As a Cuban, born and raised in Havana, I read your article with interest. It does deviate from the norm, but it also falls into the same cliches you criticise. As you can see from the two clips below, I was interviewed by the BBC the morning after Fidel died. I tried to be as balanced as possible in my views, but the truth is that Fidel outstayed his welcome. Only those wearing rose-tinted glasses can contradict that. A person who holds onto power for more than four decades ends up destroying all the good things they created. And that’s exactly what Fidel did. He left a deeply divided nation, with hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Cubans living abroad or dead in the Florida Straits and a useless ideology. You cannot eat slogans, dear, you cannot. I was in Cuba last summer during the celebrations of Fidel’s 90th birthday and I was surprised to see the return of the old political mindset, amongst the members of the Politburo. Whilst on the streets of Havana reality was very different.

My advice? 11 times since 2003, including a 10-month sabbatical, is nothing. Absolutely nothing. Re-locate, up sticks, move to Cuba… permanently. Start living like a Cuban, depending on a ration card. Do not, under any circumstances shoot off to the nearest branch of Banco Financiero Internacional when the going gets tough (and it will get tough!). Barter your bottle of rum, barter your Mothering Sunday cake (if they still give it), barter your body, like many Cubans do. Go out and sell yourself, like many 13- and 14-year-olds do. Then, sit down and revise this article. Maybe you will have learn something.

London-based, Cuban writer. Author of “Cuban, Immigrant, and Londoner”

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