Hell in Cuba for one former Expat

Posted on March 20, 2017 • Filed under: Caribbean, Cuba, Expatriate Arrested

theguardian.com/Stephen Gibbs / Speaking to me from Myanmar (more about that later) Purvis recalls his early Havana years. “It felt like another era,” he says. “No internet. No TV. No shopping.” The family adapted well to their new life. Home was a handsome 1950s villa, soon full with their four children. Saturdays would be spent by the pool at the beach club. The son of a theatrical designer, Purvis also dabbled in theatre himself, producing the Cuban dance show Havana Rakatan, which performed successfully for several years in London. No one, of course, imagined that those halcyon days would end so abruptly, with Purvis imprisoned in what he describes as a “zoo” for enemies of the state. But that is how it turned out. The title of his powerful memoir, Close but No Cigar, is his own admission of just how badly life can go wrong.

I last saw Purvis in Havana in 2011, a few weeks before his arrest, at a New Year’s Eve party (I had been the BBC’s correspondent in Cuba between 2002 and 2007). The arrival of the New Year is a big deal in Cuba, partly because it coincides with the anniversary of Fidel Castro’s revolution. Two of President Raúl Castro’s daughters were at the event. Read Article


Share This Story
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Add to favorites
  • email