Dmitri Prieto

US Interests Section in Havana, right side building.

Several days before May Day, I received a letter from the US Interest Section (the de facto American embassy here in Havana).  I wasn’t the only one who received one; copies were also sent to a colleague of mine and to the members of the Critical Observatory network.

A person at the US Interest Section (USINT) had taken an interest in our blogs and proposed meeting with us during the second week of May.

I would have roared with laughter if the situation weren’t so sad.

The Observatory and those of us who are members are markedly alternative worldists – meaning that we believe that another world is possible.  Each colleague acts on this principle in their own way, but we share a consensus in that we don’t care for authoritarianism, violence or aggression.  Nor do we care for economic systems that generate alienation, inequalities or consumerism.

These principles have nothing to do with the politics of the people at USINT.

Really, the only memory I have of any direct contact with that agency goes back to a few years ago when I went to request a visa to allow me to travel to an interesting conference in Connecticut and New York on the (post) Soviet diaspora in Cuba.

Of the various delegates from our island, I was the only one approved for a visa, but they granted it to me after the conference had already concluded.  They politely reminded me of that blunder but told me that now I could go travel to the US without problems…

Those of us with the Observatory don’t feel there is anything to talk with the people of USINT concerning our projects.  Our purposes and ideologies are quite different from theirs – opposed or to the contrary, one could say.

But even still, we don’t reject dialogue.  We told them that we would go there with supreme pleasure, but only after they’ve lifted the blockade of Cuba, paid compensation for the human and material damage, returned the Cuban Five prisoners in the USA and stopped the NATO bombings in Libya.


Dimitri Prieto-Samsonov

Dmitri Prieto-Samsonov: I define myself as being either Cuban-Russian or Russian-Cuban, indiscriminately. I was born in Moscow in 1972 of a Russian mother and a Cuban father. I lived in the USSR until I was 13, although I was already familiar with Cuba-- where we would take our vacation almost every year. I currently live on the fifth floor of an apartment building in Santa Cruz del Norte, near the sea. I’ve studied biochemistry and law in Havana and anthropology in London. I’ve written about molecular biology, philosophy and anarchism, although I enjoy reading more than writing. I am currently teaching in the Agrarian University of Havana. I believe in God and in the possibility of a free society. Together with other people, that’s what we’re into: breaking down walls and routines.

12 thoughts on “Invited to the US Interests Section

  • “Have there been any direct military aggression of the US to Cuba ? No”

    Humm, how about the failed Bay of Pigs invasion? How about the hundreds of attempts the US has taken to kill Fidel Castro? Looks like we have a momentary lapse of reason here!

    “I do agree with you that nobody have the right to force Cubans to choose one way or another and specially not a foreign government.”

    So why the hell you constantly do so, in behalf of US interests?

    “Just very recently another Cuban was murder by the repressive police. One more to a long list of abuse of power.”

    You mean Soto Garcia, right? Eyewitness said that no signals of beatings were found on his body. Stop believing everything Yoani and the big media talk about.

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