The bench at the Literary School

    banco_letras_02.jpg

In a place of obligatory confluence, beside the main door of the Dihigo building, rests the reddish mastodon known as the “bench at the Literary School.” On it have rested, in the last decades, the most illustrious behinds of our intellectual class.  Many of those knowledgeable derrières rest today on a couch in Paris or a chair in Buenos Aires or crush the lawn of a German field.  Regardless of the long pilgrimages of a good portion of its “tenants,” the long seat remains, with its durable caoba,* in the same place.

Over the hard strips from which it is made, I sat the first day I arrived at the Faculty of Arts and Literature of the University of Havana and I crashed in it a couple of times, when I got a low grade. It knew of my difficulties with Latin and my predilection for Latin American literature. Its iron structure verified how few kilograms that the years of the Special Period gave to many of us students.   It knew, also, of the incomprehensions that generated the sectarianism, the ideological “purges” and the dogmas.

In the wood of this austere bench, is the memory of many award-winning writers, of others in disgrace and of those already passed away, while on its back, the sweat of several generations of critics, poets and historians, has left a “tint” of erudition.

Since I graduated I have not dared to sit, again, in the “bench at the Literary School.”  It is now the territory of younger ones who dream with literature, initiate themselves in poetry, and discover the way towards metaphor. It remains as tough and proud as before, since its structure seems to feed off syntactic concepts, etymological analysis and dissonant rhymes.

Translators note:

Caoba =  A mahogany type wood

64 thoughts on “The bench at the Literary School”

  1. As stupid as this sounds I have a place like that of my own but for me it was the very back of the Cafeteria, or Eatery where I would get my Mocha or Espresso and I would moan about how I might bomb on my test or exam or contemplate politics on the State or Federal Level and think about all the *what ifs* in the world

  2. I believe in dreams. I believe that someday people of all persuasions will be able to sit at the table of humanity and freely discuss all the really important things in our lives; our hopes, our fears, our dreams. When that day comes, I would like to be seated next to you and your husband. You are an inspiration and he the luckiest man on the planet. My house is your house. Keep sharing the knowledge.
    All the best,
    Bill.

  3. Bonjour
    Je vous prie de m’excuser je ne maîtrise pas l’espagnol, j’arrive d’un séjour de trois semaines à Cuba, et la question que je me suis posé.
    ” Qu’ont-ils fait ces gens pour être punis de la sorte” ?
    J’espère que vous pourrez mobiliser sufisamment afin de sortir ce pays si riche de cette situation dont je ne vois l’issue . Il n’y a que les cubains qui pourront opérer leur changement, mais il faut que la communauté internationale tourne ses regards vers la grande île des caraïbes, et pour l’instant ce n’est pas le cas.

  4. My question is…You enjoy the free education and free medical care of Cuba, but you praise USA….my advise:
    Go and live there…see watch your children not getting higher education.
    Watch the dying because you can’t afford health insurance…
    But BE HAPPY they will be free to read newspapers and have Internet (if you can aford it…).

    so…what is more important???
    for people like you…(financed by USA..) it is important to see Cuba “free”…
    like before Castro…a big bordello…with your kids as whores!!
    Bat be happy.. you will be free to read their death in the newspaper…

    (and talking about literature… how many Americans had even heard that word????)

    I am really piety of you and the people of your kind…counter-revolutionary with personal profit…

  5. Ektor: Really things aren’t that dire for Americans and many of them do know about literature. They have decided to have people take responsibility for themselves and have rejected to some extent the desire of most of Europe/Canada/ect, to treat citizens like Children that need to be cared for by the Nanny State. Are their excesses and problems in America? Yes.

    It isn’t perfect..they really do need to fix the health care thing but it’s a great Country filled with a great and generous people. If the world adopted a bit of the best of the American spirit it would be a good thing IMO.

  6. Today our newspaper, Sun-Sentinel, has an article by Ray Sanchez about your blog. I have read everything on your blog and appreciate all that you write. Keep up your good work. I look forward to reading more. Warmest regards, Joe

  7. Five years after the imperialistic invasion of the NATO (USA + EU) into Iraq and nine years after the assassinating bombardisms in Yugoslavia, this time is not enough to forget how the Americans and their allies face the ones who disagree with them. Although within the American people there are worthy individuals, these constitute the minority; the majority support their assasinators leaders.
    Despite the pressure exerted on Cuba by the ones who kill at the name of the so-called democracy, its people are granted with good standards of livings, much better than the ones in the neighbouring countries of Latin America.
    For a great number of Greek people, Cuba is a field of resistance, which inspires and sets the example to all of us. It is the country of Che and Fidel. VECEREMOS!

  8. Hola a todos soy salvadoreño siempre me a interesado todo lo que tenga que ver con cuba me encantaria y no descarto ir a conoser tan linda jente en esa isla hermosa bueno pero me gustaria que escrivieran en español tambien saludos atodos mis hermanos cubanos

  9. Admittedly I know little about Cuba, I praise the small island nation and its peoples for standing up against imperialism. I am going to Cuba at the end of the year to see what it is like, I hope that Cuba remains socialist for the remainder of days, ofcourse the current Government needs to open itself up to the rest of the world, however the US foreign policy has also proved to be a disaster for the people of Cuba.
    Cuba should not make itself such an easy target for Western Media, there should be no more executions etc…Show that the system does work, make sure that the poorest are fed, educated, healthy, have a centrally planned green economy (the free market is failing again)etc.. and the West are unable to fire any arrows….The USA does not have a monopoly on Democracy

  10. Canada is where you can get Free health care, be able to afford anythig you want, even if you live off the goverment… we dont really have Ghettos

  11. Its always nice to hear and read different opinions, even if i dont always agree with them. I totally admire and support the Castro regime in Cuba (although the situation there is not that ideal as my leftist friends want to paint out) because they have performed a courageous work and managed to win one of the most epic wars in the history of mankind (1956-59).On the other hand its silly to accuse the American people,a nation renowned of their cultural tolerance and hard work for everything evil that their governments have performed in the last decades (plus its not so third world really to live in the U.S!). Worst of all its really funny to see my Greek compatriots always witch hunting against the Americans for everything evil that takes place on earth. I reccomend some further elaboration into the history of the 20th century and what would the current economic and political situation of Greece been, had it not been for the Anglo-Saxon countries interventions. I hope the best for Cuba and most important to remain for ever not another American satellite in Latin America.

  12. Thank you. I enjoyed reading your blog. It is good to be able to hear from the very people that we are divided from.

    Terry – USA

  13. I admire you for your courage. I was a guest at Base Naval de Guantánamo back in 1980-81 and have since developed a great affinity for the Cuban people. My hope is that one day you and I will be free to travel to one another´s country so that we might gain a greater understanding of each other´s culture. My belief is that we are not so different as others might try to convince us.

  14. Ektor, you big burrito! Somehow you got mixed up in naming the country you were trying to compare to Cuba. Ok, I will now help you get the name right…let us spell it together – S O V I E T U N I O N! But is kaput some time ago in case you were sleeping!
    Ektor, and I am not even American, but keep on displaying your wisdom and knowledge, so that we can all smile a little.

  15. Both sides of this issue need to think forward not backward. The governments of Cuba and America should talk and fundamentally agree on a democratic approach to build commerce and friendship between our two nations. It is not one side or the other. Both must step into the future to allow the present to grow and prosper.

  16. We are such a big nation with such a small heart. Let us press our leaders to open up to the needs of others so democracy can mean what is said. there are good people in the us and I know there are good people in cuba. We lose so muc h by closing the doors. We lose even more by keeping them closed.

  17. this is for that lady that call herself Ecktor whatever:

    The only whore that was in my country before castro was your ugly mother. Don’t worry, we all remember her, she tried to sell herself to my father but he would not pay a dime for her services. That is why, you, like any good prostitute, hate my people.

  18. Yoanis, I really admire you, you are the “true” revolutionary! I have met many Cubans in America and admire their values of family, friends, and being Roman Catholic myself, their undaunting religious faith! Democracy in America has always been a work in progress and we still have a ways to go to overcome bigotry, social status, and really creating a “free” environment for all! Like you, I believe that government isn’t the answer, it is the conduit for change but it is the “free” spirit of our humanity that makes us all one and the source of change! It is people like you that get change to come about. I encourage you to keep vigilant and inspire others to join your cause! Cuba must change within but as an American I want to know how we can help! Poland was once a dictatorship but a common person changed that country forever! My thoughts and prayers are with you! Daniel Symons (a simple American)

  19. I live in Miami and cant help to notice that the Cubans that have been coming from Cuba recently are not used to working and seem to expect handouts. I am Cuban my parents came from Cuba and worked 2 and even 3 jobs to survive. I think that it is a shame and waste of human life what is happening in Cuba with its residents. People there believe that in the USA things are easy and free….lol yeah right come over here and experience what really happens here. I am not saying that you wont make it. But, The USA is just as hard as Cuba if you dont want to work. Perhaps even harder. There is no free food here especially if you come illegaly.

  20. My question is…You enjoy the free education and free medical care of Cuba, but you praise USA….my advise:
    Go and live there…see watch your children not getting higher education.
    Watch the dying because you can’t afford health insurance…
    But BE HAPPY they will be free to read newspapers and have Internet (if you can aford it…).

    so…what is more important???
    for people like you…(financed by USA..) it is important to see Cuba “free”…
    like before Castro…a big bordello…with your kids as whores!!
    Bat be happy.. you will be free to read their death in the newspaper…

    (and talking about literature… how many Americans had even heard that word????)

    I am really piety of you and the people of your kind…counter-revolutionary with personal profit…

    Ektor tsatsoulis,

    Why is it that people like you still defend Cuban communist’s archaic and decrepit system that has not served the real people of Cuba, but only the elite communist usurpers of power and the economy? I have family members that were thrown in jail for only expressing their opinion against an un-just system in Cuba. How dare you express such nonsense against someone that actually lives in Cuba! Someone of many that have expressed their frustration against those that only give excuses of shortages in everything and tramples on the right to speak your mind. Lastly, people like you who apologize for the destructive regime that has choked off the Cuban economy and the rights of its people have no clue of what really goes on in that country. You and many like you always talk about the past, but don’t realize that nothing has really changed. Castro pimps his doctors, nurses, social workers, etc, etc. for hard currency and then pays them with Cuban pesos that are worth nothing on the island, pocketing the profits and putting it into the coffers of the military machine and communist elite. Apologist like you always complains about how expensive the internet is in the U.S. and yet don’t realize that capitalist systems open up competition and consumers can get internet service for as low as $9.99 dollars a month! No one is denied medical emergencies in the U.S., not even illegal aliens! The poor can get help and the fact that many don’t have medical insurance is due to their choice or that they rather work for jobs that don’t provide it, in the end it’s their choice. I suggest you move to Cuba and live there as a regular person, not a tourist and see how wonderful the Cuban proletariat paradise is and then come back and try to defend it! Cuba libre y democratico! Abajo el comunismo!

  21. Nailer305,

    I know what you mean! The exiles that came after 1960s have been and continue to be hard workers and have contributed a lot to the USA. Many of those that have recently arrived, but not all seem to expect the USA to give them everything! My wife’s cousin’s ex-husband came up in the late 1990s and wanted to have a good paying job, with very little command of English and did not want to work hard to obtain it! And to put salt in the wound, he still thinks Fidel Castro is wonderful! Huh?! Yeah I have run into a lot of them and it is just disappointing! Cuba Libre Y Democratico!

  22. “Simon dijo:
    26 de Marzo, 2008 – 04:06
    Admittedly I know little about Cuba, I praise the small island nation and its peoples for standing up against imperialism. I am going to Cuba at the end of the year to see what it is like, I hope that Cuba remains socialist for the remainder of days, ofcourse the current Government needs to open itself up to the rest of the world, however the US foreign policy has also proved to be a disaster for the people of Cuba.
    Cuba should not make itself such an easy target for Western Media, there should be no more executions etc…Show that the system does work, make sure that the poorest are fed, educated, healthy, have a centrally planned green economy (the free market is failing again)etc.. and the West are unable to fire any arrows….The USA does not have a monopoly on Democracy

    Simon,

    When you get back tell us the real truth of Cuba not the one staying at a foreign tourist hotel. Not from the beach where only foreign tourist and not the common Cuban citizen is allowed. Tell us from the small off the beaten path restaurant in the middle of Havana where the infrastructure is falling apart and not the usual tourist areas of Havana. Tell us about the Cuba of free medical service, abundant food markets, and stores of the common Cuban, not the special stores or hospital for tourist. But I doubt it, when the truth is known by the apologist of Castro’s proletariat paradise they always give us excuses…like the U.S. embargo which is the biggest lame excuse that has been perpetrated for years since U.S. law allows for food and medicine to be shipped to Cuba! You admit you know very little of Cuba, but spew the propaganda of the Cuban government! When you get back from you trip tell us how great it was ok?

  23. ¡Bravo! El futuro es vuestro. No se cansen de luchar; tienen la juventud y las energías para hacerlo. ¡Que Dios los bendiga!

  24. La Libertad solo se consigue cuando uno se decide a conquistarla. Exhorto a la juventud en Cuba a la divulgación de su libre pensamiento. Prosigan en lo que han iniciado y recibirán los frutos de sus esfuerzos. ¡Patria, Vida y Libertad!

  25. Tenemos un sitio de web que es como la cafetería en la plaza central de cualquier cuidad: un lugar en donde los visitantes puedan mezclarse para compartir sus puntos de vista acerca de asuntos contemporáneos de interés de manera informal, humorística y apasionada.

    Visitenos a http://www.cafemundo.net.

    Le invitamos a Usted enviar un ensayo sobre Cuba; la vida alla de que los NorteAmericanos no saben nada; y sus ideas y intereses.

    Si Usted pueda escribir algo para nosotros, podemos publicarlo y traducirlo a ingles.

    Ya hemos creado un eslabon a su “blog.” Puede verlo a:
    http://www.cafemundo.net/english/travel/favorite.cfm#Latin%20Periodicals

    Esta bajo “Latin Periodicals.”

    Buena Suerte!

    El staff a Cafe Mundo.

  26. it would be pleasant maybe to be young and tormented and working hard at some formulaic job in the US, thinking that its different or better, thinking you can be free, living without reflecting and guilt about what you are pressured to have and the harmful deprivations that contributes to the majority of the peoples on the earth, believing you might rise up from your low place and create meaningful change without conforming to a system, protest the status quo and the corruption and the supposedly elected political leaders, and then at the end if you still have your soul let it all go and if for you the dream grows cold grow old and live a have only what you need life in a place like Cuba.

    once and if the futility and illusion of it all and in general and everywhere was woken to.

  27. Greeko,

    I’m searching through your personal files. What age were you when you started sleeping with little boys?

    I told you last time, don’t get involved or I will release your file on the web, then everybody will see why you like Castro so much, and his system. Saludos desde Cuba from Jose, the 9 years old boy.

  28. Keep up the good work. I pray that this world would one day come to realize the possible fates that may lie ahead – unless we do something t pevent such anomilies from occuring…. We must pull together somehow. Peace is the key that unlocks the door. Acheiving that peace is much harder than just talking about it.

    Elections are going on in our country (US) and things are looking down in the state of economy we’re in right now. But it happensevery electn year. I really do not know what to think or say about what is hppenening arond the world. War, Famine, inflation, etc., etc.

    We need t pray for our countries and our countrymen. –Michigan (US)

  29. perdona mi espanol soy un cubano italiano nacido en usa y mi espanol es casero pero mi fasina tu web y de todo corazon que te balla biem me encataria conoser la patria de mi madre si no fuera por que no tengo familia en cuba iria me disen que apesar de las nesesidades es una isla muy limda sigue adelante y que Dios te bendiga

  30. Ojala y puedas entral sin dificulta a internet para poder siguir publicamdo tus vivensias en cuba y las de todos los cubano y que pronto todos podamos reunirnos en un mismo cielo sin importal los ideales de cada cual seamos hermanos que piensan tarbes diferente pero que comparten en comun la patria que nos bio nacer

  31. giansoko dijo:

    5 de Abril, 2008 – 02:27
    Every criticism is important if it’s true, but before doing against cuban government and society,that has a lot of limits, everybody must look inside home(Florida,Usa,at first).

    1) only 200 hundreds people in the world, controlling monopolist or oligopolist Arms,Media-Telephone-Computers,Oil,Drugs.. Groups, have about the same richness has half of the world’s population (I mean more than 3 billion people);
    these few ones have only one “political tool” to keep power and get more and more income: “divide et impera” and so they, expecially using their monopolist or oligopolist Media, divided, are dividing and will divide all us,
    that have the same basic needs (as work,enough income,food,health, love,family,free-time and pleasures) by “inventing” religious,races,etnical and countries wars and keeping us withouth a real culture and sometimes completly dependent to real and virtual drugs.
    John lennon told you to “imagine” a different and united society but was soon politically killed as John and Bob Kennedy as Martin L. King as Bhutto
    and I really fear for Obama,a real democratic and so too dangerous for their(200 people) dirty interest (they will say”it’s been Al-qaeda” finding new false “reason” to keep on wars for oil)

    2) I think everybody(but the 200 hundreds) would appreciate a global society with a global real free market and global constitution where small private firms with dependent workers well and mixed( wage and production prize) payed, are in competion,about quality/price, to produce and supply all the customers about their real needs we spoke above; all this inside a social system of securities(for school, health,pensions,works requalification and so on)

    This political social and economic global system( u can call it as u like:democracy or socialdemocracy or socialism-the name is not important) would need very low taxation and few hours of work by everyone because:

    A) it would employ everyone in the global project(today at least one billion people are unemployed for different reasons).

    B) it would not exist one of the most expensive voice of the State balance: the life moral and economic cost of the arms that nobody needs but some big powerful private groups,expecially in Usa,produce and sell only if the President,before elected by the money-help of these groups, suddenly “discovers” some new enemy,some new Pearl Harbour, in a word some new threat, as the terroristic one of a man, as B. Laden, who was already working for C.I.A. in Kabul against Soviet Union, and whose very rich family and Pr.Bush are the two main Karlyle(that, even ,produces arms) group’s sharehoders; a threat that had the top peack just on the day(09/11/2001) that Nato Alliance was doing practice on how to avoid enemy planes to be hijacked(but which flied for two hours in Usa sky because vicepresident Cheney permitted it, as the Transport Minister told the House of Parlament.

    C) the prices of the main products would even cost less because withouth the charge of pubblicity(if someone wants to use it,no tax benefits) and because of normal profits (not as the big ones in the case of monopolist groups)

    I conclude telling u that this system not only is nearly impossible to be built in Usa,whose governm. usally invades(es.”Pigs bay”) and tries to provoke failure of every economical(by blocus or sanctions) and political (by “human rights” speculations and amplifications)different experience as in Cuba.

    My dear friend, before judging Cuba, reflect abouts the 300.000 civil and innocent people killed in Hirosima and Nagasaky by your “model “country and all the other milions people died in their wars in the Middle East,in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia,or the Indians or people died in south-american golpes of 70/85 years, consider the aphartheid inside and outside(S,Africa)
    and don’t forget where is the mafia’s head.
    giansoko

    dwdp dijo:

    5 de Abril, 2008 – 08:01
    We saw your interview on an Italian private TV.
    It is the first time we see a Cuban dissent!
    Our politicians, starting from top representatives, like the comunist President of the Chamber mr Bertinotti, praise Cuban regime to be a paradise on earth. I am confident we will soon be able to vote him out and wish you will be able to do the same in Cuba.
    Good luck for your freedom of expression.

    erriquezz dijo:

    5 de Abril, 2008 – 09:38
    @ giansoko. what did you really say when you wrote “don’t forget where is the mafia’s head”? i hope you didn’t use the common stereotype “italy = mafia”.
    sorry… but I (and all italians who wrote here recently) criticised our Western politicians, I think they’re responsible and seriously involved in the bad situation of Cuba and other countries, like Tibet, Darfur etc. We are against mafia, against corruption (and unfortunately in Italy we have corruption at each socio – political level), against hunger, and for freedom of expression.

    Viola dijo:

    5 de Abril, 2008 – 10:35
    Really admire your determination to tell the world what is happening in my country. I am a girl is 17 years old and I come from … And just yesterday I saw on television the Cuban boys who said they wanted at least once in their lives to travel and see the tomb of mentation, because it is in bolivia ..
    You are truly a great woman and I admire you ..

    silvia dijo:

    5 de Abril, 2008 – 14:44
    never give up!
    ciao from Italy

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  32. Congratulations!!
    GenerationY your blog is in one of my favorites! I know you speak from the heart!! I’m not surprise how the followers of communists ideals still tries to impose dictatorship regime writing long essays trying the hardest to convince people that is the Unite States fault for Cuba’s economic failures, but communists do what they are best at, ‘blaming’ and ‘avoiding debates’. Their egoism is so enormous that it’s an insult to them that anyone out of their ‘circle’ gets notice and get a prize. Unfortunally, there are s many people that are misinformed about this subject, we have those that are just plain narrow-minded (and this is all over the world). Castro’s family and ‘groupie’ are accustomed to tell others what to do and most are accustomed to be told what to do. They are comfortable of being told what to do because (1st) if you complaint, you loose your ‘seat’ and you are a traitor and if you are too compromised with the revolution they throw in jail, (2nd)that way of life is all you know plus they make sure they tell you that if it weren’t for them you wouldn’t have free education (that is just a facade) and you got to be grateful for the rest of your life (they make sure of that) work worthless salary, and if you complaint can’t get a job no where else so you’re practically force to leave your homeland. So it’s a misconception that we are thrown out of our country (false impressions) and lastly, there are those who are afraid of being brought to justice for the harm that they have done, so either way years has passed, most Cubans are opening their eyes and hopefully Cuba will be a democratic country with real democracy. So for those people that wants to complaint about the USA, bombings in Iraq, and are fortune tellers wannabes about Cuba’s future economy or wants to talk about how the USA used to be in Cuba should complain to the USA and get in the right websites where they discuss USA politics because this website is about Cuba.

  33. never give up! no agas caso de los estupidos como este que no tiene neuronas todas se las comio castro I’m searching through your personal files. What age were you when you started sleeping with little boys?

    I told you last time, don’t get involved or I will release your file on the web, then everybody will see why you like Castro so much, and his system. Saludos desde Cuba from Jose, the 9 years old boy.

  34. Estoy muy contento,deslumbrado al ver comentarios certeros,sin rastros de rencor , amargura,odio,con humor fino e ironico,tan nuestro .Eres la voz mas calificada y autentica de cuantas haya visto y deseo que tengas para el resto de los cubanos y el mundo el poder de convocar a discutir y encontrar las soluciones que tan bello pais,con sus millones de magnificas personas necesita

  35. It is the hope of my life that the time will come when ALL people can be free to live their lives without fear or hunger. I dream of a day when everyone is free to pursue their dreams, create their own masterpieces and share in the wonders of our world. But all this comes with the understanding that we all need to be responsible not only to ourselves, but to the whole world.

    Our politicians need to serve, that is their only purpose. We need to teach our children to respect everyone as equals and not to want power and the abuses it brings. We all need to work together, across borders, to raise the human experience.

    How can we allow some to dominate and control the masses? How can we allow anyone to go hungry or sick? Can’t we ever find a way to work together to better the life of all? If we could all just give a little of ourselves to help others we would all live better lives.

    I hope our youth can manage this in their lives. Too many of our generation and of our parents couldn’t find the way to do it.

  36. I’m an American citizen who hopes that our countries will normalize relations soon. Most of what each of us knows about each other is filtered by government or biased media. What I am sure of is that Cubans are decent hard working people.

  37. I read an article on a U.S. online news source that drove me to your blog. It’s enchanting to have read these words and, felt like I might one day totally understand.

    Most important of all things in your blog, you make American readers realize that we are two nations who see each other in a very dark looking glass. Until I graduated high school, I was under the impression that evil communists await the moment to raid my home and cause terror hailing from a neighbor called Cuba….it is quite obvious that the spin machine is under the employ of both our nations.

    I hope that we establish working relations soon!

  38. La felicito por su coraje. Es mi ferviente deseo de que Cuba encuentre su lugar en el mundo democratico y en donde todos los cubanos podamos expresarnos sin miedos a represalias.

    Despues de tantos sacrificios y luchas, Cuba se merece algo mucho mejor para sus ciudadanos. Que los cubanos podamos vivir en paz sin tener que marcharnos de nuestro pais (cerca de 2 millones, incluyendo descendientes, vivimos fuera de la isla) y que nadie tenga miedo a expresar su verdad.

    Por una Cuba, como la soño Marti, con libertad para todos.

    No mas presos politicos. No mas torturas. Mas respesto para los derechos humanos.

  39. I know a number of Cubans as friends and informally…they are good, harding working people.

    I hope you continue to write your column and prosper in what you do.

  40. I like Cuban people, Cuban food, Cuban music, Cuban dance and I would simply like the US to stop this ridiculous embargo which isn’t hurting anyone except the Cuban people. Sure I love living in the US. We are not perfect by any means and I would guess that it’s safer living in Habana then in Miami considering the murder rate and drug problems here. Having said all of that I wouldn’t live anywhere else but in the US because of the opportunities here but I would like to visit Cuba. My government says no. And if I did manage to get there via Canada, Mexica, Jamaica etc. my government tells me it’s illegal for me to spend any US dollars there. Bravo to you and your blog. It’s great to be able to speak to Cubanos who actually live in Cuba so that we can get information from the island first hand instead of what our government feeds us.

    I’m optimistic about the future of Cuba & US relations. One Love to the Cuban people.

  41. I owned a Casa Del Habano in Mexico. Love the people of Cuba, just not their politics. And, the Cuban cigars are great!

  42. It really scares me to see how so many people can praise socialism and communism. Another thing is how can they even dare to say Cuba is in a good condition because they have free health care and education. This reply goes directly towards Ektor tsatsoulis. You are lost and seriously have no idea what the situation is on the island. Lets get this statistic for a second. 60% of all Cubans that leave on rafts to the U.S. dont make it for reasons such as death at sea. Do you think they would be leaving for no reason. Oh wait thats right because they are in a country where the only way to make a system such as socialism work is by opression of its people.
    Its a beautiful theory on paper but in practice it does NOT work. If you hate they U.S. so much and love Cuba so much then go live in Cuba. Get a job there like everyone else and start a new life. Before you do that remember that on an average persons wages in Cuba it take you about three days of work to buy a toothbrush.

  43. I have enjoied reading your stories very much. Being Canadian i take for grantit the freedoms that i was born in to.I have been to cuba many times and will return as often as i can.I dont care to know the problems the American’s have with cuba nore do i care. Most of the world have the same problems with them .Cuba is a very beautiful untouched part of the world.Keep up the good work.

  44. It’s great to question the Cuban government’s propaganda! Kudos for that! many in the US believe all the crap about the revolution’s successes. It is not about socialism. There’s no and there’s never been socialism in Cuba, just another tropical dictatorship commandeered by a messianic lunatic. It’s time to get rid of the mummies and built the New Cuba. !Viva la Libertad y el Progreso!

  45. Mi espanol no es muy bueno, pero…vivo in California, USA y admiro su coraje. Los Cubanos tienen amigos in Los Estados Unidos que saben la verdad. Mil gracias a gente como Usted! Bravo!

  46. me gustaria que las cosas cambiaran. yo espero que si,… pero no se si seran dos anos, o diez. yo todavia soy joven y me gustaria vivir y negociar en mi isla. mis abuelos tenian mucho orgullo por su tierra y fueron Ministros de Hacienda, education, agricultra, y Director del la Universidad de habana (Dr enriqe Hernandez cosio; Dr juan buatista Barrero) me gustaria hablar con alguin alli en al habana, para contemplar el futuro del mundo. sales@clickoncommunity.com

  47. Guillermo dijo:

    Don’t speak about the “perfect” health system of us…
    Just watch Mikle Moore’s SICKO….

    And if you have read at least a little history and little politics you will know that the capitalist system needed 1.500 years to be established…

    So, give that time to a socialist system and then talk.

    As about Internet…yes with 10 $ you can have internet line…and where exactly are you going to plug it?????

    40% of USA citizens NEVER had access the internet…
    And I don’t speak for how many they OWN a computer or a line….
    Yes, some people have 50 PC and some others none…so the numbers are little…you know!!

    And I can’t hear about people who “just saying their opinion”…
    Maybe it was their opinion the 600++ attempts of murder against Castro??? Or they just care about them selfs…like the mafia in Miami??
    And of course I don’t pout everyone in the same basket.
    But who is against Castro? The people who where doing business and were rich with the dictators…
    And don’t say pimping because you are a doctor….see how is the real prostitution and the “benefits” and tell me if you want to go back to that time…
    or even better…why you don’t ask from your children to follow this…”profession”…I think nobody wants that!!

    “Ellit communists”…who are they?? Because as far as I know almost everybody participates in the revolutionary committe.

    And I don’t say the life is good in Cuba. And of course there are huge problems.
    But really you believe that if there was a “European” system you think it will be better? The front for shore… and yes everybody will have PLASMA TV….(everybody????haha).
    But how many will suffer from the lack of health-system, unemployment etc.
    In this “perfect” world, if you pore, you are alone, your only freedom is to die…but don’t do mess…they will charge you for that.

  48. YOLANDA PARA PRESIDENTE !!!!

    Se Chile tiene democraticamente una mujer como Presidente de la Republica porque no YOLANDA para Presidente en Cuba ???
    Pero para isso es necessario Libertad !!

    Viva La Libertad para el pueblo Cubano.

    Welling Webmaster
    WELLING Inglaterra

  49. How nice that you write in English!!!……you are a true revolutionary……since the only thing I know about Cuba is MAINLY what I read in the press…or hear from friends…..
    My sister Chris thinks Cuba is a bad evil place…dictatorship…
    Do you like Cuba?

  50. Ektor is obvioulsy in love with Cuban Revolution… It is his democratic freedom to believe and express that Castro’s regime is a workers paradise….

    My question is:

    1) Does Ektor think Communism is good but for other people bar him ?
    2) If not when will he ask for political asile at the nearest Cuban Embassy ?

  51. Lo mismo que pague uno la mercancia o servicios en pesos cubanos o moneda convertible lo que duele es el costo de todo hoy en dia. Los cubanos reciben sueldos en pesos comparables a lo que ganaban en los anos 50. La diferencia es que lo que antes costaba centavos hoy cuesta pesos. Por 5 centavos en esa epoca se tomaba un cafe, un pastelito, un cucurucho de mani, un paquete de bollitos de carita o un helado. Un desayuno de cafe con leche y pan con mantequilla eran 15 centavos. Una comida completa o un sandwich cubano en una fonda, 50 centavos. Un piruli costaba un centavo. No solo era todo barato en los anos 50, pero se conseguia todo en cualquier timbiriche en una esquina de la Habana. Las escuelas publicas y la universidad de la Habana eran gratis, y la famosa atencion medica gratuita tambien existia entonces en el hospital Calixto Garcia, y la privada costaba $3.75 al mes en la Quinta Covadonga (Salvador Allende), la Benefica y en otras clinicas. Los tiempos pasados siempre fueron mejores.

  52. Estoy en Miami y es comun escuchar a los cubanos, la generacion que llevo a Fidel al poder, quejarse, protestar, ya sea en una plaza, cafeteria o en La Mega, claro, es facil desde afuera, lo dificil, lo valiente, es hacerlo desde adentro. Te felicito por eso, por lo que estas haciendo. Esto es el comienzo de la caida de una mentira que la dibujaron como un sueño y que para el pueblo cubano es una pesadilla que parece no tener fin, pesadilla que se la vendieron como un sueño al pueblo en Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, etc., por eso es que tu blog traspasa las fronteras de la Isla, porque es la oportunidad que tu le das a esos pueblos que tambien les vendieron una mentira, a que despierten, a que aspiren a lo mismo que tanta gente como tu en Cuba estan deseando, Libertad. Si te puedo ayudar en algo, estoy a las ordenes.

  53. an i just say ive been going through your blog and you have really good writing skills, I think your style is better than some of the so called proffessionals – all credit to you!

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