Carlos T. Mock. Cuba Libre. Mentirita! ISBN 978-1-888205-16-9. $25.95.
The Cuba Libre ("Free Cuba") is a cocktail made of Cola, lime, and rum. This cocktail is often referred to as a Rum and Coke in the United States and Canada, where the lime juice is optional. Bacardi claims ownership of the original, while some have also claimed it for Havana Club. It seems unlikely, however, that anyone could safely identify the first individual to combine rum and Coca-Cola-when seven or eight individuals lay claim to the creation of the Margarita, a far more complex drink-let alone identify the brand. Both the cocktail and its name remain politically loaded due to the history and current status of Cuba-United States relations. The situation is further complicated by Bacardi's political involvement in Cuba. Cuba Libre is sometimes called "Mentirita" ("little lie") by Cuban exiles opposed to the current Communist government run by Fidel Castro, as a comment that Cuba is currently not free. Cuba Libre "Mentirita" is a history book. It is a different kind of history book in that it focuses on the Afro-Cuban population of the country. It traces its roots and attempts to explore their concept of "freedom". Whereas, for some, Cuba is not free, for others it is--if they define their freedom as not being dominated by the white race. This is a Cuban history book filled with firsthand accounts and anecdotes--and takes the reader through Cuba's history from José Martí to the present regime. "In Cuba Libre, Carlos Mock makes a strong impression with an immensely readable, fact filled history of the land that is making news lately. His novelistic skills are apparent in his characterization and his often suspenseful narration. This is THE book about Cuba you must read." Felice Picano--Art & Sex in Greenwich Village.