DANBURY, CT - Western Connecticut State University will present “From Cuba without Rum, Sugar or Cigars: A Trip Down Memory Lane,” featuring Associate Professor of World Languages and Literature Dr. Galina Bakhtiarova, a cultural historian. The talk will be at 12:15 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 4, in Room 101 of Warner Hall on the WCSU Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. The public is invited.
Bakhtiarova will share her impressions of a recent research trip to Cuba at the invitation of The Society for Mutual Assistance of the Descendants of Catalans. Among the destinations she visited were the Cuban capital Havana, the city of Matanzas and the town of Hershey.
Bakhtiarova had the opportunity to see firsthand the struggle and difficulties that the inhabitants of the island continue to experience in the 53rd year of the Cuban Revolution. Her conversations with historians, researchers and locals she got to know during her trip gave her true insight into Cuban life as opposed to what is shared with tourists, who often are presented with a viewpoint that is inaccurate and based on biases. “I was given a glimpse of Cuban life rarely seen by tourists who enjoy a sugar-coated façade presented to them by the government-run tourist agencies and Cuban ideologues,” she said.
Bakhtiarova’s perspective is built upon her experiences as a Soviet translator and interpreter at the construction of a mill and grain storage facility in Havana, Cuba, in the 1980s as well as her years of extensive research into Cuban culture and history, one of her major academic interests.
Attendees can gain an unfiltered perspective into Cuban life and culture as Bakhtiarova shares her personal accounts and observances that she aligns with her in-depth years of study.
“I try to present an objective reality devoid of ideological radicalism of those who proclaim their adherence to the principles of Marxism on the island, and of those who condemn these principles from the U.S. shores, yet continue advocating for the economic embargo of Cuba that only brings additional suffering to its people,” said Bakhtiarova.