The Dreams and the Real Battles

That giant called Fidel - for whom glory, as the Apostle said, fit all in a grain of corn - was a man who inspired dreams because he had first been able to fight immense battles in the real world

By: Alina Perera Robbio


2017-08-14 | 15:17:32 EST
Los sueñosLos sueños Photo: Juventud RebeldeZoom

More than once, years ago, I dreamed of Fidel. He was sitting in an armchair, very close to me; And I, in another. There was always the same conversation.

Mysteriously, I never managed to interpret the content of the dialogue once I woke up. But something was more than clear: the tone of both of us.

Mine had to do with some anguish, asking for some advice that could not wait. The exceptional man was a source from which emanated solutions, urgent guidelines to follow.

What I liked most about this dream was an astonishingly familiar closeness, like father and daughter. In a low voice and very close to me-as he often did when speaking with journalists - he was telling me what to do.

As dreams are always connected with reality in many points, the common thing was the familiaratmosphereto talk about the leader of the Cuban RevolutionI had taken from my mother over the years: we both attended their appearances as close relatives who knew the speaker well.

"He already gained strength ...", we commented when in front of the television we noticed that the voice of the leader inflamed. Then came another emotional step that we also noticed: "He got angry ...". That part usually arrived when the subject was the most recent attack of the enemy and the arguments of the fighter burst with storm force, or sometimes as a slow warning, so slowly to convey the gravity of the circumstances.

In fact, my mother and I gazed at everything: his hair, his tired or relaxed face, his evident joy, or his  sadness; In a gesture, including silence, he was able to communicate all the time.

One day the scene of the armchairs reached the dimension of the tangible: It was in Pinar del Rioon July 17, 2003.

The day before the high-command of Juventud Rebelde newspaper had asked me to leave for that province without giving me details of the task. When I arrived, I had an interview.

By the time I did my job, I knew the Commander-in-Chief was interested in the results of that conversation. "They will let you know once the dialogue is transcribed," I thought at the end of the task. And I was about to return to Havana when they unexpectedly told me that Fidel was waiting in a house to exchange ideas. As always, I was very nervous.

I went up a ramp. I stepped in. And there was the Commander-in-Chief. He offered me water, tea, juice, coffee.I declined all the invitations. But, sensing my state of mind and humorously, hedrew me out of myself: He asked me if I wanted a pill. Between laughter and surprise, that was like a jolt.


Seated in an armchair, Fidelbrought me back to my childish dreams. The dialogue passed smoothly. It was easy to realize that, long before, he had the answer I brought him. And it was beautiful to understand that, as always, his care was to squeeze deeply to save human beings, to clear questions to find the best solutions to episodes that sometimes seemed closed by the knot of the impossible.

What happened in that scene seemed to have escaped a dream: Fidel asked for a coffee that was brought in a very white cup. I looked at his impeccably pressed uniform, the way he watched attentively. And suddenly I noticed something revealingfor me: the cup had a crack that had grown a thick and dark trace over time.

That summed up all the simplicity, the overwhelming humanity of an exceptional being. "It can not be," I said as I tried to make sense of the crack in the white cup.

I realized then for a moment that this giant being-for whom all glory, as the Apostle said, fit in a grain of corn -was a man who inspired dreams, because he had first been able to wage immense battles in our real world.

Five years later, in a letter he sent for me on June 10, Fidel, a fighter with his feet very much on the ground, reminded me again that reality is the first to impose the pace, and that the pulsations of the world are marked by no poetic figures: "The question we must all ask ourselves," Fidel had written, "is whether our behavior and our goals are reconcilable with the laws of nature and the fruits of human intelligence."

He said, almost a decade ago: "Dozens of news come daily on the food crisis, energy and raw material prices, climate change and other interrelated problems.

«(...) Today the abacus is not used to make calculations, as it was when the first socialist revolution broke out 90 years ago. Along with nuclear, chemical, biological and electromagnetic weapons, science developed computers. Two days ago the US press reported on a large military computer capable of making billions calculations per second. She was baptized with the name of a bird from the state of New Mexico, "Correcaminos"; In English, Roadrunner. Its cost was 133 million dollars. The report added that "if the six billion people on the planet used their personal computers all the time, it would take them 46 years to do the calculations Roadrunner can do on a working day."

"These are figures, my dear Alina, which overflow the imagination and force me to use in this letter the non-literary data it contains."

"(...) I think that in the present world the principles of socialism should be applied already; Then it would be too late."

I keep dreaming, like any of my peers. At this point in my life, however, I know that my desire for beauty - dream and legitimate right that I will always want for the island I was born and raised in - is behind, or under, difficult deliveries, very hard battles, sometimes nothing beautiful.

In making that saving distinction between the indispensable horizons and the real world that has to be changed, Fidel's mastery left teachings that must not be forgot.

Translated by ESTI

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