This is Cuba is a true story that begins in the summer of 2009 when a young American photo-journalist is offered the chance of a lifetime—a two-year assignment in Havana.
For David Ariosto, the island is an intriguing new world, unmoored from the one he left behind. From neighboring military coups, suspected honey traps, salty spooks, and desperate migrants to dissidents, doctors, and Havana’s empty shelves, Ariosto uncovers the island’s subtle absurdities, its Cold War mystique, and the hopes of a people in the throes of transition. Beyond the classic cars, salsa, and cigars lies a country in which black markets are ubiquitous, free speech is restricted, privacy is curtailed, sanctions wreak havoc, and an almost Kafka-esque goo of Soviet-style bureaucracy still slows the gears of an economy desperate to move forward.
But life in Cuba is indeed changing, as satellite dishes and internet hotspots dot the landscape and more Americans want in. Still, it’s not so simple. The old sentries on both sides of the Florida Straits remain at their posts, fists clenched and guarding against the specter of a Cold War that never quite ended, despite the death of Fidel and the hand-over of the presidency to a man whose last name isn’t Castro.
And now, a crisis is brewing.
In This Is Cuba, Ariosto looks at Cuba from the inside-out over the course of nine years, endeavoring to expose clues for what’s in store for the island as it undergoes its biggest change in more than half a century.
"Ariosto's work is at times chilling, but with a touch of nostalgia and humor . . . Cuba watchers should read this informative new work, as should all interested in a country that is geographically closer to the United States than some might realize."—Library Journal (starred review)
"Refreshingly aware . . . Vividly . . . Ariosto brings modern Cuba to life, with all its complexities and eccentric charms."—Publishers Weekly
"Ariosto's insights are plentiful, and amid erratically evolving Cuba-U.S. relations, such personal perspectives, even from a yuma, provide the best portals to mutual understanding.”—Booklist
Reviews from Goodreads
LAST CALL WITH CASTRO
I sipped an amber rum. Habana Club. Seven years. No ice. He palmed a Bucanero beer, half wrapped in a flimsy white paper napkin. Curls of Cohiba smoke wafted between us, giving the room a translucent look...
This Is Cuba By David Ariosto Book Trailer
Watch the trailer of This is Cuba by David Ariosto. This is Cuba is a true story that begins in the summer of 2009 when a young American photo-journalist is offered the chance of a lifetime—a two-year assignment in Havana. David Ariosto looks at Cuba from the inside-out over the course of nine years, endeavoring to expose clues for what’s in store for the island as it undergoes its biggest change in more than half a century.Share This