Marta’s List

14ymedio, Miriam Celaya, Havana, 23 May 2017 — Her grey hair and blue eyes suggest a picture of a grandmother out of a children’s story, but Marta Cortizas is actually a native of Havana who, after emigrating to the United States, found a way to be useful to her countrymen. From her apartment in Kendall … Continue reading “Marta’s List”

Assassins, Accomplices, and Victims (II) / Ángel Santiesteban

Ángel Santiesteban, 2 September 2016 — After writing what will now be considered the first part of this post, and publishing it under this same title, I was arrested by State Security; however it was not the writing, and much less the visibility that it would attain in my blog, that was the real cause for the … Continue reading “Assassins, Accomplices, and Victims (II) / Ángel Santiesteban”

Assassins, Accomplices and Victims / Ángel Santiesteban

14 May 2016 — We are now looking at another anniversary of the execution of the young men who, in 2003, tried to hijack the Regla ferryboat and were shot by the dictatorship. As is well known, it was one of the most vile assassinations of the so-called “Cuban Revolution, on an extensive list that has … Continue reading “Assassins, Accomplices and Victims / Ángel Santiesteban”

Angel Santiesteban Released “For Now” / 14ymedio

14ymedio, Havana, 15 June 2016 — The writer Angel Santiesteban was released on Tuesday night after 30 hours of detention and having been taken to three police stations where he received all sorts of warnings and threats. Santiesteban told 14ymedio by phone that he was arrested around one in the afternoon on Monday, and released at … Continue reading “Angel Santiesteban Released “For Now” / 14ymedio”

The Submissive Members of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba / Angel Santiesteban

Abel Prieto is second from left. What could you hope for from an intellectual movement of a country that is convened to sign a book supporting the shooting of several youths who tried to abandon the country by taking boat passengers hostage? It’s worth adding that they didn’t hurt anyone, and that the foreigners who … Continue reading “The Submissive Members of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba / Angel Santiesteban”

Prison Diary LXII: Award-Winning and Censored Books / Angel Santiesteban

With the recent presentation in Europe of my novel “The Summer When God Was Sleeping”, which won the Internation Franz Kaka Prize for Novels from the Drawer, convened in the Czech Republic, and the resumé of awards which accompany me, you could think that I am a very lucky writer when it comes to awards, … Continue reading “Prison Diary LXII: Award-Winning and Censored Books / Angel Santiesteban”

Selective Ignorance: The Women Writers of UNEAC / Luis Cino Alvarez, Angel Santiesteban

To the wall! To the wall!* HAVANA, Cuba, March, www.cubanet.org  – Luis Cino Alvarez –   A worthy poet who has known how to confront decades of ostracism, Rafael Alcides, wrote, “Regrets and hopes for a new jailed writer.”  After the letter by Alcides, email notes of support signed by various writers in favor of … Continue reading “Selective Ignorance: The Women Writers of UNEAC / Luis Cino Alvarez, Angel Santiesteban”

Luis Pavon Tamayo: Symphony in Grey Minor / Norge Espinosa

It took five minutes of broadcast television for his brief resurrection to send a shudder to Havana. In January 2007, the first broadcast of Impronta (Imprint), a space that sought to the highlight relevant names of Cuban culture, generated amazement and protests. Those who saw this very short program couldn’t get over their shock or … Continue reading “Luis Pavon Tamayo: Symphony in Grey Minor / Norge Espinosa”

Abel Prieto’s Travels / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Miguel Luna drawn by Abel Prieto, in Viajes de Miguel Luna. “The day that rabble gets into the UNEAC*, we’re lost.” – Abel Prieto, from his Viajes de Miguel Luna What does a Minister of Culture think about when he turns into an author? What does he aesthetically cling to and what does he judge … Continue reading “Abel Prieto’s Travels / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo”

Rafael Alcides, Who is a Very Important Person / Regina Coyula

My husband is not just any writer.  He belongs to the generation known as “The Generation of the ’50s,” a rather arbitrary poetic grouping that started with Carilda Oliver (1922) and ran through David Chericián (1940). His generation’s peers — if they haven’t died or emigrated — have received the National Literature Prize and enjoyed … Continue reading “Rafael Alcides, Who is a Very Important Person / Regina Coyula”

Praise for the Cowardly / Wendy Iriepa and Ignacio Estrada

Havana has carried out a process of appropriation of post-Marxist nationalism, through a nearly mystic cult of the figure Jose Marti, at the same time attempting the depoliticization of writers and artists. The mechanism of terror employed by a dictatorship fails only with one social group: the intellectuals. It’s not necessarily that the intellectuals are … Continue reading “Praise for the Cowardly / Wendy Iriepa and Ignacio Estrada”

Cuba: A Country Being Auctioned / Angel Santiesteban

These days the Cuban nation should be crying and writhing in its own betrayal. It gives the sensation of a country winding down, that sells quickly, like someone trying to extract every possible benefit before leaving. For years it has been auctioning off its cultural heritage on the Internet. Works by leading artists who are not even alive … Continue reading “Cuba: A Country Being Auctioned / Angel Santiesteban”

MANIAS OF NOT MENTIONING MENCHÚ / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

SHE’S CALLED RIGOBERTA MENCHÚ Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo She’s called Rigoberta Menchú. And, with her pre-Colombian bird’s voice, wreaked havoc on the recently closed Havana International Book Fair. Rigoberta Menchú wanted to enjoy the presidential suite at the Hotel Habana Libre where they housed her. Addressed not only as the Prizewinner or the Plagiarism Peace … Continue reading “MANIAS OF NOT MENTIONING MENCHÚ / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo”

Message from Jorge Ángel Hernández / POLEMICA: The 2007 Intellectual Debate

About the text “A little ashamed of ourselves” by Luis Manuel Pérez Boitel, in response to “The crisis of low culture” of Francis Sánchez. My friend Riverón, Although I consider friendship one of the gifts that should be defended at all costs, I also think that standards about things that happen in life, art and … Continue reading “Message from Jorge Ángel Hernández / POLEMICA: The 2007 Intellectual Debate”

Good Worms and Bad Worms

It was Fidel Castro who, in one of his his typical vitriolic outbursts, during a speech on January 2, 1961 (in what was then the Civic Plaza, today Revolution Plaza), applied the epithet “worms” to those Cubans who dared to criticize his olive green revolution or who decided to leave their homeland. That day he … Continue reading “Good Worms and Bad Worms”