Charter 77, Havel, and a Citizen / Regina Coyula #Cuba

A year after his death how does Cuban civil society view the former Czech president? Václav Havel (1936-2011) In 1977, for me, just as presented in the official propaganda, the future seemed to belong entirely to Socialism. We spoke of “discovering” our African heritage; being internationalists was to pay our debt to humanity. Deeply immersed … Continue reading “Charter 77, Havel, and a Citizen / Regina Coyula #Cuba”

The Common Enemy / Lilianne Ruiz #Cuba

My first surprise on arriving at the local bakery is to find the windows painted with congratulatory phrases for the new year of the Revolution. Revolution no longer looks like a word. It is the image of a beast with many eyes that devours the hearts of people. Last year it wasn’t like this, sometimes … Continue reading “The Common Enemy / Lilianne Ruiz #Cuba”

The Cuban Government is Increasingly Concerned / Anddy Sierra Alvarez #Cuba

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias announced that he will again have surgery for malignant cancerous cells found in in medical check up performed in Cuba. Cuban television interrupted regular programming on 8 December 2012 to let Cuban citizens know the current state of health of president Hugo Chavez. Chavez commented that he is having problems … Continue reading “The Cuban Government is Increasingly Concerned / Anddy Sierra Alvarez #Cuba”

Self-Portrait of a Hooker* / Iván García

It is Mayra’s first day on the street. The entire family is glad she is back. The atmosphere is very different from before, when she went to prison. Now her parents do not get upset when her eleven year old son tries to make them laugh with a stories about the comandante. Her mother, with … Continue reading “Self-Portrait of a Hooker* / Iván García”

Punching Bag / Rosa Maria Rodriguez Torrado

Cuban society is the crazy punching bag on which the Cuban leaders and the national media train, and sometimes beat up. If there is an epidemic of dengue fever or some other illness it’s the people’s fault because they don’t maintain adequate hygiene in their home and in the city; as if we were responsible … Continue reading “Punching Bag / Rosa Maria Rodriguez Torrado”

The Papal Mantle and The Red Mass – Reflections on the Pope’s Visit to Cuba / Yoani Sanchez

The miter leans slightly with the rhythm of the ritual, leaving his back exposed to the stone face of José Martí. On the table of the Mass, the chalice rests and reflects from its golden surface a relief of Che Guevara mounted on the facade of the Ministry of the Interior. Benedict XVI officiates mass … Continue reading “The Papal Mantle and The Red Mass – Reflections on the Pope’s Visit to Cuba / Yoani Sanchez”

A Summer Night’s Nightmare / Jeovany Jimenez Vega

This has been a rainy year in Cuba, and as if to do justice to the energy of this season, in Artemisa last Saturday afternoon it rained buckets including a concert of terrible thunder. An hour after having cleared up, around 5 PM, the guest who didn’t make it was seen approaching: the blackout. The … Continue reading “A Summer Night’s Nightmare / Jeovany Jimenez Vega”

The Energy Regression / Mario Barroso / Yoaxis Marcheco Suarez

By: Yoaxis Marcheco Suarez Two separate power outages last week, one on Monday from early morning until well past noon and the other on Tuesday night occupying the afternoon, made me reflect again on the subject that was so fashionable a few years ago while the eldest in the hierarchy still ruled over us. The … Continue reading “The Energy Regression / Mario Barroso / Yoaxis Marcheco Suarez”

Moving the Night with Margarita Rojo / Luis Felipe Rojas

Very few people appreciate the electrical blackouts today the way those of us who live in “deep” Cuba do. From 9:30 PM to 11PM, Radio Marti drops their Nightly Show with the hoarse voice of Margarita Rojo. It is a true exercise of proper fluency, immediacy, and information. It’s a collection of subjects which develop … Continue reading “Moving the Night with Margarita Rojo / Luis Felipe Rojas”

Hugo Chavez: Fidel Castro’s Bet / Iván García

Some might think that luck came to the aid of a beleaguered Fidel Castro, when back in 1998, the island economy was going down with an industry crippled by lack of oil, exports were in the toilet, finances in the red, international debt swelling, and expenditures of billions of dollars to feed 11 million Cubans … Continue reading “Hugo Chavez: Fidel Castro’s Bet / Iván García”

The Generator, Our Generator / Yoani Sánchez

It arrived in March 2006, in a few days before April launched its frenetic downpours against us. It came in a truck, immaculately new, brilliantly useful. It was our electric plant, our own generator, that would run the elevator and the hall lights when the blackouts cast their shadows over our area. We were saved. … Continue reading “The Generator, Our Generator / Yoani Sánchez”

WORDS AND THINGS / Lilianne Ruíz

When I was 17, in the midst of blackouts of the “special period”, I found a happiness in my heart. (I know what I’ve said but with a little patience you who read me will see where I’m going with this.) It is only possible to speak of this in a language that resists time. … Continue reading “WORDS AND THINGS / Lilianne Ruíz”


By K. Barth When we thought we had it all resolved and the Bolshevik godfather would guarantee life for ever and ever, the beginning of the end came. The old and apparently well-formed USSR fell apart; that happens with giants with feet of clay. I remember well the day I internalized the collapse of European … Continue reading “STORIES OF THE THOUSAND AND ONE PERIOD, Part One / Mario Barroso”

Don’t Play With The Ticket List / Fernando Dámaso

The authorities in my country are addicted to using general statistical figures to show the success of its economic, political and social model. I refer to the figures that may seem positive, as the negative ones are ignored as nonexistent. The first appear in big headlines, and all around them, is mounted a great media … Continue reading “Don’t Play With The Ticket List / Fernando Dámaso”

Dream Havana / Miguel Iturria Savón

The American Gary Marks’s stay in Cuba, from 1998 to 2002, and his contacts with segments of our intelligentsia anchored in everyday survival, sparked the interest of the northern professional in documenting the contrasts. How? Through a DVD documentary about the unbreakable friendship of two artists, one who went rafting to Florida during the mass … Continue reading “Dream Havana / Miguel Iturria Savón”