Our Man in Havana: Part II

January 12, 2015 2:30 PM

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The only preparation we chose for this five-day trip to explore the Cuban Art Scene, was to rent the movie Our Man In Havana -- a pre-revolutionary "comedy" with Alec Guinness as a vacuum cleaner salesman in Havana who is recruited for the bumbling British secret service by an umbrella-bearing bureaucrat played by Noel Coward. The movie proved to be a better preparation than I anticipated, given the predictable rhetoric from politicians still frozen in postures dating back to the beginning of the embargo. The New York Times for the last Sunday of the year had photographs recording 2014 -- one tragedy after another all around the world, with a leading article "Shifting dynamics for Cuba's dissidents." And a disturbing piece of graffiti from the recent past: "In a plaza under siege, dissidence is treasonous." What happens when the siege is lifted?

Thinking about Cuba is like trying to sort through the bits and pieces thrown haphazardly together in a data junk yard. Everyone has an opinion about this morality play. Actually, it's more of a cartoon except for the deeply tragic element. Sometimes a sentence thrown into the conversation made sens...

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