on Cuba and related thoughts
-- Summary of
another email from my young American friend who spent
several months in Havana.
This afternoon I went to lunch with a good friend and she
asked me a couple of questions that, although simple enough,
kind of caused me to think for a while. Below is what I have
come up with:
She asked me, having lived in Cuba and having some personal
experience with it, what did I think about Fidel’s socialist
Hmm. Good question. What do I think? Well, I don’t know how
it was in the sixties when he first took over and I don’t
know how it is for everyone now even. I know what I saw and
experienced and I know the quality of life my friends live.
So what do I think? I think it is a joke, an insult, una
galleta fuerte en la cara… and maybe some other things that
would require uglier language. I think it is openly
hypocritical, dangerously failing, and if I had been raised
within that system, knowing my nature and personality, I
would have clashed strongly. I don’t know. I just know that
I am very grateful that I was born here and not there.....
entire message on Cuba Blog.
A Cuban Diva
-- Anaís Abreu has a contagious laughter.
refrains, old sayings, and spirited conversations among
friends. She is a complete Cuban woman, with rhythm,
beauty, and a great sense of humor.... But Anaís is out of
our reach because she lives in Cuba.... Read more.
2006 -- Andy Garcia's directorial debut is the film "The
Lost City." Read more on the
Cuba-Blog and see a preview clip.
2006 -- Cuba-Blog
Topics: Letters from a visitor; Cuban dissidents remain
jailed in Cuba; more.... click here.
February, 2006 --
My friend Ileana Sánchez Hing, a naif artist
from Camagüey, Cuba, is beginning a series of paintings to
honor Gay and Lesbian couples. This is the first painting
of the series. She has already been promised space at one
of the best known galleries in Havana. Are the tides
changing? Read Cuba-Blog.
January, 2006 -- A new year begins. Cubans continue to
Sunday, September 11, 2005 -
Cuban musician Bebo Valdés.
30, 2005 -
Read "Dentro de la jaba de yagua
-- Inside the straw shopping bag"
living without water in Cuba.
Sunday, April 3, 2005 - Cuba-blog
has relocated to
Church of St. Lazarus, Camagüey,
For Cuban-born Americans, their
birthplace is more inaccessible now than ever before.
Sunday, August 1, 2004 - I,
along with thousands of other patriotic U.S. Citizens
was born in Cuba. Thanks to a more stringent
travel ban, we are only allowed to return to
Cuba for family visits for two weeks, once every three
years. For some reason, the Bush administration
has deemed it necessary to
travel restrictions for Cuban-born Americans, as
of June 30, 2004. If you are an
in Cuba on June 29, you have until today (Aug. 1) to
get out of the country. Get out or what!?
My human rights
are being violated.
I know a person whose 100
year-old-plus mother still lives in Cuba. The family
was too poor to get all of them out of Cuba, so the
parents stayed, hoping -- as many people living on that
island hope -- that by letting go of their loved ones --
sons, daughters, husbands, wives, parents -- they would be
giving the very tangible gift of freedom to the sons,
daughters, husbands, wives and parents whose journey they
might never share.
Having outlived any
remaining family in Cuba, this abuelita has
survived in reasonable health thanks to her son in the
U.S. He has been her sole support, managing to give
her what she needed, and has done so from the U.S.
He is a good son, caring for his aged mother as we all
hope to be cared for in our declining years. It is a
bond between parent and child, mother and son, a family
Aren't we taught to
'Honor thy Father and thy Mother?'
It seems President Bush has
added some fine print to his Bible -- a footnote
that says 'Honor they Father and thy Mother for two
weeks every three years, AND, while you're there, you can
only spend $500. (This commandment subject to change
Is there a reason for this
usurpation of my rights? Is this action taken
because of the hatred of one man? Is this action taken
because 2004 is an election year? Has politics always been
this visceral? Based on emotion, not logic? Will the
candidate who fuels the fire of hate in the hearts of
Miami Cubans win their vote?
Let's look at this
If I had been born in
China, Libya, Korea, or one of many other countries that
the U.S. interprets as non-democratic, I could fly to my
birthplace tomorrow and visit relatives and friends living
in those countries. But I am not ethnic Chinese, nor am I
Libyan or Korean. I am ethnic Cuban. I have no
right. My president says so.
to Travel Campaign
Civil Liberties Union
Test Travel Ban
I left Cuba in 1969 and never saw my
It is the same for many Cuban-born Americans.