Let me make a tribute in this Blog to the journalist Reinaldo Escobar, who has just turned 60. It has been an enviable six decades of activities that in a normal life would fill about two hundred years.
He worked as a journalist in the official media until, in 1988, he was expelled from the profession because his articles “did not conform with the editorial line of the newspaper Juventud Rebelde.” Hence, and with some difficulty, he became an elevator mechanic to survive. He faced the setbacks with the same wisdom with which he has counseled many and has been an adoptive father to hundreds. With his maxim of, “this happens because we are living,” he has avoided the ostracism, slander, and frequent visits and pressures from the “boys of the party apparatus” and the suspicions of many.
Macho, as his friends call him, was born in his own home to a generation of troubadours, in the already mythical group of “Macho Rico” which they became the last Friday of each month during the hardest years of the Special Period.* On the table in the hall a bowl of sugar welcomed anyone who, after climbing fourteen floors of stairs, needed energy to sing, read or play the guitar.
With something of a spirit doctor, which his Taíno* features confirm, he has the enviable ability to explain almost everything. Always ready to “stick his nose into it” on any project, young people find that he suggests crazier and bolder ideas than they themselves had in mind. Reinaldo Escobar collects friends, dictionaries and projects, and he reminds us every time that what is important “is not what happens to you, but how you handle it.”
Macho, with whom I have shared my life and my projects for fourteen years, is an example, painful for many, of what can be reached with a few grey hairs and many dreams at age 60.
Enjoy them, my love!
Special Period = The 1990s in Cuba, a very difficult time after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the loss of its monetary support.
Taíno = The native people of Cuba who lived there before Columbus arrived.