Cuba: The Limits of Truth

August 26, 2014 | 1 Comment »

I wonder what kind of debate we would have if everyone exposed what they are protecting from the word go, where everyone was aware of their unavowed commitments, and whether that could be a point of departure for change, beyond cyberspace, in the tangible Cuba.

Cuba: One Ration Booklet, Different Bread Rolls

August 26, 2014 | 1 Comment »

Until some time ago, I thought everyone got the same daily bread roll in Havana. Then I discovered that I was wrong: the quality of the bread one gets depends on where one lives. This is not officially established, of course, but it happens this way in practice.

Cuba: A Way of Dying

August 26, 2014 | 1 Comment »

She has high blood pressure and has a blood pressure monitor on a small table next to the door to her house, in case she has to leave for the hospital in a rush. She checks her blood pressure obsessively several times a day.

Experienced Cuban Teacher Publishes Piano Playing Manual

August 25, 2014 | No Comments »

We hadn’t seen one another in several years. I ran into him on Obispo street in Old Havana as I was coming out of work. We started talking after the initial surprise wore off. We talked for two hours. Among other things, he told me he’d been giving piano lessons to young people in Boyeros for ten years.

Cuban Music: Neither Rap Nor Reggaeton

August 25, 2014 | No Comments »

A sign calling amateur artists to participate in a “Cuban music” competition (inclusive of “traditional songs, son, ballads, boleros and guarachas”) explicitly excludes rap and reggaeton as eligible genres. The organizers of the contest are evidently clear on what qualifies as “Cuban” music and what does not.

Unexpected Happiness in Venezuela

August 23, 2014 | 4 comments

I haven’t felt the inclination to write about my experiences among Venezuelans for some time now. When one’s happy, you see, one tends to forget everything else. And I couldn’t be happier, because, in addition to the joy I always feel, I now I have the joy of feeling right at home, feeling as though I were in Cuba, that is.

Homosexuals in Cuba: Some Do the Harm, Others Bear the Blame

August 21, 2014 | 6 comments

It was the fifth time I’d gone to the dentist’s that month. I’d gone that afternoon because I had an appointment, but the person who’d made this appointment for me hadn’t gone to work that day, so I had to go back another day.

Cuba’s “Sandwich Generation”: Looking after the Sick and Elderly

August 21, 2014 | No Comments »

For six years, I lived with two elderly women (my grandmother and her sister). It was the saddest time in my life that I can recall. The Special Period crisis had hit us hard and we didn’t have the conditions needed to care for them at home.

Cancer in Cuba: The “Collateral Damage” Hypothesis

August 21, 2014 | 1 Comment »

Since 2012 and following a consistent rise in incidence, cancer has been the chief cause of death in Cuba. The public officials responsible for divulging this news have assured us this doesn’t have to do with the spread of the condition but with a decrease in the incidence of the former main cause of death: heart conditions.

Ebola in Cuban News

August 20, 2014 | 2 comments

The African continent is again making news and these are again far from good. The world is talking about a new outbreak of the Ebola virus in Western Africa, the worst since the disease was discovered near the Ebola river, in the Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), in 1976.