Wednesday, January 19, 2011


On December 15, 2010, my friends Olga Connor (the well-known journalist) and Agustin Rivero organized a reception at Miami University’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, after which Dr. Jaime Suchlicki, (the Director of the Institute) joined me to reviewed my latest novel, Havana Harvest for a group of over fifty aficionados who braved the unseasonably cold weather to venture outside.

I was amazed by how much Dr. Suchlicki’s analysis of the real reason why General Ochoa was executed coincided with what I had conjured up in my totally fictional work.

I was likewise gratified to see that one of the late General Ochoa’s close acquaintances also attended the meeting.

The Institute, which Dr. Suchlicki helped found in 1999, is the authority in the US on what is going on in Cuba today and in which direction that island’s socio-political development is heading.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


On Saturday, December 11, 2010 I was invited to a Christmas Party in Coral Gables that was attended by over a hundred and twenty Cubans. Olga Connor (the well-known journalist whose weekly column in Miami’s El Nuevo Herald is very popular) was my ‘guide’, ably assisted by Agustin Rivero, the son of a dear friend from my old Cuban days. As you can see from the pictures, the party was a blow-out success.

Olga and Agustin made sure that I would meet those people present at the party who – in 1989 – had actually known and worked with Cuban Brigadier-General Arnaldo Ochoa, the officer whose tragic trial and execution inspired the plot of my latest thriller, Havana Harvest.

I also met Meme Solis (the popular pianist and singer) with whom I chatted at length about our late mutual friend, Dania Flores, the woman who – in the early ‘90’s – had helped me research the background for my book.

It was nice to have had the opportunity to recall some of the pleasant times the three of us (Dania, Meme and I) had spent together in New York and Miami, eating, drinking and dancing.

Alas, tempus fugit!