When a friend has passed away

I used to ask Marcos for interviews many times and he would always answer my request, smiling so tenderly that it would turn into irresistible to have encounters with him. There were many encounters but suddenly death came up. Many years of friendship allowed having different kind of conversations, mainly about theater Cuban literature, universal literature, what it made possible to have deep and helpful interviews.  I interviewed Marcos on some occasions while he tried to fix my old -fashion computer. He was very good at fixing computers; he really did a good work.

– Finally you can manage these machines …, Roberto. You know, I have written a manual for learning how to fix computers. What do you think of it?

I can not believe it

– “Yes, I did it hardly. The point is that you have to manage computers with intelligence, patience, and mainly spending many hours on them; what is the most important.”

And Marcos, who was a Party member and had a wide view on political and social- cultural situation in Cuba, was also a simple man, a friend.  He was one of those friends; you could count on him anytime, kind and prepared to help everybody if needed it. He enjoyed making some coffee for having conversations from human to divine things. He would talk about that book he was reading, steps forwards in the historical research he was carrying out.

– “I was about fifteen when he attended the State Theater School in Havana …. I remember that the school was located in Vedado neighborhood and was directed by Mario Rodriguez German, a renowned man on Cuban culture. He taught   wonderfully.

– And your story started that way

– “Well …I used to dream of doing these things since I was boy. … But this school I mentioned really helped me to begin my determination on theater.

– What did you do after that?

– “The Academy was closed. Then I began to study, together with my close friends at the National Art School (ENA) , where we stayed together the entire life because of theater.

– In what year did you graduate?

– “It was in 1970.

– “Yes, I did. And there’s something I remember with love; me, some other ENA’s students such us Yolanda Ulloa and Faustino Hernandez – she is a poet and actress and he is an actor – plus some Arts’ students, we assumed the task of building Sale-Theater Elsinor, which was raised over old constructions of that magic place.

– Why Elsinore name?

“By that time we were third- year students and were going to perform Romeo and Juliet play, but we felt more attracted by Hamlet play; so the name came to our mind from that play. Working hard at theater has meant much for new generations of actors and fans; we have an emblematic place for theater encounters. This, undoubtedly, is part of something beautiful in our lives, because of the cultural use our achievement at theater has.

Marcos’ professional life gradually increased. His talent as an actor was acknowledged by many theater companies such us: Escambray Theatre, Bertolt Brecht Political Theater, and Small Theater of Havana; Cuban cinema jealously treasured his performances in films such us: Mella, directed by Nick Enrique Pineda, Black River by Manolo Perez, Baragua by José Massip,  and Habanera by Pastor Vega.

Marcos also worked as a writer for Radio and Television, and dedicated myself to literature for children. His play Rain of Gold awarded the Golden Age prize in 1984. This and other plays were compiled in a homonym book he wrote, for which the author awarded the White Rose Distinction in 1995.

– “And I also took the advantage for writing some scripts, which were included at Radio and Television programming. For television, I wrote many short stories addressed the children over a great time of my life; and for radio, I dedicated myself to the historic theme, which attracted me much.

Your work at Radio made possible we had long conversations about drama and the essential components of novels; and we talked extensively, for sure. I have noticed that you have many ideas they could be developed at Radio, a genuine search that made feel anxious for knowing.
The literature for children you have written transmits subtle messages, and a notable artistic eloquence through all pages.

– “I think that an artist should learn different ways of work. That is why you have made incursions various fields; they needs form spirit.

– “And all the thing started by theater.

– “Theater has been crucial in my life. My work at Theaters Escambray ,  Bertolt Brecht and the small Theater of Havana has meant a source of acquired knowledge  during my training at those places. Same thing happened at the movie, radio and television. Due to this labor, I became a worker dedicated to cultural development of the Cuban revolution, for which all Cubans owe everything we are and we will continue doing it.

– Now, my friend, you do that endless journey, from which you would only return through people’s memory from time to time. I will always be grateful for that smile of yours I mentioned before, your talks in an atmosphere of Lights Theater and curtains, those moments when you gathered your eyebrows because of an injustice you wanted to amend. You know, I feel like still continue having those conversations about Shakespeare and Cervantes, something we would do respectfully, even from an enigmatic way.

I also remember your commitment to the homeland against the media campaigns and miserable lies from the U.S government, which they certainly will not, led Cubans astray, based on principles of our national hero Jose Martí; and created by everyone, for good. ! Rest in peace, my friend … men like you remain alive!


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