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January 2018
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Rosa Martinez’s Diary

Different Ways of Celebrating the Holidays

December didn’t bring many surprises for the Cuban people, just another end of the year, which wasn’t very different to previous year ends, which everyone celebrates as best they can and people aren’t expecting much from this new year, not even with a new president. Continue reading

Violence, oh Violence

Like many women who are abused, Tamara felt she was to blame for what had happened: that she should have gone straight home after work, that she didn’t tell her partner she was going to go to the market, that she really did take a long time, that something else or another... Continue reading

Hunter Hunted, More on Gender Violence in Cuba

Conner Gorry’s article, Me too: Gender Violence in Havana, took me back to an incident that happened a long time ago, which I still remember, even when, let’s just say, my memory isn’t the best. Continue reading

Why Did Granma Fire its Director?

According to the announcement published by Granma newspaper, the Cuban Communist Party’s official press, Pelayo Terry Cuervo, the director of this newspaper, the country’s main one, was “released” from his position because of mistakes he had made. Continue reading

A Cuba-USA Story of Here and There

Danay and Juan are two regular young people out of the many here in Cuba who have been wanting to emigrate for a long time. They were born and raised during the cumbersome Special Period crisis of the 1990s and they became adults in the middle of the ... Continue reading

Irma and I

A friend who knows me well, who knows that I collaborate with Havana Times and knows that I am more inspired by personal experiences than any interesting news item, says: "Rosa, write something about Irma's passage through Guantanamo. Continue reading

Of Course it’s Possible to be a Millionaire in Cuba

Being a millionaire is the dream of many, I can’t say that it hasn’t been my own too. Some children fantasize about having a lot of money to take water and food to starving children in exploited Africa; others thought about helping those most in need on the planet... Continue reading

Heat wave takes over Guantanamo

It was just about 7 AM when I walked to the bus stop and the sun was already burning bodies; many people, especially women, were protecting themselves from the sun with parasols and sunglasses, but their light clothing seemed to do nothing. Continue reading

Nothing to Take to a Sick Friend

I don’t know whether this has ever happened to you too, but I haven’t gone to see a loved one in the first few days of their sickness because my financial situation hasn’t allowed me to buy a juice, malanga or something else we normally take to the afflicted on the island. Continue reading

Cuba Says NO to Force

Due to marijuana being decriminalized in some countries; many travelers try to enter with small amounts for their own personal consumption, which isn’t allowed in Cuba. In these cases, a warning is given and they are fined, noted an official. Continue reading

Mother’s Day vs. Father’s Day

It will be Father’s Day on Sunday here in Cuba, but, of course, it doesn’t have as much impact or coverage by the media as Mother's Day. Here's a few comments on the subject. Continue reading

Cuban Immigration to the North at a Near Standstill

It's pretty incredible but it’s true, there are hardly any more rafts heading towards the United States; I imagine that few would risk leaving for South or Central America to then head on to that country that used to take in every Cuban that reached its territory, whether by sea or land. Continue reading

A Tough 5-Years Since Hurricane Sandy Hit Eastern Cuba

Ever since Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012, which almost destroyed Santiago de Cuba and caused severe damage in the other eastern provinces, and left my house trembling as it nearly tore off the roof all of a sudden, we haven’t been able to take a break. Continue reading

Medicine, the Most Sought-after University Degree

Entrance exams for university took place about 15 days ago here in Cuba. Thousands of young people from every province are waiting to find out what course they will get, their future depends on it, the future of this country too. Continue reading

Violence Doesn’t Kill Violence

In Cuba, May 1st is a national holiday, and one of the celebrations that belong to ordinary Cuban people, who stay in the street after the parade to celebrate International Workers’ Day with music and beer. Continue reading

The English Arrived

A few months ago, two young English couples, who had decided to visit Guantanamo city on their way to Baracoa, the main tourist attraction in the province, wanted to first stop by my home in order to meet my family. Continue reading

Between stories and photos…

A few weeks ago, Gissel, my youngest daughter, brought a classmate home to spend the Saturday with our family. As it was the first time she had visited us, we decided to prepare a decent lunch, within our possibilities of course. Continue reading

Saving Quality Education in Cuba

The Cuban school year 2016-2017 reached its final stage. When students return from Victory Week vacations (mid-April) they will face the final months of this stage which includes final exams, extra-curricular work, entrance exams and others. Continue reading

Finding a Wallet Full of Money

When we saw the news at home a few days ago about the children from Pinar del Rio who returned a wallet they found with 300 US dollars inside, my daughters and I looked at each other knowingly and we burst out laughing. Continue reading

My Hitchhiking Scare

Among the most frightening moments I've ever lived, when I felt like I was on the brink of death, was when I was in 11th grade and had gone to spend my summer holidays with some relatives in Santiago de Cuba. Continue reading

Holy Mondays

A few months ago, and after a lot of looking around, I got a new job at the Medical Sciences University, in Guantanamo. This institution has given me a lot of anecdotes to share with HT friends, but I’m a little disheartened right now, so I’ll write them slowly over time. Continue reading

Poor Neighborhood, “Rich” People

I have already told you some stories about my neighborhood and its people, which give you an idea more or less of how we live here. Living in a ghetto, like everything in life, has its advantages and disadvantages. Continue reading

Extreme Drought in Cuba, Many Are Unaware

Cuba, reached World Water Day this year suffering one of the most intense droughts in the last 100 years, severely affecting over 80% of the population. Out of the country’s 168 municipalities, 141 are affected and 53 have been declared in extreme drought. Continue reading

Just One of Those Days

There are days when, for no apparent reason, you wake up on the wrong side of the bed and even another person’s smile can annoy you. You don’t understand why exactly, because of course there are lots of things which we don’t understand. Continue reading

Getting to Work on Time in Cuba

Getting to work or school on time is one of the most difficult challenges we ordinary Cubans face, due to the serious complications that exist in public transport across the country. Nevertheless, we go to great lengths and make a lot of effort to do so. Continue reading

Internet via Pay-For Wi-fi is also in Guantanamo

If you ask any Cuban about the most interesting novelties of the last two years on a national scope, they will surely mention the Wi-Fi service, which has been very useful for a mostly disconnected population. Continue reading