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Dariel Suarez

"An important emerging voice in the Literature of the Americas." Brown University Latina/o Studies.

Month

November 2016

On Fidel Castro’s Death

Fidel Castro was a dictator. He got rid of the opposition, sometimes by murdering them; he imprisoned and tortured artists, political activists, gays, journalists; he persecuted and often forced into exile anyone who spoke against or criticized his regime; he kept his nation in poverty while proudly declaring how strong and free our system in Cuba was; he sold universal healthcare (people went blind in Cuba because of a lack of Vitamin A) and free education (communist indoctrination included) to the globe while providing some of lowest salaries in the world to Cuban workers (with market prices comparable to the U.S.), indirectly taxing them ridiculous rates; he refused to hold open democratic elections and did not allow for freedom of the press. He was, in short, an asshole of the highest order, and his death comes many years too late.

Sadly, this won’t bring immediate change to Cuba, though plenty of Miami Cubans will loudly celebrate it (and understandably so). What I have a hard time wrapping my head around is that so many of the people celebrating Castro’s death today actually voted for Trump (hence my very complicated relationship with Miami). Personally, I’m glad that those who suffered directly because of Castro have this moment of catharsis, if one can call it that. But looking ahead, I choose to do so with nuance, and as always, listening to the Cubans inside the island, most of whom I’m sure are also content today but unable to openly celebrate it, and aware that Fidel’s brother is the one in charge, and that asshole was still alive the last time I checked.

New Job & Writers of Color Blog Post

First, I’m happy to share the news that I’m GrubStreets new Head of Faculty and Curriculum. I’ve been teaching fiction writing at this wonderful center for over a year, during which I’ve also participated in many of their events, led free workshops, and presented at their excellent conference, The Muse & the Marketplace. I’m very excited to be a part of the staff and help GrubStreet continue their exceptional work serving our diverse community of writers in Boston and beyond!

One of the amazing initiatives at GrubStreet is the Writers of Color Group. I attended my first meeting a little while back, and wrote a blog post sharing my experiences and explaining why it’s such an important project. This meeting focused on the topic of cultural appropriation, sparked in part by Lionel Shriver’s speech at the Brisbane Writers Festival.

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