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CUBA IS THE FUTURE FOR LATIN AMERICA AND PERHAPS THE WORLD

CUBA IS THE FUTURE FOR LATIN AMERICA AND PERHAPS THE WORLD On my way out of Cuba, from La Habana, on COPA airlines flight to Panama, I w...

mercredi 2 juillet 2014

THE BARBER POET OF LA HABANA

THE BARBER POET OF LA HABANA
EL ULTIMO ROMANTICO
It was a balmy evening in La Habana, Cuba. As usual people were milling about, this being a Friday, more than ever. I was slowly walking along La Rampa, away from Yara theatre towards a neo-Mexican restaurant recommended to me. When I got there it turned out to be very popular and there were many people waiting in line.
I carried on walking down the street and before long came across the Barber Poet of La Habana.

 There is a famous photograph by American photographer Walker Evans of a barbershop in La Habana in 1933. Fascinated by that photograph, I never fail to stop by barbershops in countries that I visit, and this barbershop was no exception. But the Barber turned out to be exceptional!
Do you mind if I take a photo of you with your client? I asked
Not at all, chirped in the Barber, and in the typical Cuban fashion, neither did the client.

Then he added here is a pair of scissors, why don't you join us in the picture. We got someone to take a picture the three of us.
With an elegant move of his hands, he presented me with his card. I love writing poetry, he said, most of which I dedicate to my wife, whom I adore. He had a large portrait of a plump lady on the sill in front of the large mirror that reflected him and his clients. And of course, I adore our national hero, Jose Marti. Permit me to recite the poem I have written in honour of our illustrious hero, and began reciting a poem, with scissors in hand, while the client looked on with amusement, patiently. A small crowd had gathered, mainly young revellers, waiting to get into a Pizzeria near by and all of us enjoyed this Barber Poet of La Habana.
Miguel Barnet once called me the Last Romantic, he continued. 
Miguel Barnet is a leading intellectual of Cuba, historian and ethnologist and director of the museum of Fernando Ortiz; I had met him on several occasions
Coming back to more mundane things, I made an appointment to have a haircut by the Last Romantic Barber poet of La Habana, Cuba, just a few blocks away from where I stay.
See you soon, Companero!
Yet another famous photo by Walker Evans. I think Fernando Ortiz called it or compared this to  Los Negros Curros?