I have lived in and reported on Cuba during the best days of the Revolution, the fall of the Soviet Block, the great depression of the 1990s, the stepping aside of Fidel Castro and the reforms orchestrated by Raúl Castro. I have written and consulted for numerous media and publications over the... show more
I have lived in and reported on Cuba during the best days of the Revolution, the fall of the Soviet Block, the great depression of the 1990s, the stepping aside of Fidel Castro and the reforms orchestrated by Raúl Castro. I have written and consulted for numerous media and publications over the years and my articles have appeared around the world in both English and Spanish. I am considered by many Cuba watchers around the world--in government, business and academia--to be one of the most informed English language foreign correspondent working in Cuba today. I have won various Thomson Reuters awards, including Latin American and global best for general and political news and best scoop for Latin America in 2008 for my coverage as the island moved toward a more market oriented economyINTERVIEW WITH FLORIDA UNIVERSITY PRESS* When did you know that you wanted to write Cuban Revelations? When Fidel Castro stepped aside and it became clear change was afoot I decided I was uniquely positioned to tell the story and it was my duty as a journalist to do so.* You've been living in Cuba on and off for 20+ years now. Do you remember what your first impression of Cuba was, on your very first visit? It was in 1984, the day of my arrival. First there was the breathtaking view from an apartment overlooking Havana Bay, then a huge flying cockroach buzzed me on the 13th floor of the building in my living room and finally, that evening, the trombone player from Los Van Van had to bribe the doorman so we could have dinner at a restaurant for the elite and vanguard workers.* What's your favorite place to travel in Cuba? Anywhere in the countryside where I can kill a pig and then roast it or fry it in its own lard, drink rum, play dominoes and kibitz. * What are American visitors the most curious about and surprised by when they travel to Cuba? They tend to be curious about everything and surprised at the people's warmth despite the enmity between the two countries governments. * Do you foresee a time where we might be freely able to travel between the U.S. and Cuba? It is inevitable, for many reasons, but most of all because of geography. * What do you like most about day-to-day life in Cuba, and what do you like least? What I like most about daily life in Cuba is that the country remains unspoiled by developed world standards, extraordinarily safe, and most people are very hospitable. What I like least is the pain of separated families in a land where families are so important and the constant pressure one feels due to the standoff with the United States and local government bungling. * What do you hope readers will enjoy the most about your book? The passion I brought to the writing and the characters, including yours truly, they will meet. * How is your day structured when you write? What's your writing routine? My most creative and productive writing time is very early in the morning, around 4 am to 7am, though I continue to write during the day as a journalist and often go back to a feature, and in recent years the book, as time permits to reread, tweak, add a line, etc.