I am a Cuban writer: this is my cross. Every being on earth carries a personal and un-transferable cross, with the same share of love and agony, since the time God or the Big Bang made us.

I do not inhabit Cuba: Cuba inhabits me.

And I love my island with the same rage that makes me suffer. I love her diversity and I suffer from her blindness. I love Benny Moré and Celia Cruz, Fernando Ortiz and Moreno Fraginals, Lezama Lima and Eugenio Florit, Carpentier and Cabrera Infante, Enrique Arredondo and Guillermo Álvarez Guédez; Wifredo Lam and Cundo Bermúdez and I suffer from the absurd reasoning that tries to negate who they are: the heritage of all Cubans, whatever their creed, affiliation, prejudice or extremism.

It is from that Cuba I write. Searching to free my words from the confinement imposed on them by what Virgilio Piñera called that “cursed circumstance of water all around.” Because I own a intimate country, non-transferable, that any situation or power can take me away: a Cuba that travels with me everywhere, free, seductive, arrogant and rebellious.

My characters gravitate over that Cuba like ghosts. Like Cuba, they also inhabit, seduce and enslave me; they dictate the stories that other insane persons enjoy or endure in my books.

In a world without dialogue, believing in freedom of speech is for the insane. I confess that I am stubbornly insane.

The freedom of the insane is one of the most beautiful things that still exists in the world today. Translating this freedom into my stories, my characters, is a dream that constantly wins me over.

I think this planet of ours lacks a little of that beautiful and free insanity.

This is why I write.