Category Archives: Cuba

Obituary of a true patriot


Oscar Espinosa Chepe passed way yes­ter­day morn­ing, Sep­tem­ber 23, 2013 at a hos­pice for the ter­mi­nally ill in Madrid, Spain. He was 73 years old. Oscar was born in Cien­fue­gos, Cuba, a beau­ti­ful city on the south­ern coast. In the 1950s he opposed the Batista dic­ta­tor­ship and joined Social­ist Youth, the Cuban Com­mu­nist Party’s orga­ni­za­tion for […]

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The Cuban Missile Crisis, a foot soldier’s story


Before 1959 the Cold War had not been a widely held con­cern in Cuba. Folks assumed that our nation was too insignif­i­cant to be tar­geted by the Rus­sians, and because the United States was our ally since World War II, the notion that Amer­i­can nuclear-tipped mis­siles could rain down on us was incon­ceiv­able. This started […]

Yunel Escobar’s slur didn’t come from left field


Two or three min­utes after I saw the photo of Escobar’s cheeks and read the news sto­ries, I con­sid­ered writ­ing this. But I decided to wait until things returned to nor­mal so peo­ple would read me with cooler heads. It’s impor­tant to say I’ve never met the Toronto Blue Jays short-stop and don’t think I […]

Corruption in Cuba


News from Cuba con­cern­ing a crack­down against entrenched cor­rup­tion have cir­cled the world in the last few weeks. A for­mer food indus­tries min­is­ter, Ale­jan­dro Roca, is serv­ing a 15-year sen­tence. The pres­i­dent of Cubana de Avia­cion was fired and 14 exec­u­tives of that air­line and a tourism agency were sen­tenced to prison terms. Offi­cials from the […]

New Book Announcement


See­ing that count­less booklovers in dif­fer­ent coun­tries, at launches or by email, ask me ques­tions about Cuba, I felt it worth­while to write a non-fiction book about my coun­try of birth recount­ing the 20th century’s most impor­tant polit­i­cal, eco­nomic and social events, and the chal­lenges that I believe Cuba will have to deal with in the future. I strove […]

Entertainment and the Internet: Political Weapons?


Dur­ing the pre­vi­ous cen­tury author­i­tar­ian regimes used radio, tele­vi­sion, cin­e­matog­ra­phy, sports and art forms such as stage plays, music and bal­let, to make their sub­jects for­get their tribu­la­tions and enslave­ment. Com­mu­nist dic­ta­tor­ships excelled at this. Internet-based social media, how­ever, has proved a two-edged sword. On the one hand, it serves as pro­pa­ganda tool and invalu­able source […]

Wishful thinking on Cuba


When Rául Cas­tro took over the gov­ern­ment of Cuba on July 31, 2006, first-world experts on for­eign affairs, Havana-based for­eign jour­nal­ists, and some over­seas busi­ness­men in search for new mar­kets started float­ing the notion that the younger Cas­tro, aged 75, was much more prag­matic than Fidel and could move Cuba towards the cur­rent Chi­nese economic […]