HAVANA TIMES – In the town I grew up in, Cojimar, there is a house/farm known as Fidel’s house. The story goes that Fidel was given this house before 1959, so that he would keep calm and not carry on with his struggle.
I remember that I was heading to school one day, and several Russian Jeeps passed by me and everybody stopped on the street to greet them. It was Fidel who had come to the town to go to his house.
The farm was tended to by a farmer with a machete at his waist, who used to go about town on a horse. He also had armed posts at the entrance. Back then, I had some friends who used to live near this house. They used to like to jump the stone fence that only gave entry to the farm full of fruit trees, and they would try the mangoes and guavas. When they saw the farmer coming, they would run away.
It almost became a game for them, until one afternoon, the farmer chased them on his horse and he drew his machete to scare them off. My friends were so scared that when they jumped the fence, they both wet themselves. They never crossed that stone fence again, nor did they let themselves be tempted by the delicious fruit again.
The memory persists
It’s interesting that every time I eat a guava or mango today, I always remember the scare my friends had and I can’t help but smile.
The house and farm have been in ruin for a long time now. The stone fence is practically gone and marabou and weeds cover everything… it’s a shame.
The last time I passed by it, for this article, as I drew nearer, a man came out in shorts, flip-flops and shirtless. He stopped at the fence and began to shout at me aggressively, telling me that I couldn’t film or take photos, that this was a military zone.
I didn’t know that. This place had been abandoned for a really long time because Fidel never agreed to live there.