Memories of Roque Dalton by Nina Serrano

The Assassination of a Poet 

Memories of Roque Dalton

by Nina Serrano

Counterpunch  

I first met Roque Dalton in Havana in July of 1968. He claimed he was a descendant of an outlaw, and he turned me into a writer and a poet.

I was in Havana working on a documentary film about Fidel with my then-husband, Saul Landau, and our two children, Greg, age 13 and Valerie, age 10. It was our second trip there as a family. I researched Cuban photo and film archives and filled in as the sound person. Making a film about Fidel involved a tremendous amount of waiting and therefore free time.

Living in a hotel with maid and laundry service, as well as restaurant meals, liberated my life from domestic duties. I met remarkable people including Estella Bravo who worked at Casa de Las Americas, the hub of Cuban and international leftist life with publications, exhibits, and conferences. Estella recruited me as a volunteer to help her catalogue American folk and protest music at “Casa.”

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