“The difference between the communist and capitalist systems is that, although both give you a kick in the ass, in the communist system you have to applaud, while in the capitalist system you can scream.”
What do you think the future looks like for Cuba? Have you been back to visit?
Ay, ay, ay, I wish I had a crystal ball to see the future! As my mother would say, I see it black with gray hemstitches… But I don’t even like to speculate about that because I am allergic to political stuff, and everything related to Cuba is entangled with politics.
I went back to Havana a couple of times before my first book came out. Then my mother got all nervous and said that she would come to visit me instead, for my own security. I told her that nobody in Cuba had read my novels or cared about them, but she insisted… Anyway, she came to Taos and ended up saying that I lived in the intestine of the world. Maybe I should have continued going back to Cuba after all J
Do you still have family in Cuba?
Yes, my mother, and she is a character in many of my books… “Always, always the villain,” she complains.
In your book Habanera, A Portrait of a Cuban Family, the protagonist Longina spoke about a family friend marrying a much older foreign man just so she can move out of Cuba. What are your thoughts on this? Is this still a common practice in Cuba?
It is quite common. Though my case was not too similar to that character’s, I married a man who was 40 years my senior. Hugh Page was a sweet, wonderful American guy, and our marriage allowed me to start a new life in this country, so I won’t be one criticizing the practice.