Una pregunta…

Im working on a piece for Cuba Nostalgia and I’d like to ask you all one question (if I have had this conversation with you and you already know my answer, porfa, keep it to yourself):

If you could describe Cuba in one word, what would it be?

Update: I know there’s a lot of lurkers out there that read everyday and dont comment, which is totally cool by me. But I would really love your input on this one. So come on, you dont even have to use your real name and email address. Dale que tu puedes.

70 thoughts on “Una pregunta…”

  1. If forced to pick only one word that would probably be “Son”…From here it seems that it is Cuban music the element, general enough, pervasive enough, to encompass all of us…(including the ones that went Yestarday to the sad Day of May manifestation in Havana)


  2. Decay – 2 types – let me explain.

    The obvious physical decay of fallen buildings and broken things that don’t work, and the more esoteric and metaphysical decay of fallen morals and broken lives that will never work – even for generations to come.

    Cuba – the once beautiful island of my mother’s tales – sweet stories of her innocent childhood trips to Varadero, El Malecon, or el campo before the demon came and the betrayal of brothers and sacred trust became the religion.

    Cuba today the island with the smell of death and sex combined, the refuge of the sex pervert, the adobe of the insane, the rest stop for coked up super models, the earthly blueprint and worlds fail for Hell, and the last fucking hope of the fucking utopians who still cling to the fucking outdated notion that “It takes a Village”.

    Present day Cuba to me is a place that is pregnant with the smell of gross body odors like ass – while poets and thinkers are put in jail, and soap is not known, and where morally decaying white people of the elite in a North American ivory tower, recording studio, or Los Angeles mansion feel they have more of a right to tell you what is better for the island of Marti because they love the demon so so much.


  3. I feel like a pollyanna. I was going to say: rebirth.

    Do you guys really think it will be that much longer? I’m so naive.

  4. I’m not Cuban, so I never felt I had any comments that were worth reading… what does a second-generation Scottish-American know about Castro?

    But to pick a word?


  5. my word would be “sad”

    cuba could be so much if it weren’t for that despicable castro. such a beautiful has gone downhill so much as a direct result of castro and communism.

    very sad.

  6. BUT FOLKS, remember that even after castro is dead and gone to meet his satanic majesty there will be the American baby boomers children of the 1960s the true believers of the false utopian ideal and the Stalinists, the movie stars, the foundations, the religious left, and the general cadre of cultist for death. These are the people we can’t forget about – these are the people who MUST be stopped!

  7. Val,

    Mi concepto en una palabra es Ruina. Moral economica, institucional, etc.

    Pero le caben tantos a esa probre Isla nuestra..!!

  8. I would like to say:
    LASTIMA, that a nation that used to be one of the most developed in the world is now in terrible conditions.
    LASTIMA, that Cubans don’t have any kind of freedom.
    LASTIMA, that they can’t enjoy all that beauty.
    LASTIMA, that a terrible dictator has been manipulating the life of millions of persons for 45 years.
    ES UNA LASTIMA!! Do you agree with me??

  9. My friends, my amigos,
    Let us be… a bit more positive.
    My word is: HOPE.
    Yes, in caps.
    Although I agree with virtually every thought expressed above, I think that it is important to be more positive, to be more optimistic.
    The future of Cuba WILL be better, far, far better than its current nightmare.
    We, and hundreds of thousands of people like us, will –and MUST– do their very best to make it so.
    Therefore, let us have hope. HOPE. Esperanza.
    WE must ALL have esperanza. I know that most of the people of Cuba have it. I know that it keeps them going, day after day after day of that hellish nightmare they must put up with every time they wake up.
    And WE –all of us, both in Cuba, here in the U.S. and elsewere– must work, like we never worked before, to make things better, both for Cuba and for the world.
    The nightmare in Cuba is almost over, folks. Have faith.
    Have esperanza.
    Then, let’s get to work, co~no!

  10. Godforsaken…or as a compatriota I was speaking with once, a man who had suffered the “mercies” of Walking-Coma (WC, for short) prisons explained: “The Cuban people forgot God. And God forgot the Cuban people.”

    So true and so sad. But that insightful comment also points the way to the redemption of Cuba.


    For the most part, the ones with any hope for Cuba have left the island. Those who live there have lost all hope and want to leave; even after fidel. It’s sad, but true.

  12. In a rather bad punny…Bouyant. The people seem to overcome all the obstacles put before them to survive and maintain hope. And when they can no longer manage that hope, they float away on their dreams. So, Bouyant.

  13. I’ll have to go with one of Val’s favorites…


    I know it’s already been mentioned here, but it’s the best “positive” word I can come up with.

  14. Todo es hermosa y constante
    Todo es musica y razon
    y todo como el diamante
    antes que luz es carbon.
    -Jose Marti (Versos Sencillos).

    Cuba en una palabra: carbon.

  15. oops somebody pick esperanza already …well i go with a?oranza
    a?oranza de verte libre mi cuba bella.

  16. Because I was born in this country (My parents are from Cuba) and have never traveled to Cuba though my heart pulls me there more and more everyday I’d have to say…


  17. This really doesn’t relate to the “Una pregunta” post, but I’m a fairly young adult who has been dating the same cubana for nearly three years now, I’ve come to love the Cuban people and admire their work ethic- they are truly an inspiration to every American. A left-leaning friend of mine once told me that the reason that Cubans vote Republican is because of JFK’s Missile Crisis. Is there any validity in that statement? Espero su respuesta… Gracias.

  18. Let me make up a word:
    I am sorry, I have to bend the rules, or break the rules with this one…

    90 MILES AWAY!!

  20. one word, true true word.


    Say what you will, Cuba is, and alway will be, no matter what sort of MORON is at the helm, MINE.
    She lives in my heart and in my home she makes up who I am and who my children are.

  21. This may sound nutty given the tone of other comments, but the word that came to my mind was “breezy.” I like to think a wind of change will blow across the island someday soon, sweeping away repression and unleashing the other word that resonated for me, “esperanza.”

    By the way, this is the first time I have ever posted here. It’s a great site. Anybody who sees “The Motorcycle Diaries” should also watch “Bitter Sugar.”

  22. Lurker here – – actually I’ve wanted to email you many, many times,
    but i have so much to say that I don’t know where to begin. Anyway,
    until I can assemble my thoughts into a cohesive strain, I’ll give
    you my one word that describes Cuba to me…..mind you, I’ve never
    been on the island, I was born in Ohio, the daughter of exhiles, so here’s my word:

    ELUSIVE — as in Elusive Dream,
    Elusive idea,
    Elusive image — this is from a daughter of Cuba who only knows her from the wonderful memories of my family who tell me her stories — like — I feel as though I know Cuba, but only the Cuba that lives in my imagination….(big sigh)

    Thank you so much for all you do. My Tia sent me a link to your blog
    and I get such a kick out of it. You rock! I check in on it every few days and
    it makes me ever hopeful that I’ll be able to visit a free Cuba in
    the not too distant future.

  23. A sensuous lover who writes me sad letters, I feel her warm kisses on every soft breeze. Knowing saddly that my youth with her is lost but with anticipation that I will see her and feel her soft caress and voice when we again reunite.

  24. Cuba is a sort of model country how to survive without access to cheap and plentiful oil.

    Pretty soon, I believe, many countries will
    have to learn from the cuban example,
    agriculture in particular.

    As to the politics. Castro will be gone pretty soon, so I hope that will remove the blocks to individuals expressing themselves.

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