Thursday, October 21, 2010



Placetas is a little town in the center of Cuba. It is also where Jose Luis Garcia Perez “Antunez”, a former political prisoner and well-known Castro’s dissident, lives.

Placetas was also well-known for being, in the past, one of the towns where the sugar cane industry was in the heart of its economy. Well, not anymore. That industry is vanished. It was one of the last Fidel Castro’s work of genius: to destroy the sugar cane industry.

Placetas has two cemeteries. One within the premises of the town, the other is in its very entrance. A friend of mine, who still at this high of the time keeps his faith in some of the “achievements” of Castro’s regime and who is living in California, went to his hometown last month. Well, his hometown is Placetas and he went to keep his promise to his grandma: to bury her where his grandfather is buried. I forgot to say, she died last august.

My friend never thought that that short and sad trip to his hometown would become not only a family nightmare, but the last little drop of credulity in Castro’s regime. But it was.

He has a humble family, rooted in spirituality and little memories of his grandfather who belonged to the masonry, and when he visited his grandpa’s grave to prepare his grandmother’s burial he found with atonement that his grandfather’s remains were missing and, of course, with them the little box made of marble containing its precious memories.

This story could go on and on over all the dramatic discoveries and findings my friend uncovered in his little town, Placetas. Just let’s say, the person in charge of the cemetery told him that there are people in that little and very sad town who adventures late at night to steal those little boxes of marble and granite to sell them for a few dollars to those who want to keep the precious remains of their love ones forever, as he did a few years before with his grandfather. They do it for money, to get those few precious dollars that brings food and a few commodities back to their homes.

My friend is heart broken. He couldn’t find his grandpa’s remains. His grandmother is now buried there, and his mother is in despair. But his more frantic thought is that, probably, after a few years if he decides to pick his grandmother’s remains and keep them in one of those little boxes of marble and granite, probably the man who will sell him the precious container could be the one who stole his grandpa’s, and could be the one who will be selling him one of someone else’s, stolen the night before.

Placetas is a little ghost town in the center of Cuba, where hopes and memories have been stolen to be sold for a few dollars, and my friend thinks today that it is because of Castro. I totally agree, don’t you?


Lazaro said...


I'm opening a facebook page about cuba and I want to request your permission to use the pic of your article "placetas" on my page