Irina Echarry’s Diary

For a Less Alienating International Women’s Day

March 8, 2017 | No Comments »

In Cuba, I believe that there is still a lot to be done in all spaces; in the home and in public, as well as the personal sphere. In order to demand change, we need to leave behind our apathy and ask ourselves what our wishes and inconveniences are.

Vinales Isn’t a Paradise for Everyone

February 21, 2017 | 1 Comment »

All of a sudden, for work reasons, my trips to Pinar del Rio no longer have that young guerrilla spirit of camping out in the mountains and eating snacks. Now, I have been going to places which I couldn’t afford out of my own pocket: rentals, restaurants, cafes; where everything is paid for in CUC. (8 photos)

Where will the Pressure Cooker Blow?

February 2, 2017 | 6 comments

No, I don’t want to go to Cuba, I’m not going to sit down damn you, shouted the young man who was standing, holding fast onto the seat of the plane that was taking him back; this was his way of resisting the force of Mexican immigration officials.

Cuba News Flash

January 16, 2017 | 1 Comment »

When I left Alamar, nobody, including myself, knew anything and I found out about the news when I got to Vedado: the “wet-foot/dry-foot” policy had been revoked. I know that things aren’t always black and white, there are grey areas.

Leaving Cuba… Where To?

December 15, 2016 | 8 comments

In 1994, when trucks carrying homemade rafts were used to go past my building and head towards the coast, I couldn’t imagine that the story of balseros (rafters) in Alamar would be repeated over so many years. Here are some recent situations I witnessed.

Over Fried Foods in Cuba: Slow Death or No Big Deal?

October 15, 2016 | 1 Comment »

Dawn breaks. The odor of refried oil seeps into my apartment, Mayra is refrying the croquettes that were left over from yesterday. Children line up around her cart with fried goodies, bread with croquettes and fried “crabs” filled with guava, to satisfy their morning cravings, before they go to school.

A Hunger Strike in Cuba That Should Matter to All of Us

September 5, 2016 | No Comments »

Not just because he’s a human being, but because he’s putting his life on the line in order to demand a universal human right that all of us Cubans should be fighting for: the right to publicly oppose the government without being repressed.

Cuba’s Strange Machismo

August 26, 2016 | 7 comments

Maura almost crosses herself whenever she hears her neighbor shout at her boyfriend in the middle of the street. If I do that to Jose- she exclaims -, nobody will be able to save me from the beating he’ll give me; we have to respect our men.

Don’t Go Looking for What’s Meant for You…

August 2, 2016 | 2 comments

It doesn’t matter if you are more or less attractive, shy or flirtatious, if you dress one way or another; the fact you’re a woman forces you to put up with…

If Reggaeton’s what you want, go ahead!

July 12, 2016 | 6 comments

Over the last couple of days, in sessions held by the National Assembly, our congressmen and congresswomen have “debated”, among other issues, the current state of our society and its immediate future.