Cuba's Enduring Revolution
Prima ballerina Alicia Alonso
and the National Ballet of Cuba
Researcher: Anar Desai
The lights are dim and the
red velvet curtain's up. Hundreds of expectant eyes stare at the bare
stage. They know he's comingthey read his name on the program
but a split second later, Rolando Sarabia still takes them by surprise.
Cuba's last wave and its first immigrants
Researcher: Eddy Ramirez
They worked in an abandoned
house at the edge of Guayabal, a dusty hamlet about an hour's drive from
Havana. Slowly, they fit the wood and metal together to make a vessel
sturdy enough to hold six passengers. When it was ready a month and a
half later, they packed water, food and a few clothes for the long journey
ahead of them. They kissed Hany, their 5-year-old daughter goodbye, and
snapped a picture of her sleeping form, capturing the sheets and blankets
tossed this way and that by her small legs. Four hours later, before the
sun rose on August 21, 1994, Barbarita and Orlando sailed to Miami.
By Alicia Roca
It's six. Rosa
fumbles with the light switch, roosters crow somewhere in the darkness.
She pulls a chair by its back and climbs on it. She jiggles the light
bulb; a little to the left, then to the right. At last, it hums, flickers
and emits a dim orange glow. "Hay que inventar." You have to
invent, she says with a slight smile.
and Cuba; A 500-year-old Affair
Ivan, a Cuban philosophy student,
still remembers the scene vividly: It was January 2001 and the Spaniards
had descended on central Havana, draped in robes like royalty from the
1500s. In the lead, three men in a horse-drawn carriage rolled leisurely
along the tree-lined Paseo del Prado to the clattering rhythm of hooves.
Behind them, a troop of Spaniards fanned out along the street, throwing
candy to Cuban children. With the kids in fast pursuit, the entourage
glided past crumbling colonial homes and emerged in front of the Spanish
Cultural Center's newly refurbished seafront mansion. There the crowd
thickened and the candy supply ran low. People began to push and grab
excitedly, trampling some children in the midst of the confusion.
Heat waves rising from the
cracked pavement make the red flower print on a plastic bag shimmer. A
bored teenager, the third in line for a public phone, shifts impatiently,
her lemon-yellow Lycra top glaring bright in the sun. Second in line,
a man in a baseball cap checks her out, but settles his glance on the
tourist fumbling in her huge American backpack for change, a credit card,
or whatever these Cuban phones take.
"Where are you from?
Spain?" he asks, without waiting for an answer.
"Where are you staying?
When he finds out where, and that I'm paying $15 a night, he laughs and
rolls his eyes.
"I can offer you a room
for much less
Close by, a block and half, maybe two. Come see."
Welcome to Cuba.
Researcher: Pedro Mosqueda
is a jinitero, a hustler.
Slouching against the white,
wrought iron fence of the Plaza Mayor, he watches weary, sun-burnt tourists
wander in and out of a simple church the Spaniards left behind more than
a century ago. A blue-bereted policeman on the corner watches too, stoic
and motionless. Behind him, a fierce orange sun slips into the horizon.
When its glow fades, he disappears, out of sight. On cue, Dany is in action.
He calls out to a young couple: "Hi, how are you," first in
English, then in Italian. A "bon jour" finally turns their heads.
By Angel Gonzalez
Who was Carmelo Gonzalez?
From what I know, he was an idealistic young man deeply involved in one
of the most important events in the history of the Western hemisphere:
the Cuban Revolution.
Carmelo was a revolutionary,
a counter-revolutionary, and the once again part of the Revolution. Some
say he despised Castro, but some say that after serving time in Castros
prisons, he lived out his life as a committed Communist. How does Carmelo
fit in our long familial tradition of war-mongering, rebellion and political
involvement? Thats what Ive come to Cuba to find out.
Libre: Cubans Log On Behind Castros Back
Researchers: Cyrus Farivar and Osvaldo Gomez
Hackers must be resourceful
to survive in a Communist world, where fraying infrastructure, snarled
bureaucracy and draconian security services are the norm. But cyber criminals
are not simply survivors; theyre an indication that Fidel Castro
is unable to control the inherently democratic world of the Internet.
By Ezequiel Minaya
I missed him again, this time
by only ten minutes. For about four days now, Ive been combing Havana
for Pedro Juan Gutierrez; a poet, novelist and journalist. I want to talk
to him about his writing, Cuban writers after the revolution and censorship.
But, above all else, I want to hear his thoughts on exiled poet, Herberto
Ive stopped by underground
libraries, the apartments of independent journalists, and even the crowded
night-time hang outs lining El Malecon that Gutierrez wrote about in his
latest novel, Dirty Havana Trilogy. All Ive got to show for it is
a messengers bag full of illegal, dissident writing, a dozen new
titles from the many Havana bookstores and more offers of sex than I can
is a Moment
Olga R. Rodríguez
Reseracher: Osvaldo Gomez
Flanked by the calm and clear
Caribbean ocean and the old, deafening cars, I wondered whether foreigners
who had moved to the island during the 1960s remained as supportive of
the Cuban revolution as Leoni was when we spoke in 1996.
I first visited Rosa Maria
Almendros, a Spanish contemporary of Leoni who moved to Cuba after the
triumph of the 1959 revolution.
"It was a dream come
true," Almendros, sitting in her Havana apartment, says. "We
knew with Castro in power it wouldnt take long before a just society
would be created."
Hip-Hop, Underground revolution
Researcher: Eve Lotter
It's a late Friday afternoon
in downtown Havana and an old man in a worn-out tuxedo opens the doors
under the flickering green and red neon of Club Las Vegas. A poster
on the wall, its corners curling, advertises the usual cabaret fare:
live salsa, banana daiquiris, beautiful women. But the people standing
outside are not tourists looking for an exotic thrill. They are mostly
young, mostly black, and dressed in the latest styles from Fubu and
Tommy Hilfiger. And despite the $1 cover chargesteep for most
Cubansthe line to get in is long.