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This report is taken from PN Review 212, Volume 39 Number 6, July - August 2013.

Letter from Havana Suzanne Gardinier
1. Overpacked like a rookie and didn't sleep at all the night before I flew, trying to figure out whether or not to bring Don Quixote. What to bring to live and work for four months in Havana.

2. Dinner after midnight with D, the liaison between my college's programme and the centre we work with at the University, and her novio and her visiting Brazilian papi, who told us about the elevator operator in Brazil when D lived there trying to convert her to Catholicism. The papi explained No, no, D es comunista - and the elevator man, who loved her, said No, no, impossible, communists eat children, not my D.

3. The man sprawled dozing on a bicycle in the old city with a box of mangos on the back, his shirt open and a tattoo of Che over his heart.

4. One of Che's comrades was going to talk with us but couldn't because he had to speak at a memorial; Che has been dead 45 years. Some of the documents arranging his killing were signed by William Broe who lived up the street in the Massachusetts town where I grew up, who raised roses and worked for the CIA.

5. A lecture by a Cuban economist who said that free education and health care are economically unsustainable, there has to be more private ownership, cuts in state jobs. When I asked, 'What's the difference between what you're proposing and the traditional neoliberal agenda?', he ...


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