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12 figures reflect on the last 60 years

'The word revolution gives me the creeps, and brings back bad memories'

Paquito D'Rivera, musician.


Can we still talk about "Revolution" in Cuba?

Contrary to the suffocating and onerous concept of "permanent revolution," of which Leon Trotski spoke, someone more intelligent than me (and than Trotsky) said that revolutions were carried out so that, one day, it wouldn't be necessary to talk about them anymore. Personally, the word itself gives me the creeps, and brings back bad memories. I prefer the term "evolution", and democracy, and personal and social progress.

What should be salvaged from the revolutionary period?

Once I told my cousin Angelito, who studied Design, about my idea of creating a new musical instrument based on the clarinet. He said to me, bluntly: "You're off to a bad start, cousin. If you want to invent an original object to sit on, never call it a chair, stool, seat or anything that resembles it, because, among other obstacles that you will find in your way, you will not even be able to patent your not-so-new 'invention'".  I would add that it would be kind of like a couple getting married and using all the "pretty things" from their previous weddings, which would be distasteful, and even offensive for them, wouldn't it?

How would you describe what Cuba is going through today?

There is an old American song called "Some Things Never Change", which, in old Cuban Spanish, would be something like "el cuartico está igualito".

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