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22 July 2006
Habana Babilonia: Cuban Samizdat
Staying on the Cuban theme for a moment, the country does not have much of a tradition of samizdat publishing. This may be because many of the anti-socialist elements have been forced into exile, or it could be because in spite of the popular myth, the country tends not to censor all that much.

A good example of this is Habana Babilonia, by Amir Valle, which was circulating in Havana, either in manuscript form, or on 3.5" disks, last year. The man who told me about it insisted on sending me my copy through via e-mail, since he said that it might be risky to take a paper copy out of the country.

Checking the internet when I got back to Mexico, I could find no trace of this work, and e-mails to various people turned up no further information. Now the manuscript has been published in Argentina under the title Jineteras. Furthermore, it is available as a .pdf download from this site.

The work deals with prostitution in Havana during the Special Period that followed the collapse of the USSR. Like most works in Spanish, it never fails to use ten words when one will do instead, but it is a good read for all that.

If anybody wants a copy of the original samizdat version that circulated in Cuba last year, all they have to do is drop me a line.

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1 Comments:

Reliance on the CCCP was near-fatal for [actually-existing] world socialism in a number of respects -- not just economic. Look how it completely disoriented socialists and fellow travellers world-wide (hardly myself. My marxism took in most all of stalinism's defects, pretty much, long before the CCCP fell. Interestingly, I was 'put under the microscope' by the local fascist power structure when the Berlin Wall fell, to look for signs of despair, demoralization, etc. -- you know: so they could "prove" to themselves they were victorious, and resistance is futile, yadda, by seeing it in this commie's response... But, I sorely disappointed them. Hehehe. The most they got out of me was mild amazement. This only pissed them off more, however. Go figger.) So, whatever the stalinist, etc. deformations of the Cuban Revolution, it's good to see they've gotten over the hump so far.

And I've never been too interested in the "human rights" claque inside or outside of Cuba. A state of war exists with U.S. imperialism, after all, and the dictatorship of the proletariat takes precedence until the 'clear and present danger' is lifted -- and that's just tough for whiny liberals with more empathy than brains. Hopefully, this low-level state of siege ends with the inauguration of the American Revolution, Mark II.

28 July 2006 at 19:54  

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