A fresh and thoughtful view of Cuba

   A CONSTANT STREAM of outsiders try to take Cuba's measure. Few succeed. An island that sets communism to a Latin beat is no easy place to figure out – especially when the island itself is adjusting to a renewed bond with a powerful neighbour.


 One who would appear to understand Cuba, however, is Anthony Bourdain, star of CNN's Parts Unknown food and travel program. In the premier episode of the sixth season, the urbane host visits Havana and Santiago, sampling dishes that will make your mouth water even as he engages Cubans from all walks on their hopes and fears.
   Some of us interpret Cuba by its cars. For Bourdain, a chef before all else, the measure, of course, is food, and the arrival of sushi alongside the beans and rice is a potent symbol of the nation's change. Still, the meals are merely an entry point to a broader examination of history and culture that speaks to painstaking research by the host and production company.
   Bourdain's take on Cuba and its nervous excitement as it tries to both reshape itself and not reshape itself? Well, it's complicated.
  "Everybody knows, everyone can feel it ... it smells like freedom," he muses.
   "But will it be victory?"

   See the full episode at the CNNgo website.


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