Lima and Dust


Lima's Sky "The Color of a Donkey's Belly"

To every city we attach a face, to every place a personality. Camagüey strikes me as a sober lady with a long ancestry, Frankfurt is punk hair and skinny ties, Prague is the blue eyes and crooked smile of that young man who — just for a second — crossed my path. For its part, Lima’s face is indescribable but covered in dust. The dust of Lima swirls and settles everywhere. It flies over the cliffs that drop abruptly into a sea which, for Caribbeans, feels too cold, too choppy. Tiny particles of earth and sand that stick to your body, to food, to life. Dust on the native fruits, on the recently served ceviche. Dust in your “pisco sour” cocktail that leaves your tongue wanting more and not wanting any. A layer of gold, unreal, that coats the windshields and the newspaper sellers who defy the red lights to unload their merchandise before dark. The dust which we all become after the final day, but which in Lima carries us forward in life.

Lima seemed to me a girl with copper skin. Reserved, with something of that mysterious silence of those who come from the mountains. And with healing hands. Because in Lima I recovered my voice, and that is not a metaphor. I arrived after more than fifty days of intense travel, hoarse and feverish. I left recovered, coddled by my friends, with my energy restored having witnessed a city that has outgrown itself. I submerged my feet in the Pacific for the first time, I climbed the hills of the village of El Salvador to see people gaining ground against the aridity of the soil and poverty. I saw the historic center with its churches, its tourist attractions, its religious processions. Because Lima is a host of cities, some whimsically superimposed on others. It’s like a young woman whose body has outgrown her clothes and they no longer fit. Thus, the traffic bottlenecks and the many cranes raising buildings on all sides. This city has a face put together in a hurry, an eye here, a mouth there, a forehead taken from everywhere; it is mestiza, chola, German, Swiss, Chilean, Spanish… and very much Lima.


113 thoughts on “Lima and Dust

  1. Very cute baseball video. It’s very telling that the American team came bearing gifts of so many baseball supplies and uniforms. Also, for all you fools out there who insist that Cubans are starving because of the embargo, this video claims, and rightly so, that the embargo does not include food. The United States also supplies a large portion of Cuba’s medicine.

  2. Re Mr/Ms anonimo #105

    God Bless Yoani Sanchez and all who invest their dreams in her.

    Any posts of mine you don’t like, then feel free not to read them.

  3. Re #103

    Non Cuban topic?
    That’s strange coming from the guy that can’t stop posting about Venezuela and that fool of a loser Capriles.

    Venezuela’s main asset is its oil. One of Cuba’s main assets is its well trained healthcare workers.

    Venezuela sorts Cuba out with discounted oil.
    Cuba sorts Venezuela out with discounted medical expertise.

    Humby obviously couldn’t give a damn about Venezuela itself or the fact that parts of Venezuela had no healthcare prior to this reciprocal agreement.
    Perhaps he would prefer that parts of Venezuela carried on having no healthcare forever if that meant his own personal lifelong dream of some kind of Golden Dawn in Cuba was getting closer to being realised?

    Dream on Humby…………..Capriles/USA lost the election…


    MY BOXING: Professional Boxing Returns To Cuba After 50 Year Hiatus – by Paul Louis Maupin

    In 1959 Cuba was a dominant force in professional boxing. Six Cuban fighters held titles and there were not five belts per weight class then either. Two years later Fidel Castro decided that professional sports clashed with the countries socialist ideals and banned them all. Now after over 50 years professional boxing will return to Cuba.
    Cuban Boxing Federation president, Alberto Puig, announced Friday that the country will compete in the World Series of Boxing later this year. The tournament will consist of teams from 12 different countries and is scheduled to begin in November. The other teams in the competition are the USA, Mexico, Russia, Poland, Italy, Germany, Ukraine, Argentina, Kazakhstan, Algeria and Azerbaijan.

    It is not a complete entry into professional as the tournament is considered semi-pro but the fighters will see a significant increase in pay and, more importantly, will be able to face real competition outside of Cuba.

    The Cuban amateur system has consistently been strong and provided some professional champions, including Guillermo Rigondeaux, but it is certainly not an ideal situation for the fighters. Rigondeaux, along with any Cuban boxer who would like to compete professionally, had to defect from the country to get his belt. Due to this difficulty, most Cuban fighters begin their career late, thereby limiting their potential.

    Cuba’s inclusion in the World Series of Boxing is not a solution to these problems but it is a step in the right direction. It shows a more liberal attitude by the post-Fidel government toward allowing paid athletes and if the tournament is a success it might not be long before Cuban fighters can again compete at a professional level without first fleeing the country.

  5. Nick, you are obviously a student of politics but please stop showing off on this site. It’s about Cuba, and Yoani’s essays about life as she knows it in Cuba.

  6. Nick,

    I agree 100% that communism sounds a lot better than Nazism. Who wouldn’t sound better than Hitler?

    Even communists like Pol Pot sounded better than Hitler. The big question is were they better than Hitler?

    Communism sounds great. I share more than most. Mother Theresa shared a lot more than me.

    Most communists in Cuba share nothing at all, not even with their hungry neighbors.

    In fact, most steal from their hungry neighbors.

    Giving absolute power to a bunch of violent maniacs with guns is a dangerous thing, no matter how good their promises sound.

    Think of it this way. Hitler and his racist goons are the Charles Manson types, any normal person can see they’re sick in the head.

    The communists were the guy next door who tells you all sorts of great stories about himself, promises you all sorts of favors, but turns out to be a serial killer who robs and tortures his victims first.

    So you wear the guy’s t-shirt and won’t see anything wrong with him, unless you sneak into his house and look in the basement.

    Of course lots of good people are going to be taken in by the communists. I know a very sweet devout Catholic who’s hero is Che Guevara. He saw motorcycle diaries so knows everything about him.

    If he ever met Che, Che would have put a bullet in his head.


  8. Help,
    In 1939 Stalin actually preferred a treaty with Britain and France rather than with Germany but The Germans offered greater concessions.
    The British were loath to grant any favours to Stalin.
    Once the Molotov-Ribbentrop treaty was signed, Stalin stuck to it and ordered Communists to refrain from attacking Hitler. This did not sit well with all Communists. For example the leader of the British Communist Party argued against this order and was stood down.

    Once the USSR was attacked by Hitler obviously it was all change again and Stalin ordered Communists to fight. That’s when the British started running pro Uncle Joe public service broadcasts.

    I don’t necessarily disagree with all your points on this and I do understand that there is a libertarian viewpoint that lumps communism and fascism together.
    However there are, and always were, deep ideological divides between Communism and Fascism.
    Hitler’s fascists were nationalists as are many people but they went further and regarded themselves as racially superior to Jews and Russians amongst others.
    They believed that northern Europeans as a whole were a superior version of the human species.
    Communism is based on the theory that all are equal. Theory and practice are different matters of course and you will not find me giving any vindication of Stalin or his regime.

    The treaty of Versailles resulted in economic conditions in post WW1 Germany that allowed fascism to thrive.
    Neo liberalism is producing similar economic conditions in certain regions and unfortunately fascism is on the rise again in parts of Europe hardest hit by financial crisis.
    True to its ideology its followers seek to blame ethnic minorities for all their problems.
    Their methods are predictably violent.

  9. Nick,

    When I was a boy I remember seeing pictures from German of swastikas right next to flags of the hammer and sickle. I think it was a rent strike, but I can’t remember.

    Just looking on Google is bringing it all back to me. In the early 30s, the German Communists and Nazis formed an alliance to bring down the Social-Democratic government in Prussia. I also remember they took part in strikes together, always aimed at bringing down Social-Democratic and other moderate governments.

    The communists preferred Hitler to any social democrat, because Stalin told them so.

    So they were “useful idiots” to both Hitler and Stalin.

    This whole left or right dictator thing reminds me of mafia wars. Mafias might go to war with each other, but they’re still mafias, and their biggest enemy is truth and justice.

    Same goes for communists and fascists.

  10. Nick,

    You’re right, the Nazis and the Communists did go at each other in the 1920s. But the Communists went after the social democrats a lot more, that’s what brought Hitler into power.

    Stalin ordered Communists not to cooperate with other anti-Hitler groups.

    Stalin also ordered the Communists not to resist Hitler after he took power.

    I’m sure you can find a million sources on Google, because that is what happened.

    Even after Stalin changed his mind and told the Communists to join various popular fronts, he still ordered them to attack their fellow leftists, like they did in Spain.

    Then in 1939, he ordered them to sabotage the British war effort against Hitler.

    Then in 1941, he ordered them to stop the sabotage and support the war effort.

    Do you think anybody who followed all these orders could possibly be sane?

    Stalin was an extremely stupid man who refused to believe Hitler would ever invade him.

    I know Communists like to believe in their moral and intellectual superiority for some reason, but I don’t see it.


    YOUTUBE: CASA DE AMERICA EVENTO DE Asociacion AIL: Coloquio Yoani Sanchez – Una conversación en libertad ( 1 hora 14 minutos )

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