The occasion of the interview was not the concert itself -- it was almost two years ago that 450,000 people turned out for the show on the streets of Havana -- but the rather the release of Give Me Future. I have not yet seen this making-of film, but it reminds me of Buena Vista Social Club, another making-of feature that has deeply shaped my thinking about Cuba and the U.S.-Cuba relationship.
|Major Lazer -- apparently a big deal|
Diplo and his fellow artists, of course, have performed an essential service to the people of both countries. As the United States government radically reduces its commitment to formal diplomacy world-wide, the informal diplomacy of people-to-people contact becomes even more important.
Michel Martin's reporting mentions one fascinating aspect of that contact -- the exchange of paquetes, or "packages" that serve as digests of internet content in a country with very limited connectivity but boundless curiosity. As suggested by the photo that accompanied Carrie Kahn's 2015 reporting, an elaborate, hand-to-hand network is used to distribute content on USB and other physical media.
|Visiting a bookshop was an essential part of my favorite librarian's experience in Cuba.|
my 2003 visit was the realization that at least some Cubans believed that U.S. citizens were afraid to visit their country. We learned this from a delightful woman who was old enough to have remembered the heyday of U.S. tourism. Her eyes glistened as she imagined us returning in numbers "como antes" -- like before.