Independencia

El 20 de mayo de 1902, a las doce horas del día, se llevo a cabo en el Palacio de la Plaza de Armas, en La Habana, la ceremonia de transmisión de poderes entre Cuba y Estados Unidos, y la confirmacion de Tomás Estrada Palma como su primer presidente.  

El barrio

I finally found the west’s version of Hialeah/Miami Lakes. It turns out that the majority of Cubans left Echo Park and ended up in two neighboring towns, one named Bell and the other named after a fabric softener. Downey, as in ¿Le echaste ‘dauni’ a la lavadora?, is in many ways fancier than Bell. And in true … More El barrio

El escándalo

Richard Nixon was a congressman, a senator, a two-term vice-president, a near two-term president, and an adviser to the presidents after him. He was also the first president to resign. All of these are facts I knew thanks to my seventh grade civics report on the 37th POTUS. Years later through movies, books and the Pentagon Papers, … More El escándalo

Periodo especial

I was in Miami when Fidel Castro died. More specifically, when the news broke I was asleep on a pull-out couch in Hialeah exactly one block from la 49 del west. I honked my horn, drank entire coladas and serendipitously ran into Marisela Verena en una esquina de Mary Brickell Village. Since then many have written, much … More Periodo especial

El capitolio

In 1956, Nat King Cole traveled to Cuba to perform at Tropicana, but he couldn’t stay at el Hotel Nacional because of the color of his skin. That same year, 1956, the iconic Capitol Records building was completed. A thirteen-story, earthquake-resistant tower that was the world’s first circular office building. And its nickname became “The House That Nat Built,” because … More El capitolio

Los Dodgers

By birthright, I was told to pledge allegiance to Los Almendares – never the Habana baseball club. Later in my youth I was instructed to support our Cuban prince, José Canseco, and cheer on the Oakland A’s (even though he didn’t show up to his own street naming). Then, when Florida got a team it was all Marlins, all the time. … More Los Dodgers

Dos mojitos

Cubans get to have two of everything. Uno aquí y otro allá.  La heladeria Coppelia en el Vedado, Coppelia ice cream in Miami Havana Club hecho en Cuba, Havana Club produced by Bacardí Tabacos Cohiba cosechados en Pinar del Río, Cohiba cigars rolled in the D.R. El Floridita Bar en Obispo, El Floridita Restaurant in Los Angeles El Floridita de allá: Ernest Hemingway … More Dos mojitos

El presidente

Regardless of your party affiliation or personal politics, it’s a universal truth that Ronald Reagan was the first Cuban president. For many Cubans, Number 41 was a figure that perfectly embodied the United States’ promise of freedom and its far-reaching power. Ronald Reagan (more accurately pronounced RRRO-nal RRREE-gang) took office in 1981 and almost instantly imposed the travel … More El presidente