The Several Faces of Eva (Based on a True Story) / Rebeca Monzo

Rebeca Monzo, Havana, 13 March 2018 — She is a beautiful woman, petite, pleasant, with a great sense of humor and very well-educated, intelligent, a Master’s degree in science with a lot of achievements and scientific honors accumulated over her long career.

She lives in the heart of Havana’s Vedado neighborhood, in a building from where she used to have a beautiful view of one of the most important and architecturally most beautiful sports facilities in our city, with the blue sea, almost always serene, as a backdrop: Martí Park.

This park, like the whole city, including the building where she lives, has been deteriorating with the passage of time, and with the government’s abandonment and neglect, become of a ghost of the gleaming era now long in the past.

Martí Park, with its marvelous stands, in an architectural style very advanced from the splendid 1950s, is today a refuge for drug addicts, criminals and the “homeless,” who even stage clandestine dog fights and other criminal acts there, and it has also become a habitat for rats, cockroaches, mosquitoes and other insects.

Eva’s balcony is directly facing this pitiful panorama. As she lives alone and works in a scientific center, which requires her to be away from home for more than eight hours, she fears that the criminals nearby are aware of this. To protect herself, every so often she stands on her balcony and looks over, sometimes dressed as a fireman, others with a cap and the jacket of a sports uniform and, on occasion, with a big straw hat and fake mustaches, in order to make it look as if several people live in her house, so that the undesirables don’t get up to anything crooked.

This has been going on for many years in this park, although at this time, because the equestrian monument of Major General Calixto García, which was located in the roundabout next to this facility, has been moved to the Playa Municipality (due to the deterioration it suffered from the constant penetrations of the sea), and the land in the park is full of debris and machinery which is being watched over, the crime established there is more controlled.

This situation, at least temporarily, has brought some tranquility to my friend Eva.