Our friendship began almost a decade ago. Every night, returning home from work, I would find him lying on the dirt near the bus stop – old, scrawny, his skin covered with disease, slow in his gait, hungry and, most noticeably, sad, very sad. No one was able to tell me where that sorry-looking beast had come from.
Erasmo Calzadilla’s Diary
When I was a kid, my grandfather used to take me to the planetarium in the Sciences Museum inside Havana’s Capitolio building. I was excited about astronomy at the time, but I almost never got to enjoy or learn anything there. The problem was that we would coincide with groups of hyperactive brats brought from nearby schools on field trips.
After Fidel Castro decided to take part in the war in Angola in the mid 1970s, any Cuban who had the required age and build could see themselves transformed into an internationalist soldier overnight. Thousands lost their lives in that war and no few returned home with incurable traumas.
A few days ago, while wandering down the streets of Old Havana, I came upon a very strange scene. In a quiet little backstreet, there were about a hundred men and women in military formation, standing at attention. So many people in one place, dressed in the deep red of Venezuela’s Ribas Mission, is a striking spectacle in and of itself.
I recently had the immense pleasure of meeting Isidro Estrada, one of Havana Times’ vanguard commentators, in person. Our compatriot has been living in China for about fifteen years. He decided to hop on over to his native soil for a bit and we set up something of an ambush for him.
Cyberspace has been the stage of a bitter debate between Cuban anarchists and democrats for some time now. I’ve managed to keep my eye on the ball as it flies from one end of the court to the other from time to time, but, when the “battle of ideas” gets too intense and convoluted, it makes my head spin and I lose track of the match.
In a previous post, I wrote that an economy that grows by a certain, steady percentage over time is experiencing exponential growth. I feel this issue deserves some additional lines, because no one seems to know exactly what this means or what its consequences are. Even the mathematicians seem a bit confused on this issue.
Cuba’s totalitarian apparatus seeks to perpetuate itself, following in the footsteps of the Chinese elite. The least any suicidal individual who chooses to strike this apparatus kamikaze style deserves is our support. Let’s hope that Carasses’ daring gesture was a seed that will tomorrow bear a lush tree.
It’s true that the Cuban revolution focused much of its efforts on the countryside, but it is also true that, in exchange for this, it demanded that the countryside become revolutionary.
For some years now, Cuban television viewers have had the “pleasure” of seeing three new faces in the field of international political analysis: Walter Martinez, the host of Telesur’s program Dossier, Oliver Zamora, who has a light opinion segment in the Sunday news and Cristina Escobar, the new host of Cuba’s nightly Round Table program.