Fidel Castro is dead. Donald Trump was elected president. And to most outsiders, the fate of Cuba has never seemed more uncertain. Yet those who look close enough may recognize that signs of the next revolution are etched in plain view.
Despite repetition and disjointedness (some chapters seem like separate essays), Ariosto’s insights are plentiful, and amid erratically evolving Cuba-U.S. relations, such personal perspectives, even from a yuma, provide the best portals to mutual understanding.
Ariosto also illustrates day-to-day life, vividly describing Cubans’ baseball obsession, the 'steamy salvation' of cafecito, and the local color ... Ariosto is on a mission to discover authenticity, a relatively subjective idea, but he does not idealize Cuba, and he is refreshingly aware of his privilege as a white American man. With his firsthand experience, Ariosto brings modern Cuba to life, with all its complexities and eccentric charms.