Thursday, October 20, 2016

Eusebio Leal Strikes Back Against the "Storm"

Eusebio Leal Strikes Back Against the "Storm" / Juan Juan Almeida

Juan Juan Almeida, 19 October 2016 — As in the Greek epic, Eusebio Leal,
the Captain of a small stronghold of Cuban historians, confronted
Brigade General Luis Alberto Rodríguez López-Callejas and the Business
Administration Group of the Armed Forces (FAR) with lively and poetic
oratory. We know that FAR has taken possession of Habaguanex and several
business institutions linked to the Office of the Historian of the City
of Havana.

This past October 11, from the central patio of the Palacio del Segundo
Cabo, during an exhibit that began at 8:30 in the morning and lasted a
little more than one hour, Doctor Leal Spengler inspired confidence in
his troops, using phrases like: "The Office of the Historian is today
stronger than ever"; "We're facing the storm without any type of fear";
and, "Be calm and serene, let nothing perturb you; I am here."

Self-taught and with more awards (national and international) than any
other Cuban, Eusebio Leal met with the technicians and directors of the
different museums, because – according to his explanation – "Of all the
groups with whom I work, the one that shares my goals the most is the
one dedicated to museums, the collections, and to that exercise of
searching which becomes a necessity for each one of us."

With vague insinuations of mutiny and not calling for obedience, Leal, a
member of the National Assembly's Commission on International Relations,
the Committee for the Eradication of Poverty of the United Nations, the
National Geographic Society, the Madrid Royal Academy of History and the
Latin American Council for Human Rights encouraged his troops publicly
to not allow anyone to intervene and put their hands even on one piece
of the museum without being properly prepared, and to not accept
"improvised directors although they have a wonderful curriculum of
having done other things in life."

"The inventory" — he harangued them — "to mention only the subject of
furniture, needs the knowledge of an antiquarian who has studied the
different styles, epochs and models. It's not just a matter of a table
with four legs." And thus, dressed in his usual grey safari outfit that
he wears like a uniform, visibly recovered from the illness that
afflicted him and vaunting his oral skills, he answered with
irony-charged words the discredited oration, "During the process of
transfer, the important thing is the inventory," that the
General-Intervenor Leonardo Ramón Andollo Valdés gives in every meeting
with imperial enthusiasm.

"I'm an attorney, and I know what corresponds to me," he said solemnly,
remembering, in an emotional moment, the sentence that the illustrious
Cuban patriot and composer of our national anthem, don Pedro Figueredo,
pronounced on that fateful afternoon of August in 1870, facing the
military tribunal that condemned him to death by firing squad.

"To those like me who admire Leal's work and the Office of the
Historian, we are sad knowing that the final chapter in the struggle to
govern Old Havana looks like it won't go any further," said a known
worker who, having been present at such a restricted meeting, requested

Translated by Regina Anavy

Source: Eusebio Leal Strikes Back Against the "Storm" / Juan Juan
Almeida – Translating Cuba -
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