers this institution its ally. The second lesson has to do with Cuba’s rigid sectarianism.