Category: Cuba Today

Isabelle DeSisto: Student Perspective

encountered the first obstacle of my trip to the Isla de la Juventud before I even left Havana. Since American credit cards don’t work in Cuba, I couldn’t buy my plane tickets online. But that…

Tobacco and Sugar

“Tobacco and Sugar” is the course that focuses American literatures on the Caribbean, and that acknowledges the unavoidable importance of monocultures for cultural studies. Much of the…

The “Wordly” Classroom

Nearly two years ago, I took 17 graduate public policy students from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, ages 23 to 40, to Cuba as part of a short course called…

The Summer School for Cuban Teachers

A hundred years ago, 1,300 Cuban teachers traveled to Harvard to get the training they needed to cope with the new American-style educational system imposed on Cuba by the…

Socialism with Commercials

A cacophony of sounds and colors welcomed the visitor to the annual Havana Commercial Fair at ExpoCuba on the outskirts of Havana. Displays of rum, mattresses, shampoos, cab services…

RFK Professor Roberto Schwarz

Roberto Schwarz, Robert F. Kennedy Visiting Professor this past semester, is one of the foremost Latin American intellectuals whose critical work spans 25 years. Students who took his Romance…

Resistance and Reform

A university chemistry professor in Havana quietly mixes chemicals-paid for by the state- for a local photographer. The photographer in turn sells some of his pictures to a Spanish tourist…

A Medical Student Looks at Cuba

Fresh off the plane, and already my interest was piqued as we drove out of the airport in Havana. I had just finished my first year at Harvard Medical School, and was in Cuba with a group of…

Librarian Turned Detective

A librarian’s mundane afternoon in the Widener Library stacks and a subsequent sleepless night have thrust Harvard into the limelight throughout the Spanish-speaking literary world…

Latin America at the Century’s Turn

It is hard to be upbeat about Latin America at the present moment. Although only two or three years ago, many observers maintained that sustained economic development and stable…

Instituto de Medicina Tropical

Instituto de Medicina Tropical “Pedro Kouri” (IPK), Cuba’s leading research institute and treatment center in the field of tropical medicine and infectious diseases is well known as one of the…

Housing, Historic Preservation, and Community

Back in 1977, Massachusetts Lt. Governor Thomas P. O’Neill III and a group of business people, including myself, went to Cuba to explore the possibility of future business there, which seemed…

Havana in Literature

While most Harvard students are bracing themselves for more Boston frosts this January intercession, 15 students and three faculty members will have found themselves in much…

Havana Homeland

Like thousands of Cubans, at the age of fourteen, I crossed the Caribbean Sea in a small boat with more than 20 people on board in search of a better future, the Promised Land. The journey that took me back to my Cuban…

Cuba’s Many Faces

Surely Elián González was Cuba’s most public face as the decade reached its end. The little boy’s mother took Elián aboard a boat that capsized in the Straits of Florida; the mother…

Cuba’s Environmental Strategy

Both in spite of and because of the economic crisis following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba has adopted an ecological perspective on development. Agriculture and other fields…

Cuban Women

In the day-to-day struggle for survival during this “special period,” Cuban women have endured the most difficulties. They have also worked with boundless creativity. Cuban women are the…

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