Thursday, January 25, 2007

What I did in Havana

For a bit of fun, I point you today in the direction of an article published by the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, a Washington-based “think thank”.

It’s written by a senior research fellow there by the name of Dr Holger W Henke, who is apparently an expert on Caribbean affairs.

The good doctor has just returned from Cuba and has delivered a 1,700-words article that reminded me of the “balanced” reports that used to be written by well-meaning but myopic Western academics on their return from sponsored visits to the Soviet Union in the 1930s or to Poland and East Germany in the 1970s.

My favourite line is this observation of Cuban life today:

“Despite all of the criticisms regarding the lack of freedom of expression in Cuba, I was impressed by the ubiquity of the arts in all of its forms and varieties. People reading, writing, playing music, and staging street performances are evident everywhere throughout the island. By no means are the artists performing only for the tourists; much of it is just for private enjoyment.”

Read the entire, hilarious article here. It's an education.


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