Before Fidel: The Cuba I Remember

By Francisco José Moreno | Go to book overview

PROLOGUE

The plane was about to take off—a Super-Constellation on its daily run from Havana to New York. The four propellers whirling at half throttle, the doors closed, the stewardesses making sure the passengers were not walking up and down the aisle on takeoff, as Cubans were prone to do if left unattended, and shepherding them towards their assigned seats. It was early September 1959 on a sunny morning in the middle of the rainy season, like most mornings at that time of the year unless a storm was making its way from the Caribbean Sea into the Gulf of Mexico. It had taken me ten days, ten days to decide I didn’t want to stay, ten days to turn down the two jobs I had been offered, a commission in the new Cuban army and a position at the labor union’s national headquarters, and to forgo any others that might have come my way. I had returned to Cuba to take one of the two jobs offered, probably the one with the army. My exile was over, I thought. But here I was ten days later waiting for the plane to take off. Still, I sat there, questions and doubts in my mind, looking out the window and not seeing anything. We had struggled to overthrow a tyrannical government and had succeeded. We fought the good fight and won, and looking back I could see a path strewn with bodies of friends and acquaintances: Chúa, blown up; Porfirio, who made it through World War II in the Pacific without a scratch, torn apart by the Cuban secret police; Mario, tortured and shot and his wife crying and comforting their kids; Ñico, always in a hurry, his skinny long legs permanently in high gear—at least he died fighting; Fructuoso, and our never-ending discussions about Argentina and Peronismo, assassinated; also Carbó, who I liked but could never bring myself to take seriously; Machadito, who I always ran into, for some

-xiii-

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Before Fidel: The Cuba I Remember
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Prologue xiii
  • First Birth 1
  • Chapter One 3
  • Chapter Two 16
  • Chapter Three 32
  • Chapter Four 50
  • Chapter Five 65
  • Second Birth 89
  • Chapter Six 91
  • Chapter Seven 105
  • Chapter Eight 115
  • Chapter Nine 124
  • Chapter Ten 145
  • Chapter Eleven 161
  • Chapter Twelve 183
  • Epilogue 197
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