Into Cuba

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

After a quarter century of leftist rule, Cuba remains a feather in the cap of the Soviet Union and a thorn in the side of the United States. Economic sanctions and anti-Castro press campaigns have actually worked in Castro’s favor by uniting his people in the struggle that they see as developed versus underdeveloped countries, not East versus West. Things have improved for the lower classes, and compared to what went on before, the silencing of dissent is small. Castro feels strong enough to allow his people to keep arms, and he has even shown a willingness to talk with the United States. After all, his orthodoxy is not Moscow’s but a distinctly Cuban variety. So is the culture. Unique in Latin America for its lack of Indian blood and for its high concentration of African strains, the Cuban population has a passion for the finer things of life--art, music, and dance.

After a fine historical introduction, the book takes us through the provinces, capturing the people at work, at play, at school, and at home in a stunning photographic essay. This book may be biased, since the Cuban National Institute for Tourism helped organize the trip, but it is a splendid introduction to Cuba from a point of view unfamiliar to many American readers.