At 35, Lazaro is a Cuban like many others, a good person without great ambition, that is, someone with a run-of-the-mill job and rather humble income. He has a girlfriend whom he very much wants to marry.
Osmel Almaguer’s Diary
The waiting room of the emergency ward at Havana’s Luis Dias Soto (or Naval) Hospital has only one bathroom for both genders. The women’s bathroom has been closed up for a while now – since February, at least – and everyone uses the men’s lavatory.
The Azul (“Blue Uniform”) at the bus stop near my house earns a salary for doing nothing. Or, better said, he doesn’t earn a salary, he merely collects it. Every morning, I see him standing alone under a tree, wearing his familiar indigo uniform.
Last week, I spent a number of days in Pinar del Rio, Cuba’s westernmost province, a place renowned for its fish and tobacco – and its baseball team. A friend had invited me to her home in the south-laying town of Cortes, located in Sandino, the westernmost municipality on the island.
Argentina and Germany met at the World Cup final for the second time in 24 years and the outcome was the same: Germany came out victorious thanks to another heartbreaking goal. The South American nation’s most recent victory over the Mannstchaft took place in 1986.
It’s been three years since Lazaro Vargas Alvarez was selected to lead Cuba’s top-winning baseball team. I emphasize this, Cuba’s top winning team, because I feel we must draw up a balance of the Vargas’s triumphs and blunders, with a view to deciding if he ought to keep his position or not.
Cuba’s province of Ciego de Avila seemed different from what I remember from my first trip during this, my third time in the city. People didn’t seem as civil to me. State Cuban-peso establishments, though still cheap, had lost in quality.
Cuba’s Beisbol Internacional (“World Baseball”) sports show has been on the air for some months now and we have not yet seen one of the many Cuban baseball players now in the major leagues on TV. Mere coincidence?
I am 34 and about to have my first book published. I’ve been in this writing business for 17 years, struggling to get ahead, trying to get my foot in the door here and there, and the truth is that it hasn’t been easy.