Irina Echarry’s Diary

Dulcita with a friend.
Is Feeding Stray Animals Wrong?

April 29, 2016 | 18 comments

In Cuba, animals are at a disadvantage. No law protects them and there aren’t many humans involved in the struggle to get one passed. There are many of us who think one is needed, but not enough.

Women, the Revolution and Violence: A Happy Threesome

March 30, 2016 | 2 comments

“If I can’t have you, no one can.” Regrettably, the phrase wasn’t pulled out of a cheap soap opera but from real life. Those were the last words heard by the young, 16-year-old girl who, last week, stepped out of Alamar’s new cultural center with her boyfriend.

Endless Partying in Alamar, Cuba

February 26, 2016 | 1 Comment »

In the beginning, Alamar was a quiet neighborhood with horrible, densely-clustered buildings and plenty of vegetation. Far from the city center, it lacked an efficient public transportation network. The problem was overcome with a terminal with a number of bus stops that shortened distances some.

Food, Crowds and Books at the Havana Book Fair

February 16, 2016 | No Comments »

The news says that the 25th Havana Book Fair brings us a wide range of publications this year and that more than four million volumes will be sold. One of the books the public is anxiously waiting to get their hands on is Orwell’s 1984, which has been published in Cuba for the first time. (13 photos)

A New Trip to Pons, Pinar del Rio

January 25, 2016 | 3 comments

The same thing happens every time I visit Pinar del Rio. It doesn’t matter whether I go back in two years’ or two days’ time, the beauty of the landscape always makes a deep impression on me, particularly in Pons, a town in the municipality of Minas de Matahambre that is as beautiful – perhaps more beautiful – than Viñales. (19 photos)

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Cuba’s CDR Committees: Bringing Back the Dead

December 29, 2015 | 18 comments

There were no excuses: it wasn’t raining, people had been notified in advance, the meeting would be held before the sacred soap opera came on and the “visitors” would arrive early. We had only to wait until the clock showed 8 pm to start.

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December Jazz and Rain

December 26, 2015 | No Comments »

December always presents a varied cultural programming in Havana; between the Film Festival, Jazz Plaza, the new gallery exhibitions and celebrations for the end of the year, art lovers do not have time to rest. (12 photos)

Mudejar Music in Old Havana

December 18, 2015 | No Comments »

Recently while walking down dirty streets bombarded by the reggaeton music in vogue, I could not have imagined that, at the corner of the Alameda de Paula, I would be finding an enclave of peace and quiet. (10 photos)

Cubanos descansando en Costa Rica cerca de la frontera con Nicaragua.
The Positive Side of Cuba’s Migratory Crisis

November 30, 2015 | 4 comments

The Cuban government has had no choice but to televise a migratory conflict involving its own citizens. This time around, we aren’t seeing Syrians fleeing from NATO bombings or Haitians taking to the sea in precarious rafts, nor Africans flocking to Europe’s borders in search of a better life.

The Cubans were attacked by the Nicaraguan police and army last Sunday.
The Weapon of Disinformation in Cuba

November 19, 2015 | 8 comments

Once again, I was able to see how the government manages to keep people quiet and prevent them from questioning their predicament or demanding their rights. This isn’t accomplished at gunpoint, no. They use a different weapon: disinformation.