The novelist José Manuel Prieto
and Nation contributor Daniel Wilkinson, the deputy director
of the Americas division at Human Rights Watch, recently discussed
Prieto’s essay “Travels by Taxi,” one of the pieces in The Nation‘s 2009 Fall Books issue.
Prieto was born in Havana in 1962 and left Cuba in the late 1980s, at
odds with what he calls the Cuban Revolution’s “deep and terrible
idealism.” In his essay Prieto reflects on the positive and negative
consequences of that idealism for Cubans generally and also on the
cultural and political dimensions of Cuba’s relationship with the United