Abandoned Havana by Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

By Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Dissident Cuban author, photographer, and pioneering blogger Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo provides a set of surreal, irony-laden images and texts from his local urban. His "diary of dystopia"—an unforeseen fusion of pictures and words—brings us toward Havana's scaffolded and crumbling facades, ramshackle waterfronts, and teeming human our bodies. during this ebook, as appealing and bleak as Havana itself, Pardo publications us throughout the relics and fables of an exhausted Revolution within the waning days of Castro's Cuba.


"It is tough to catch in photos the soul of a panorama or a urban, possibly simply because they do not have one on my own yet many. Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo's photos, and the commentaries they're observed with, catch whirlwinds of souls and provide them to us in such method that our personal soul is transformed." –Fernando Savater

"Some [photographs] have a sly humor, others an summary beauty...Mr. Pardo Lazo resists any effortless categorization."...

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Luckily, we Cubans aren’t always getting sick, but even if we were, no one has asked us if we would give up our rights in exchange for being healed. The myth of Cuba as a “medical power” implies that we are only bodies and that we have sold our souls to a healing power, to the guru of the proletarian tribe. Thousands of doctors have been exported, and in the Island’s hospitals they are replaced with thousands of medical students from Latin America. I have seen our patients’ racial mistrust of them, as well as the logical suspicion that they are not fully trained professionals.

On this timeless bomb Fidel is still seated, a sociophagic monster that we keep like the last relic of the ancien régime. Cuba is like a post-Utopia crypt. Fidel is the eternal source of a stubborn Revolution. Some say our city won’t collapse, thanks to the secret resistance of those plastic and metal entanglements, that illegible labyrinth of pure Havanity. If one day Fidel dies (which hasn’t been scientifically demonstrated to be possible), then all the archeological layers of Havana might collide in the Big Bang of Big Brother.

In a speech in the summer of 1993, perhaps as a birthday gift to himself, Fidel Castro dollarized the Cuban economy. He consulted no one, and the act was illegal under the constitution, as are almost all his government’s acts. Being an anti-nationalist measure, it was the most popular of all his dictates. It is difficult to explain to foreigners: the inextricable xenophilia of our idiosyncratic insularity. The “enemy’s money” saved our Revolution from ruin, and private businesses prospered. We are still receiving billions of dollars a year in remittances from friends and family abroad.

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