Cuba’s Endangered Relics

Ireno García Fraga

By Aurelio Pedroso (Progresso Semanal)

HAVANA TIMES – He just died in Havana this Monday, August 28. Ireno García Fraga, that young man who guitar in hand back in the 1970s, after our work in the fields in those memorable Country Schools, made our nights more pleasant with love songs.

He was 68-years-old and the causes of his death are not yet publicly known. Those who are afraid of words speak of “a painful disease.” The family has arranged to cremate him and made known that the mourning ceremony will be private. He received many deserved recognitions in life. “For Cuban Culture” is more than enough.

Every so often, in the middle of the street, I ran into him and his deteriorated physique. In vain, I tried to make him remember that song that we asked him for where he invoked a couple of young people who were going to get married. “Sun in June/ One more summer/ Two lovers/ They love each other and are getting married”.

Something, at least inexplicable to me, is happening to our generation, that reaching seven decades of life is quite an achievement, an act of extreme survival. Those of us who, miraculously, have begun to climb the stairs of the seventies, when we meet with our regrets and memories, we cannot help but invoke the absent, who are already many.

We were a privileged generation. The children of the revolution, who grew up flooded with dreams to become prestigious professionals, artists, musicians, internationalist warriors and prosperous businessmpeople outside the island.

It will not be possible to say a heartfelt goodbye to Ireno, but rather a see you soon, friend and companion from controversial times where a guitar always appeared at the best or worst of times.

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