Cuba's Primer - Castro's Earring Economy
Paperback, 168 Pages
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A well-written account of the Castro dictatorship and of the social and political conditions that made it possible. Gonzalo Fernandez writes with the conviction and knowledge of a personal witness.
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Nov 14, 2010Reader's comment: Your use of “Earring” to describe Castro’s economy is amusing, yet I know it is deadly serious. Restoring the work ethic to prior Castro levels may take years. Kenneth Marks Retired Businessman Lincolnton, North Carolina Author's Overview: The general public has always had a fascination with Cuba, from Castro to cigar and rum, but has no specific knowledge of the country's historical background from independence to current conditions on the island, as narrated in my book. There are, in my estimation, more than 400,000 second and third generation Cuban Americans, many of them professionally educated. A large proportion of them speak English as their first language. They would benefit from reading this book which provides a structured narrative of many instances they may have heard from their parents and grandparents. Reviewed by Deborah Straw "Cuba has an 'earring mentality' which is found in people that never worked for a living. An earring goes places only... More > because it 'hangs on' to someone's ear lobe... Castro was supported by his father... After his graduation [law school at the University of Havana]... his father continued to support him." Many Americans look at Cuba romantically: sultry nights; lovely music, beaches, and women; spicy food; beautiful, crumbling architecture; vintage American cars with fins. In books like Cuba and the Night (Pico Iyer) or In Cuba I was a German Shepherd (Ana Menendez), the writers wax eloquently about the people and the culture. In the late 50s and early 60s, many of us even thought of Fidel Castro as heroic when he overthrew a corrupt dictator, Batista. He seemed progressive, fair, and charismatic in his fatigues and big beard. We heard about quality education, total literacy, national health care, and the wonderful climate, except for hurricanes. Gonzalo Fernández is in the other camp, the camp of exiles who fled Cuba after Castro took power, many to reestablish themselves in southern Florida. Like his contemporaries, he sees the Castro brothers as almost evil. He believes they have destroyed his beloved country. This primer, mostly about the rise and continued presence of the Castros, is not at all romantic. Fernández and his family left Cuba in 1966, and they have since lived in the U.S., Spain, and elsewhere. They became disenchanted with. Castro in 1960. The author writes that at the beginning of Castros regime, "My wife and I, and probably around 80% of the Cuban people, were supportive of Castro and his promises of a new democratic Cuba," but through Fernández' account, the reader learns how Castro ruined it for many. Fernández' historic research seems impeccable, sixty years of Cuban politics and life, a picture of a country with a complex image and history. Fernández, a businessman and a writer, has long been involved in worldwide activities in support of a free Cuba and has a Facebook group, Support for Cuban Political Prisoners. "There is little hope for freedom and for a better life for the Cuban people in [sic.] the Island." www.theUSreview.com< Less
Nov 24, 2009Not only did I learn a great deal of new facts. I thoroughly enjoyed how Mr. Fernandez weaves his life through Cuba's history. I also love the earring description and use it all the time now. This should be mandatory reading for Cuban-Americans that don't have all the facts. Also, a must read for our kids.
Nov 22, 2009Mr. Fernandez writes in an easy to follow style, interspering historical events with personal anecdotes. It is interesting to note how he has objectively placed himself within the various settings, while still understanding the "big picture" as Cuba was changing from a capitalist dictatorship to a socialist one. For those young, urban Cuban Americans (yucas), this book will fill in many gaps as to what their parents told them and what they fail to understand as to why the situation went so tragically wrong! The book also provides an explanation as to why after 50 years, Castro's system of governing still has not provided the "complete revolutionary man" that he promised during the transition period. Indeed, the fact that Cuba's greatest export are refugees and dissidents is explained well in Mr. Fernandez's book. For those uninformed about the realities of living under a communist dictatorship, the details expressed here will increase your awareness. For those... More > wishing to review what went wrong, when it did so and if the situation has any promise for improvement, the author will address these concerns. In short, "Cuba's Primer-Castro's Earring Economy" will educate, provoke thought and resolve unanswered questions!< Less
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- GFA Consulting Inc. (TBA)
- Gonzalo Fernandez d/b/a GFA Consulting Inc.
- November 6, 2009
- Perfect-bound Paperback
- Interior Ink
- Black & white
- 0.67 lbs.
- Dimensions (inches)
- 6 wide x 9 tall
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