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 president 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 Raul Castro 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
housing 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