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Habana Libre - Michael Dweck & William Westbrook - Secret Life of Cuba

“I always say that Cuba has economic poverty, not human poverty, which is very different. Human poverty is when you don’t have schools, or hospitals for children, and you see people just die because there are no doctors or medicine. That never happens in Cuba. Even if the hospital is not in the best physical shape, the human resources are just exquisite. In this country, they are so privileged to have that and it’s because of the government. Human poverty is what you see in Haiti, it’s what you see in Bolivia, it’s what you see in Guatemala.”

Viviana Limpias
Deputy Representative of UNICEF in Cuba
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[ Alex Castro ]

“I know that the vision of Cuba in the United States is of a diabolical country. They portray us as being a country with many difficulties, many problems. However, if you come to Cuba you realize not everything is according to the press. Look, I could have a vision that every North American wears a cowboy hat and has a pistol. But there’s more to the story.”
Alex Castro
“You know, it is a difficult moment or all of us. The crisis has hit everywhere, and it has hit here, as well.  Just knowing that someone is spending money to see your performance, and then realizing that the same person is having fun during those couple of hours of a concert – you feel pretty much like a doctor that was able to help.”
Kelvis Ochoa
Recording artist

[ Rene Francisco ]
“When I was an art student they gave us everything. We had all our materials. Now the art students have nothing. They have four walls and time. No brushes. No paint. Nothing is provided to them. But I tell them: when you are an artist who has nothing, you have everything.”
Rene Francisco
[ Camilo Guevera ]
“After the Revolution, there was an enormous explosion of potential.  This is the way the world works: there is always lots of potential, but you need a determined event in order for that potential to maximize and become reality. This is what happened with Cuba – Cuba created schools of dance, painting, sculpture, music, theatre – they were symbols that said the best way to be free is to be cultured.”
Camilo Guevera
“One thing that’s very charming about Cuba is that, because they’ve been isolated for 52 years, they’ve got a certain innocence. A lot of it is having been isolated from advertising and trash TV that often create complexes among young people, like they have to be a certain size and shape or wear a certain thing. Cubans are so happy in their own skin. No Cuban is self-conscious.”
Toby Brocklehurst
“Here’s the thing: We want to keep being Cuba. Not a little America or a little Germany. But we want a better life and a better situation for our country. No matter what happens tomorrow, we are always Cuban. Always.”
Young travel professional
“I think it’s easier for an artist, but the thing about artists in Cuba is this: they excel not only because they have the means to work, or they get paid because they can sell their work. They also have a motive to create. And that motive is Cuba. I know Cuban artists who were great here but moved abroad and they were nothing there. They lost it when they left their inspiration, which is Cuba.”
Yuset Candebat Montero
Communication & Marketing Manager
“One of the biggest mistakes of the Revolution is that it didn’t let people go out and see the world and come back. To have experiences and bring them back. Not to let people go was a mistake that we still pay for.”

Xavier Labrador
Film Student



October 10, 2011
Vanity Fair Slideshow

October 10, 2011
Zirkusprinzessin- Privilegierte einer klassenlosen Gesellschaft: Germany

October 6, 2011
In Art: Bulgaria

October 5, 2011
Le Mag by Darqroom: Habana Libre Michael Dweck


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The Making of Habana Libre

Michael Dweck Bio [ Spanish ] [ English ]

Habana Libre Artist Statement

Press Release [ Spanish ] [ English ]

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