1. Motorcycle diaries (movie)– absolutely “must see” in order to understand the process of transformation of a privileged and well educated doctor from Argentina – Ernesto Guevara into an iconic revolutionary known simply as “Che”. Based on the true story documented by Che himself in a famous Latin America dairy, the film follows two daring friends, Ernesto Guevara (Gael García Bernal, Y Tu Mama Tambien) and Alberto Granado (Rodrigo de la Serna), who hop on the back of a beat-up motorcycle for a breathtaking road trip across Latin America. From executive producer Robert Redford and acclaimed director Walter Salles (Central Station) comes a life-changing journey that critics are hailing as “Magnificent!”.(Idmb)
2.Buena Vista Social Club (documentary) about Cuban most famous musicians– Aging Cuban musicians whose talents had been virtually forgotten following Castro’s takeover of Cuba, are brought out of retirement by Ry Cooder, who travelled to Havana in order to bring the musicians together, resulting in triumphant performances of extraordinary music, and resurrecting the musicians’ careers. Great story and introduction to Cuba’s famous music.
3. Cuba Diaries by Isadora Tatllin –An American housewife in Havana. This book will surely prepare you for many of the peculiarities of Cuban everyday life but also for travel through Cuba. Even the Tattlins are provided with a well-staffed Havana mansion the store shelves are empty. On the streets, beggars plead for soap. A vet with few real medical supplies operates on a carved mahogany coffee table in a Louis XIV–style drawing room. The people adore festivity, but Christmas trees are banned. And when Isadora hosts a dinner party whose guest list includes Fidel Castro himself, she observes the ultimate contradiction at the very heart of Cuba. Vividly capturing Cuba’s simultaneously appalling and enchanting essence, Cuba Diaries casts an irresistible spell and lifts the enigma of an island that is trapped in time, but not in spirit. (Amazon)
4.Trading with enemy by Tom Miller- Published just a few years ago autor’s fun and engaging story of his eight months travels through Cuba introduces readers to the country’s intellectual elite, criminals, and ordinary citizens. Risky , political jokes about Castro, food, and the embargo are shared as he tells the story of the people on receiving end of the U.S. and Cuba’s policies. It also focuses on some of the nation’s success, such as its health care. If you don’t know anything about what life has been like in Cuba over recent years, this is the book to start with.
5. Che Guevara, revolutionary life by Jon Lee Anderson
You should not go to Cuba without understanding the 1959 revolution a
nd the people who organized and fought for it—Che Guevara chief among them. This biography will definitely give you a very detailed story about not only the revolution but also Che himself. Great read especially for connoisseurs of Latin American history or biographies but with over 600 hundred pages and lots of details it does require time.