Headline, July 11 2020/ ''' '' CUBANS -FOREVERS- CAMPUS '' '''

''' '' CUBANS -


 CAMPUS '' '''

THE CUBANS : ORDINARY LIVES IN EXTRAORDINARY TIMES by Anthony DePalma : IF it  differs from the work of Dickens and Hugo, it is in that it isn't meant to be literature.

Although his is an admirable feat of journalism, a remarkably revealing glimpse into the world of a muzzled yet irrepressibly ebullient country, a reader looking for delightfully original turns of phrase is not likely to find them here.

This is not Katherine Boo's eloquent portrait of India, ''Behind the Beautiful Forevers,'' nor is it Bruce Chatwin's bracing chronicle ''in Patagonia'', a work that transports you through its prose as much as through time or geography.

There is Arturo Montoto, a Moscow-trained artist, whose trajectory from nowhere to internationally known painter confirms the Cuban lesson that if you become famous beyond your borders, you become untouchable - can do what you like, live well.

And then there is the hard-working, no-nonsense hospital worker Lili Durand Hernandez, who has no other recourse in lean times than to lock her demented father in a closet and muck it out every morning as if he were a caged beast.

CUBA HAS ALWAYS HAD A FIRM grip on the American imagination. More than Mexico, which quietly sent nearly a million and half Mexicans north between 1970 and 1980; more than Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic or -

Or all the Spanish speaking world, for that matter, whose kin now make up nearly one-fifth of the country's residents, it is Cuba that obsesses Washington politicians, stir liberal hearts, shapes  hemispheric policy and looms large in presidents' minds.

As Wayne Smith, a former Foreign Service Officer, who served in Havana, once said : ''Cuba seems to have the same effect on American administration as the full moon has on werewolves.

And yet, for all the romance of Cuba's history, for all its pluck and poetry, it is a nation the size of  Pennsylvania with a population roughly equivalent to Ohio's.

Anthony DePalma, the perceptive and keenly observant author of ''The Cubans,'' puts it, Cuba may be tiny, ''but it has had an impact on the world far out of proportion to its modest size.

For generations, the world's attention has focused on Fidel and Raul as if they ruled a superpower.    Revolutionary Cuba produced so many outsize characters like Che Guevara, so many terrible events like the Bay of Pigs invasion and the missile crises that nearly triggered a nuclear holocaust -

That it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking about huge events like revolutions on a grand scale and forgetting that real people are involved, that what happens on  history-changing levels seeps down to local streets and utterly transforms'' the lives of ordinary citizens.

During what Castro-called ''the special period'', after the Soviet Union collapsed, the United States imposed a punishing trade embargo and Cuba was abandoned to rampant shortages and deprivation.

What all Cubans had to do to survive : fry up banana peels to dull hunger, grind a few dried peas to brew ''coffee,'' scrounge a scrap of gristle from a slaughterhouse and roam the streets, luchando -Cubans for stealing, cheating, or subverting the system.

But from from DePalma's bighearted account, you are bound to emerge with a deeper understanding of a storied island. Devoid of bias or facile judgments, ''The Cubans'' is filled with human-tenderness that is so rare in these politically charged times.

The World Students Society thanks review author Marie Arana, a recipient of a 2020 award in literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

With respectful dedication to Cubans, Students, Professors and Teachers, and then the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

''' Profile - Primer '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!