PRINT December 1982


Art in Cuba

AS WE LANDED IN HAVANA at José Marti airport I thought of the name. As the young Ho Chi Minh had lived and worked in Paris, Jose Marti had lived and worked in New York, writing his books, dreaming about the liberation of Cuba. To the North Americans who encountered him he was a dark-eyed, short, mustached Cuban, a cook perhaps, as Ho Chi Minh was to be later in Paris. Little did they know that a century later his name would symbolize the greatest irritant to American imperialism, and that in the shadow of his giant statue the first socialist country of the Americas would celebrate its holidays. On the ride to the city I watched the political billboards which line the roadsides of Cuba. They are superior to those seen in other socialist countries, where they consist of exhortations and admonitions. Cuban agitation is romantic: it includes excerpts from the poetry of Marti; from the speeches

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