Hotel Saratoga, Cubanos, Cuba

Hotel Saratoga: the dream of those who died

Havana Cuba. — I don’t feel like writing. I don’t feel like doing anything. I write these lines on Sunday, while the Mother’s daywhile many mothers are in mourning for the Saratoga hotel tragedy, for the death of their children, for their children imprisoned unjustly, immorally.

I don’t feel like writing, and I didn’t care much about López Obrador’s arrival in the Cuban capital, and I recognize that I’m only going to find out a minimal part of what is discussed in those conversations, that brief part that the Cuban power will do visible with great care, that little part that will not have overtones of “importance”. The conversations between “dignitaries” are almost always behind closed doors, and then they tell us what they want. In addition, I do not think that this López Obrador is willing to tell Díaz-Canel and the other dictators who accompany him in his government something that benefits us.

Those conversations, as we say here, and in the midst of the paroxysm, “neither benefit us nor harm us, quite the opposite.” The Mexican will talk with his Cuban friends, and it is very likely that he will visit Silvio Rodríguez, who is his close friend, so that he can sing a little song for him, perhaps The mace without quarry. And it is also very likely that AMLO stopped by the Saratoga hotel, from where it is possible that he will again offer condolences and promise some other help, and talk about the earthquakes in Mexico and Cuba’s willingness to offer help. AMLO may make some recommendations while we continue to mourn our dead.

Cuba is in mourning, and what it needs most now is to be told the truth in all its details. We Cubans want to accurately recognize the causes and, in great detail, the truth of the events. The country does not need to recognize each of the messages of solidarity from the “friends”, those who are only friends of the government. Cuba needs, and very precisely, the truth of the facts. Speculation is of no use to us. Speculations do not give life or are put on the table and on a plate.

I write these lines on a Sunday, while many celebrate Mother’s Day, on a Sunday in which many did not have the hug of their children, with the tightest congratulations. And it is that a hotel collapsed and turned into rubble, and under that rubble there are charred bodies, destroyed bodies, dead bodies, but we still do not know the reasons for the disaster, and we await the discovery of other bodies that, supposedly, they are still buried under rubble, which is not the same as being in eternal rest and in their graves.

And many Cubans were left without setting foot on the Saratoga; the vast majority because we didn’t have money to pay for a few days in a hotel, a short stay, at least one night. In that hotel, Madonna rested, slept, and they also spent the night in rooms of that hotel; Karl Lagerfeld, Beyonce and Jay Z, Mick Jagger, Kanye West and the Kardashians, Leonardo DiCaprio, Katy Perry and God knows how many more celebrities, God knows how many potentates, how many illustrious figures of culture, politics and business.

Interior of the Saratoga Hotel (Photo: trip.com)

The curious thing, the terrible thing, the sad thing, is that the dead Cubans were not sheltered in any of those rooms, the dead Cubans were not enjoying themselves, they were just employees or simple passers-by. In the list of those sheltered who died in that hotel there is no tourist from “Coco solo” or “La Timba”, nor a doctor who saved lives around the world by paying large sums of money to the communist power. In the list of guests and hosts there was no one from my neighborhood, not even the informers who do so many favors to power.

Women and men died in the Saratoga. And it is most likely that, at some time and before that death, someone thought of the possibility of spending the night in a bed in that hotel while they looked at him from the fraternity park or from the Indian fountain. Someone, many, could think of the impossibility of sleeping in one of its rooms, and the worst, most likely, is that some were stopped at the entrance door, and warned that they could not enter, even after having read, heard, to Nicolás Guillen who assured that no one could stop him at the door of a hotel to tell him the price he had to pay to rest in one of those beds, and also that they did not have a small room, nor a colossal room. Guillén was wrong, he was wrong, he believed that the north was the south and he was wrong, many were wrong… even the popular flying pigeon.

OPINION ARTICLE
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