The seven passing by Thebes

The visit of seven members of the United States Congress to our country has intensified expectations about an avalanche of American tourists.  The owners of rooms for rent calculate the potential earnings and the taxi drivers dream of those chewing gum who leave generous tips.  At Terminal Two in José Martí Airport some have already… Continue reading The seven passing by Thebes

Feast envy

A Power Point presentation circulating around details the closure of a famous restaurant in Havana.  The sequence of photos, apparently taken by the financial police (DTI), shows the “evidence” used to charge Juan Carlos Fernandez Garcia, owner of the paladar [private restaurant] Hurón Azul.  I stopped looking at the rudimentary multimedia with a gesture of… Continue reading Feast envy

Instant teachers

Among my son’s friends is one who is particularly apathetic who is about to finish basic secondary school.  He cares little for his books and it’s been a headache for his parents to manage to get him as far as the ninth grade.  A week ago I learned that he was heading for a teaching… Continue reading Instant teachers

Completed performance

Without the statement [English translation] made by the Tenth Havana Biennial Organizing Committee about what happened Sunday at the Wilfredo Lam Center, the performance of Tania Bruguera wouldn’t have been complete.  For the minute of freedom at the microphone it was the fitting punishment.  Absent the rebuke, the performance event would have seemed like a… Continue reading Completed performance

The silent press

Surrounded by commemorations and dates to celebrate, we didn’t pay much attention to Cuban Press Day, which was March 14.  The news featured long reports about the selfless efforts of journalists and their loyalty to the Revolution.  Some reporters received certificates for their outstanding work and impeccable ideological posture, while the newspaper Granma devoted a… Continue reading The silent press

And they gave us the microphones…

An unforgettable night yesterday at the Wilfredo Lam Center, thanks to the performance artist Tania Bruguera.  A podium with microphones, in front of an enormous red curtain, formed part of the interactive installation in the central courtyard.  Everyone who wanted to could use the podium to deliver—in just one minute—any rousing speech they pleased. As… Continue reading And they gave us the microphones…

Youth unemployment

Certain stubborn statistics are never announced in the media; much better to keep them hidden in spite of their significance.  In addition to the number of suicides, abortions and divorces, the real number of unemployed are also concealed.  The news media and billboards would have us believe we live in a society where everyone has… Continue reading Youth unemployment

Now who signs the letters?

Buying a car is like one of those Indiana Jones adventures: you can end up with a heart attack, or a ten-year wait.  For a long time it was only possible to get a car as a part of the distribution based on merit.  An outstanding worker, with thousands of volunteer hours or a mission… Continue reading Now who signs the letters?


The last short film by Eduardo del Llano should be shown to the editorial boards and the news media across the country.  In a roundtable discussion in the film, an editorial board debates which event will be the front page news in their next edition.  There are several news events to choose from: an extraordinary… Continue reading Brainstorm

Under the umbrella

Many of us have come to believe that if we aren’t under the umbrella of a state entity, we don’t exist.  At the door of a ministry, or face-to-face with the secretary of some official, we are always asked the same question, “And you, where are you from?”  It’s not curiosity about our regional origin,… Continue reading Under the umbrella