Cuban state media recently announced new customs restrictions on the amount of items allowed in the country through commercial travel. While the government says that the new rule is intended to cut down on a growing black market that undermines recent economic reforms, many fear unintended consequences. For example, the fledging Cuban skateboarding scene relies on skateboards and gear brought in from the outside world. Skaters on the island feel that the new rule may change their way of life. This is the first of a two part series on skateboarding in Cuba and its direct Miami connection.
Photo by Chris Miller
It happened at 23 y G, an intersection in Havana, Cuba. It's nothing much really. Just a few small benches spread out among scrawny trees that offer scant protection from the sun's glare. But for one scrawny kid that day some 12 years ago, the humble parcel of land seemed like Eden.
At age 13, Fernando Verdecia Maseda finally found some other skaters. Maseda would go on to become one of Cuba's greatest skaters - but he had to emigrate to Miami to find widespread respect for his skills.
See also: Skateboarding CubaMore »