Surfers Chase Freedom in Cuba

The new documentary Havana LibreCorey McLean is a filmmaker who follows a Cuban surfing community despite harassment by police and bureaucracy. He also shows how they refuse to give up their sport despite being isolated from the rest of the surfer world.

McLean says that if you really want to understand Cuba and feel it, then you need to meet these people. They will be living their daily lives trying to do what they love, and you’ll see how hard it can be.” “Cuba had a really complicated relationship with water. The Cuban government made water inaccessible to everyone unless they gave permission. The space makes it difficult to create a new sport. It’s also not appealing to the government because it is mainly a Western sport. These factors combined made surfing an underground sport.

The film’s protagonists, Frank Gonzales Guerra & Yaya Guerrero, struggle with their communist government as well as the American embargo to help them advance the sport that they love.

McLean states, “You’ll be amazed at the amount of chaos politics can bring to your daily life.”Politics is the root of all things. Surfing is for them a way to let go of all that. They say that while they are constantly trying to get out of politics, they really want to live in a peaceful life with people all over the globe. “This film shows how hard it is to accomplish such a simple task.”

Havana LibreYou can stream it on Amazon and Apple TV.

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Photo Credits: Ernesto Mastrascusa/EFE/Newscom; ABACAUSA.COM/Newscom; Axelle de Russe/Polaris/Newscom; Bayne Stanley/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Peter Bennett/Ambient Images/Newscom

Music Credits for “Darkness” by onyxmusic via Artlist

Meredith Bragg produced and edited the book.