call is what I expect most, this Sunday
with René Gonzalez´s father, one of the five Cuban political prisoners
, jailed in U.S.A. , in which love and homage is mixed ,
as well as feeling, denouncement , remembrances ,family, hope and
Alina Martínez Castillo
eyes of his pleasant image in the afternoon in which he used to play base
ball with his sons: Rene and Roberto at the Martí park, of the Cuban
a base ball man of heart , who saw his kids to turn into men , to those two
mates of base ball fans , Cándido Rene Gonzalez does not keep himself in
his recalls. He is certain the three of them will live again an afternoon
alike and that he will have a
good fulfillment , in spite of his years. The reunion is shaped neatness in
much more than a dream weeded in the 50 decade, in spite of the difficult
economic situation he was going through, he dedicated long hours to be
second base-although he was longing for the third- or the position of short
field in those base ball teams that made history in Cuba.
father , one of the five political prisoners of Cuba, arbitrarily jailed in
U.S.A. does not think it twice to state this Sunday what he is expecting
most is his son's call from Loreto jail in Pennsylvania.
talk with him will be a joy and I am sure he will call me early"
He confesses, since there is no doubt that this call, if possible,
will not fail.
this day he has the journey of accomplishing as custody - and I will not
stop doing it- he knows his relatives will go to see him and together will
celebrate this satisfaction of tomorrow.
joy is linked to his optimism and future: "We are going to win , I
think in the end justice will prevail." Truth must be known. A fair
process has to be done." Recently, he visited his son together to his
wife, Irma Schewerert, Rene's mother.
We left on April 20, it has been more than 11 years I did not see him and 11
times I met him again. That meant a lot to me, you do not imagine, because
he told me by phone: "I am O.K. my old man, there is no problem"
and I thought : "This damned kid is making tricks to me."
But I saw him well with tremendous mood and very strong.
and his inmates are the ones who give courage to oneself. They do not give
you time to pout , as Cubans say , "Rene practices a lot of exercises,
he asked for everybody, for each member of the family, about friends,
neighbors, about the people and
told us the quantity of mail he receives every day . " I have no time
to answer them all." He told me because he has received letters from
Germany, France, England, Argentine and from U.S.A. itself, solidarity
people that wants to know more
about his case. "René runs 10 kms
a day , he reads and writes a lot too. He told me
jokingly since I arrived: Dad we are going to hate each other of so
much talking and see ourselves but during the last day he told me:
"Something was left in the inkpot."
That is how he is, a joking person , although from my two sons he is the
most serious. The two of them are nicer than me. And let me tell you he is a
great father. All the time he is worried about his two daughters. He is a
loving and demanding father because he helped Irmita on everything at
the conversation with Cándido Rene Gonzalez , we talked about his endless
search for a job in Cuba during the 50 decade, about his arrival as a
professional base ball man hired for USA, where he never did his first game,
of his relation with Irma Schewerert and the stay in Chicago , the long
working experience, the arrival of his first son….
to play in Havana, where I was born in a small village called Cangrejera
between Punta Brava and Santa Fe. Although
I never have a great interest on being a pro, life was so tough and work
also. I used to be a bricklaying worker, working tough. If I were assigned a
job in the Sugar Mill , but I
was told to wait but I could not.
to USA in 1953, first as to the Texas training , together to other Cubans.
By the way, black people were located in Mexico, far from the white,
everyday they had to take and bring them. We went to Illinois to play, but I
was in trouble at once with the base ball team boss. Then I left to Chicago
and there I met Irma. We fell in love. I was in U.S.A. illegally , working
wherever I found a job.
returned to Cuba and , later I came back , we married. Rene was born in the
56. Imagine he was our joy. He was the first son. I wanted a boy and I had
We went through difficult moments , very tough. I was always rebel; in Cuba
I saw a terrible situation. Batista gave a Coup, and I had already
experienced policy , abuses , gangs but I was not still a revolutionary man
. there we followed our country´s situation . In the Latin neighborhood we
got " the Bohemia magazine" we saw people who went to Cuba and we
were informed , until 57 where the 26 of July Movement was formed in Chicago
and we joined : Irma and I.0
triumph of the revolution we saw how reality was manipulated of what it was
going on in Cuba. We came and checked truth, as the people was moved and
although we doubt it a lot, whether to return or not ;
but in 1961 the Bay of Pig´s invasion we did not hesitate anymore.
We came the four of us, since my second child, Roberto was already 3 years
crazy to return and we started intense years: guards, voluntary work,
movement to the sugar cane fields to cut cane, joining everyday activity of
the people. Our kids went with us . they were raised in this revolutionary
environment of Che, Fidel and they were full of this spirit.
he was little, Rene was obsessed with plans. He dreamt about being a pilot.
That was what he liked most and he managed to get it , already a young man
he joined a course , first in the fumigation technique planes and later in
the sport aviation. Candido Rene smiles when he recalls every moment. It
seems he could see his son meanwhile he talks eagerly. In a sudden , his
expression changes and every date flows as if he were yesterday.
whole world fell . On Sunday , December 9 , 1990 I see the troop coming with
Roberto, Irma, Olga, Irmita.. What happened? He asked " Do not be
afraid, they try to calm me but What is it? I insist. Did he arrive? Is he
O.K.? Yes it was Saturday.
I thought that any of my sons had that idea. Everything fell on me. I told
myself , he was already a man and took that decision. Throughout all
these years I knew about him for his mother, but we never talked nor write
to each other. Sometimes I imagine things , in the deepest of me I had my
suspects, because my son full
of beliefs. But although I thought or wished about it , I was always
thinking about him, that
remained inside me, in silence….
was jailed on Saturday 12, 1998 and on Monday 14 I knew about the whole
truth. That thing I had inside , came out. What did I feel ? a Double
feeling; the one having a son in jail and proud for the mission he was
accomplishing , so noble, so beautiful, struggling
against terrorism , there inside Miami. Since then proud has been
growing day by day.
whole long process was terrible, we have suffered a lot, and more than that
in those 17 months and 48 days in loneliness in a cell of top punishment ,
without doing anything , just for being Cubans of Cuba. I imagine that the
whole relatives of the five are going through the same situation.
behavior has been so great! In his plea he defends his four inmates…I tell
you one thing , during the last two years in defense of our children I have
learnt more than the 70 years I was then.
myself more and more revolutionary. Shadows have vanished of his face and
completely disappear when he states that he is closer to Rene, he is
confident in justice to prevail , that the base ball game with his kids is
going ahead by al means , that he would have loved to see his small house at
Chicago, where he loved so much his family, he worked hard and his first son
was born, that one he expects, at the first hour of the Fathers Day, a call
to listen his jokes , his mood , his strength..