‘Havana Libre’ By Robert Arellano. Akashic, 224 pages, $15.95
The intrinsically linked politics and culture of Cuba and Miami combine for an unusual spy novel in Robert Arellano’s second novel about Havana pediatrician Mano Rodriguez.
Set in 1997, “Havana Libre” looks at Cuban life during the post-Soviet years and how it affected the exile community in Miami. A talented and caring physician, Mano barely makes a living treating patients even poorer than he is in Cuba’s national medical service.
He would like to attend a medical convention in Tampa, Florida, but knows the chances are slim. Usually, the Cuban government...