P U B L I C P O
L I C Y A N D I N T E R N A T L.
A F F A I R S|
"Candid about Cuba" &
By Joanne P. Cavanaugh
I first became intrigued by the Cuban dichotomy while working as
a reporter in Miami, in the midst of an exile community forever
colored by the political upheaval in its home nation. So I went
to Cuba in 1995 to find out for myself what I could about life
there. Since then, I've been drawn back to the island to write
stories--more often about the people than strictly the politics--
several times. During each experience, I've learned more
firsthand than I could ever pick up from books or experts or
documentaries. For example, attending a Cuban wedding and
talking to the guests and friends later led to the story
featured in this issue of the magazine. I hoped to get past the
romantic, albeit simple, trimmings of the ceremony to Cuba's
specific struggles with marriage. Luckily, I was able to visit
the same couple two years later to ask how the passage of time
had changed them.
During my research, I have also noted numerous references to
former U.S. diplomat Wayne Smith, and have interviewed him
several times for articles about Cuba. While visiting the country
in 1997, I also noticed that any mention of Hopkins or Smith
would draw a respectful nod and a smile. Having worked in Miami,
I understood the stirrings he creates with his strident
anti-embargo activism. I wanted to profile the complexity of the
man who is a symbol--both favorable and not--to many.
APRIL 1998 TABLE OF CONTENTS.