Ready for an adventure that will shake up your everyday routine? With the world at our fingertips, why not take a virtual trip to Cuba vie some amazing books and explore the vibrant culture from home? From gorgeous beaches and classic cars to sumptuous cuisine and fabulous music, Cuba is bursting with experiences both unique and unforgettable. No plane tickets necessary! Let us transport you somewhere far away without having to leave your living room. There’s nothing quite like discovering a new place: so come on along as we delve into all Cuba is about!
David E. Hoffman
Uncover the incredible story of Oswaldo Paya, a fearless dissident who defied Fidel Castro and rallied thousands of Cubans to fight for democracy. From the renowned Washington Post journalist David E. Hoffman, comes a gripping biography that delves into Paya’s life and the tumultuous history of Cuba.
At just seven years old, Paya witnessed Castro rise to power with the promise of a “free, democratic, and just Cuba.” However, instead of fulfilling this promise, Castro established an oppressive regime that silenced dissent and crushed any inkling of freedom. Paya, deeply committed to the dream of democracy, dedicated his life to challenging this oppressive regime.
As a young teenager in communist Cuba, Paya led protests against the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia during the Prague Spring. For his activism, he was sent to Castro’s forced labor camps. However, this only fueled his determination, and he emerged as a prominent voice of opposition, tirelessly advocating for pro-democracy movements.
Driven by his unwavering faith and belief that human rights are God-given, not granted by the state, Paya fearlessly confronted the Cuban government with the Varela Project. This one-page citizen petition, demanding essential freedoms such as free speech, free press, and free elections, garnered an astonishing 35,000 signatures from supporters who risked their safety to reclaim their rights. In response, the regime ignored the petition, imprisoned Paya’s followers, and ultimately subjected Paya to multiple death threats, culminating in a suspicious car accident.
Now, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David E. Hoffman brings Paya’s remarkable tale to life in a sweeping portrait of a courageous individual who fought tirelessly for democracy against a ruthless dictator. “Give Me Liberty” not only explores Paya’s extraordinary journey but also sheds light on Cuba’s ongoing struggle for freedom.
Prepare to be inspired by this captivating account of one man’s unwavering determination in the face of tyranny. Experience the power of hope, perseverance, and the unbreakable spirit of those who dare to dream of a liberated Cuba.
Raul Andres Villamia, Rhonda J. Villamia, Paul J. Guzzo
Indulge in the inspiring tale of Raul Villamia’s journey from a childhood immersed in baseball and violence in Cuba to becoming a vital force behind Castro’s revolution. Influenced by the brutality he witnessed, Villamia threw his support behind Castro, aided by his politically active brother Mario. As fate would have it, minor league baseball brought him to the United States, where he harbored dreams of playing in the majors, but little did he know that he would play a unique role in Castro’s revolution from afar.
From vibrant cities like Tampa, New York City, Bridgeport, Union City, Miami, and Key West, the Villamias, along with Angel Perez-Vidal, Howard K. Davis, and a group of others, joined forces to support Castro. Through passionate fundraising, collecting vital supplies, propaganda campaigns, and even daring arms smuggling, they left no stone unturned in their quest for revolution. Alongside Castro himself and his top men, Raul encountered American gangsters who had close ties to Cuba. The FBI pursued him relentlessly, while his brother Mario’s name even emerged in the Warren Commission Report. This gripping memoir delves deep into Raul’s experience as Castro’s agent in the United States, recounting the awe-inspiring stories of those who played a pivotal role in overthrowing Batista. Prepare to be enthralled by the resilience, determination, and triumph of these unsung heroes.
Embark on a thrilling journey through history as Tom Gjelten intertwines the captivating tale of the Bacardi family and their renowned rum empire with the tumultuous backdrop of Cuba’s past. Join the Bacardi descendants as they navigate the highs and lows of Cuban society, immersing themselves in every facet of life on the island. With an intimate and engaging narrative spanning five generations, Gjelten vividly captures the struggles, triumphs, and adventures that shaped Cuba’s fight for freedom. Delve into the complex relationship between Cuba and America, witness the rise of Fidel Castro, and experience firsthand the heartbreaking division that tore the Cuban nation apart. Get ready to be inspired by this enthralling saga.
Jorge J. E. Gracia
Unlocking the Forgotten History of Cuba Before Castro: A Journey into the Lives of the Cuban People
Amidst the countless narratives about Cuba under Castro’s rule, one crucial chapter remains shrouded in obscurity – the Cuba that existed before. The weight of Castro’s Revolution has left a void in our understanding of the century preceding 1959, as our focus has become fixated on the island’s political turmoil.
But let us not forget the real essence of Cuba – the daily struggles and triumphs, the lives and deaths, the beliefs and doubts that defined the Cuban experience. It’s time to shift our gaze beyond the political battlefield and dive deep into the heart and soul of this extraordinary nation.
In this inspiring book, Jorge J.E. Gracia uncovers the untold stories of his own family members, who lived through the vibrant and culturally rich era before Castro’s reign. Through their tales, he urges historians, academics, and travelers alike to embark on a holistic exploration of the island. This is not just a history book or a work of fiction; it is a collection of memories penned by a Cuban philosopher who left his homeland at a tender age.
Join us on a captivating journey through time as we illuminate the forgotten era of Cuba’s past, revealing a society that deserves to be examined with meticulous detail. Step into the lives of the Cubans who forged the nation, and rediscover the true essence of this remarkable island.
Embark on a journey to Cuba in 1970 through the eyes of Alma Guillermoprieto, a young dancer who discovered a profound sense of purpose in a country filled with scarcity and upheaval. Experience the electrifying memoir of a talented teacher, as she describes a time when dancers and revolutionaries shared a stage and even a simple dance move became a powerful political statement. With her remarkable storytelling skills, Guillermoprieto, an esteemed journalist and expert on Latin America, invites you to witness a triumph of memory and emotion in “Dancing with Cuba.” Prepare to be inspired, captivated, and moved by this exuberant and elegiac tale.
Lee Lockwood, Saul Landau
Experience the extraordinary journey of Lee Lockwood as he immersed himself in the heart of Cuba during a pivotal moment in history. Join Lockwood, a gifted photojournalist, as he captures the rise of Fidel Castro’s regime and gains unprecedented access to the inner workings of his government.
In a remarkable twist of fate, Lockwood arrived in Cuba just before Castro assumed power, allowing him to witness the birth of a new era. Over the next ten years, Lockwood formed a profound bond with Castro, resulting in a series of exclusive interviews and intimate portraits that provide a unique insight into the Cuban leader’s mind.
Now, for the first time in decades, Lockwood’s seminal work is being republished, complete with stunning photographs that document the country’s evolution throughout the 1960s. Journey with Lockwood as he ventures from the majestic Sierra Maestra mountains to the bustling streets of Havana, capturing the spirit and resilience of the Cuban people.
Accompanied by a thought-provoking foreword and afterword by renowned Latin America expert Saul Landau, this book offers a captivating glimpse into a pivotal moment in U.S.–Cuba relations. Don’t miss your chance to rediscover history through the lens of Lee Lockwood and witness the power of friendship and connection in the face of unprecedented change.
Experience the captivating journey through Cuba’s rich history and vibrant culture. Step into the lens of esteemed photojournalist Elliott Erwitt as he reveals the heart and soul of this enigmatic Caribbean island.
Originally capturing iconic moments with Fidel Castro and Che Guevara in 1964, Erwitt returned over fifty years later to document the changing landscapes and the remarkable people of Cuba. Now, for the first time, his breathtaking black-and-white photographs are compiled in a stunning book that offers an intimate glimpse into this intriguing nation.
Delve into the candid and inspiring images, from the charismatic Fidel Castro to the exquisite architectural details of Havana. Witness the allure of rural life and the captivating stories that unfold within these pages. With personal anecdotes from Erwitt himself and a compelling foreword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., this extraordinary tome goes beyond a mere chronicle of Cuba’s people and places – it is a profound historical record of a nation in transition.
Featuring 200 duotone photographs, this book is a must-have for all travelers seeking to rediscover Cuba’s timeless allure. Discover a unique opportunity to witness the transformation of an island through the masterful eye of a photographic legend. Experience the raw beauty and vivid stories that await within the pages of this remarkable volume.
Stephen Purvis, a prominent member of the Havana expat community, was living a successful and fulfilling life in Cuba. Little did he know, he was also under the watchful eye of State Security. In a shocking turn of events, he was abruptly taken from his home by the authorities during a time of political turmoil.
In his captivating memoir, Purvis shares the harrowing fifteen months that followed his arrest. Initially accused of selling state secrets, he was subjected to the cruel conditions of Villa Marista, an interrogation center notorious for breaking the spirit of spies and political prisoners. With unwavering strength, Purvis resisted the incompetence and paranoia of his jailers.
As he was later confined in a maximum-security prison, Purvis found himself among a diverse group of inmates, including people-smugglers, drug-runners, and bewildered businessmen awaiting their own legal fate.
From the moment of his arrest to the absurdity of a secret trial and his sudden release, Purvis sheds light on the madness that plagues modern Cuba. With sharp wit and keen observation, he exposes the corruption and dictatorship that still linger under the facade of reform and international reconciliation.
“Close but No Cigar” is more than just a thrilling tale – it is a powerful lesson in morality. Purvis takes readers on a journey into the dark side of a seemingly sunny place that remains shrouded in mystery and intrigue. Prepare to be inspired and captivated by this true story.
Tom Cotter, Bill Warner
Step into Cuba’s automotive time capsule and embark on a fascinating journey filled with classic cars. Discover how this island nation became trapped in a unique and insular car culture, marked by creativity and automotive survival.
When Cuba fell to communist rebels in 1959, the flow of new cars came to a halt. Despite the trade embargo, Cuban car enthusiasts managed to keep their vehicles alive, finding innovative ways to manoeuvre through the challenges. Picture a world where cars are customized with limited access to parts, drag racing takes place without proper tracks, and the newest car you’ll find is a 1959 Chevy or a Soviet Lada.
In “Cuba’s Car Culture,” authors Tom Cotter and Bill Warner take you on a exhilarating tour of everything automotive. Delve into Cuba’s rich pre-Castro car and racing history, and explore the captivating world of lost collector cars, street racing, and the ongoing struggles of maintaining decades-old vehicles. The book features a blend of rare historical photos and contemporary snapshots, capturing both the nostalgic charm and the vibrant present of Cuba’s car scene.
For all lovers of classic cars, from Chevy Bel-Airs to Studebakers to Ford Fairlanes, a trip to Cuba is like stepping into a magical candy store. Prepare to be inspired by the timeless beauty and resilience of these automotive relics.
Intrigued, excited and raring to see this place for yourself?