Jorge Milanes’s Diary

A Kid in France that Could Be Confused…

January 27, 2015 | No Comments »

My whole family is worried about the recent terrorist attacks in France. Twenty years ago, my sister married a man of Gallic origin and lives in France with my three nephews (the twin sisters Yeica and Yennife and the younger of the three, Julian), with whom she came to visit us in 2014.

Cuba: A Change in Mentality

January 21, 2015 | 2 comments

“We have to wait and see how things develop,” some people are saying down here. This is very true, because the mental and economic infrastructures developed in the course of more than fifty years cannot be changed overnight.

Chasing After Concrete Blocks in Cuba

January 7, 2015 | 5 comments

“The trucks bring 600 concrete blocks a time,” Belkis says to me with a rude tone of voice. “That’s fine,” I reply. “But there’s something I don’t quite understand: the time these materials are received and how they are sold.”

A Cuban State Subsidy to Repair One’s Home… and Go Insane in the Process

January 2, 2015 | 5 comments

After two years of requesting a State subsidy to finish some construction work at home – work I’d been unable to complete for financial reasons – the municipal government in Habana del Este finally approved the aid, for a value of 48,394 Cuban pesos (or US $ 2,419).

Rescuing Cuban Dance Traditions

December 30, 2014 | 1 Comment »

In Cuba, a great many teenagers and young people – and even those who are not so young – prefer to listen and dance to reggaeton music instead of casino, a dance tradition that is part of our identity. For a very long time, casino was Cuba’s popular dance par excellence.

The Most Beautiful Woman in my Neighborhood

December 13, 2014 | No Comments »

She flung open the gate and rushed out to the street wearing a beautiful black dress, picture hat and high heels. Was she going to a party? A heavy, afternoon downpour had drenched everything. I was waiting for the rain to stop at a bus stop.

Eating Fish in Cuba

December 9, 2014 | 2 comments

“I guess you don’t have a hard time finding fish, since you live in Cojimar,” a friend at work who lives in the neighborhood of Cerro says to me. Yes, that is what everyone assumes. One would assume that fish would be the main source of food in Cuba, geographically surrounded by water as it is.

Cuba’s Vanishing Culinary Traditions

November 12, 2014 | 4 comments

Last night, my neighbor treated me to a homemade dessert that left me speechless – a true delicacy. Her husband had brought a bit of cow’s milk from the countryside and, using half of it, she made a curdled milk sweet.

Cuba Goes from Motels to Rooms for “Quickies”

November 5, 2014 | 3 comments

“Osmel, do you know anyone who rents out rooms for the night?” “You mean, for quickies?” he replies, trying to clarify my question. “I’m asking because your house is on a busy avenue, Via Blanca. You could set up a business like that.”

My Neighbor’s Death

October 29, 2014 | No Comments »

“Did you hear about the accident that happened on the Monumental roadway half an hour ago? Two elderly mulattos driving a beige Moskovich at high speed ran into an electrical post. They say they’re from your neighborhood.”