"We arrived with a boat named “Ivan Franko”, the 26th of March, 1992. The boat spent the whole night in neutral waters, and the only thing I could see were the lights of Malecon. I was up all night on the boat watching that lights…it was beautiful. I couldn’t see the houses, but I was able to see the Malecon, lights shining, wide roads…I was approaching a new life that was about to start. I can’t explain that feeling…But maybe in that moment I understood...I was with my family, united and ready to start our new life in a different country".

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Honorable Mention: 2016 Call for Entries

La Nieve y la Flor

Annalisa Natali Murri | Cuba

Humans have always migrated for dissimilar reasons, but the Russian migration to Cuba is the only one of this magnitude that has been impelled by love. Cuba has maintained for decades ideological and cultural ties with USSR. Among many things, this led thousands to travel from the island to the Soviet bloc to attend university courses. 

“These were the years of youth and illusions, and these young men were warm and passionate. They knew how to treat women, and we all fell in love”, tells one of the many women that between 60s and 90s decided to leave everything to follow their heart and migrate to Cuba. 

For about 30 years this “romantic diaspora” has brought to Cuba a large number of Russian women: more than two thousand are still living there, though their stories have remained largely unknown. Some have divorced and others still live happily in love and little else; some have never accepted inwardly the change completely, others have faced difficulties with great strength of mind and determination.





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