Saturday, December 31, 2022

Wanna get rid of artwork and get a line in your resume?

I'm always baffled by artists who destroy their own work because of "fill-in-the-blank" reason.

Here's a no fee opportunity to donate your artwork for a good cause and at the same time get a museum show line in your resume.

Deadline: January 10, 2023

This exhibition will feature 6" x 6" artwork displayed in a grid, and auctioned off of sale to raise funds for the Grants Pass Museum of Art. Display your work in the museum and support the arts in Southern Oregon during this fundraising exhibit. The Grants Pass Museum of Art is raising funds that provide free admission for museum visitors, affordable art classes, and amazing programs for kids. This will also be an online auction.

Original artwork(s) get mailed to:

Grants Pass Museum of Art

1630 Williams Hwy, PMB 501

Grants Pass, OR 97527

The artwork will be exhibited in the museum and online from January 20 - February 16, 2023. All accepted work will be exhibited. All work needs to be suitable for audience of all ages, and not infringe on copyright laws. Other than that it is up to you!

No application in advance required. Please fill out the entry form for each entry, and mail it with your work. 

Anyone is eligible to submit artwork. Please be aware that unsold work may not be returned. 100% of the proceeds go to fund the Grants Pass Museum of Art in Southern Oregon. 

Details here.

Friday, December 30, 2022

Pat Goslee at Artists & Makers

Artists & Makers Studios on Parklawn Drive in Rockville starts the new year with Artist Pat Goslee and the exhibit “Patch” along with two additional exhibits and an Open Studio event. The January 6th First Friday evening opening will run from 5pm – 9pm. Enjoy “Open Window” with Resident Artists, and Gallery 209 Artists exhibiting their latest work. Pat Goslee’s arrangements in “Patch” bring hope and joy as patchy remarks on uneven inequalities of time. These are beauty-impregnated substrates operating as patches of visual code suggesting amelioration. A dream of water so clean it can’t be seen. Flora that references the healing powers found in the Peyer’s Patch. And the pleas of fauna for continued mending of ecosystems before more life is lost. In “Open Window” Resident Artists explore landscape from many varied perspectives and practices. The Members’ exhibit is always a visual treat in the long Gallery Hall.

“Patch” with Invited Artist Pat Goslee

“Open Window” with Resident Artists

The Artists of Gallery 209

Opening Reception

5:00 PM – 9:00 PM, Friday, January 6th, 2023

Meet the Artist - January 14th, 2-4pm

Artists & Makers Studios

11810 Parklawn Drive, Suite 210

Rockville, MD 20852

Exhibits for Pat Goslee, the Resident Artists, and Gallery 209 will run from January 4th through January 25th. Viewing hours are 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Monday-Saturday, and Sundays by chance or appointment.

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Job in the arts

 Arts Capital Program Coordinator, Public Art Project Manager

Deadline to apply: January 13, 2023 at 4 p.m.

This position is primarily responsible for building the arts capital grant program outlined in Maryland SB323 (2021) and managing public art and projects for MSAC. Incumbent reports to the Executive Director of MSAC and works closely with the Public Art Program Director and with other staff in the management and administration of public art commissions through the Maryland Public Art Commission (MPAC). The focus will be on building an arts capital grant program that distributes $3 million annually to arts organizations and county arts agencies beginning in fiscal year 2024.

The duties for this position include: providing technical assistance, professional development and program evaluation, building the grant program to include researching existing programs in other state agencies and arts councils; facilitating constituent listening sessions; developing program rationale; establishing grant eligibility and criteria; building an application process, form, and rubric; developing applicant and grantee communication templates; establishing grantee reporting requirements; and developing program outcomes and a program evaluation framework. The position manages Commission projects of the Public Art Across Maryland program, assists in the artist selection process for artwork in new or renovated state buildings and public spaces throughout Maryland and works closely with state user agency partners and contracted artists.

For more information and to apply, click here.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Day Eight

 Day Eight is one of the really good art drivers in the the tapestry that makes up the DMV's art scene - Day Eight's accomplishments in 2022 include:

• They published six books of poetry:

  •    Ashes to Justice by Shaquetta Nelson (Feb, 2022);
  •    The Great World of Days edited by Gregory Luce, Anne Becker and Jeffrey Banks (Mar, 2022);
  •    Why We Write, edited by Robert Bettmann, a youth and faculty anthology (June, 2022);
  •    Diaspora Café edited by Maritza Rivera and Jeffrey Banks (Aug, 2022);
  •    Breaking the Blank by Rebecca Bishophall and Dwayne Lawson-Brown (Nov, 2022);
  •    I’d Rather Be A Nerd by 2022 Poet Project winner Dominic McDonald (Dec, 2022)

• They hired six early-career arts writers who authored more than thirty articles through their arts journalism fellowship. They also hosted a conference on The Crisis in Book Review that featured Joyce Carol Oates, Brian Broome, and other literary luminaries, and they produced a week-long summer institute offering intensive training for professional arts writers, including faculty members Geoff Edgers (Washington Post), Emma Sarappo (the Atlantic), and more.

• They produced a group of opportunities for young writers, including an after school series for LGBT youth and allies, five weeks of summer writing camp, and a monthly writing club for girls.

If you support their work, thank you for considering an end of year donation to Day Eight. All contributions are tax deductible. Whether you donate $5 or $500, every little bit helps. Thank you for your support!

To donate on  their Facebook fundraiser, click here.

To make a donation on their website, click here.

Here Are 6 of the Worst Artworks Around the World in 2022

Sarah Cascone and others from ArtNet News pops in with their top bottom... cough... cough... artworks from around the world...

Who says criticism is dead? Sometimes, despite an artist’s best intentions, an artwork misses the mark—at least according to some opinions. Art is delightfully subjective, and we are sure that many people hold dear some of the art our editorial staff found, well, less than perfect.

Read their picks here...

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

William H. Anderson, R.I.P

It is with deep sadness that I share my father-in-law's passing on Christmas Eve, William H. Anderson (June 29, 1933 - December 24, 2022) - fair winds and following seas shipmate! RIP - we have the watch!

ENS William H. Anderson, USN

LTJG William H. Anderson, USN

We called him "Pop Pop", and he was perhaps the kindest, gentlest man that I have ever met. Pop Pop welcomed me to his family from the very first day, and we shared Navy stories and that comradery that only Navy shipmates can share. He loved sports, and we all loved watching soccer with him - one of his favorite sports... "Don't kick it back!" was his favorite commentary and one which will always be associated with Pop Pop. This gentle, hard-working, and loving man will be missed, but his teachings and presence will live in his descendants and in our hearts. Fair winds and following seas, old shipmate - we have the watch now.

Monday, December 26, 2022

Wanna show in Howard County, Maryland?

The Howard County Arts Council (HCAC) in Maryland manages two galleries at the Howard County Center for the Arts with over 21,000 square feet of exhibit space. 

HCAC presents 11-12 exhibits per year of national, regional, and local artists, including two-person, small and large group, juried, curated, and community shows.Visit HCAC's application portal to apply.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

A sailor and his date

As many of you know, when I was in the Navy I did loads of illustrations and cartoons for many newspapers (such as The Stars & Stripes and lots of base newspapers, etc.), and hundreds of sketches of my shipmates and other US Navy sailors in ports in the US and European ports. 

Most of these drawings, cartoons, and paintings were given away to my shipmates over the years, but I also kept many of them, and I see them often being sold at auctions online and by galleries... this image was sent to me by someone who bought it at an auction in San Diego and it is part of this vintage group of Navy artwork! It is called "A Sailor and his date".

A Sailor and his date - vintage 1980 drawing by Campello
A Sailor and his date - 1980 drawing by Campello

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Northern National Art Competition

Northern National Art Competition

The 36th Northern National Art Competition is a juried art exhibition in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, co-sponsored by Nicolet College and the Northern Arts Council. The Northern National Art Competition (NNAC) began in 1987 with a mere 37 entries. Today, the show attracts the work of artists from all across the United States with hundreds of entries as diverse as the artists themselves, and showcases a wide array of contemporary art in a variety of two-dimensional mediums.



  • Monday, January : Registration opens via CaFÉ
  • (Call for Entry) online registration system
  • Friday, March 24: Registration deadline
  • Friday, April 21: Acceptance notification
  • Friday, May 12: Hand delivery by appointment
  • Monday, May 15: All shipped work due
  • Thursday, June 15: Opening Reception
  • Thursday, July 28: Show Closes
  • Friday, July 29: Pick up hand delivered work by appointment 

All the details here!

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

The Fake Art Industry Is Booming Online

This article by Chris Cobb is a must read for everyone who has bought an original Frida Kahlo on Ebay for a few hundred bucks!

If you are in the business of selling fake art online, this is truly a golden age.

It’s especially true if you are selling images attributed to famous artists such as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, or Jean-Michel Basquiat...

Read the article here. 

Monday, December 19, 2022

Glen Echo Park Partnership Call for Artists

Application deadline: December 30Glen Echo Park Partnership Galleries invites artists to submit art that investigates the impact our environment has on identity and experiences. Themes can include place, identity, origins, routine, displacement, immigration, natural and manmade environments.Click here for more information and to apply.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Foundation

Application deadline: January 18The Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Foundation welcomes applications for its 2023 Individual Support Grants program, which will award grants of $25,000 in support of mature painters, sculptors, and printmakers who are in financial need. To be eligible, applicants must be able to demonstrate they have been working in a mature phase of their art for at least 20 years.Click here for more information and to apply.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

The Rock Magnet

Below is a peek from Juicy Fruit Perfume: An American Remembers his Cuban Childhood, my biography, which is currently scheduled to be published in 2024 2026 (should I ever finish it!) - This chapter is titled "The Rock Magnet":

One of our favorite games was rock fights. 

How in the world we survived countless battles without losing an eye or getting killed is both a miracle and mystery. 

Rock fights would either be planned, between a couple of teams, or just start out of nowhere, first with one or two people, and slowly gathering impetus until broken up by either an adult, a cracked head, or a cracked window or windshield on a parked or passing car. 

How many times would I wander out of my house, bored and with nothing to do, climb on the roof and survey the neighborhood from my own little kingdom. And if I detected Pepin or his brother Monguito playing down at the end of the block, or perhaps one of the Calixton brothers outside their house a block directly across from us, I would climb down from the roof, gather a few rocks, walk to the middle of the block, yell just one warning shout and launch an unexpected aerial attack.

Having been at the receiving end of these same attacks, it was not unfair to launch an unprovoked attack, and immediately the battle would begin. 

Two solitary warriors lobbing rocks at each other, maybe 100-200 feet apart, throwing the rocks in long, elegant arcs that demanded attention – in order to avoid them – and guts – in order to appear unconcerned and avoid being hit just at the last minute by side-stepping the rock as it was about to hit you. Soon, one of the brothers would join in, and now I would have to start dodging two attackers while shouting for either my cousin Cesar or my best friend Jorge Cunningham to come to my aid. 

As my best friend, Jorge, who was an excellent rock thrower, was feared for his skill; however, he lived about half a block down from Cuartel Street and would not always hear me. Cesar nearly always came to my aid, but he was not very good at aiming, and there was always a chance that he’d join the other guys – unless the Monguitos had done something to him recently. 

The only guy in our neighborhood that you never started an unprovoked rock fight against with was Pupy. 

Pupy was one of an endless horde of Haitians who lived in a huge house at the end of where the paved Cuartel Street ended. He didn’t usually play with us, as the Haitians tended to keep to themselves, and his house had a huge, fenced garden full of trees and space where he usually played his many brothers and cousins. A whole tribe of Haitians lived behind that walled fortress of a house and it was one of the few places in our neighborhood where we weren’t welcomed or allowed in. 

But once in a while Pupy would come out and play with us, more often than not terrorizing us. We were all afraid of him, except the Monguito brothers, who were fearless and would fight anyone, anytime; and Jorge, who although skinny and small was very tough. 

Pupy was mean and evil, and in rock fights would run close up to you and fire rocks at close range, rather than maintaining a respectable artillery distance. Our only means of revenge against Pupy was rather cowardly, but we all did it anyway. 

It consisted of the ritual of lobbing a few anonymous rocks into his house’s back garden or their roof, nearly every night; or whenever we were playing around that corner of the street, which was unusual by itself, as we usually played around the other corner of the block, directly next to my grandparents’ house, which is where I lived. 

There was an art to the rock fight that demanded a certain skill and grace in order to survive without being hit. This was especially needed when you were defending against two boys. 

The idea was to throw your rock and then immediately and very quickly begin looking for a new one to throw. Because we lived on a paved street, strategy and location was important, such as beginning the fight from around one of the several empty lots in our block, with an abundant supply of projectiles. One was most vulnerable when bending down to pick up new rocks (ideally two at once), when you took your eyes off your opponent. 

A well timed throw would arc towards you to try to catch you looking away for that final split second. Two throwers demanded intense concentration and skill, and an amazing dance around a rainfall of rocks. 

One year, for a few delirious months, our street was torn and opened up as huge, new sewer lines were installed. For months these large cement pipes provided castles and forts from which massive rock fights took place – the open, torn streets providing an unending supply of rocks. It is amazing how few times we were actually hurt – of course we were hit, and it did hurt, but seldom were hits very serious or requiring stitches. 

Except for Pepin. 

Pepin was the youngest of the two Monguito brothers, his father was Mongo, who we would all make fun of, as he traveled back and forth to his job in a bicycle, becoming the proverbial Mongo en Bicicleta character. Mongo also wore the same thick, nerd glasses that Castro wore and that nearly every Cuban who needed glasses seemed to have in those years. 

Later when I was in the US Navy we would see those glasses being issued in bootcamp and we would call them "birth control glasses." 

Mongo also had an incredible resemblance to the American cartoon artist Robert Crumb. Pepin and Monguito were a key part of our pandilla, and we all played together, and of course this included rock fights, either on our side against other neighborhood’s kids or internecine battles in our own group. 

But Pepin’s head seemed to be a rock magnet! I cannot recall the number of times that his poor mother Elba, had to take Pepin to the hospital to stitch his head close from rock wounds. It was astounding even to the doctors, and his crewcut was decorated with shiny white healed scars visible under the short cropped hairstyle that we all wore. It was so bad that one time, as Elba and Pepin where coming out of the most recent visit to the hospital (she madder than a hornet at yet another busted head, and he, recently stitched and bandaged), an amazing thing happened as they were waiting for the bus outside the hospital

Now, it must be made clear that buses were also good targets for rock throwing, and in our neighborhood we generously pelted the buses with rocks if they happened to drive by during one of our battles. 

Apparently this was the case all over Guantanamo, as when the bus arrived at the hospital stop, and as Elba and the bandaged Pepin prepared to enter it, from across the street someone lobbed a rock at the bus, managed to miss it completely, arcing the rock over it and landing it squarely atop Pepin’s head, busting it open in a new spot and sending him back to the hospital amidst Elba’s cries of blue murder. 

But the rock fight to end all rock fights was an incredibly huge rock fight that took place one warm, sunny summer early evening at the crossing of the river Guaso. It has remained, both in my memory and my father’s memory, as the largest, most intensive rock fight in Guantanamo’s history, and it literally involved nearly 100 people of all ages, sizes and colors. This rock fight was the mother of all rock fights.

Heading to the Left Coast


Friday, December 16, 2022

Wanna get an unicorn?

This 1980 original drawing of an unicorn by yours truly just popped up on Ebay! I did these unicorn series in prep for a private, illustrated edition of a book on the subject being printed in Seattle in 1980!

I recall selling this drawing in 1980 while I was selling art at the Pike Place Market while I was an art student at the University of Washington.

Unicorn pen and ink drawing by Campello circa 1980
Bid for it here.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

The curious case of Associate Professor Erika Denise Edwards and the Argentine national soccer team

Erika Denise Edwards is the author of the book "Hiding in Plain Sight: Black Women, the Law and the Making of a White Argentine Republic" and an associate professor at the University of Texas at El Paso.  She is also the author of a baffling article in the Washington Post titled Why doesn’t Argentina have more Black players in the World Cup? 

I shit thee not - the professor actually has a bee in her bonnet about this baffling question.  And to make her impossible case, she digs deep into Argentine history, although the article was already once corrected because somehow initially the author made a math mistake that thought that 149,493 divided by 46 million was one percent... cough... cough... the article has now been corrected.

Dear professor Edwards, the reason that there are no black players in the Argentine national team is that for a soccer-crazy nation like Argentina, only the best of some of the best soccer players on the planet make it to that team.  I can assure you that if there was a black Messi somewhere in Argentina with an Argentine passport, he would be on that team regardless of color.

Of that 149, 493 black Argentines, we would need a subset of men aged between 18-35 to sort of be able to even be counted. The miniscule mathematical possibility is now so low, that it takes a deep breath to try to figure out why some idiot at the WaPo thought that this was a valid question.

As one commenter notes: "For the same reason why there are no White or Asian or Latino players in nearly 50 African national teams: the demographics aren't there."

Another commenter strikes the article dead and demolishes the author's thesis in a few simple words: "Can’t say for Argentina’s FIFA team, but superimposing US racial categories on a Latin American country is an intellectual blunder the author should have easily avoided, almost the same mistake the racists make..."

Perhaps Professor Edwards needs to refresh her American-centric mindset, racialized by Americaness, deeply different from Latin American culture, and take a deep look at her flawed outlook and unsupported logic on this subject.  I recommend that she starts with Jorge Luis Borges who once noted that "The Argentinian is an Italian who speaks Spanish, thinks French, and would like to be English.”

Shame on the WaPo for publishing such a silly article. And yet, there's part of me which "hears" what the Prof. is saying, although her arrow errs in her aim - I am talking to you, the rest of Latin America! That's who the Professer needs to aim her arrow at instead of the New World's "whitest" country! Cough... cough...

PS - Latin American newspapers are having a lot of fun with the Professor's article.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Wanna exhibit in Howard County, Maryland?

The Howard County Arts Council (HCAC) in Maryland manages two galleries at the Howard County Center for the Arts with over 21,000 square feet of exhibit space. 

HCAC presents 11-12 exhibits per year of national, regional, and local artists, including two-person, small and large group, juried, curated, and community shows.Visit HCAC's application portal to apply.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Renewal: The 2023 Prince George's County Exhibition call for entries

The annual Annapolis county exhibition is returning and will be on display at the Lowe House building in Annapolis, MD from January 11- April 10, 2023.

PG County artists can submit an online entry application at:

All artists must be over 18 and either live, work, or have a studio in Prince George's County. You may submit up to 3 images of artworks for consideration and no more than 1 artwork per person may be selected for inclusion. Please review the entire call for entry for more information on the exhibition.

The deadline for applications will be this Friday, December 16, 2022, 11:59 pm.

Monday, December 12, 2022

Howard County Arts Council Seeks Exhibits and Programs Assistant

The Howard County Arts Council, a multi-purpose non-profit arts agency, seeks a self-directed, outgoing individual for an entry to mid-level Exhibits and Programs position in a small, fast-paced office environment. View the full job description here. 

Position open until filled. Send cover letter with resume and three references to Mary K Baxter at

Sunday, December 11, 2022

The Mighty Thor - page 14, issue 333

The Mighty Thor, issue 333, page 14 published in 1983. Terrific page showing Thor smashing his hammer and then flying away!

Script by Alan Zelenetz
Pencils: M. D. Bright (credited as Mark Bright)
Inks: Vince Colletta
Letters: Janice Chiang

Original art from The Mighty Thor, issue 33, p.14 from 1983

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Have Your Original Essay, Short Story, or Poem Featured and Published

Calling all writers to submit your creative essays, short stories and poems to the Local Writer’s Showcase. Enter to win a chance to win a cash prize, a free membership to The Writer's Center, and first place winners get published in Bethesda Magazine and online on the Bethesda Urban Partnership and The Writer’s Center websites. Adults and high schoolers are encouraged to apply, with winners picked from each group.

The deadline for the Essay and Short Story Contest is January 10, 2023.

The deadline for the Poetry Contest is January 17, 2023.

Partners supporting the contests include Bethesda Magazine, The Writer's Center and The Trawick Foundation.

Thursday, December 08, 2022

Weird War Tales, issue 57, page 5

Weird War Tales, issue 57, page 5 published in 1977. Terrific page showing loads of action and great art! Set in the summer of 1944 in France during World War II, as well as France in 1247.

Script: Arnold Drake
Pencils: Dick Ayers
Inks: Gerry Talaoc

Original art for Weird War Tales, issue 57, page 5 published in 1977

Original art for Weird War Tales, issue 57, page 5 published in 1977

Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Once upon a time there was a Republic

Havana street, 1950s
There's a grossly erroneous perception, driven home by Hollywood movies and the narrative of the extreme wingnuts of the left worldwide, that pre-Castro Cuba was ripe for the Castro brothers due to the extreme poverty in the island, corruption, backwardness, disease, illiteracy, etc.

Nothing could be further away from the truth.
Cuba was the most likely, and also the least likely of all Latin American nations to fall under the clutches of Communism. In 1953 Fidel Castro wrote (In History Will Absolve Me):
"Once upon a time there was a Republic. It had its constitution, its laws, its civil rights, its President, a Congress, and law courts. Everyone could assemble, associate, speak and write with complete freedom. Public opinion was respected and heeded and all problems of common interest were freely discussed. There were political parties, radio and television debates and forums and public meetings. The whole nation pulsated with enthusiasm."
He, and his brother, erased that Republic, brutalized it, raped it, and replaced it with a Communist dictatorship.

Cuba was not a backwards island nation in 1959.... but, let's start backwards, while the island was still part of Spain and contributed 60% of that nation's gross national product:
  • In 1829, Cuba was the first nation of Latin America, and also before several European nations, to use steam ships.
  • In 1837, Cuba became the third nation in the world, after England and the US, to build a railroad. It also had the causal effect of creating a significant Chinese immigration to the island.
  • The first doctor to use anesthesia in medical operations in Latin America (and also before Spain, Portugal, Italy, France and many other European nations) was a Cuban. It was ether and the year was 1847.
  • In 1860, in the city of Cardenas, two clinics started the world’s first health insurance projects. Known then as Mutual Benefit Organizations, these MBO's were the precursors of what are known today in the US as Health Maintenance Organizations or HMO's. Membership in one of Cardenas's MBO's gave its members access to all of the then available medical treatments that the clinics offered. As the medical systems and clinics developed, most Cuban hospitals and clinics provided free healthcare to the poor.
  • The first Latin American to play professional baseball in the US (and the “father of Cuban baseball) was the Cuban, Esteban Bellan in 1871.
  • The very first demonstration on planet Earth of an industry powered entirely by electricity was in done in Havana in 1877.
  • In 1881, a Cuban epidemiologist, Dr. Carlos Finlay, was the first to discover the transmitting agent of yellow fever, the mosquito Aedes Aegypti, which now also happens to carry zika. Dr. Finlay studied medicine at Thomas Jefferson University in the US.
  • The first system of electric lighting in all of Latin America, and also before a dozen European countries was installed in Cuba in 1889.
  • The first streetcar in Latin America (and before six European nations) began operation in Havana in 1900.
  • In 1900, before at any other country of Latin America, the first automobile arrived in Cuba. By 1959, there were more Cadillacs in Havana than in New York City.
  • The first Latin American woman to drive a car was the Cuban writer Renee Mendez Cape in 1900.
  • The first Latin American Olympic champion was a Cuban. The gold medal was won by the fencer Ramon Fonst Segundo, in 1900 (he also won a silver in that Olympiad). In 1904 Fonts won three gold medals in fencing!
  • The first Ibero-American nation to abolish bullfights was Cuba in 1901.
  • In 1902, when Cuba finally broke away from Spain, the island had been the source of between 50%-75% of the entire Spanish Gross National Product.
  • The first city on the planet to have a direct dialing telephone system was Havana in 1906. The second city in the world to have a direct dial telephone system was Santiago de Cuba, the capital of the Oriente province. All through the first half of the century, Cuba had more telephones per capita than any Latin American country except Argentina and Uruguay.
  • In 1907, the first x-ray medical department in Latin America (and before nearly every European nation) was established in Havana.
  • On the 17th of May, 1913 the first international aerial flight in Latin America was achieved by the Cuban pilots, Agustin Parla and Domingo Rosillo del Toro. The flight was between Cuba and Bone Key, Florida and lasted 2 hours and 40 minutes.
  • Cuba, in 1918, was the first country of Latin America to grant divorces to married couples.
  • The first Latin American (and the first person born outside of Europe) to win the world championship of chess was the Cuban master, Jose Raul Capablanca. He’s considered one of the greatest players of all time and was world champion form 1921-1927. He only lost 35 matches in his lifetime.
  • In 1922 Cuba was the second nation in the world to have a commercial radio station, and the first nation in the world to broadcast a music concert. By 1928 Cuba had 61 radio transmitters, 43 of them in Havana, giving the nation the fourth place of the world, only surpassed by the US, Canada and the Soviet Union.
  • In 1935 the concept of the radio novel and radio series was created by the Cuban Felix B. Caignet. That was the seminal birth of the telenovela as well!
  • In 1935, the first black man to play professional baseball in the then segregated Major Leagues (and 12 years before Jackie Robinson) was the Cuban player Roberto Estalella. Cuban professional baseball had never been segregated.
  • In 1937 Cuba was the first nation in Latin America (and before most European countries) to establish a legal work day of 8 hours. It also established a minimum wage!
  • In 1940 Cuba became the first country of Latin America (and also before many European nations) to elect politicians by universal suffrage and absolute majority.
  • Also in 1940, when 70% of the Cuban population was white, Cuban voters elected a black Cuban as President (Fulgencio Batista). Batista was the first (and so far only) black President elected in Latin America.
  • In 1940, Cuba was the first nation in Latin America (and before several European nations) to recognize and authorize the right to vote for women, the equality of rights between sexes and races, and the right of women to work.
  • In 1942, the Cuban musical director Ernesto Lecuona became the first Latin American musical director to receive a nomination for an Oscar.
  • The second country in the world with a commercial television station was Cuba in 1950. Throughout the decade, Cubans had more TV sets per capita than any other Latin American country, and more than Italy, Spain, Ireland, and Portugal.
  • Also in 1950, Damaso Perez Prado’s mambo piece Patricia was the number one record for 15 consecutive weeks in the Hit Parade list.
  • In 1951, Desi Arnaz became the leading producer in American television. He also pioneered the concept of a third camera in television programming.
  • In 1951, the Hotel Riviera became the first hotel in the world with central air conditioning
  • A year later, in 1952, the first all-concrete apartment buildings in the world were built in Havana.
  • In 1953, about 57% of the Cuban population was urban and more than 50% of the population lived in cities with more than 25,000 inhabitants, 33% lived in four cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants.
  • In 1953, one-sixth of the population lived in Havana, making it the third-largest capital in the world in relation to the total number of the nation's inhabitants (after London and Vienna).
  • In 1954 Cubans had the third highest meat consumption per capita in Latin America (after Argentina and Uruguay) and higher than most European countries.
  • In 1955, Cuba had the second lowest infant mortality rate in Latin America, 33.4 per thousand born and the third lowest in the world. It ranked ahead of France, Belgium, West Germany, Japan, Austria, Italy, and Spain.
  • In 1955, life expectancy in the US was 66.7 years. Life expectancy in Cuba was among the highest in the world at 63 years of age; compared to 52 in other Latin American countries, 43 in Asia, and 37 in Africa.
  • In 1956, the United Nations literacy report noted Cuba had the second highest level of literacy in Latin America and higher than several countries in Europe.
  • In 1956, according to a U.S. Department of Commerce analysis, Cuba was "the most heavily capitalized country in Latin America" and its "network of railways and highways blanket the country."
  • In 1957, a United Nations report noted that Cuba had the third largest number of doctors per capita (one for each 957 inhabitants) in Latin America, and more doctors per capita than Britain, Holland and Italy.
  • The same UN report also noted that  Cuba had the number one percentage of electric access to houses in Latin America (and higher than Portugal, Spain, Greece, Ireland, and all of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union), and second in Latin America, after Uruguay, in per capita daily caloric consumption (2870 calories per person). This was also higher than all Eastern European nations and three Western European nations.
  • In 1957 Havana became the second city on the planet to have a 3D movie theater and a multiscreen theater (the Cinema Radio Center).
  • In 1957 Cuba had more television stations (23) than any other country in Latin America, way ahead of much larger countries such as Mexico (12 television stations) and Venezuela (10).
  • In 1957 Cuba was first in Latin America, and ranked eighth in the world in number of radio stations (160), ahead of countries such as Austria (83 radio stations), United Kingdom (62), and France (50).
  • In 1958 Cuba was the second country in the world to broadcast television in color. The US, of course, was the first.
  • In 1958, Cuba was the first country in Latin America, and the third country in the world with the most cars per capita (one for every 38 inhabitants).
  • Cuba was also first in Latin America and third in the world with the most electric home appliances per capita.
  • In 1958 Cuba was the first country in Latin America and third in the world (after the US and England) with the most kilometers of railway lines per square kilometer and the second in the total number of radio receivers.
  • In 1958 Cuba had 58 daily newspapers of all political hues. There were 18 daily newspapers in Havana alone. Bohemia magazine, with a circulation of 250,000, was the largest Spanish language weekly magazine in the world.
  • People wanted to immigrate to Cuba – not escape from Cuba! Despite drastic immigration curbs set in place in the 1930s, when European immigrants almost matched the number of natural born Cubans, during the entire decade of the 1950's, Cuba was second in Latin America in the number of immigrants per capita.
  • In 1958, and in spite of its small size, and small number of people (6.5 million inhabitants in 1958), Cuba ranked as the 29th largest economy in the world, ahead of several European nations.
  • In 1959, Havana ranked as the number one city in the world with movie theatres (358). New York and Paris were second and third, respectively.
  • By 1959 Cuba had a large middle class comprising about a third of the population and 23% of the working class was classified as “skilled.”
  • In 1959, Cuba's gold reserves were third in Latin America, behind only Venezuela and Brazil.
  • Cuba had the third-highest per capita income in Latin America, exceeded only by Argentina and Venezuela (around $550 a year). It was also higher than Italy, Japan, Ireland, Spain, and Portugal and every single Eastern European nation in the Soviet bloc.
And then came 1959 and the Castro Brothers’ Workers’ Paradise… Since 1959, over two million Cubans have escaped from the island.
"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."
Sir Winston Churchill