Cold War Mysteries

By Ariel Glaria Enriquez

HAVANA TIMES – In the ‘70s, when the world was still being amazed by everything, mysteries like the Bermuda Triangle recreated the same atmosphere of uncertainty that the Cold War created, which had reached its third phase by then with man walking on the moon and the end of the Vietnam War.

While other mysteries like how the Egyptian pyramids were built, their enigmatic relationship with the Mayan pyramids or, in Cuba’s specific case, the future triumph of Communism on Earth, filled my generation’s childhood imagination, none of them were as sublime for my first group of friends and I than the famous Bermuda triangle.

The main thing that surprised us about the colossal pyramids built by ancient Egyptians was how their builders found a way to transport those huge stone blocks across the desert’s shifting sand, and then put them up on top of each other.

That universal uncertainty which (I believe today) could give rise to imaginative ideas or to develop our building instincts was reduced to the argument that all of this was possible because of slavery.

This line of reasoning was repeated so many times in our history books and in the answers we received that we ended up asking ourselves why they were so important and moreover, why they were still there.

Something similar happened to us with the Mayan pyramids, whose polished and stylized rocks didn’t wipe away the pain slaves endured in Ancient Egypt from our minds.

On the other hand, the Communist mystery didn’t invite any special surprise in us, repeating the same slogan every day before class was enough for us to forget about it for the rest of the day.

However, something personal has made me think about it again today. It was the conviction with which a classmate once said that we would all have bikes here in Cuba.

It really uneases me to think about it when years later the USSR collapsed (1991), and we didn’t have any other form of transport but bikes.

On this journey to solving mysteries via the class struggle or foolproof historic equations, we almost hit on the answer to the Bermuda Triangle mystery, all on our own.

That phenomenon with such a specific geometric shape, which was really hard to understand in any way, immediately served as a revelation. We called everything that couldn’t be explained in history books “The Bermuda Triangle”; whatever the news here didn’t show us or the basic questions we used to ask that were never answered.

But, the thing that made the Bermuda Triangle mystery the most sublime of all for my first group of friends and I was when we used it as a metaphor one afternoon when we saw, under the table, up past the knees, our teacher’s legs.

Ariel Glaria

Ariel Glaria Enriquez: I was born in Havana Cuba in 1969. I am proud bearer of an endangered concept: habanero. I don’t know of another city, therefore life in it along with its customs, joys and pain are the biggest reason why I write. I studied mechanical drawing, but I am working as a restorer. I dream of a Havana with the splendor and importance it once had.