The hero of this mordant portrayal of life in contemporary Cuba is a black Cuban whose parents were enthusiastic supporters of the Castro revolution. His father, however, having fallen foul of the regime, is accused of embezzlement, and dies of a stroke. Following her husband’s death, his mother flees the country and settles in Madrid. Our hero separates from his wife and now spends much of his time in the company of his Russian neighbour, from whom he discovers the pleasures of reading. The books he reads gradually open his eyes to the incongruity between party slogans and the grey oppressive reality that surrounds him: the office routine; his colleagues’ daily complaints; his own obsessive thoughts that go round and round like a broken record. Every day he photographs the spontaneous eruptions of dissent on the streets and witnesses the sad spectacle of young people crowding onto makeshift rafts and leaving the island. Every night he suffers from Kafkaesque nightmares in which he is arrested and tried for unknown crimes. His disappointment and delusion grow until a day comes when he declares his unwillingness to become an informer and his real troubles begin.
33 Revolutions is a candid and moving story about the disappointments of a generation that fully believed in the ideals of the Castro Revolution. It is a unique look into lives of ordinary people in Cuba over the past five decades and a stylish work of fiction about a young man’s awakening.
Canek Sánchez Guevara
Canek Sánchez Guevara, grandson of Che Guevara, left Cuba for Mexico in 1996. He worked for many of Mexico’s most important newspapers as a columnist and correspondent, and he wrote a regular newspaper column called “Motorcycleless Diaries.” He was a measured and informed critic of the Castro regime. He died in January 2015 at the age of forty.