A few days ago I posted about the little hidden treasure I found at my local public library; including all the books about Cuba (those that I didn't even knew they exist before I came to the US) and the amazing service they offer of requesting for you anything you want, from anywhere in the country.
Quick Tip: using World Cat you can search whatever you would like to order in a inter library loan, looking for the availability in nearby libraries, using you zip code, and in different languages.
So, I started my own Cuba reeducation program with the book "Fidel Castro & Company, Inc", by Manuel Urrutia Lleó, the first "president" in Castro's Cuba.
And I have to tell you that the mission was accomplished, because now I can tie the dots to the story of what really happened in very first days of barbatruco in the power. This was something impossible to do knowing only the official version in the History classes you receive in Cuba.
Although I didn't like the book completely (the English translation sounded weird, even for me who speak inglés con barreras and a pretty heavy accent; and the last chapters were a complicate diatriba of the communism that got me lost more than once).
Nonetheless, I found what I was looking for, y me doy por satisfecha.
Now, I know how was born the rule that contrarrevolucionarios should be expelled from their jobs --thanks to the lovely che--, how the unions were literally blackmailed, el estira y encoje and all the manipulations castro & Cia did with Urrutia, and even that Cristino Naranjo was a whole lot more than the fancy club where students from la Lenin used to gather during the weekends.
A relevant note?
According to the history of Cuba that I was taught, the store El Encanto was set on fire by the evil imperialismo yanqui looking to overthrown castro in those first months.
According to this book, the store was set on fire by its own unionized employees when they realized how che, castro & cia were trying to blackmail the union and force it into the communist rule.
And this second version was confirmed to me a couple of days ago, by a Cuban friend whose mother owned the company that provided credit services to stores like El Encanto, Fin de Siglo, La Filosofía, etc. and he said that, indeed, were the employees the ones who chose to destroy their workplace instead of surrendering to the communism.
Ironías de la historia, right?
(I'll continue posting about the books I'm planning to read while in this self-induced learning program)