In April of 1948, a full-page cartoon in Carteles showed a paterfamilias being asked by his daughter, “Papá, what’s a politician?” Visibly upset, he dropped his cigar and bellowed, “Young lady!
My article on Cuban writer and filmmaker Jesús Díaz (1941-2002) is part of a broader research project on cultural policy, participation and censorship in Cuba.1 I raise two questions. First, what is the role of cultural agents in the production of both stability and change in Cuba, and concomitantly, what does the regime do to coopt actors and control the production of politico-cultural forms? Second, when and how do writers and artists actually push for more ‘space’ and deploy their expressive powers in a way that challenges the statu quo?
Upon the death of Fidel Castro, the global media praised his legacy of political sovereignty and his role as an internationalist, as well as the notable improvements he made in education and health, although the judgment is usually negative in regards to the economy.
As one of his final acts as president, and as part of his effort to thaw relations with Cuba, Barack Obama officially ended America’s Wet Foot, Dry Foot policy. This 22-year old mandate granted asylum to Cubans who landed on US soil, allowing them to become legal permanent residents after one year. Cubans intercepted in the ocean coming to the US were apprehended and returned to Cuba. Although beneficial to Cubans fleeing their homeland, this policy was seen as a way to subvert the Cuban government.
Walking down the cracked sidewalks of a hot, palm frond-shaded street in Vedado, Havana’s western upper-middle class neighborhood, you pass two women. One of them, younger and taller, is dressed entirely in white—from her white umbrella and white hair wrap down to her white high-heeled shoes. When she notices you staring at her trailing white dress, she smiles and looks down. Her older companion speaks loudly and emphatically to her as they pass you by.
On December 2, the Center for Latin American Studies hosted a panel discussion focusing on how the death of Fidel Castro will affect Cuba and the region as a whole. The event was entitled “The Legacy of Fidel and the Future of Cuba”.
Latin America may be the last place you would expect to see someone who is Chinese. Yet surprisingly, scattered around Latin America, there are many pockets of Chinese immigrants, many of whom consider these nations home. In the areas where there are large Chinese populations, you may even find a Chinatown or un barrio chino.
When one thinks of sports in Latin America, soccer normally comes to mind, with fans going crazy. But another sport dominates in certain countries: baseball. In the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Cuba, among others, baseball is extremely popular. So popular, in fact, that many beisbolistas from these countries have come to play in U.S. Major League Baseball. There is a lot of history behind this modern trend.
1)Elise Andaya, Conceiving Cuba: Reproduction, Women, and the State in the Post-Soviet Era. New Brunswick, NJ, and London: Rutgers University Press, 2014. Notes, bibliography, index, 169 pp.; paperback $26.95, cloth $80
Mariela Castro Espin, the daughter of Cuban president Raul Castro and the late former president Fidel Castro, has been creating her own revolution.