Alfredo Prieto

Alfredo Prieto

Investigador, editor y periodista. Ha trabajado como Jefe de Redacción de Cuadernos de Nuestra América, Caminos, Temas y Cultura y Desarrollo, y ejercido la investigación y la docencia en varias universidades. Autor de La prensa de los Estados Unidos y la agenda interamericana y El otro en el espejo.

U.S. President John Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) arrives in Havana on January 15, 1928. Photo: Archive.

President Cal in Havana

Cubans have always been hospitable and lovers of shows and soap operas. And as courteous as they are emotional, to the point that today they are the only passengers who applaud the pilot when the plane they are traveling on from Miami lands on the Rancho Boyeros runway.

Joe Biden speaks at a rally organized by Mi Familia Vota, a national group of Latino voters, in Las Vegas on January 11, 2020. Photo: Joe Buglewicz/The New York Times.

Joe Biden and the Latino vote

I It’s almost commonplace to affirm that Hispanics/Latinos will become the largest minority voting group in the United States during this year’s election. Indeed, this is a record 32 million people eligible to go to the polls, representing 13.3% of all voters. This figure includes a large number of voters in swing states like Colorado, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. In the latter, Hispanics/Latinos make up nearly a quarter of voters. Well-known actress and presenter Eva Longoria repeated it to those attending a Democratic rally in Kissimmee, Florida, when Biden was campaigning on the important I-94 corridor, which connects Tampa with Orlando and Daytona Beach. “This year, for the first time in history, Hispanics will be the largest minority group of potential voters in the United States, Latino voters will decide the 2020 elections, that is a fact. Not only do I want Trump to be removed from office, I want the Latino community to be the decisive group to remove him.” Biden, for his part, said: “More than any other time, the Hispanic community, Latino community holds in the palm of their hand the destiny of this country. You can decide the direction of this country.”  It is, by definition,...

Photo: Miami News 24.

Tree and branch, finger and fingerprint

In Miami the religious schism between Cubans and traditionalists is a fact. The Cubans practice the Regla de Ocha or Santeria, a typically Cuban product resulting from the agonizing struggle between domination and resistance, and from transculturation. The traditionalists follow the African original—and more properly, the Yoruba culture and religious practices—taken as a launching pad. Getting ahead of myself, Cuba vs. Nigeria. This sort of journey to the seed of the latter is, among other things, a consequence of globalization and the diaspora. But it has also had an impact on the island, until recently considered the marrow of Santeria and “an authentic exporter of this culture in the world.” Cuba is not a crystal bell, nor is it exhausted in those images of old cars and indigenous and decontaminated musical sounds that seem inscribed in stone in the common Western imagination. However, in religion, as in politics, what’s real is what isn’t seen. The obturator of the problem consists, basically, in the following: the former want to maintain the “purity” of the Regla de Ocha, as taught by their elders on the island; hence their reluctance to accept modes, rituals and practices they consider alien to its “essence.” The...

“Declaration of Independence” (1817), painting by John Trumbull (1756-1843). Photo: Archive.

4th of July

Help us keep OnCuba alive here The Declaration of Independence is a document produced by the second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. It proclaimed that the Thirteen Colonies, at war with Great Britain, recognized themselves as thirteen new sovereign and independent states, free of ties of subordination to the Metropolis. In short, it established the existence of a new nation ever since called the United States of America. Written by Thomas Jefferson, the text gave that independence philosophical-political substance, listing the claims against King George III and establishing the validity of certain individual and legal rights: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Thomas Jefferson in 1786. Painting by Mather Brown (1761 -1833). Photo: Archive. That independence had profound impacts on Latin America, including Cuba. In fact, it was one of the referents, along with the French Revolution, of the patriots who launched the war against Spain in 1868. And also of José Martí, the soul of the Great War, in the midst of critical thinking about the United States whose...

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