Rubén Gallo is Professor in Language, Literature, and Civilization of Spain at Princeton University, where he directed Princeton's program in Latin American Studies. He is the author of many books, most recently the novel Muerte en La Habana (Vanilla Planifolia, 2021).
Missing in HavanaBy Rubén Gallo
Havanas Cabaret Las Vegas is one of the most eccentric nightclubs in the world: a dingy, state-owned bar that, about a decade ago, was officially designated Cubas first gay nightclub (to my knowledge, it is the only gay bar in the world that was opened by military decree). Inside, government employees donning socialist uniforms tend, apathetically, to an audience that includes: done-up drag-queens in gold lamé dresses, chubby Miami Cubans wearing heavy gold chains, male hustlers just arrived from the countryside, middle-class queens roughing it for the night, aging Italians in search of a Latin Tadzio, and even the odd American tourist who appears to have walked into the wrong cabaret.