For four decades, the peoples of the United States and Cuba have been forced to rely on third-party sources for information about life “on the other side of the Florida Straits.” While the American government has severely limited the ability of its citizens to travel to Cuba, the people of Cuba have also been unable to visit the United States in any great numbers due to economic circumstances and the difficulty in acquiring the appropriate permissions from both Cuban and US authorities. Although both governments and the media would vehemently defend the accuracy of the information they convey, bias is inevitable, and must be acknowledged when considering the Cuban-American situation. What are the myths and realities of life in America from the perspective of the Cuban in the streets of Havana? Are the average American's perceptions of the Cuban experience accurate? To what extent do the US and Cuban governments distort reality for political gain? Are the media pawns manipulated by the government, or are they willing participants in the propaganda machine? Are they presenting a complete and accurate representation of the situation? Is it even possible to determine what is true and what is not in the current climate?

Strait Talk investigates the “official” versions of reality on either side of the Florida Straits, and then attempts to show, first hand, the realities, through one-on-one, on-camera interviews and through personal observation. John and Debbie Locke were able to travel to Havana from April 26 through May 4th, 2003 to take part in an organized tour coordinated by Global Exchange, an activity which has since been serverely limited to very few Americans, as the Bush Administration has decided to further restrict travel by US citizens to the island nation. This experience afforded the opportunity to tape scheduled presentations by Cuban officials, and one-on-one interviews with those same officials. In addition, John was able to attend the May Day celebration in Plaza de la Revolucion and record Fidel Castro's address. The video documentary presents excerpts from Castro's speech and provides commentary from US officials, journalists, and Cubans. As part of this multimedia project, this companion Web site provides additional video footage, links to related information, and a discussion group through which audience members may exchange opinions on related topics.

Contact jlockewo@me.com for more information.