When a Friend Leaves / Jeovany Jimenez Vega
Jeovany J. Vega, Translator: Unstated
It leaves an empty space … my friend Alfredo goes into exile. In March
2003, that Black Spring, chaos erupted in his life. The son of Alfredo
Felipe Fuentes, an opponent of the regime, and Loyda Valdes Gonzalez,
Lady in White.
His father, proselyte, irreducibly dissenting, fell into the round of 75
opponents taken prisoner. His crime, as far as I could understand, was
to have in his home an independent library and the have participated
actively in the collection of signatures for the Varela Project.
State Security's search of his home lasted over 7 hours. The lawyer who
was in charge of the defense only had one hour, the time it took by car
to drive from his home to the Court, to study for the first time a fat
file inches thick.
Already in the Court, the room deliberately filled with people who had
nothing to do with the case, selected for the single reason to prevent
the several family members from being able to witness the trial.
The result of the summary trial: the prosecution asking for a sentence
of 15 years imprisonment and the judge ultimately imposeing a sentence
of 27 years, the third highest among the 75.
Then Loyda, his wife, joined the activism of the Ladies in White, who
stopped at nothing and the rest is history. Alfredo was released last
October 7 and exiled to Spain. last October 7 was released and exiled to
Spain along with part of his family. A health situation delayed the
departure of the rest. Today they fly to the desired reunion.
Leaving with his family is Alfredo the son, my friend from when we were
young until now. An unconditional friendship, even when it came my turn
to face the storm, he was at my side and assumed all the risks along
In 2002 he signed the Project Varela petition and later other civic
initiatives, including a public letter to Raul Castro. With his high
regard for human dignity and indignation before any offense converted
him, also, into a signatory of our Letter of the 300 workers, to the
Minister of Health in November 2005.
A doctor with soul, poet, engraver of chimeras, hopeless dreamer,
transparent and luminous spirit, an adamantine being. He leaves here
others to whom they scream slogans, others who in the name of that
Revolution try to legitimize barbarism; that authentic Revolution in
which, despite everything, we continue to believe, that Revolution
betrayed by so much simulation, raising of straw men, and opportunism
that has offended and defiled this beloved land.
I'll see you my brother. The future must be better!
Translator's Note: This early post from Jeovany's blog is translated and
presented here as a reference point to the following post, Medicine in
Cuba Today: A Series of Shortcuts and Scarcities, which was written by
Jeovany's friend Alfredo whom he speaks of here.