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Last Tuesday afternoon we were at a birthday party for Ronaldo, who lives on a very high floor in one of the microbrigade buildings in Nuevo Vedado.

As always happens when we get together with some friends, the mono-theme emerged. We were all very animated sharing our opinions about how bad things are. Someone said, “Come to the table to blow out the candles and sing Happy Birthday.” Suddenly we started to hear very strong and continuous explosions. We paused the celebration with Happy Birthday stuck in our throats, and we all ran to the balcony to see what was making that deafening noise.

There we noticed a profusion of fireworks, but for what? Some present thought–we know because they confessed it later–that it was an attack. One of them even whispered, “The Yankees are coming.”

Dying of laughter, but intrigued by these displays, because even on New Year’s Eve there weren’t any like that, we relaxed and continued the celebration.

The following day I set myself the task of finding out the what and why of the event. Talking with some young people, they told me a musical group was giving a concert in the university stadium and had brought, from a trip abroad for that purpose, the famous fireworks.

February 19 2011

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