Nothing can stop the man’s perennial belief in miracles. Not even the most advanced sciences that seek answers to the unknown. People are always going to believe in something. Or in someone.
Be it God, Mohammed, Sai Baba or the newly beatified John Paul II. And also in the healers. The cure that medical science can not always give makes sufferers of AIDS or malignant tumors, not content with waiting to die in bed, go to seek remedies from anywhere.
They run in pursuit of a miracle. In Cuba there are several amazing healers. But the best and most famous is called Lino Tomasén. Near La Guardia paladar, at 410 Concord Street between Gervasio and Escobar, Centro Habana, Dr. Tomasén has his office.
There, in the marginal black neighborhood of San Leopoldo, in a room with about 40 seats, Lino greets his patients. It is a blend of science, spectacle and mysticism.
Daily, over a hundred people are treated by Tomasén. The consultation is cheap: 20 pesos (less than a dollar). From the early hours of the morning, people come from all over the country, lining up to be one of the first.
The seriously ill, with advanced cancer, AIDS or a brain tumor, take precedence. In the waiting room, the people are not holding back praise for the man who heals with his fingers.
Ana, a woman with three children who suffer from chronic asthma, would erect an obelisk to him if she could. “Thanks to Lino my children are no longer asthmatic. After four visits, the asthma disappeared as if by magic. Now I come to thank him and give him a box of Cohiba cigars”, she says, sitting on the narrow path in front of the Tomasén’s clinic
What is said about Lino is lined with fable. Carlos, a white-haired and robust man, shows a photo of a wrinkled guy with death reflected on his face. “That was me six months ago, when doctors diagnosed my case with no solution. I had advanced cancer in my bones. With his treatments, Lino cured me. At the last scan I did, the doctor was speechless and asked: Carlos, what drugs have you taken?. I told him of my sessions with Lino. He took note and wrote down the address. And said that from now on, patients that science could not save, are going to be referred to Tomasén Lino”.
So it goes. When you await the start of the consultation, listen to the endless stories of patients who were on the verge of death or could not walk and now are healthy.
At about 8 o’clock in the morning Tomasén Lino arrives. He has the ways of a prophet. And not the occult. In therapy sessions he constantly repeats: “I am the best, the foremost in the world. I can cure anything, even AIDS. I’m the height of healing”, Lino repeated like a refrain.
Tomasén is black, tall, overweight, full of necklaces and with a cigar that never leaves his mouth. He was born on December 4, 1961, the day of Santa Barbara, who in the Afro-Cuban religion is Changó, one of the most powerful orishas. He is a doctor by profession. According to some physicians, has been banned for his non-traditional methods of healing.
In quick sessions that do not exceed 5 minutes, Tomasén attends to each one of his patients. By sight, without a medical history to hand, he tells them their condition. Right now, with incredible force, he is lifting a man of 120 kilos and with the tips of his fingers he touches various areas of his body.
He recommends that he returns. “Your case is complicated, but I will cure it”, and prescribes him green medicine. Of the hundred or more people in the room, almost everyone waiting their turn is sick. But there also is the curious, the doubters, and even foreigners with health problems who, passing through Havana, and through the Internet have seen the miraculous cures of Lino, decide to go to his clinic.
Osvaldo, an old friend of the physician-healer, tells that Tomasén came to the world marked by a lucky star. “Several spiritualists predicted to his mother that she was going to have a child prodigy. The portents were confirmed. Since childhood, Lino has had a knack for predicting things. He played sports and was never physically exhausted, he was a marvel. Then in college, only by passing his hand over his friends he cured them of certain ailments. Tomasén is an inexplicable example, for now, of the extraordinary abilities that some human beings have”, said Osvaldo, a graduate in biology and with doctorates in various scientific fields.
Meanwhile, Lino continues on his way. Serving in turn his patients, to whom he often applies a technique known as chiropractics, based on massages to different parts of the body combined with acupressure, reflexology and an Asian method known as Chi Kung.
Of course, Lino Tomasén has many detractors. Many see him as a weirdo. Something that borders on an entelechy. But there are no few Cubans who when science has labelled them to die, race to find solutions in the clinic of 410 Concordia Street.
Video: From the documentary ‘Aborto de la Naturaleza’, by Felipe Vergara Vargas
Translated by: Araby
May 8 2011