Osmel Almaguer’s Diary

My First Book Gets Published in Cuba

April 14, 2014 | 5 comments

I am 34 and about to have my first book published. I’ve been in this writing business for 17 years, struggling to get ahead, trying to get my foot in the door here and there, and the truth is that it hasn’t been easy.

The Cuban Passion for Baseball

April 8, 2014 | 1 Comment »

Good or bad, Cuban baseball continues to awaken the heated passions of sport fans. This is especially true during a post-season involving Havana’s Industriales team, the “emblem of Cuban baseball”, as people have become used to saying.

Alamar, Havana’s Dog Cemetery

March 18, 2014 | 3 comments

Some time ago, I recall having written about my neighborhood’s dog cemetery, a stretch of land at the outskirts of Alamar where residents had, of their own will, begun to bury their dead pets, a place that had been vandalized by insensitive people and institutions.

A Cuban Sports Hero Retires

March 13, 2014 | 1 Comment »

A Cuban taekwondo giant said farewell to the sport some weeks ago. I am referring to Angel Valodia Matos, Cuba’s first Olympic champion in the discipline. He looked happy before the cameras, expressing his gratitude for the tribute paid him by the people and authorities of Holguin.

Our Personal Space in Cuba

February 19, 2014 | 2 comments

A kid was playing with his soccer ball near the spot where we were waiting in line to buy bread. Not far, his parents kept an eye on him while they talked. The ball flew very close to me several times but the kid’s parents never said anything to him.

No Facebook or Gmail

February 12, 2014 | 4 comments

For about two months now we haven’t been getting Facebook or Gmail at the Pabellón Cuba internet locale. The people using the facilities – offered free to members of the Association Hermanos Saiz – are worried and don’t know what is happening.

A Dog’s Day in Cuba

January 9, 2014 | 17 comments

My uncle has a dog on a leash in his back yard. Though I’ve often heard him bark, I have never once seen him wag his tail. The poor creature has a very hard life, at the mercy of the rain, the cold and his fleas.

Hidden Defects: Swapping Homes in Cuba

January 2, 2014 | 2 comments

Though exchanging a house or apartment with “hidden defects” is punishable by law in Cuba, people continue to do it (and successfully, in more than 90 percent of cases). Hidden defects are all such flaws a household may have which are concealed when the property is shown to its future resident.

Reparing a TV Antenna in Cuba

December 28, 2013 | 1 Comment »

Imagine you don’t have a broad range of recreational options for the evenings that came after long days of work, that your one alternative is TV programing and that this is the one means of warding off boredom in the time spanning dinner and bedtime. Now, imagine your television set doesn’t have very good reception.

Returning to Isla de La Juventud

December 13, 2013 | 2 comments

Though I thought I’d gotten over the enthrallment that this island and its people invariably inspire in visitors, I couldn’t help but feel, again, as though I were in heaven, a place where poetry, music, love and friendship ruled the roost. For four straight days, I lived on the edge, almost without sleeping…