This Is Cuba An American Journalist Under Castro's Shadow by David Ariosto St. Martin's Press

As soon as young American journalist arrives in Cuba, he has to cope with an attempted honey trap, a stolen sink (stolen by the workers who came to fix it), lack of air-conditioning in sweltering heat and a near-empty house because of the delay in receiving his furniture. As Cubans told him: 'This is Cuba'. A journalist for CNN, he is much luckier than most of the Cubans, who are used to all this and much, much worse.

Ariosto arrives at an interesting time when the Internet was beginning, the economy is changing, the old regime is dying out, and things are starting to become more open.  It still sounds incredibly difficult to live in Cuba, however, in an island where private property was turned over to the State and shortages and surveillance are just a fact of life. He has to quickly get used to the reality being different from his romantic vision of  a sun washed island set in another time. As he interviewed some of the residents, he realises that life can be incredibly tough here. For example, there is the extremely poor black man whose brother can't afford treatment for his diabetes, and the young law graduate who can't get ahead and has been working in a restaurant for years.

This is an interesting and lyrically-written book about a journalist thrown into the deep end who has to 'wise up' and a country on the verge of a new revolution. I greatly enjoyed it.

I received this free ebook from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.


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