The Man the Chileans Are Looking For Would be in Nuevo Vedado / Juan Juan Almeida

Raul Castro at the CELAC summit
Raul Castro at the CELAC summit

Taking advantage of the arrival of General Raul Castro in Chile, where he traveled to participate in the recently concluded CELAC summit, members of the Chilean Independent Democratic Union party (UDI) protested outside the embassy in Santiago de Cuba and attempted to deliver a letter there. Of course, they were greeted by the disrespectful rudeness that has already become customary on the part of Cuban diplomatic authorities.

This is a letter which asks the President of the Republic of Cuba for the favor of collaborating with the Chilean courts in the capture and extradition of the perpetrators of a crime committed in April 1991, on the outskirts of East Campus of the Catholic University of Chile. The attack on the Chilean lawyer and senator, Dr. Jaime Guzman. It is rumored, with traces of certainty, that the guilty are living “hidden” in Cuba.

Since then, names like Ricardo Palma Salamanca, Raul Escobar Poblete and Mauricio Hernandez Norambuena have become news, but one in particular raises the popular imagination like no other. This is Juan Gutiérrez Fischmann (Maco, to his friends), the former spouse of Mariela Castro, with whom he shares — among many other things — an intelligent daughter named Gabriela, known pseudonym of a Chilean poet, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

I met him in Varadero, back in the 1980s, in a sumptuous mansion by the seashore that Raul would lend him so that he could romance Mariela; well, actually, Raul lent the house to Mariela. In that heavenly place, which invited sin, was Juan. He seemed shy to me then, with a studied smile and a secretive attitude. To me, the guy was as anachronistic as a penguin in an orgy of ostriches.

The obvious, the Chilean got used to it, it’s difficult to resist the eroticism of power and its constant seduction. Gutierrez liked the sword, he entered the ring and tried to become a legend. He spent some time as a teacher or counselor, I can’t remember, a military chair, top level, at the “General Antonio Maceo” Interarms School.

In time, he exchanged his rigid black shoes for others, lighter-colored and more flexible. The laughter etched his inscrutable face. Overnight, they transformed the namesake into an autonomous businessman, a key figure, parallel to MINCEX, with the power to award contracts to Canadian companies within the not insignificant branch of alternative and renewable energies.

Perhaps, for an investment, operating capacity, because he likes the extremes of the American continent or to prepare an escape, just a few years ago he bought a property in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. There his daughter Gabriela visits him, studies intensive English in the summer and on vacation.

The Cuban government claims not to know his whereabouts; but of course, to say that he is hiding in Havana, I think overstates it, or warps the concept. Because until I left Cuba, Juan Lisímaco Gutiérrez Fischmann lived in Nuevo Vedado, on 37th Street between 28th Street and 26th Avenue, in the house that belonged to the family of the doctor and commander Manuel (Piti) Fajardo, next to Hubert de Blanck school. Oh, and as a symbol of power he drives a black Audi A4 with private plates. If they still can’t find him it’s because they’re not looking.

February 7 2013