In Miami, Cuban Culture, No Passport Required

Cubaocho was featured as one of the main attraction of the historic Little Havana by the New York Times. Below you can read what was said about us. You can read the complete story here. 


It was now time to meet the cultural anthropologist and Little Havana tour guide Corinna Moebius to take in the Cubaocho Museum and Performing Arts Center. Ms. Moebius, along with the sociologist Guillermo Grenier, is the author of “A History of Little Havana,” a thoughtful look at the neighborhood’s history and culture.

“This is not a tourist trap,” Ms. Moebius said as we entered the museum. “On any day, you’ll find Cuban artists working on their art in the center’s beautiful courtyard. Famous musicians jam here; this is where the locals go, and this is where Cuban intellectuals, artists and cigar and rum aficionados hang out.”

“Roberto’s philosophy is that art and music and poetry and dance and a good mojito all need to coexist,” she added, referring to Roberto Ramos, the man behind Cubaocho.

Cubaocho is also home to one of the largest privately owned Cuban art collections in the world and is the linchpin of the arts renaissance now flourishing in Little Havana. The enormous, and famous, pre-revolutionary 1937 work “La Rumba” by Antonio Sánchez Araujo is on display here. The spacious gallery, brimming with art from ceiling to floor, is nearly as epic as its back story. In 1992, Mr. Ramos and his brother Carlos Ramos set sail from Cuba to America on a small wooden boat. Hidden away on the vessel was Carlos Sobrino’s 1953 painting “El Saxofonista” (“The Saxophone Player”), which now hangs in Mr. Ramos’s home. Back in Cuba, when Mr. Ramos was 17, he’d helped an elderly man move, and in return the man gave him the Sobrino painting though neither knew who the painter was. Mr. Ramos later discovered that Sobrino had left Cuba in exile just as he had won Cuba’s National Prize for Painting in 1959.

Once Mr. Ramos established himself in Miami, he embarked on a journey that would take him back to Havana — a risky endeavor — and around the world to collect works depicting Cuba between 1800 and 1958 that are the core of the collection.