Maria Matienzo’s Diary


For a Compassionate Dictatorship of the Proletariat

May 6, 2013 | 2 comments

Is there compassion in socialism? Apparently there is, or so claims Mayra Espina, currently working as a researcher at Cuba’s Center for Psychological and Sociological Studies, located in Vedado, Havana. The question is the title of yet another public conference held in Havana’s Dominican convent of San Juan de Letran.




Toast to Freedom

April 30, 2013 | 2 comments

The fear of ending any relationship can be paralyzing. People aren’t only afraid of authority, they’re also afraid of change, of the unknown. Judging from the reactions of people around me, I can say Cuba’s situation now, faced with the prospect of change, is more complex than we’d imagined.




A Caricature of Angel Santiesteban’s Trial

March 21, 2013 | 1 Comment »

The last time I spoke with Angel, I told him to have faith, because the truth always ends up coming out. At the same time I wondered why a feminist had to defend an alleged spouse abuser. Were the accusations true? These questions didn’t make me doubt the innocence of Angel Santiesteban.




Living and Dying Like Sheep

February 4, 2013 | 3 comments

“I sit on the balcony of my house and do what everyone else does at the age of 33: I try to assess my life. What do I have to show?” That’s what Liudmila told me the last time we saw each other.




Cuba Immigration Reform and Faith Traps

January 30, 2013 | 9 comments

Whoever invented the law definitely knew the trap. Yes, we can now travel as tourists; but to leave, almost any country on the globe requires — in addition to applying for a visa — money in a bank account (in euros or US dollars) that back up one’s trip.




33 Years of Crisis

December 11, 2012 | 1 Comment »

When I’m an old woman I’ll be able to tell my grandchildren that I visited hell – and believe me, Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy fell short. Each person has their own version, just as my story isn’t a blank slate.




Yours Is My Kingdom

December 4, 2012 | 8 comments

I just read a book that’s chaotic, at least in appearance. Tuyo es el reino (Yours Is the Kingdom), by Abilio Estevez, was on my nightstand for months waiting in my line of books to be read. But if I had known how good it was, I swear it would have been among the first.




Zulu Wallets for and from Cuba

November 28, 2012 | 6 comments

I don’t know if from a stroke of good luck, but Cuban families are being forced to somehow recover from the economic disaster. Hilda Zulueta’s family is one of these.




Seeking Forgiveness

November 23, 2012 | 4 comments

The other day talking with Amaury (a member of Omni-Zonafranca) the subject of hate came up. I promised him that I ever time I could, I was going to write seeking reconciliation between all Cubans in the world, even though my writings are just a grain of sugar.




‘I’ am Very (Very, Very) Tired

November 17, 2012 | 2 comments

There was once a people that was so poor and miserable that they didn’t recognize themselves as being such.