Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
CUBA DIARY: Viva Ernest and Elvis
by Mike Woitalla, September 7th, 2008 7AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

Books and artwork are among the few items the U.S. Department of the Treasury allows Americans to bring back from Cuba, so I take a walk down the Paseo de Prado where Havana artists sell their paintings. But on Saturday the pedestrian-only path is overrun by about a hundred young volunteers passing out condoms and educational material on the prevention of STDs. The Plaza de Armas in Old Havana is as usual, with scores for vendors selling used books. It's of little surprise what books dominate the vendors' displays.

Omnipresent are Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, followed by Jose Marti, the 19th century poet, writer and independence leader.

"Castro and Religion," "Castro's War Diary," and "The March of Castro" are just a few of the Fidel titles. One book for youngsters is, "Fidel talks to the Children." There are also numerous different editions of Castro's "History Will Absolve," the transcription of his two-hour opening statement from the 1953 trial at which he was convicted for organizing an uprising. Castro jotted down his courtroom address while in prison on small pieces of paper, which were smuggled out. The manifesto was widely published as a booklet and became the blueprint of the successful revolution in 1959.

One of the more interesting books, sold by most of the vendors, is a collection of photos from Alberto Korda, the photographer of the world-famous Guevara head shot ("Guerrillero Heroico") that has become so popular worldwide on anything from T-shirts to coffee mugs.

Most the vendors also sell Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's "The Little Prince" in Spanish, "El Principito."

The first poem in Jose Marti's "Simple Verses," which inspired Cuba's most famous song, begins with "Yo soy un hombre sincero, De Donde crece la palma." As if on cue, the band at restaurant around the corner plays "Guantanamera."

The most popular English-language books at the market are those of American author, Ernest Hemingway, who lived on and off in Cuba during the 1930s and is much revered here.

National Geographic magazines from the 1950s are available as are a sprinkling of other English-language books, most likely left by tourists. And there, on a bottom row between two Spanish-language textbooks, smiles Elvis Presley.

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Sigi Schmid    
"It's been sort of a strange rhythm ... it's going to be a hectic August for ...
Manchester City romps before record Pittsburgh crowd    
[INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES] English clubs made it three-for-three in the Guinness International Champions Cup as Manchester City ...
Kleberson winner gives Indy Eleven second win    
[NASL: Fall Week 3] Brazilian World Cup 2002 champion Kleberson scored deep into stoppage time to ...
Naho paces Reign in rout of rival Thorns    
[NWSL: Week 16] The Pacific Northwest battle of this year's leader, Seattle, and last year's champion, ...
Ocala Stampede shocks defending champion Austin    
[PDL] The Ocala Stampede got goals from Karamba Janneh and Ilija Ilic to beat the defending ...
Rochester ends Orlando's unbeaten streak at 18 games    
[USL PRO] Colin Rolfe's goal gave the Rochester Rhinos a 1-0 win over first-place Orlando City, ...
Valeri does it against for Portland    
[MLS: Sunday] For the second week in a row, Diego Valeri scored a late winner to ...
Diskerud's Rosenborg falls off pace    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] Mix Diskerud's Rosenborg dropped a 3-1 decision at first-place Molde, falling 12 points behind ...
Cal South teams clean up Sunday at National Championships    
[U.S. YOUTH SOCCER] Cal South teams won five of the 10 titles decided on Sunday as ...
Killian and Stengel lead Blues to fourth championship    
[W-LEAGUE] UCLA star Sarah Killion had a goal and two assists and Bayern Munich-bound Katie Stengel ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives