Vignettes of Havana

    Havana, named one of the seven wonder cities in the world, turned 496 on November 16 this year. The Cuban capital is a place brimming with contrasts, life, colors, beautiful and not-so-beautiful things – a diverse and cosmopolitan city that captures and seduces visitors. (30 photos)

featuredimage Protest in Cuba at the Ecuadorian Embassy

Hundreds of people flocked to the Embassy of Ecuador in Havana on Friday to protest the South American country’s sudden decision to require visas for Cubans starting next week. (10 photos)

featuredimage Lines at Cuba’s Banks and State Offices

Cuban filmmaker Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti recently told the BBC that, “unlike the rest of the world, going to a bank in Cuba right now can be a highly traumatic experience.” Endless lines of people, power cuts, problems with the “server” and inhumane treatment can make customers waste an entire morning.

featuredimage Major Cuban Art Theft Nets Arrest in Greece

The latest major art theft from the Cuban National Fine Arts Museum now has a suspect, arrested in Greece, reported the official Havana press on Wednesday. The Athens Police said the man will appear before a prosecutor on Thursday in the Greek capital.

featuredimage Ecuador Closes Open Door to Cubans

Ecuador informed on Thursday that it will close its open door to Cubans by requiring a visa as of December 1st. Deputy Foreign Minister Xavier Lasso said the move is geared to curb “the dangerous route” used by Cubans to travel to the United States. Ilustration: granma.cu

rightcolimage A Few Enjoyable Documentaries

Documenting the intensity of real life is a way of transforming our experiences through art. There are many ways to achieve an interesting documentary, a genre that, despite being less popular than fiction, has many avid followers, myself included.

rightcolimage Cuba’s Patron Saint, Watch Over Cubans Everywhere

For one reason or another – and through one means of another – several of my young cousins, nearly all of my friends from university (most of them close friends), some neighbors and even acquaintances from my junior and senior secondary days have left the country.

rightcolimage Is it a Crime to Go for a Walk with a Foreigner in Havana?

I still haven’t managed to let go of the anger or overcome the surprise. While strolling down a street in Old Havana next to a foreign friend of mine, a police officer stopped me to ask me the most ludicrous questions I’ve heard.

rightcolimage Illustration Biennale Closes at Gallery in Alamar, Havana

The 10th Los Puentes Illustration Exhibition closed this past November 19This biennale gathers visual artists who wish to exhibit works related to published literary pieces and/or that could be used to illustrate these. (16 photos)

rightcolimage The Third Time Was Not the Charm

These days, I’ve been recalling a two-part post I wrote for Havana Times, titled Cuba’s Horizontal Gravity. I’ve also been thinking about this force that restricts our movement across the world, not unlike the physical force that tethers us to the Earth.

rightcolimage A Call to Break the Silence

They say that Cuba’s Citizen Insecurity apparatus – i.e. State Security – has threatened to put an end to the Sunday rallies organized by a group of government opponents. Could we be about to witness a kind of (less intense) Black Spring?

rightcolimage My Warring Havana Neighbors

It’s said that what a writer sitting in front of a blank page needs is for his muse to come down and inspire him. I don’t put much stock in that. What I personally need to write a good story is absolute peace and quiet.

rightcolimage On The Crisis of Cinema

It’s becoming more and more difficult to find a movie I like these days. Comedies – at least the kind of US comedies we get here – seem only to compete in terms of vulgar, obscene and scatological jokes.