Embargo

“This Hot Summer”

Unstoppable prices, long lines, transportation problems, blackouts, a resurgence of dengue fever, and suffocating temperatures are part of the current summer scene and daily conversations in Cuba.

Eric Caraballoso / On Cuba News

“This summer is hot, hot,” Sergio tells me, emphasizing the repeated adjective. You don’t have to be an expert in semantics to know that my interlocutor is not exactly talking about meteorology, or, at least, not only about it, but given my acquiescent, confirming silence, the man prefers to explain himself. Or needs to.

I only just met him, but as many people — and, very particularly, Cubans — tend to do in the face of daily tribulations and difficulties, Sergio does not require more approval to share his concerns with me than our coincidence in time and space, specifically in the seat of the electric motorcycle that he drives and on which I am traveling this morning as a passenger on my way to Old Havana.

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