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
Guardiola: Bayern Munich deserved to win    
[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Wednesday] Off to a relatively quiet start to its league season, German champion ...
Impact edges Red Bulls to take command    
[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Wednesday] In a Concacaf matchup of MLS teams, Montreal went with its stars, ...
Lichaj's Nottingham Forest stays on top    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] Eric Lichaj, one of the few available European-based U.S. internationals not called into the ...
Women take to turf for final qualifying warmup    
[USA-MEXICO] With the threat of U.S. women's national team players to sue FIFA over the issue ...
Soccer America Men's Top 25 Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Midweek] In 2013, North Carolina came up against William & Mary as the No. 1 ...
Soccer America Women's Top 25 Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Midweek] No. 2 Virginia improved to 8-0-0 with a 5-0 victory over Old Dominion. The ...
A neat free-kick goal from Down Under     
[VIDEO PICK: Golazo] Choreographed free kicks usually don't work out better than a simple shot on ...
Charlotte gains Independence as Eagles' successor    
[USL PRO] The Charlotte Independence will take the place of the Charlotte Eagles in USL PRO ...
What They're Saying: Clint Dempsey    
"We talked about trying to win the U.S. Open Cup, Supporters' Shield and MLS Cup. This ...
D.C.'s Espindola shows off stuff, Timbers refuse to wilt    
[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Tuesday] D.C. United all but clinched a berth in the quarterfinals of the ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives