Kaloian Santos

Kaloian Santos

Photo: Kaloian

Faustino Oramas, “El Guayabero”

Last June 4, according to his birth certificate, Faustino Oramas Osorio, "El Guayabero," one of the legends of Cuban music, would have been 107 years old. While I write this I have my doubts because, although it is known that the trova singer died in March 2007 at the age of 96, in his native Holguín many claimed that he lived to be more than a century old. Photo: Kaloian His life and his songs were in themselves a mixture of fables and anecdotes. In fact, his stage name came after he escaped from a town in eastern Cuba called Guayabero (now Mella municipality, in Santiago de Cuba). And all because of his Don Juan airs. He had fallen in love with the wife of the corporal of the rural guard. After the flight he wrote: "Trigueñita del alma no me niegues tu amor, / trigueñita del alma dame tu corazón, / nunca pienses que un día/ pueda yo olvidarte. / ¡En Guayabero, mamá, me quieren dar!/ ¡En Guayabero, mamá, me quieren dar!" Photo: Kaloian His sense of humor led him to use picaresque language in the texts of his songs. So much so that the bard was also baptized...

Santos Cabrera family. Photo: Courtesy

What Death Did Not Take From Me

  My old man, my beloved old man./ Now you walk clumsily/ as if forgiving the wind./ I am your blood, my old man./ I am your silence and your time. José Tcherkaski and Piero Until now my father’s death has been the most intense pain I have felt in my life. An unknown blow. The onslaught was so penetrating that I felt out of breath, defenseless, lost, in a foul mood…. Jesús, my old man, died after a battle against Alzheimer’s, that disease of the cerebral nervous system still of an unknown cause, diagnosed to a new person in the world every three seconds and that, according to the World Health Organization, today affects one out of every eight persons older than 65 years. The “German,” as that disease is called in popular jargon due to the nationality of Aloysius “Alois” Alzheimer, the psychiatrist and neurologist that identified for the first time in 1901 the symptoms of that disease, is more common than we think. Just as it is also normal to think we won’t be affected by it. But if it “affects you,” the hard times that are drawing near for the patient and his family environment are...

Photo: Kaloian Santos Cabrera

The caravan’s route

On its route to Santiago de Cuba the caravan transporting the ashes of Fidel Castro arrived yesterday to Holguín. At 4 pm of December 2 the guerrilla president was again in the land of his birth. There, countenances, babes-in-arms and the doves that once again overflew shuddered. Previously, on Wednesday November 30, the mortal remains of Fidel Castro arrived in Santa Clara. The caravan made a stop in the city where the ashes of Che Guevara rest in a monument built to him and his comrades-in-arms, where the urn made of cedarwood which left from Havana on Tuesday was guarded by a vigil of honor during the entire night. On January 6, 1959, the Caravan of Freedom arrived in that provincial capital. Almost 60 years later the people of Santa Clara took to the streets of their city, now to receive the funeral cortege en route to Santiago de Cuba. Santiago, Moncada, sentry post 3 Photo: Kaloian Santos Cabrera All the streets in the city seemed deserted except for the 17 km stretch through Santiago de Cuba of the caravan with the mortal remains of Fidel Castro. I walked through those empty streets to take a series of photos. Only...

Photo: Kaloian Santos


There were many goodbyes for Fidel Castro. Everyone bid him farewell in his/her way, as they could, as they knew. The most diverse tributes were there, as well as the most beautiful contrasts: a table football with a photo of the guerrilla president at its base, a flag in someone’s hair, the face of a child on the shoulders of the father. The look of a man whose hair is going grey and another holding the image of Fidel, again, on board the yacht.