If you've been following me on Twitter or Facebook, you'll know that I had (and still have) a very good excuse for giving the blog a rest over the past 5 months: Dimitrios Jackson Henken is his name and he arrived into our lives on October 9, 2014, giving me the best birthday present I could have ever wished for! (I turned 43 just two days before he was born).
|Happiness is a warm son! Bang bang, shoot shoot.|
After becoming an expert at changing diapers and singing "De Colores" to my young son during October, November, and December (...y por eso los grandes amores de muchos colores me gustan a mi, y por eso los grandes amores de muchos colores le gustan a Dimitri...), I spent a good portion of the second half of December and all of January deploying my dormant Cuba expertise.
You can see some of my comments in The New York Times and the NYT's Op-Talk Blog, The Wall Street Journal, AP, CNBC, CNN, the NPR shows All Things Considered and On Point (where I shared the mic with USA Today's Alan Gómez, Cuban blogger and journalism professor Elaine Díaz, and director of the Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies at the University of Miami Jaime Suchlicki), and Diario de Cuba (where I discuss the Cuban Internet en español with José Remón, Larry Press, Iván Darias, and Ubaldo Huerta).
You can also check out Time Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, France 24, Australia's ABC radio show The World Today, China Central TV's World Insight show (with professors Rafael Hernández of Temas in Havana and Sun Hongbo from the Institute of Latin America, Beijing), USA Today, Al Jazeera-America, Arise America, McClatchy (on paladares!), The Miami Herald & El Nuevo Herald, Martí Noticias, and on María Elvira's Miami TV show (part 1 and part 2).
Arch Ritter and I have also been busy publishing a handfull of overlapping op-eds related to our new book, Entrepreneurial Cuba: The Changing Policy Landscape (50% off offer here). First, we published, "Abajo con el bloqueo en contra de los emprendedores cubanos," in 14ymedio on December 13.
Later, following the historic December 17 Obama-Castro joint announcement to reestablish diplomatic relations after almost 54 years, we expanded on that by publishing updated reflections in New York City's El Diario, The Huffington Post's ongoing 90 Miles feature (the entire January series is highly recommended), and in a forthcoming article in the February issue of the foreign affairs journal Current History (a version of which is included below).
After a restful and sunny January spent on Miami Beach with my growing family, last Friday evening, January 23, I was proud to present our book at the Coral Gables cultural institution, Books and Books, with the generous cosponsorship of Florida International University's Cuban Research Institute and its director Jorge Duany, who kindly introduced me (the Livestream podcast of the event is imbedded below and starts at minute 5:15).
A big thanx to the 75-100 full house of people who attended (even those who came early to see me when they were really interested in hearing Marius Jovaisa present his new book of arial photography, Unseen Cuba). Special thanks are due to the honored guests Dimitri Jackson, his mom Tasha, and Abuelita María; Sandra Ramos & family; Eduardo Suñol & Nancy Regal; as well as to Amparo Pujol, Jorge Sanguinetty, Nicholas Sánchez, Juan Juan Almeida, Ernesto Hernández Busto, and former Czech Ambassador Martin Palous, good friends and colleagues, one and all!
For frozen East Coast, tri-state residents who could not escape to Miami for the event, Arch and I will present our book together on Thursday evening, April 2, 2015, at the Americas Society. Details to follow.
In scores of interviews conducted over the past 15 years with Cuban entrepreneurs for our new book, “Entrepreneurial Cuba,” Arch Ritter and I often heard the following two very pregnant Cuban sayings:
“El ojo del amo engorda el caballo” (The eye of the owner fattens the horse) and “El que tenga tienda que la atienda, o si no que la venda” (Whoever has a store should tend to it, and if not then sell it”).