Wednesday, February 23, 2011


“Los Aldeanos” is one of the most rebellious groups of rappers in Cuba. Using admittedly vulgar language, their songs aggressively attack the deficiencies of life on that island.

Last week they were the center of a ‘a public scandal’ in Holguin after they had tried to visit two young brothers, incarcerated since December 25 for having “played the duo’s music too loud”.

They were not allowed access, so they went to visit the brothers’ home where their presence attracted over 1500 young people of whom about 80 were arrested and five wounded. During this ‘public disturbance’ the police were pelted with stones.

On another topic, this week I was very pleasantly surprised to see Havana Harvest as #1 on a list of fantastic international fiction on!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Westmount (Montreal) branch of Rotary asked me to speak about Cuba and my novel, Havana Harvest, at their weekly get-together last Wednesday.

I was amazed by how many of those attending had already been to Cuba or were planning to go this Spring. Naturally, they were interested in getting information about present conditions in that country, but their predominant preoccupation can be summed up by this question: “What will happen after the Castro Brothers leave the scene?”

I told them about the Cuban Transitional Project undertaken by the University of Miami’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American studies and more particularly about the work of Professors Jose Azel and Brian Latell who are attempting to develop a model of what is likely to happen. I cautioned them about expecting fundamental changes any time soon because, in my opinion, Raul Castro’s control over the military, the government and the communist party seems to be secure – at least for the time being.

I also took the opportunity to say a few words about the imminent launch of a digital edition of Fatal Greed, my novel about a batch of surgical glue, infected by human Mad Cow disease that Islamist terrorists were planning to use as a Weapon of Mass Destruction.