The year was 1995. The Cuban economy was in shambles, and so were people. Suicide figures skyrocketed, until we were seeing more than 2 thousand cases every year and the phenomenon became a statistically significant cause of death.
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I once saw ethnologist Miguel Barnet, Chair of the Association of Cuban Writers and Artists (UNEAC), in a bout of ill-intentioned perplexity. He was giving the opening speech for a social sciences symposium that addressed the issue of illegal settlements in the capital.
There’s talk of an island about to wake up, a people who have managed to sleep through encroaching capitalist globalization. Starry-eyed accounts of Eisenhower-era Buicks and Chevrolets barreling down pot-holed highways and billboards proclaiming socialist slogans.
Represented by last season’s champs, Pinar del Rio, the Cuban Baseball Federation announced the team to play in the Caribbean Series in Puerto Rico this coming Feb. 2-8.
To mitigate the Cuban heat there is nothing like a sugar cane-grinding machine known as a guarapera and enjoying a cold jug of juice with bits of crushed ice. The juice of the sugar cane is a natural energizer rich in protein and calories.
Eyebrows went up everywhere on Tuesday (Jan. 20) when a Russian intelligence ship docked in Havana on the eve of the diplomatic talks between Cuba and the United States. Its arrival had not been previously announced by either the Cuban or the Russian government.
Starting on March 1, MasterCard credit and debit cards issued in the United States may be used in Cuba, ending one aspect of the blockade on financial transactions imposed by the US Treasury Department.
On several official occasions, the Cuban leadership has made mention of the so-called “Conceptual Bases of Cuba’s Socialist Economic and Social Model,” without going into these in any depth. From what we can infer, the government has set up a number of mysterious commissions now working on whatever it is they understand by this.
Roberta Jacobson and Josefina Vidal, diplomats from the United States and Cuba, respectively, decided to begin talks a day earlier than planned. After more than fifty years of confrontation, they decided to have dinner together at a private residence.
Our culture is heavily influenced by the United States. Even though we haven’t had close relations for many years, American culture continues to throb in our society. A bit of history may help illustrate why this is the case. (39 photos)