A very dear friend, tired of attending funerals and burials where he would be reunited with “his era,” increasingly upset over deterioration and frustrations, decided that from now on he would have just one big celebration per year.

For several years we have been regulars at this wonderful January festival. Here we have seen a parade of many who were very active in the revolutionary process, the majority of them leaders, others with important positions, and a lot of them, after many years of being “fallen in disgrace”, “worn out” as we say here.

Some are already missing. Some have left this world. Others have immersed themselves in oblivion, after deciding not to leave the country like some other absentees, as the years and failure surprised them, and the fire in their hearts went out. Some arrive on crutches, others with canes, and still others bent over by the weight of hardships and the passage of time. Those of us who are younger unconsciously straighten as we see them come in, thinking … maybe soon we will be like that.

This whole festival reminds me of that beastly monument in a beautiful valley in the province of Toledo, Spain, where Franco built his tomb, not dreaming that it would also be that of his regime.

This time on his seventieth birthday, our friend brought together, along with the usual people, some family members who had been separated for years, filling the gardens of his beautiful home where everyone sang “Happy Birthday” and “Congratulations”. I hope next year God will allow me to go in my high heels (I ordered them from Chile) and without crutches, as I did this 2010.

Translated by: Tomás A.