Father Blademir: “We have to rebuild Cuba”



At only nine years old, Bladimir Navarro (Camagüey, Cuba) began keeping a secret, not a childish secret, but something that would be of great importance for the rest of his life: he wanted to be a Christian. The only child of atheist parents – his mother later converted – in the home of Blademir “God did not exist”, although there are some references to him: the Sacred Heart of Jesus, hidden in a closet. “When I was 6 or 7 years old, I asked my grandmother why this man was hiding there, and she replied that one day she would know why.” Who then presided over the living room in his home “was a painting of Fidel (Castro),” father of the day recalls ABC’s Blademir, as everyone knows him, who lived in Spain for three years. This charming and friendly Cuban priest explains how he discovered God: “I came to the faith because some neighbor kids invited me to a play they were rehearsing for Christmas. My tutor offered me to be a wise man and I said yes. And I stayed there. Every Sunday I went to catechism. And I get adopted, and then I reach out. I was very clear about what I wanted to be.” For six years he was able to keep the secret: “I said I’d play.” A pious lie. His parents learned the truth when he was fifteen years old. “In high school I went to the Vocacional (Vocational Guidance Centre). Religion wasn’t taught in any school, so we didn’t meet a few students downstairs, and that’s where they caught up. Employers wanted to take action against us, and my grandmother defended my mother.” RELATED NEWS CRITERIA If Cuba and the United States moved towards the new thaw Camila Acosta Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel laid the red carpet for American businessmen, who visited Havana a few days ago, to invest in Blademir Island His priestly career came to him in that high school, which was also fueled by the visit – “which distinguished us greatly” – to John Paul II, the first Pope of the Catholic Church to the island, in 1998. The young man was taking a perilous path in a country, Cuba, where he had not Persecution against the church has been interrupted since the victory of the revolution in 1959. He set out on his way to the priesthood at the age of 21 and left aside his medical studies and a “beautiful love story.” This decision deepened the gap in his relationship with his father, who was — and “is” — a communist. “It was very difficult. My dad stopped talking to me for nine years. He didn’t go to my painter, but we reconciled when he got cancer.” His care in the hospital, and the long nights of pain and talking brought them closer.” He asked me if I was happy, and I said yes. He thought I would be a bitter and sad celibate, and found out I was a happy man full of what he had done. “He asked me if I was happy, and I said yes. He thought I would be a bitter and sad celibate, and found out that I was a happy man and accomplished what he had done »Father Bladimir Proucto Copego after spending nearly a decade in the parish of Santa Cruz del Sur, in the province of Camaguey Father Blademir, whose vocation has always been marked by “social issues,” traveled to Spain to study a master’s degree in moral theology. Once here, the desire to help other Cubans who had left the island, like him, began to boil in his head.” When I arrived here I realized that many From the Cubans they were praying, I was trying to move them, to look for work, to help with the papers…but in an informal way,” he admits. To formalize his commitment, both material and spiritual, with the Cubans who left the island — “also with the Americans,” he admits. The Latins who arrived in Madrid” – embodied in the shelter project. “The idea was born from a group of friends – seven people, among whom were a psychologist, a dentist, an engineer, a journalist, a former bank worker … – they had a desire to welcome. When we met we dreamed that we If we win the lottery, we’ll buy a house for the initiation.” It did not happen, but last summer a parishioner of Santa Maria de la Esperanza, in Alcobendas, where Father Blademir works, approached him, and gave him all the belongings of the house to send to Cuba. Father Blademir, aware of how difficult it was for international shipments to reach the Cuban people, was interested in the house, which has four bedrooms, sleeps ten people. “On August 1 we had the keys to Cobijo.” The rent money, he explains, comes from “a network of good Samaritans. We already have forty direct deductions of 20 euros per month.” Volunteers and other cooperation networks help them contribute food, clothing and property… The fund is also used to pay for administrative matters. Patricia (left), Ammei , Landis and Jorge, in the kitchen of the house, where coordinator also lives B. DÍAZ, the house next to a park in Alcobendas currently houses eight people, including a married couple with a child. He explains that the maximum stay is three months “during which we give them housing and food.” And we help them with paperwork and recording….” The shelter project governs three verbs: “Hello, the non-mental – typical of Marxism – that we came from Cuba, we advise them to be accurate, responsible, tell the truth. And they send, that is, they find their own place, their home, they repeat What they received: welcome and continue to help others, ”confirms Father Blademir. Leaving Cuba Increased repression in Cuba and a serious economic crisis caused the largest exodus of Cubans in its history. “We are witnessing a terrible weakness in social and human dignity,” he says. Among the people Kobego is currently inhabiting is Patricia, 22, who arrived in Spain in 2021. After living for a few months in Valladolid, she came to Madrid where she worked. When he became unemployed, Father Blademir offered him help. “I was a medical student, and what was waiting for me when I graduated was to be a slave to the government,” medical student Patricia Patricia asserts that she left Cuba, in addition to her lack of freedom “to think and do nothing,” due to the economic situation. Add to that personal reasons: “I felt I had no future there. I was a medical student, and what awaited me when I graduated was to be a slave to the (Cuban) government,” she said, referring to medical missions that the United Nations described as “forced labour.” The trip by Gracelands, 37, To get to this home is much longer and more dangerous.After leaving Cuba in January of this year, his first destination was Moscow (Visas are not required for Cubans, nor Serbia and Nicaragua.) After eight months in Russia, he decided to leave the country “for fear of deportation.” Before Arriving in Madrid, he passed through Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia and Italy, and from there traveled to Barcelona. “I got my salary for a month in two days in Russia. Gerislandis Informatic graduated in computer science, is married with two young children he left on the island, asserts that he left Cuba for lack of “To give you an idea, I got my salary for a month in two days in Russia.” He remembers that at Madrid airport someone gave him a phone number and said, “Call Father Bladimir, he can help you.” “It was from Providence” Landis; “And a gift from The Virgin is mine,” the Cuban priest jokes. Next to him sits Jorge, 29 years old Ma, who studied civil construction. He left Cuba at the end of September with the intention of returning, however, “the situation was not favorable. Most young people study and work but do not see a future”, so he changed his mind and also got the support of Father Blademir. She also did not plan to go into exile from the island of Ammei (a fictitious name), a 44-year-old independent artist who stopped in Madrid before heading to Sweden where she plans to collaborate on a project: “(In Cuba) they made me sign a return letter. It wasn’t my idea to give up the trip, but during the layover hours here I saw it was an opportunity”. He becomes emotional when he remembers that he left behind a family, which has four children. The youngest of them It was him who encouraged her to stay. “He told me we won’t see each other for a long time, but we won’t be back.” “The alternatives in Cuba for an independent artist are death or imprisonment.” Independent artist Ammei Ammei asserts that although she is not a ‘dissident’, But state security has been watching her after she had a building collapse in 2018, which is also common in Cuba. She is artistically associated with Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara — “but not politically,” she explains — and gave a “performance” with him about landslides. It made me visible internationally.” And he put her in the position of the goal of the system. My uncle decries that the alternatives are now an artist Independent on the island “either dead or imprisoned”. Being a part of this home is a “life opportunity” for her. “We need material things when we arrive, but above all spiritual food. We have arrived life has been ruined, we have been indoctrinated whole. This is like an oasis. The shelter has been a blessing to me.” When asked about their plans in Spain and if they plan to return to Cuba in the future, the four answered in unison: “Return to where?” , and then they laughed because Father Blademir quickly stops. “It will be up to us to rebuild Cuba in 10 or 15 years. This is my wish. What we learn from Spain, from Europe, from democracy … that is what we want to take there.”

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