Zoé Valdés, a Pen Like a Whip / Iván García

On one of those nights in Havana, when the sky is clear with a handful of stars as a witness, someone told me that the Castro brothers feel a particular hatred for three Cubans. The list, what a coincidence, three writers: Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Reinaldo Arenas and Zoé Valdés. The resentment was so great, this … Continue reading “Zoé Valdés, a Pen Like a Whip / Iván García”

A New Path / Voices Behind The Bars / Pablo Pacheco

Painting: “Lighthouse” by Seamus Berkley In no time, life could take a 360 degree turn. Just two months ago my fate was in limbo. I would frequently ask myself, “will I come out dead or alive from this living tomb of men?” I was serving a 20 year prison sentence, of which I had already … Continue reading “A New Path / Voices Behind The Bars / Pablo Pacheco”

20 Reasons to Doubt / Ernesto Morales Licea

My generation grew up listening to the litany. It wasn’t the only one. It was barely a new one. But I can attest to that: along with a motto I never understood “Pioneers for Communism, we shall be like Ché!”, my legs and my conscious grew up hearing that the country my grandparents had, without … Continue reading “20 Reasons to Doubt / Ernesto Morales Licea”

The Novel of So Many Lives

He received me on Monday in a quiet apartment in Mantilla from where he has written almost all his work. On a polished table he put cold water and strong coffee for both of us. He lit a cigarette whose smoke, luckily, chose as its victim the bust of Cervantes resting on a nearby sideboard. … Continue reading “The Novel of So Many Lives”

On Olga Guillot’s Death

Olga Guillot has just left us. Another matchless Cuban patriot is gone without having returned to a free Cuba. In Cuba and in exile there is the same feeling, pain and nostalgia. When I received the news of her death, I remembered Celia Cruz, and like those of my generation here in Cuba, I could … Continue reading “On Olga Guillot’s Death”

Illegally, Many Cubans are Informed

Everything is there. The good and the bad. The family of Oscar Molina, age 49, learns what’s going on in the world thanks to an illegal connection to a cable antenna. On channel 3 of his outdated 21-inch Chinese TV, Molina is given a bath of capitalism. CNN says that Greece is an erupting volcano. … Continue reading “Illegally, Many Cubans are Informed”

The Chronicles of a Deceived Generation

I saw it today.  It is in black and white, has little yellow spots on it, and smells like cockroach.  I recovered a photo from my adolescence, frozen in time and already in Sepia color.  It is a portrait of 11 young men, joyful under the effects of the poor man’s drink, alcohol mixed with … Continue reading “The Chronicles of a Deceived Generation”

I Consider Myself Agnostic

Mister Editor of El Mundo America has put me in a tough spot. In a chain e-mail, he asked his colleagues throughout the continent to write about life during Holy Week in their respective countries. Fuck. If there is anything I can brag about it is of not knowing anything about Holy Week. I will explain. I come … Continue reading “I Consider Myself Agnostic”