Irina Pino

Happy New Year to all.  Photo: Juan Suarez
Happy New Year to all. Photo: Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES — Having had the opportunity to write for Havana Times is the most important thing for me in this year’s balance (I don’t know whether I’ve already told readers I tried to become a regular contributor several times before accomplishing this).

It could be said the editor is someone with a special vision, which is why I write that, even though there are other sites dealing with Cuba that have more visitors (some merely parrot what the political or sensationalist press publish), this site has allowed us to be ourselves, without embellishment, and I will always be grateful for the opportunity to share my blog here and to express points of view I would have otherwise simply kept to myself. I don’t want to come across as acquiescent or get any special favors; I simply want to express my gratitude the best way I know how, by writing.

I have become close with some of the site’s contributors. Others I barely know, but I want to thank everyone equally, for everyone has something special to contribute – both their mistakes and, why not, their individual courage.

Writing is a form of undressing oneself before one’s circumstances and the world as a whole. It is not an easy task: one has to be both distant and passionate in order to achieve this. To shed one’s fears isn’t enough. We must also be true to ourselves.

News is fleeting and journalistic pieces are not appreciated. Some assume vanguard stances, others hide behind pseudonyms in order avoid repression, but they still express what they want to express.

Writing a book is a different thing altogether. The work will remain for future generations, if it’s of any value, but writing news, sharing thoughts and analyzing given situations has other implications and involves forgetting. We probably don’t even remember what was published at the beginning of the year, something that may have stirred up controversy or not – these pieces vanish and recede to oblivion.

My proposal – it’s just an idea – is for someone to put together a book with all of these articles and blog entries, to print these, as a document attesting to the fact we were there and left our mark. It’s a bit pretentious, I know. Perhaps it is easier to think that someone, at least one person, thought that what we were saying is important for them.

There is no doubt this is the greatest success any of us could hope for: to be able to express ourselves and for others to make our thoughts their own, to become reflected in people who read us whom we do not know. I therefore also want to thank our readers.


Irina Pino

Irina Pino: I was born in the middle of shortages in those sixties that marked so many patterns in the world. Although I currently live in Miramar, I miss the city center with its cinemas and theaters, and the bohemian atmosphere of Old Havana, where I often go. Writing is the essential thing in my life, be it poetry, fiction or articles, a communion of ideas that identifies me. With my family and my friends, I get my share of happiness.

One thought on “A New Year’s Balance

  • Good idea, great work and wish you all the best in 2015…your fan

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