The story behind the passionate, struggling, frequently discouraged, but always proud country, told by ordinary Cuban citizens - the people who still struggle with a revolution that is far from over. C. Peter Ripley developed a fascination with Cuban culture that took him on five illegal trips to the country between 1991 and 1997. During his travels, he visited the Cuban landscape and people, closely following the lives of citizens who were deeply influenced by the revolution and its effects. Through his experiences and observations, Ripley seeks to tap the real hearts and minds behind his perceptions of the Cuban Revolution. The conversations take place during the height of the "special period" - the ambiguous name given to the years of hardship following the end of the Soviet Union's vital aid to the country isolated by the US-led embargo and preceding Cuba's as yet unrealized revitalization. Ripley guides us on a first-person journey through this once bustling economy, now reduced to soap shortages, one meal a day, and desperate attempts to locate an economic salvation in foreign tourism. He shows us people with faith and pride in their nation and its revolutionary ideals.
These individuals, encountered in the conversations, reveal a portrait of a country and an uncommonly civil society shaped by "patria", courage, tenacity, and a simultaneously critical and optimistic belief in their revolution, within an ambivalent reality of tension and change.
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Number of pages: 248
Weight: 535 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm