Last July, after three and a half years, I returned to Cuba to find my country three and a half years older, dirty and backward. I couldn’t have received a better welcome…
Alfredo Fernandez’s Diary
It would seem that all Cubans over forty have been left with nothing but their memories. Leaving, surviving and – most importantly – remembering are verbs that seem to apply to nearly all Cuban émigrés.
On March 11, 2015, the Cuban government officially ceased to consider me a citizen of my native country. That’s right, I am now a citizen of nowhere, something along the lines of a tropical Palestinian.
A very wise person called Guayaquil the last redoubt of the Caribbean. I don’t know whether it’s because its full name is Santiago de Guayaquil, but the truth of the matter is that I’ve felt at home here since arriving, like in my own Santiago, Santiago de Cuba, that is.
I find it incredible that the Cuban documentary Gusano (“Scum”) already has over three hundred thousand views on YouTube. This, which is impressive in and of itself, is quite remarkable for a Cuban film, for, once on the Internet, it is deprived of its natural audience.
I left Cuba exactly one year ago and during this time I’ve had to adapt to life in Ecuador. I would now like to summarize a number of things I’ve seen, things I thought were unique to Cuba and now see they are, regrettably, not limited to my country.
For some time now, I’ve found myself longing for the book-burning inquisitors of old to come back. Yes, I’m serious: I’ve caught myself fondly remembering those who, during medieval times and early modernity, made huge pyres of “dangerous” volumes.
Talent still comes to the fore and gold nuggets twinkle in the trash. In the audiovisual and graphic production course I teach, I asked my students to put together an educational spot on a subject of their choosing as an assignment.
Following a rather unexpected turn of events, the organizers of the Puños Arriba (“Raised Fists”) Hip Hop Concert secured a positive response from authorities after staging a protest in front of the Cuban Music Institute (ICM) at noon on December 10.
“How could anyone in Latin America not know El Chavo del Ocho (often shortened to El Chavo)”, an Ecuadorian friend asked me after talking to me about this Mexican sitcom a few days ago. I had never heard about this super-famous comedy program. I looked for it on YouTube and saw it for the first time.