Goodbye, Abel / Reinaldo Escobar

The news that Abel Prieto, minister of culture had been ousted from his job has been suggested for more than a month by the blogger Yoani Sanchez. All indications are that Abel was given the opportunity to close the Book Fair where he shared, with the former Cuban president, a meeting with numerous intellectuals.

Abel Prieto will be remembered for being the only man with long hair in the upper echelons of government. Like any public man he had friends and enemies, these latter said that the literary genre in which he was most successful was that of writing letters to approve travel and authorizations to buy cars. His greatest success was perhaps to protect the economic interests of artists, and his greatest blunder, that I remember, was to have suggested to the poet Raul Rivero that he should be grateful to the Revolution for not having ended his days as a corpse thrown into a ditch.

We knew each other from a distance when we were both studying at the University and whenever we passed he was kind enough to say hello. I think he might have been the only minister who shook my hand.

My greatest wish for him is that he dedicate himself to writing and in particular that he recount all those things that occasionally made him doubt whether he was doing the right thing.