I first met Enrique Hitchman in a bar with no name on Neptuno Street in the neighborhood known as Central Havana. I had been living in Cuba, off and on, for several years to research the histories of race, national identity, and boxing for my dissertation.
On a recent CODEPINK trip to Cuba with a 150-person delegation, we found the island crawling with Americans taking advantage of the relaxation of U.S. travel restrictions and the historic thawing of U.S.-Cuban relations.
Gross may not have been an American spy. But he was surely a U.S. government agent who got caught on the job breaking Cuban law. Now that he's home, his continued lawsuit against the government that saved his life, paid him millions and made him a celebrity, is nothing less than Gross ingratitude.
Each week now, the gates that have kept U.S. travelers from visiting Cuba are creaking open just a little more. If Paris Hilton -- who popped up in Havana this week unexpectedly -- can get there now, anyone can. Right?
Now is the time to become acquainted with Cuba. Read the Cuban authors, listen to the Cuban musicians, go see Malpaso perform in one of their three cities, or if you're in New York in April, attend the Havana Film Festival.
All this to hide that he doesn't know how to govern and can only imitate the dismal model he's inherited from his mentors of the Plaza of the Revolution. The result is a bad copy of the Cuban model, a crude replica in which ideology has ceded its entire terrain to the ravings of a man.
With relaxed restrictions for American travelers to Cuba making headlines, our Deal Experts are champing at the bit to visit this Caribbean nation that's so close to the U.S., but has been out of reach for so long.
A few hours after the launch of the book in the Alejo Carpentier room, the novelist with a degree in Hispanic Language and Literature responded by email to some questions for the readers of 14ymedio, from Barcelona's Gothic Quarter where he lives and creates.
Some months ago, before the recent diplomatic adjustment, Cuba seemed to be calling me. I've lived in South Florida for most of my adult life. And, Cuba's culture and people have profoundly influenced Florida, despite the country's shroud of secrecy and mystery.