‘More than a country on a map’

This evening feminist poet, writer, photographer and social activist Margaret Randall traveled to Waterloo from Albuquerque, New Mexico to deliver a lecture entitled “To Change the World: My Years in Cuba.”

Reading selected stories from her novel of the same title Randall shared her personal accounts from the time her and her family spent in Cuba during “the glory years of the Cuban Revolution” (1969-1980).

“It was more than a country, more than a colour on a map,” said Randall of the time she spent in Cuba throughout the 1970s.

“A group of us actually believed we could change the world.”

Fascinating stories in her book, which she read parts of to the audience, included a recollection of when she first became aware of Fidel Castro, the experience of taking her children “equal opportunity Christmas shopping” (the toys one could have were based on random numbers that were drawn), her involvement with consensus-based law writing and the touching story of when she sought out to visit a 120-year-old women in a town before she left Cuba.

“All of them had wonderful lessons, sometimes painful lessons,” she said of her experiences during the 11 years she spent in the country.

Though recognizing its many flaws, Randall conveyed the fascination she still has with Cuba.

“I’m still in awe of a country where health care and education is free,” said Randall.

To read an interview with Margaret Randall check out the print edition of The Cord next Wednesday.