Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Future of Cuba

God, I hope not...


Walter Lippmann said...

Hi, Russell -

Back in the sixties I was a student at Madison. I lived at 202 Marion Street and too my books to be bound at the Grimm Book Bindery. I haven't been back in years, but will always remember Madison fondly. It was very cold there in the wintertime

Thanks for the cartoon on your blog. I've sent it out to lots of people because I have such an interest in all things Cuban. My father and his parents lived in Cuba during the Second World War. He took me there as a kid in the fifties and since I was in high school I developed a deep and abiding interest in all things Cuban.

My interest in Cuba has deep family roots. My father and his parents lived there from 1939 to 1943. As Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany, they were unable to enter either Great Britain or the United States, despite having close relatives in each. The Roosevelt administration strictly enforced a restrictive quota on Jewish immigration. My father and his parents had to wait in Cuba until 1943 before obtaining permission to enter the US. I was born in New York City in 1944. (A good history of the Jewish experience in Cuba is Robert M. Levine's 1993 Tropical Diaspora (ISBN:0-8130-1218-X). There's also a novel which eloquently evokes the time when my father lived in Cuba, Passing Through Havana, by Felicia Rosshandler (ISBN: 0-312-59779-7).

My father took me to Cuba in August, 1956. We visited his old residence and met some of his old friends. I don't remember much about it except that Cuba was a very hot and sticky place. (I was only 12 at the time.) We stayed briefly at the Hotel Nacional, and after that we moved to a smaller hotel. We traveled to Pinar del Rio with one old friend, John Gundrum, also a German immigrant, but one who'd never left Cuba.

In November, 2000 I made my second visit to Cuba as an adult. I'd spent three weeks there in late 1999, on a delegation of yoga teachers and students meeting and practicing with our Cuban counterparts. I knew more than most in the US about this Caribbean nation. I've read a lot of Cuban history, and followed Cuban affairs closely.

So now I operate a news service following Cuba more than full time.

So if you're interested in following Cuba a lot, you might want to sign up for the news service I operate.

Best wishes,

Walter Lippmann
Los Angeles

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