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The Probable Ingratitude of Men

The Probable Ingratitude of Men / Angel Santiesteban

Angel Santiesteban, Translator: Unstated

Recently I learned, although it has not yet been publicly announced,

that the Havana Historian Dr. Eusebio Leal Spengler, has retired his

economic motor: "Habaguanex." I am sure that this gentleman will come to

be known as one of the few citizens of the Cuban Archipelago who, in the

last 54 years, has done commendable and consistent work to improve our

country. I believe, without equivocation, that if free elections were

held, he would surely be one of the candidates for of the

nation, given his charisma, intelligence, sacrifice and honesty.

I have also been unable to avoid learning that his trusted men in the

construction of "Puerto Carena" are being prosecuted for embezzlement.

And now the so-called "domino effect" has begun. It has been served up

on a silver platter to the Castro brothers, who for a long time have

wanted to sink their teeth into the money that is spent on the historic

district of the city of Havana. Without Dr. Eusebio Leal, a great part

of it would have collapsed and millions of dollars that now dance in the

state coffers would be absent.

Now, in place of Habaguanex, will be some ex-officer of the "armed

forces" who responds blindly to and, of course, the

deterioration and lack of control will be greater. The analysis of the

problems should not focus on the consequences, I have repeated many

times, the misrule of the Castros always does the same thing: throws out

the baby with the bathwater to avoid getting at the root causes that

force the great majority of people to survive with what is within reach

of their hands. It is no secret that Old Havana has recovered thanks to

the close management of the historian; and also, unavoidably, the

reconstruction in general has been healthy for the black-market

that thrives throughout the country and which, some day, will require a

monument of its own as a great savior of the Cuban people.

I sense that the success of the work of the historian is due to the

independence he had in all these years of arduous labor, such that he

could give us a palpable image of revival the place where we come from.

Now I fear that if the economic base necessary to continue his work of

safeguarding one of the most beautiful cities of the Hemisphere slows or

stops, our architectural history, which is part of our insular essence,

will be in danger of extinction. And, without the spaces that are

ancestors created, we will never be able to orient ourselves in this

labyrinth of confluences that was "St. Christopher of Havana."

October 9 2012

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