"Peace, according to journalist Christopher Hedges (2003), is about the recovery of a narrative, a common narrative.1 This paper is an iteration of that theme. It is a narrative recounting a month-long visit to La Güinera, a neighborhood on the southern outskirts of Havana, Cuba. It is the neighborhood where several of my Cuban relatives live, and where I stayed when I went to Cuba for the first time, in August of 2001.
For the past 44 years, it has served the political interests of privileged groups in both Cuba and the United States to discursively divide the nation into two antagonistic sides: those in favor of the government that came to power in 1959, and those against it. But regardless of whether one answers to these tightly bound subject positions, the pain of absence bleeds profusely, arbitrarily, rhizomatically, into the lived experiences of those who left the island, and those who have stayed. This narrative is a tracing of one such course of history in the Cuban community."