Yusimi Rodriguez

Cuba: A Question of Principles or How to Silence Debate

May 23, 2016 | 18 comments

Seeing the word “debate” in a headline of Granma, the official newspaper of Cuba’s one legal political party, may be encouraging…but only until one reads the title of the article in its entirety: “Rules for Debate, or a Question of Principles,” by Rafael Cruz Ramos.

Chanel in Havana, Cuba.  Foto: Style Blog
Havana Before the Aroma of Chanel Fades Away

May 18, 2016 | 3 comments

People in Havana are still talking about the Chanel fashion show, sharing the occasional bit of gossip, an anecdote, something that bothered them. However, no one has anything to say about the 2016-2017 Cruiser collection that Karl Lagerfeld brought to Prado Street.

Did the Revolution End Racial Discrimination in Cuba?

April 15, 2016 | 7 comments

The United Nations designated March 21 as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. This year, Cuba’s official media, tasked with covering (and criticizing) US President Barack Obama’s address in Cuba, made absolutely no mention of the day.

Alberto Gonzalez (r) was one the Cuban small business owners invited to a meeting with Barack Obama on Monday March 21, 2016.  File Photo/ Juan Suarez
Comparing Cuba and the USA through Obama

March 23, 2016 | 5 comments

Alberto Gonzalez isn’t certain whether he was chosen to take part in this meeting with Obama because of the wide coverage he’s enjoyed on the Internet or because the wife of the US ambassador is one of his customers and an admirer of his homemade breads.

Afro-Colombians demanding to participate in the peace process.  Photo: elespectador.com
The Colombian Peace-Process and African-Colombians

March 7, 2016 | No Comments »

Strolling around Cartagena, surrounded by tourists, both national and abroad, seaside hotels, rows of restaurants and coffee shops, enormous malls, fruit and craft stands – in short, by prosperity–, it’s easy to forget this city is located in Colombia, a country with a legacy of decades of violence, drug trafficking and armed conflict.

Cuba and Selective Amnesia

February 22, 2016 | 6 comments

Yesterday, I talked for hours with a close friend from Havana who came over and whom I hadn’t seen in over ten years. My friend had been an irredeemable opponent of the system. He had a different problem with the authorities almost every day.

Why in Cuba Does a Rapist Await Trial Outside of Jail?

February 2, 2016 | No Comments »

On the night of Friday, January 29, Cuba’s Educational Channel aired an episode of the police series Tras la huella (“Chasing Clues”) titled “Tarara.” Not two minutes had gone by before my mother and I realized it was a dramatization of an incident that shook the country in 1992.

“The Reconquest of the Useless” – Interview with the Filmmakers

December 19, 2015 | No Comments »

Over thirty years ago, the German director Werner Herzog filmed his most important movie, “Fitzcarraldo”, which earned him the 1982 Cannes Festival award for best director. The film tells the story of Brian Fitzgerald (Fitzcarraldo), an eccentric man so obsessed with the opera that he decides to build a theater in the Amazon jungle. Apparently one lone conquest of the useless wasn’t enough to confirm the uselessness of the entire process.

The Art of Being a Woman

December 15, 2015 | No Comments »

I first saw her at Havana’s Café Amor, or the Karabali, as many of us continue to call this nightclub. Others may be more theatrical, cleverer or have a more refined sense of humor, “but Chantal is the most beautiful of all,” my friend Alexandros had told me…and he was right. (20 photos)

Innovative Havana Baker Expands Menu to Attract Diners

October 13, 2015 | 4 comments

How long can a world-renowned chef who has won the Michelin Star (among other awards) content himself with running a bakery in Havana? We’re not talking about any bakery. We’re talking about Salchipizza, whose owner, chemical engineer and master chef Alberto Gonzalez makes the kind of bread that hasn’t been prepared in Cuba for a long time, making the Sylvain and Pain de Paris local chains look like amateurs. (21 photos)