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October 2018
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Veronica Vega’s diary

Shock Therapy in Cuba

“A country’s achievements shouldn’t be defined by how many hotels are being built, but by the quality of a meal,” I heard a man say in line at the bakery. (He was referring to statistics that official media publish everywhere, which are so optimistic, biased, cynical). Continue reading

The Happiness We Seek

We need to readjust concepts of happiness, security and success. Because even governments and monopolies have to face the great scam of life, which they can’t sue, or seek compensation to swell the illusions of their survivors. Continue reading

The Happiness We Seek

We need to readjust concepts of happiness, security and success. Because even governments and monopolies have to face the great scam of life, which they can’t sue, or seek compensation to swell the illusions of their survivors. Continue reading

What Do We Cubans Really Have?

On August 9th, I stared at a summons from the Ministry of Interior on my fridge for my husband Yasser Castellanos, a visual and Hip-Hop artist as well as a Havana Times’ illustrator. Ever since we had joined the “Cuban Artists against Decree-Law 349” campaign, we guessed that this could imply “crossing the line”. Continue reading

What Do We Cubans Really Have?

On August 9th, I stared at a summons from the Ministry of Interior on my fridge for my husband Yasser Castellanos, a visual and Hip-Hop artist as well as a Havana Times’ illustrator. Ever since we had joined the “Cuban Artists against Decree-Law 349” campaign, we guessed that this could imply “crossing the line”. Continue reading

The “Curse” of a Number

The new law's legal enforcement will impose fines that state wages can’t pay, punishments to keep violations in check, crimes of Cuban artistic talent. Unprincipled inspectors will whisper proposals into their victims’ ears to defer fines or the seizure of their equipment and/or other assets. Continue reading

Children of Abuse

When I watch movies that are set in first world countries, the thing that shocks me the most is the self confidence that people have in excess. Not a confidence that stems from financial superiority, but from a system where citizens can complain about ... Continue reading

Graffiti and Desperate Lovers

The graffiti movement hasn’t had the same strength here in Cuba as it has in the United States or Europe. There are very few remains of aboriginal pictographs and there are some signs that texts mixed with images were stamped onto walls in Old Havana’s trading areas during colonial times. (9 photos) Continue reading

It’s Time for Virtue in Cuba

When I was a student, teachers used to tell us that the socialism sweeping through Cuba was a preparatory phase for the real objective: Communism. In this forthcoming period of our history, money would no longer exist and people would be working totall... Continue reading

Incomplete Motherhood and Mother’s Day in Cuba

This second Sunday of May, Mother's Day, a national pretext for congratulations, visits, gifts paid with what you don’t have and fulfillment of a ritual full of insincerity, I find myself trying to save a newborn kitten that was thrown into the trash. Continue reading

Are We Cubans Trapped?

As a result of Cuba’s recent “presidential transition”, the subject comes up wherever you go and comments were in this tone... Continue reading

The Cuban Concept of Property

When I was a little girl, I would accompany my mother to go and visit my uncle, at a unit where he was doing his military service. The inhospitable environment, the crowd of bodies in uniform, hair shaven so they were almost bald, seeing my uncle thinn... Continue reading

The Dangers of Humanizing a Hero

I have always said it would be a good start to start knocking down all of those gypsum busts that are up, not only in schools, but in parks, companies, even bakeries and all over the country, in order to really start honoring Jose Marti. Continue reading

“I Won’t Allow It”

A friend told me how his father went off on one when he told him: “The Cuban government killed Oswaldo Paya.” The violence that followed prevented any dialogue from taking place. Continue reading

Paths of the Deer: Much More than a Videogame

El Ciervo Blanco is a project created by young Cubans who are trying to spread awareness about everything relating to magic, mythology or religion. Today, I wanted to share information with you about a video game that is being promoted by the El Ciervo... Continue reading

Front Page News

A friend told me in an email about an event that has shaken Spain, where he lives. The murder of an eight-year-old boy. I searched for the news online, and while reading, I felt the resounding drama and hysteria. Continue reading

Do Women Change?

The article “Some men don’t change”, written by my colleague and friend Irina Pino, has made me sink into my own memories and doubts. Continue reading

Facebook or the sea of reencounters

I belong to the analog generation. The generation that watched Russian cartoons in black and white and lived the boom of the videotapes. I only received letters every three months and a birthday card from my father who had emigrated. Continue reading

Who in Cuba Cares about the Elderly?

Walking down a street in Alamar, I heard a young woman say to another: “An old man fell from the 5th floor trying to get in through the balcony because he had left the key...” Continue reading

The Traumas of Freedom

I recently took part in a debate that gave me a glimpse into what Cuba would be like after the much-dreamed, feared and avoided transition comes about. Continue reading

I don’t get mixed up in politics

Not getting mixed up in politics is a premise of the majority of citizens in any society. Because ordinary citizens only aspire to live within a social framework that works the best it can, not relying on their active participation. Cuba isn’t an exception to this rule, in fact, it takes it to the extreme instead. Continue reading

May the Good Ones Excuse Me

A friend suggested I write about a comment one of his acquaintances made: “Black and shit is the same; may the good black people excuse me.” If I had been the other person in that conversation, I would have turned my back on him, because with such a precedent, the likelihood of having a reasonable debate would be zero. Continue reading

Unlimited Reggaeton in Cuba

As well as dengue fever or Zica, Cuba is suffering the scourge of another unknown virus that has become a plague: reggaeton. You mustn’t underestimate the power of noise. It travels through space like an overwhelming invasion and it doesn’t need to ask for any bureaucratic red tape or permits. Continue reading

Borrowed Freedom: Necessary Art in Cuba

Alternative art projects on the island has been treated worse than a bastard child. And not exactly by Cuba. People embrace them and are thankful. For every natural event, there is also a natural audience that identifies with it. Continue reading

The World Doesn’t Have Extremes

I’m sure that Cuba’s experience is already enough to find a path that can make Marti’s dream (“for all and for the well-being of all”) a reality without committing itself to any “-ism” and only using what works, ignoring parts of the world that only check minds and maps. Continue reading

Bribes and red carpets

A friend told me about an ethical conflict: he had managed to get a medical appointment for his wife who has problems with her thyroid. He was even given the “gift” he’d have to hand over to the specialist. Continue reading