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Cuba for Beginners by Rius
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Cuba for Beginners

by Rius

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Thank goodness my father has not picked up this book off my shelf! Of course he wouldn't. He doesn't go upstairs in my house, I suspect because at his age (86), he wants to conserve his energy. But if he had, I would have had a major melt-down on my hands. My father, mother, brother and I left Cuba only a few years after the revolution. I was somewhere between 2 and 3 years old, and my brother a year younger. I've heard all the stories, I've even taped my parents talking about their life there, and I've collected a number of books about Cuban history which I keep meaning to get to... I picked up "Cuba for Beginners" at a library bookstore, and happened to be looking for something relatively easy and short to read yesterday, and there it was on my shelf. It is a 'comic history'-type book, not my favorite way to read about history, in fact, not my favorite way to read at all. Not that I'm against that type of book, it's just that I find it distracting to read about history while looking at idea and conversation bubbles, and drawings that for the most part are not very good. Also because of the format of this type of book, everything is simplified and abbreviated to such a degree that I feel somewhat skeptical of any information presented in this way.
This book also has the highly (to a Cuban emigre) irritating factor of being extremely pro-Castro and anti-US. I'm not naive about the US exploitation of Cuba pre-Castro, and the wholly selfish designs the US has had towards Cuba, but some of the excuses/explanations given in this book are just ludicrous. So all Cuban citizens 'voluntarily' work for free to help their country? (Not according to my cousins, forced on these 'voluntary' work sabbaticals, usually hard labor in the fields). The Castro government confiscated 'superfluous' houses from people with more than one home to house those without houses, but offered to pay the owners the value of the house? (My grandfather didn't get paid, neither did my father's family--not only were the houses taken from them, but they weren't allowed to remove any of the furniture either.) All the people shot by firing squad in the wake of the revolution were murderers and got a trial? (When dozens of people were being executed in a day, I hardly think there was much time for a trial). Anyway, I could go on and on. About the only positive thing I can say about this book is that it makes me more interested in learning more about Cuba's history and what happened during the sixties. ( )
  Marse | Sep 4, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0873481283, Paperback)

Presented in political cartoon style by the well-known Mexican cartoonist.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:30 -0400)

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