Alfredo Fernandez

HAVANA TIMES — “Lacy is a dog that, at just a year old, has a nearly perfect sense of direction. This is why we can’t explain how he got lost. He went out one morning as usual for his walk in the park across from the building and from our vantage point, we could see him from time to time running around close to where a group of seniors were doing their morning aerobics. In addition, he would be taking care of those needs of all dogs.

 “As for his personal description (or rather his canine one), he’s small in size (similar to a Chihuahua) but with rather long hair; and he always has a cheerful nature, which makes him easy to recognize.

“A substantial reward is being offered to whoever can provide information that leads us to Lacy. You can reach us by phone at 2013-2013. Our address on Cuba Street is also 2013, at the corner of Amargura Street. Please, we hope you don’t ignore our message since our four-year-old son has been devastated since Lacy disappeared.”

A message like this — although devoid of any literary accoutrements — can easily be found on any corner, bus stop or any place that’s frequented by many people in Havana.

I don’t know why, but each time that I stumble on one of those street-pole signs with a blurry black and white photo of a missing pet, it only manages to increase my sorrow. Invariably, it will evidence the owner’s desperation as they scribble out the information describing the lost animal and how to return it to its home – without forgetting to mention a reward.

Well, as we’ll soon see, there shouldn’t be any reward for these little animals, which will restore the tranquility of the person or a family once returned to the hands of their owner(s).

I firmly believe that a country and its people can also end up lost, no matter how superior a sense of direction its members appear to have. A country can wind up like Lacy or whatever beloved pet with barely the possibility of finding its way home.

I don’t know if it was out of an obsession for freedom or my seeking to become a patient of a psychiatrist, but I ended up comparing Cuba to one of those lost pets, one which by pure miracle its owners doesn’t plaster “wanted” signs on the walls of the city in a desperate search to find it.

No doubt the Cuba of today could well be a missing cat, a dog, a canary, a parakeet or a hamster, which in the tragic case of failing to be found, could well send their owner to one of those “Day Clinics” that abound in our country, for he/she which has lost the illusion of recovering their “pet” or before any other slip of character.

It strikes me that the citizens of each country should be as accountable to their people as the owners of pets are to their animals. Once their country is lost, each of the citizens (who are the owners and heads of the country) should at least get out a piece of paper and stick it on the wall of any corner with a sign that exclaims: “Wanted,” with a map of the country annexed and a brief overview of the innate possibilities for those born in it.

In this way, what could be read perfectly well on any wall in Cuba would be something similar to this:

“Cuba wanted, missing since March 13, 1968 (or perhaps earlier), we naively left it accompanied only by someone who previously pretended to be our friend, seduced us with his tales of “nobility and revolution.” Only later did we find out that he was a populist – and this is the price, Cuba’s whereabouts have been unknown for at least 44 years.

“In our Cuba there have lived, live and we’re sure there will live people who are as valuable to the world, people who have plenty of gifts (or rather, had plenty of gifts) to not stop laughing, to work hard for what they wanted, being faithful friends, prideful of living on the island, while also respecting those sisters and brothers who didn’t.

“Also, Cubans like to travel more than anyone, dance and have fun, but since everything became lost, all of this has been disrupted. My family and I agreed on the reward as early as 1993, when Eliseo Diego left us a testament of time in a memorable poem, our reward for who might give us a clue, no matter how small, about where to find a Cuba.”

We actually know very little about Cuba, in fact the little we know is more from intuition than from actual data. For example, we know that it’s not in the “Guidelines,” much less in the “updating of the model” — because there was never any model — which upset the false messiah, and he especially hates those who try to divide his children.

Our reward may also be the fact that at some point someone will lead and return Cuba, because there’s no doubt that it will reappear in a future that is sooner rather than later. How will we find it? Obviously sad, broken, sick and starving, like it’s coming out of a war; this is the condition in which one almost always recovers a pet. But after the miracle of reunification, our love for Cuba will no doubt make it revive and shine just as the owner and the pet.

It’s worth mentioning that, for me at least, I’ll never again be so irresponsible as to let it out in the company of someone as dangerous as the one who talked about “nobility and revolutions.” I admit, I definitely learned my lesson.

In any case, if you have any information about Cuba, please give me a call as soon as possible at 2013-2013, on Cuba Street — like Lacy— except that on the corner of Esperanza (Hope) Street. The number there is also 2013. Or, even better, you can find me preparing for the coming year – 2013.


Alfredo Fernandez

Alfredo Fernandez: I didn't really leave Cuba, it's impossible to leave somewhere that you've never been. After gravitating for 37 years on that strange island, I managed to touch firm ground, but only to confirm that I hadn't reached anywhere. Perhaps I will never belong anywhere. Now I'm living in Ecuador, but please, don't believe me when I say where I am, better to find me in "the Cuba of my dreams.

3 thoughts on “Looking for Lacy

  • You write that “no one cares enough that Cuba is lost. Foreigners who support the regime do so for the most selfish of reasons.” And foreigners like you who are working for regime change are doing this out of the goodness of your heart and love of the Cuban people and not for selfish reasons – supporting your government’s self-serving policy? If so, the evidence is certainly not in what you write.

    You mistake helplessness in not being able to overcome the vicious US policy against Cuba with selfishness. You live, after all, in the most powerful country in the world that has been dedicated to bringing down Cuba’s government for 53 years!

    ‘Moses’ writes about “foreigners who support the regime”. I certainly haven’t seen any in these pages, including myself. Who are they?

    I certainly applaud the undeniable “successes of the Revolution like public health and universal education”. What is your evidence that “daily sacrifices to find food and creature comforts” are being ignored? I personally would spend a great deal more time commenting on it if it wasn’t necessary to put your relentless propaganda in favour of a US takeover into perspective. So, I suppose, in a way you are the one responsible for deflecting attention from Cubans’ needs.

    ‘Moses’ writes, ” What worldwide socialist organization has donated 1 million new computers to Cuban children.” The only organization that I know of that could easily donate 1 million new computers to Cuban children is the US, despite the current state of its economy, is the richest country on earth. Why doesn’t it? Because it is maintaining a blockade in order to bring down Cuba’s government, directed against its children. For shame.

    Interesting comment about having a Berlin Airlift type operation for Cuba. I thought about the same myself, thinking how it showed that no country on earth is willing to stand up to the American Empire to institute something like this. Not surprising, considering Canada won’t even stand up to the US when it barred a company’s senior management and their families from entering the United States because it was doing business in Cuba.

    Is ‘Moses’ suggesting this should be, not a government but an initiative by individuals? Not even the very cashed up Cuban-American crowd can launch their nefarious deeds without US government help.

    The Berlin Airlift, of course, was a US and British government action to break a Soviet Union blockade of the Western Allies’ railway, road and canal access to the sectors of Berlin under Allied control.

    An interesting example of a country maintaining a vicious blockade against Cuba, breaking one. But then, if you are the greatest military power on earth, you can do just about anything – for a time, at least. But there is a growing awareness. There are signs this will change – “sooner rather than later”, as Alfredo wrote.

  • Dear Alfredo,

    Thank-you for this well-written essay. Written about the ‘lost’ country of Cuba, it could also serve, with just a few name substitutions, as a lost notice for Canada, the US and all of the capitalist countries that are reluctantly coming to the unavoidable conclusion, after five years, that the current economic crisis is permanent.

    You wrote, “I firmly believe that a country and its people can also end up lost no matter how superior a sense of direction its members appear to have.” I totally agree.

    You also wrote, “It strikes me that the citizens of each country should be as accountable to their people.” Absolutely.

    As a Canadian, I can personally state that few Canadians would disagree that Canada is ‘missing in action.’. As a nation that always prided itself as playing a neutral, peacekeeping role, that is now entirely gone. The latest nail in the coffin was Canada’s severing diplomatic relations with Iran.

    Canadians also took pride in its environmental awareness. After Alberta Tar Sands, that is also gone.

    With the obscene growth of income disparity and the rise of the privileged 1%, our fellow citizens are certainly not “accountable to their people”.

    You also wrote, ” we actually know very little about Cuba.” You know more about Cuba than most Canadians know about Canada. Our corporate media gives us less hard news than what you get in Granma, hard as that may be to believe. You may not know it, but you know more about what is really taking place in the world than most Canadians whose corporate media is more limited in what they cover than Cuban state media, again, as hard as that may be to comprehend.

    Thick corporate newspapers contain mostly advertisements and entertainment news. Popular dissenters like Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, John Pilger, Chris Hedges, Amy Goodman, only appear occasionally, to give the illusion of ‘balanced news’. People like Yoani Sánchez, of course have easy access to the mainstream as she writes what suits the American Empire’s agenda – promoting regime change in Cuba.

    You give the date when Cuba was lost – with the declaration of the “Revolutionary Offensive” that set Cuba on the path of the Soviet Communist model. The date when Canada and the US were lost is more uncertain. Many commentators like Hedges place it in the Reagan-Thatcher era.

    Others place it earlier, after WWII when the US viciously stomped out, in the guise of fighting Communism, the anti-fascist movements in Europe that sprung up to oppose German and Italian fascism. The CIA was used covertly to undermine political parties in Italy, recently attested to in a documentary about CIA head William Colby, made by his son.

    Still others move the date all the way back to 1776. The British called it “The War of Separation”, a more accurate term than calling it a ‘revolution’ which it hardly was, more a revolt of landowners and merchants who objected to paying taxes to Britain. The 1% in the US have never wanted to pay taxes, it seems.

    When Cuba had its first revolution, following the ideals of Jose Marti, the revolutionaries insisted on a revolution for all its people, making the abolition of slavery a prerequisite. It took the Americans 50 years after the ‘separation’ before they followed suit.

    Whatever the date, few disagree that it is a lost country, now in a perpetual state of war that is unlikely to ever end unless the US gives up its designs on the world, which seems even more unlikely at this point in time.

    You have hope that someday Cuba will return, albeit in an “obviously sad, broken, sick and starving” state, “like it’s coming out of a war.” It is an actual war, instigated by the country perpetually engaged in war. Immediate evidence can be seen in the first comment here, posted by a citizen of that country who obviously would like to woo Cuba’s disaffected into its ’embrace’.

    You write, “I’ll never again be so irresponsible as to let [Cuba] out in the company of someone as dangerous as the one who talked about “nobility and revolutions.” I hope against hope that you will also never again allow Cuba to be controlled by the US, represented by someone as dangerous as those who talk about ‘freedom and democracy’ and has neither in their country.

  • When Cubans have reached that point where remaining “lost” is more painful than trying to find your own way back, change will come. Cubans have been waiting 53 years (not just 44) for someone to “find” them. The problem is no one cares enough that Cuba is lost. Foreigners who support the regime do so for the most selfish of reasons. They relish and take personal pride in the successes of the Revolution like public health and universal education yet largely ignore and abandon you in your daily sacrifices to find food and creature comforts. When the Soviets blockaded West Berlin in 1948, Western Allies initiated an airlift to that city thwarting the impact of the Soviet action. Where is the modern day airlift to Cuba that repairs infrastructure and replaces buses. What worldwide socialist organization has donated 1 million new computers to Cuban children. On May 1 of each year, how many proud socialists around the world have supported their Cuban comrades with a donation of just 10 dollars or euros? Cuba has not seen solidarity to this extent since the breakup of the Soviet Bloc yet Socialists around the world continue to hail the Cuban revolution as a triumph for the cause of socialism. The reality is simply that Cuba will remain lost until Cubans, themselves, decide that enough is enough.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *