“What’s up with the two currencies?” This is the question I heard without fail every time I met an older US American on the tourist circuit in Cuba. Those who have never traveled to the island nor studied it in depth may not know that the country operates a system of doble moneda, or two currencies. One of these, the CUC, is valued at 24 or 25 times more than the other, the Cuban peso. Continue reading Cuba: Two Currencies, Infinite Problems
“Cuando se acabó el racismo en Cuba [whem racism ended in Cuba]…”
This is the way a former Cuban basketball player began a sentence when I asked him about race and sports in modern Cuba. Yes, officially racism in Cuba ended in 1959, with the ‘eradication’ all legal forms of discrimination, thus racism no longer exists in this socialist utopia. Ha. Everybody on this island knows that that idea is nothing but an inane fantasy. Racism is a reality that black people in Cuba, including myself, face every time we are stopped by the police, interrogated by hotel staff, or stared at when walking with foreigners.
Continue reading Racismo? There is no racism in the Americas
Last Saturday (Sep. 14th) our group took a Brown-funded excursion to an all-inclusive resort located in Varadero, in the Matanzas province of Cuba. Having never been to a resort like this, I was overjoyed. But making the transition from Habana to the Iberostar resort made the shock all the more real.
Continue reading One Night in Varadero