Now! I yelled to Duniel before jumping in the cart (pulled by horses) that was going at a trot. Unfortunately it was raining although we did not slip or fall down. We had to hurry though it was very difficult for the young officer to reach us. “How is it going?” Was the message that I would send to Yris when we were outside Placetas, that is the City and I did.
We had broken through the most difficult cordon, now walking and walking, the further we got from Placetas, the safer we would feel. We were jokingly telling each other how the fact of the birth of my niece Brenda helped me get out of the house, which was something I was already planning but couldn’t see the least possibility of doing.
The arrest of Sara Marta and later the disappearance of Yris had forced them to maintain a cordon around my house like I’d never seen, and now Yris had appeared and my house continued under siege.
“Antunez know you can’t leave,” a young officer told me, who saw me just as I approached the corner and he stood in my way, “You know you can’t leave your house.”
“Why can’t I go meet my niece who was just born?”
“Ah! If it’s for that, I’ll go with you.”
“Why are you coming with me, compadre? It’s raining, don’t be ridiculous.”
“It’s my job,” he told me.
I didn’t want to push him into a real argument and end up in a cop car, my objective was something else and so I was figuring out how to do it.
At that moment, a call came from my sister Bertha from Miami.
“Luly, Luly, I’ve got a State Security official here who says I can’t go alone to see the new mother and he’s coming with me.”
“Compadre, compadre, don’t talk about me like that on the phone, it’s my work and I have to do it. I have my orders.”
“Who’s the official? What’s his name?” my sister asked.
“Ernesto,” I said.
“And are you from?” she asked.
“I’m from Sagua, girl.”
“Luly, he looks like a boy, he could be my son,” I told her shouting into the phone.
“How old are you?”
“My brother, what is it you are defending?”
“Me? The Revolution.”
“The Revolution. Is that following people and not letting them go anywhere?”
“I have my orders, Antunez, and look, I’m getting wet thanks to you,” the young man said.
“Sure but they send the orders from their comfortable offices, or from their houses enjoying the heat of their wives,” I told him.
Let Yris see, I told Duniel, when we climbed the stairs of the hospital and just as we arrived Yris put her foot ahead of everyone.
On returning, Yris, Duniel and I got a horse cart supposedly to return home. What would this officer do? On his spark his fate now depended and this was lacking. Just as the cart left he came back, but running. He seemed more animated than anything else and since no one is faster than a horse and even less so under a downpour, it was our moment and at one corner I yelled Now!
When we had walked more than twelve miles, the sky began to cloud and light rain to soak our clothes and stick to our bodies. Happily, a nylon helped us to protect our phones, the little money we had brought, and cigars, though the latter were in vain because matches and lighters were already useless due to the damp. I thought of a glass of cold water or soda, as intense thirst and hunger attacked us we remembered that we had forgotten the rich, fatty congris my wife had prepared and the chicken legs left in the pan.
Over two hours in a rustic and abandoned stop replenished me from fatigue and sleep, but not the blisters and sores on my legs and even less from the plague of mosquitoes that suck the blood. Duniel only 24, and I was less than a week from 47. At last a few soft drinks and bread with croquettes in one place, refueled our energies.
More than an hour riding a bus where we had to travel standing as there were no seats reminded us of the warm comfort of home. After walking five kilometers before taking other transportation to the capital I then sent a message to my wife, “As things stand,” which amounted to informing her that we were heading for the capital. We almost didn’t feel the trip, but each time the bus stopped we thought it was to arrest us.
Now in Havana another message, “Tell me I hope all is well.” Now if we were arrested Yris would know we were in Havana. Now comes the decisive moment, we arrived at Sara Mara’s home, where after various vicissitudes I advised Yris that we were near her house, and with the last of the messages that we took a Yutong bus.
Fortunately there was no one at the Sara Marta’s corner, we were limping, but still we started running when we called “Julio! Julio!” we didn’t get an answer, but our stomachs settled down when from the house next door his brother told us, “They’re not there, the house is locked and no one’s inside.” In a flash we then remembered what Julio said, “When we’re not there, just hop over the fence and wait for us in the yard,” so we did that. Huge pain when, still in the yard, his brother who has nothing to do with the opposition said to me:
“Hey! Like I told you he’s not there and you went into the yard?”
“’Excuse me sir, but I did it because from the first day I came here, he authorized me to do so.”
A little while later the children of Sara Marta came and later other opponents came. We had accomplished our purpose of making a mockery of the siege, we were there, thank God, and with the feeling of solidarity and sacrifice that characterizes the internal resistance, the same resistance that certain policies aim to deprive of their resources.
And now I was thinking of what would have been the reaction of the young officer when he saw only Yris jump from car on arriving home and not both of us, what he have told his superiors? For obvious reasons I omit in this paper the distance traveled and other details so as not to burn my options to continue breaking fences and ambushes.
October 7 2011