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Ernesto Morales Licea, Ernesto Morales, Miami, 16 June 2017 – When the lights and cameras went out, the choreographers of the event breathed a sigh of relief. Mario and Marco, both of Cuban descent, merged in a hug. No child appeared to utter the alarm: “The king is naked!” This time the one humiliated would have been the President … Continue reading "The (Naked) King of Little Havana / Ernesto Morales" Continue reading
I’ve never liked goodbyes. Like just about everyone I suppose. But only because we give a normal act, part of what it is to live, an especially gloomy connotation. And good goodbyes are also a sign of good events. This blog was born on July 9 two years ago, and was born for an incontestable [...] Continue reading
It all started with a phone call. “Did you see the Jaime Bayly program?” a familiar voice kept asking. “I never watch the Jaime Bayly program,” I answered. The voice on the phone shot back, confident, “Then find the interview he just did with Tony Cortez. I need you to see that and give me [...] Continue reading
One of those sentenced to prison following the prostitution scandal revealed in Bayamo, Cuba, in May 2010, after the death of a 12-year-old girl, has declared a hunger strike and as of today and has gone 16 days without eating. Ramón Enrique Álvarez Sánchez owned a rental house for foreigners in Bayamo, and was arrested on [...] Continue reading
If a disturbing phrase from Milan Kundera affirms that man can never know how to deal the challenges of each day because life is a performance with no rehearsals, a painting without a sketch, a game played without training, then it is also true that there is a generally useful method for us to try [...] Continue reading
What could be better, for an admirer of his work, to listen to Willy Chirino live and in person for two wonderful hours? Yes, at least for me: to listen to him honor the Beatles during those two hours that never should have ended. I think that I could not have dreamed of a better [...] Continue reading
When I read the latest episode of Eduardo del Llano, with his movie “Vinci” not being admitted into the upcoming International Festival of New Latin American Cinema in Havana, I can’t escape the memory of a charming passage in my short history as a television writer. It occurred to us, the producers of a television [...] Continue reading
I’m curious to know the great influences of the reggaetoner Osmani Garcia, “The Voice” at the top of the Cuban charts. Good friends should be there. Not every reggaetoner achieved the status of censored celebrity displayed today by Chupi Chupi, turned into an ugly duckling of the radio stations, but a white swan of popular [...] Continue reading
Who could have told the patriarch Fidel Castro that in the autumn of his years he would find an ally to repeal the Cuban Adjustment Act, and not among his starched-brain little spokespeople in the leftist corners of the world, but among Miami’s ranks of the ultra-right-wing itself? If he had the strength for it, [...] Continue reading
If a some genuine idolatry remains for the old, the idolater must be suffering a severe existential crisis. The lackeys with pedigree, the real ones, suffer the unspeakable when their idols are revealed as mere humans, and, in cases like this — Fidel Castro publicly exposed for 6 hours — a human grotesque. To associate [...] Continue reading
If the rumor about Cuban baseball is confirmed, I think the bad news for the national sport will exceed that having played a tournament in Rotterdam to forget, or that of having been deprived, for the umpteenth time in recent years, of an international title (this time, by Taipei of China). The threatening rumor is [...] Continue reading
If, at the moment she stepped foot on U.S. soil that June 9, 2011, someone had whispered in Reina Luisa Tamayo’s ear that barely seven months later, this January 31, 2011, she would be at the Versailles Restaurant not as a heroic mother, but as a woman in need of support and understanding; no longer [...] Continue reading
I waited a few days for the media excitement to die down and the headlines to fade over the statements by the General President about immigration policy. I preferred to sniff out the reactions, read between the lines, question, wonder, before developing an article worthy of such a sensitive and core issue. Cuban immigration policy [...] Continue reading
Creating a novel character based on his profile would be relatively simple. His birth name is Alejandro Cao de Benós, his adopted name is Cho Son-il (Korean for “Korea is one”), and he boasts the disconcerting title of Honorary Special Delegate of North Korea, which means that this Catalan with aristocratic roots is the official [...] Continue reading
On November 6, 2008, published my first digital article on the site Kaosenlared (Chaos on the Web). Three months earlier I had graduated in journalist at the University of the Oriente, did not have this blog, and was about to begin working at the radio station where I would be located during my Social Service. [...] Continue reading
To the already boiling cauldron that awaits Benedict XVI on the tropical island he will visit this coming March, another definitive ingredient has just been added: A too possible death. Unfortunately probable. If it was complex to step on Mexican soil where, according to official figures, 47,515 people have lost their lives since Felipe Calderon [...] Continue reading
Left: Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona FC) and Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid) When God is bored he repeats himself. Generates cyclical crises in the economy, identical natural disasters, literary characters called William Wilson in Edgar Allan Poe’s stories. And creates suspiciously similar and symmetrical duets from time to time. As worldly amusements. I think about [...] Continue reading
A little less than a year ago I lived for two weeks thinking I had cancer in my lymph nodes. In November, 2010, a team of pathologists at the “Carlos Manuel de Cespedes” Provincial Hospital in Bayamo signed a yellowish paper, prepared on a typewriter with a number of typing errors, telling me I had [...] Continue reading
One. In the distance, a horizon of clouds promised to relieve the temperature. From my bicycle I felt the comfort ahead of time, even though my sweat was forcing me to squint to see the semi-deserted road. On my back a backpack, inside it a bouquet of flowers. The pedaling became much easier. Before arriving [...] Continue reading
She said it with a tone somewhere between surprise and disappointment: “They don’t give a damn, Ernesto. How mistaken we exiles are.” And I nodded because I knew too well what she was talking about. For her, a woman from Santiago who hadn’t stepped foot on her native land since 1999, living in Miami and [...] Continue reading
1. The Arab spring Only when the events in Egypt exceeded the predictions, did the Cuban press note (with tweezers) some isolated incidents. Nor had it published anything earlier about the riots in Tunisia and Yemen, nor did it later dig into the deposition of Hosni Mubarak. On Libya and and the fall of Muammar [...] Continue reading
If somehow I managed the unthinkable — five minutes with president Barack Obama — I think I would use the time to convey a clear message: “Do not veto the provision that restricts travel and remittances to Cuba, Mr. President.” I don’t know if I would say to him what I have to my friends [...] Continue reading
With just one click from his holy finger, he lit the most colossal Christmas tree in the holy world 220 kilometers from his holy dwelling. So says the Guinness Book of World Records: the tree rises 750 meters up the side of a mountain in Gubbio, Italty, and is a record And this tree was [...] Continue reading
That the first summit of the “Community of Latin American and Caribbean States,” the newly born CELAC, would be a quaint circus where some of the worst habits of our part of Latin America would be on display was well-known. We didn’t know the dimensions of the tent, the variety of numbers that its protagonists [...] Continue reading
He’s brought Raul Castro an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the possible honesty of his words. In the handful of years during which he’s been the regent of this feudal family that is the whole Island, the younger of the Castros has never stopped repeating a maxim in his sharp voice and as if it were [...] Continue reading
According to Jonathan Swift, when a true genius appears in the world we can recognize him by a sign: All fools conspire against him. I believe we could easily adapt this maxim – taken from the stupendous novel “A Confederacy of Dunces” by John Kennedy Toole – to another context: When a sensible president appears [...] Continue reading
I wonder if Cuban television will air at least a small morsel of the delicious interview Mariela Castro Espin offered to the cameras of Radio Netherlands Worldwide during her recent visit to the Red Light District in Amsterdam. The material is priceless. It’s a real gem, a supreme example of the cynicism that this lady, [...] Continue reading
Leonardo Padura just won the “Roger Caillois” Prize. We universal lovers of literature received the news with a mixture of satisfaction (almost personal) and unjustified astonishment: for a long time Leonardo Padura has exceeded the boundaries of what some call Cuban literature, and has become an indispensable narrator of today’s literary landscape. If prizes demonstrate [...] Continue reading
A terrible phrase summarizes the maxim: “Within you, a voice exclaims: ‘My God!’. But its time to work. Deal with the rest later.” The phrase is from Kevin Carter, author of one of the most famous and controversial photographs in the history of the genre: that in which a vulture stalks the agony of one [...] Continue reading
How can an admired writer be turned into an alleged and persecuted anti-social? How can one pass from being a creator of stories, a prize-winner, read, respected, cited, to become part of the social evils which, according to the all-powerful authority, it is necessary to mercilessly eradicate? The answer is very simple: Live in Cuba. [...] Continue reading
The diplomacy of the absurd. A kind of indecipherable political cha cha cha, with steps lacking any harmony with each other, forming no coherent dance. The thinking of the top leadership in Cuba is an unfathomable mystery to me, every day more difficult to understand. I have come to think: Not even the powers-that-be are [...] Continue reading
After touching up his work in his Italian homeland, our man in Havana landed in Miami. He was preceded by a great omen: censorship. The best antecedent to arouse interest. A filmmaker whose latest work has been rejected by each and every European festival where he tried to show it. He entered it in small [...] Continue reading
The oldest of the three, Dylan McFarlane, is 18 and is the only one who didn’t fire that night. Eric Ronald Ellington, the first to be arrested and the author of the most amazing confession the police interrogators of Miami-Dade had ever heard in all their years in their posts, is 16, the same age [...] Continue reading
For the first time in this blog I am publishing something that I did not write. It is my duty to do so. Pablo Milanés’ response to the article published by Edmundo García is so rich, so evolved, so brutally honest, that it forces even me to face up to my own visions of what [...] Continue reading
The landing gear descended and, as vertiginous as it is, rushed his body into the daylight. Hanging upside down, cut by irons and cables, semi naked, the torso of a Cuban greeted Barajas’ airport with his halo of death and desperation. That torso was only 23 years old. Nobody likes the word: desperation is an [...] Continue reading
On August 27th, Pablo Milanes will sing in Miami. According to the billboard ads, it will be a historic concert. Of course it will: for his followers as well as for the Vigilia Mambisa. Some will lose their voices for singing along to his songs; others, outside American Airlines Arena, will lose theirs screaming out [...] Continue reading
I wanted to not write about Bono, but I couldn’t. I wanted, for example, to write about something more global: music, my untameable ally, my refuge during times without peace. And to do so, let’s say, through U2, through the brutal concert U2 gifted me with. But I knew I would betray myself: I don’t [...] Continue reading
“Twenty dollars, Sir,” he answered me, in fractured English. A diaphanous but nervous smile softened his facial features. More than black his skin was almost purple, and he was of an indeterminate age: he could have been fifty, or all of a hundred. I accepted his price, got in with him, and asked him to [...] Continue reading
Chapter 3: Dissident Muralist* The procedure was simple. Very simple. You looked for a piece of cardboard and painted it with a phrase against the Government. You hung it around your neck and went out into the street. Like in the reality shows where a naked man comes out into the light of day starkers, [...] Continue reading
You discover it by chance. Looking, without much encouragement, through some photos, let’s say: images of a past that you know will never return. (It is one of the hallmarks of the past: it never returns.) You look at the photos with pleasure, sometimes strangely, because in the past your hair was longer, or you [...] Continue reading
True to my iconoclastic anti-traditionalist spirit, I deliberately ignored a date: the first year of this blog. It happened last Saturday. On July 9, 2010, I inaugurated this space with Prologue to The Little Brother, which was more an avalanche than a prologue: it was the first handful of snow I launched to roll, convinced [...] Continue reading
When the documentary was close to its end, I discovered an unbelievable sensation deep inside of me: the “destination” Claudia Palacios was proposing was absolutely unknown to me and made me feel the urge to visit it. CNN, through one of its reporters of spectacular beauty and proven professionalism, had just managed to make a [...] Continue reading
I would almost dare to ask the regular readers of this blog, to leave it this time. To not read a post not directed to them: a post that is not directed at democrats, the quick-witted, the open-minded. It is not for the readers who do credit to this space, or for those for whom [...] Continue reading
I. A Happy World China, North Korea and Cuba, in that order, are the three happiest nations on the planet. In the “Top Five” they are followed by Iran in the 4th position, and Venezuela, number 5. The most agonizingly unhappy of all countries is the United States, which scored just three points out of [...] Continue reading
I don’t have to think too hard to come up with the question I’ve had to answer most often since I came to the United States. It’s this: “How do independent bloggers on the Island update their pages without access to the Internet?” It’s an indecipherable puzzle for those who assume a connection as a [...] Continue reading