Jose Ramon’s Verses

“They’ve given my life happiness. If it wasn’t for them, I would be out on the street selling for a couple of miserable pesos and without any time to dedicate to my decimas (ten-line verses),” Jose Ramon tells me, a friend I met a couple of years ago at a book club.  

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December in Cuba: Times Are Changing

New Year celebrations include roasted pork, pork scratchings, beans and rice, cassava, fried plantain, seasonal salad, syrupy desserts and other dishes typical of each region. Music is something else these celebrations can’t go without, where even neighbors come over for a dance, waiting for midnight.

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Cubans Meet Again

“A few days ago, I went to a tire repair shop in Kendal, where quite a few Cubans work, to change the tires on my car,” Harold tells me, a great friend of mine who is living in the United States and is back in Cuba on holiday.

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Alamar: Havana’s Largest Commuter Suburb

In the ‘70s, the Cuban government made the decision to build multi-family residential dwellings in the town of Alamar, to the east of Havana, in response to the capital’s serious housing shortage. During that long-term building project, and in order to satisfy some of the new residents’ spiritual needs, a budget was allocated to build leisure and cultural centers.

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Bottle Cap Scam Rocks on a Havana Bus

A few years ago, you could see people playing bottle caps secretly on certain streets in Havana. Like every game of chance in Cuba, it is illegal and involves three bottle caps on top of a board and a small ball, which a person passes from one cap to another with a lot of skill and dexterity.

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