Mexicans at the Matanzas’ Supertanker Oil Depot: rather than an order, it is a duty

Mexicans at the Matanzas’ Supertanker Oil Depot: rather than an order, it is a duty
Fecha de publicación: 
15 August 2022
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A few days ago, when the plume of black smoke seemed like the worst omen from the other side of the Bay of Matanzas, a presidential mandate from Andrés Manuel López Obrador came to us like a hug in the darkest hour.


We did not know exactly what the aid he sent would consist of, but we knew that something good was coming from our lifelong friend, from the same nation that did not leave us alone more than 60 years ago, when the Cuban Revolution was just blossoming and, with it, the powerful neighbor's obsession with isolating and suffocating us.


As time passed, we heard about flights landing at the José Martí International Airport with techniques, useful products and specialized personnel. Time and time again, during the inferno of the Matanzas Supertanker Oil Depot, the solidarity of the land of Beniro Juárez was headlined, in some of those news, the names of Manuel, Jesús and Luis Fernando were included, the men I met this Wednesday afternoon standing up, ready to continue a job they embraced. They assured me that rather than an order, it was a duty.


They do not want to give statements, so we rather dialogue. I was there not knowing how to show my gratitude and they say they are so grateful "because you have welcomed us well, in a good way, and we have to be reciprocal with humanitarian aid ordered from Mexico. And here we are, contributing and supporting."


They have faced large-scale fires within Mexico, Manuel told me. He told me he comes from a country where countless catastrophes have occurred. And they are now sharing this experience with us.


They have been working side by side with Cubans and Venezuelans, something that is not new for them either, they tell me: our troop is well-trained. We have already teamed up with other people from other countries to face earthquakes, for example, in Aztec land. It has been perfect here "and the best thing is that we all speak the same language, which makes it easier."


Before boarding the solidarity flight that brought him to Matanzas, Manuel had never been to Cuba, but he knew that it is an island inhabited by "people who fight, who try to move on despite shortage."


Jesus did not know much about us either. Because of the way the youngest in the group spoke to me, Cuba surprised him, for the better as he found "very kind, attentive people." Luis Fernando had already "been told that Cubans were very happy, brave people and we have seen it since we arrived, despite the fact that they suffered a catastrophe like this, the people here do not let themselves fall and move on."


Manuel, Jesús, and Luis Fernando are from Mexico City. I told them that I fell in love with the Sócalo in the national holidays and I tasted a Chili in Queretaro that was delicious and here, in Matanzas, there is a radio show devoted to Mexican music.


This way, and speaking like crazy, I managed to get them out of the firmness of their profession: "but for each region of Mexico, there is a different type of music," Manuel points out. Didn't you eat pozole? Luis Fernando asks me and then we continue talking like those friends Cuba and Mexico have been since a lot time ago. No one can doubt it, fireproofed.


Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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