Irina Echarry’s Diary

On a Sunday Night in Alamar, Havana

June 3, 2017 | 2 comments

It’s 9 PM and the P3 bus hasn’t come yet. I’ve been waiting for half an hour already. Alamar’s dark streets make it easy for masturbators, drunks and attacks; yup, it’s definitely better to wait for the bus than go out there and tempt the devil.

One More Step Towards an Animal Protection Law in Cuba

May 22, 2017 | 1 Comment »

Just a week ago, the Cuban Association for the Defense of Animals called for a collection of signatures rejecting the crime that took place in Manzanillo. Almost 2,000 signatures were collected in just six days and there are still people who are interested in signing the petition so that animal abuse becomes a punishable crime.

Crime in Manzanillo: Will it Go Unpunished?

May 9, 2017 | 8 comments

For a few days now, there’s been a video that’s being going viral on social media: young people in Manzanillo burned a dog alive, in the middle of the street. Because of the precarious situation we have with the Internet, I haven’t been able to see it, but the truth is, I really don’t want to.

Support for Karla and Others Punished for Expressing Their Views

April 18, 2017 | 7 comments

We are at a critical juncture in history, the world is living through uneasy times. In Cuba, which many people consider a calm place where they would like to live if it weren’t for the depressed economy, we don’t escape serious problems either.

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.