In Holguin recently, at the Vladimir I. Lenin Hospital, keeping tabs on my wife’s surgery to get her gallbladder stones removed, I spoke to lots of people. Patients and their partners ended up becoming very close and sharing lots of stories waiting long periods of time in appointments or outside the operations room.
I have lived in the same place ever since I was born, in the Guayabo neighborhood in the Mayari valley of Holguin province. Seeing the horizon lined by mountains is something I have engraved in my mind. That’s why, whenever I travel to the capital and I pass through Camaguey’s vast plainlands, I find the landscape monotonous and overwhelming.
In Cuba, the word “counter-revolutionary” means the same thing as “heresy”. For nearly six decades now, people who haven’t supported or fought against the political system that the Fidelista revolution imposed have been labeled “counter-revolutionaries”. It means being a “worm”, “enemy of the people”, “mercenary serving Imperialism” or “stateless”.
From May 15-20, I was in the Peruvian capital to attend an Advanced Course in Investigative Journalism offered by the IPYS (Institute of Public Relations and Society), which is directed by the prestigious Peruvian journalist Ricardo Uceda.
My second poetry anthology recently saw the light of day. Titled Creatura (“Creature”), it was published by Letras Cubanas. The honor of having my work published this way is owed to the award I received at the 2014 Pinos Nuevos poetry contest.
A little over a year after I began working with En Caliente Prensa Libre and having been involved in the production of nearly 50 videos, the early days, when my hand would shake on picking up the microphone or I’d think twice about asking someone out on the street for an interview, seem distant.
While thousands of Cubans cross third countries to reach the United States and thousands others emigrate legally or use work-related trips afforded by the government to “desert,” the island’s official media cover the migratory crisis affecting countries in the Middle East and Europe.
I was nine and my sister was thirteen when we got to know Tanya, or, better said, when she fell in love with Tanya and I followed suit. For me, what our family described as imitation was the most natural way to share a person’s tastes.
Of all the kinds of beggars I’ve seen in Havana, the “sleeping beggar” is doubtless the most peculiar. I saw the man on Reina street in Centro Habana, lying across the entrance to a building, with a sign that read: “I have a heart murmur. Please help me with anything you have.
In December of last year, my father applied for a construction subsidy from the Head Municipal Housing Office in Habana del Este. Zuleidys, the secretary who saw him, told him not to have over realistic expectations, that they had granted very few such subsidies recently.