Man in Havana (Habana 35)

Graham Greene’s farcical black comedy Our Man in Havana predated the revolution, and painted an unflattering picture of the Batista regime, though the real subject for his ridicule was British Intelligence who in the book are fooled into thinking they are receiving details of the development of a secret military base in the mountains.

The following year Castro and his supporters would find those same mountains a safe place to hide and rebuild their forces after a disastrous start to their campaign, and only a couple of years later there was concern over the development of a real military base in what has become known as the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Greene’s protagonist isn’t Cuban however, he’s a British ex-pat who makes his living selling vacuum cleaners.  I didn’t meet any of those to my knowledge, but perhaps this guy is a worthy successor.Havana-18

So what does the real man in Havana look like? It’s difficult to tell, for who is to say which are tourists and which are residents. Those who are outwardly poor are clearly the latter. Is Havana man a Spaniard? An African? A blend of many races?

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I’ll let you make your own decision.

Havana-4

 

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