Miguel Ángel Alvelo Céspedes, a Cuban living in Madrid, I met by chance through social networks. Our first conversation was about love and longing experienced by those born on this island when they are far from home. It shocked me when he said the affinity he feels for the city of Matanzas, despite being a native of the province of Camagüey.
The passion for the history of Spanish emigration to Cuba made Alvelo Céspedes revive the purest feelings guarded by two men, who apparently had nothing in common. But their research, published in the book Manuel Fraga a Cuban Galician, Gallego Cuban Fidel Castro, showed that the roots of the Iberian country is not all that weaves these unique personalities; the first President of the Government of Galicia; the second, the undisputed leader of the Cuban Revolution.
Recently you published in Cuba the text Manuel Fraga un gallego cubano, Fidel Castro un cubano gallego. What inspired you to make this historical research and writing about the relationship between Fidel and Fraga?
– Before starting to write this book I asked God to give me wisdom and intelligence. I’ve managed to make a balanced book with historical and projected migration between Galicia and Cuba; all my father’s family is from Galicia, therefore I bring deeply rooted in my genes migration issues. Throughout the history of Galician emigration has been with her suitcase from different parts of the world.
I must thank my dear friend, the President of the Government of Galicia Alberto Núñez Feijoo for your confidence; also the Secretary General of Emigration Antonio Miranda Rodriguez and Eugenio Martinez Ambassador of Cuba for their support.
«Fidel Castro who organized the first visit of Manuel Fraga to Cuba in 1991 and both statesmen, as you know are classic Galician; Fidel Castro Cuban-Galician, Gallego Manuel Fraga-Cuban.
«Manuel Fraga’s parents emigrated to Manati, province of Las Tunas, where they worked under the orders of the Marqués de Aguayo, former administrator of the Manati Sugar Company sugar mill. Two brothers were born there Fraga. María Dolores Fraga Iribarne, the January 24, 1924 and José Darío Fraga Iribarne, the first of January 1926 Achieve eventually put a refreshment at the entrance of the sugar mill. »
Two men found in time …
– Fidel Castro’s father, Angel Castro Argiz is Lancara municipality of the province of Lugo, and the father of Manuel Fraga is the municipality of Villalba. With winds separated parents emigrated to Cuba, taking up residence on East; Fraga’s father decided to live in the town Manati, Las Tunas province, and Fidel chose Biran, Holguin; both labored in the monoculture of sugarcane.
«I found that Fraga, with just 12 years, being in the public school-Villalba Lugo, in Galicia, gave a speech dedicated to the Spanish political Castelar; while also just 12 years old, Fidel Castro wrote a letter from the Jesuit college of Dolores in Santiago de Cuba, the president of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.What a great match in the mystery of life!
«We left a teaching harmony and consensus, they both had differing political ideologies, but factor outweighed the feeling and the memory of his Galician parents.»
– You mentioned that Fidel organized the first visit to Cuba Manuel Fraga in 1991 corresponded How Fraga this sample of Cuban hospitality.?
– Fidel Castro had a great dream to visit the land of his father and thanks to Manuel Fraga Iribarne on July 27, 1992 landing at the airport of Santiago de Compostela.
«Fidel fulfilled his dream, leaving embodied in the book the town hall this mind: With profound and indescribable emotion I sign this book on the land where my father was born to so often wished to return without doing so. I bring with me the memory of that generous and kind man, thanks to which I have today with so large and loving family in Lancara and Galicia. July 28, 1992. »
Where can readers purchase volume Cubans?
– It would be important to edit thousands of individuals in Cuba. When I was in my beloved land many people asked me where can I buy this book? I could see that the famine was reading this historical book.
«The historian and good friend Dr. Eusebio Leal, I have raised the marketability see this book, thinking that Cuba has a solid foundation in the tourism sector. For many countries, including Spain, tourists come and perhaps have the opportunity to purchase this issue in Cuba, thinking the same way in the «ordinary citizen» and I’m sure sales will succeed. This town is a cult and people with incredible depth. Look, we’re coming for the second edition in sales in Spain, and possibly the Ministry of Culture of the Dominican Republic we invite me to present at the Fair Bani ground Generalissimo Máximo Gómez Báez.
«I’m still working to see how I can bring it to Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador and am trying to get into the new digital market-Amazon eBooks. Coming any person from any country can access the book for this new system.
«I have applied to participate in the X International Book Fair Panama 2014 and expect an answer from the CEO Doña Larissa Rodriguez. This event will be held from 19 to 24 August at the Convention Center ATLAPA, with the slogan: THE Great Empire of Imagination.
«It could make several presentations by the different provinces of Cuba, with the support of Ministry of Culture, including the projection of images of Manuel Fraga’s visit to Cuba and Fidel Castro’s visit to Galicia. I already did in Natural Ortigueira, with the presence of different presidents Galician societies of Havana and liked it. »
I know it is preparing a new book about the history of the store El Encanto. What stage is the work? When will it be published?
– We walked into another dynamic, a trade book, a story about the Spanish emigration to Cuba. The phase of the book is to find a publishing house that interests this topic. Well you know there is a crisis that extends to all sectors, the phase is known in the money.
«Speaking of El Encanto, Havana’s talk about an icon that was ahead of its time, was the» glamor «of the seam in the Western Hemisphere. Years later its structure and elegance come to Spain from the hand of its founders. But who created this iconic store?
«It was founded three Asturian: José Solís García, a native of the town of Coro, Villaviciosa in Asturias; his brother Bernardo Solis Garcia and Aquilino Entrialgo. These three musketeers merged with the commercial firm and Co. Entrialgo Solis. SA, born in 1888 in Galiano Street corner San Rafael 85. The initial area was 300 square meters. The business was started according to the articles of association of companies with eleven thousand and $ 812 at the end of the billing period in 1889 and was at 16 thousand.
«This small store began as a silk, but the idea had been forged because Pepe Solis who had previously had a silk factory in Guanabacoa. That is why we went with the idea of putting something in the center of Havana, not knowing that this store would be the most advanced large Cuba and Latin America mall. That was El Encanto.
«He could grow, not only in Havana, but in the other provinces of Cuba. There was something very smart by the founders managed to establish a rule that successors participate in business with their income, a decision that provided substantial benefits, a great incentive and a reward for efficiency.
«The House grew to achieve an extension of more than 15 thousand square meters in area. Was located in a large five-story building with 65 sales departments including fabrics and garments for ladies, men and children, home and grave goods, housewares, jewelry and gift items. Had escalators, elevators and central air conditioning and an aromatic button.
«After a few years before the development delicacy and good treatment that achieved these Asturias, El Encanto is extended beyond the Cuban territory and opened purchasing offices in New York, London, Paris, Naples, Madrid, Barcelona. Propaganda was also made of the property in newspapers and magazines such as Vanity Fair and Vogue, which was published in 1935 the famous slogan Havana Nights. That way, customers could get quality items and materials from around the world. At the same time, the company had modern clothing and arrangements workshops, warehouses that ensured continuously keep stores stocked.
«The House became so renowned for its chic Christian Dior in 1950 in New York entered into an exclusive license to sell their products in Cuba. The French House opened its Hall. The October 26, 1953, Dior traveled to Havana and 27 fashion show was held at the Country Club. This event, hosted by the store and the French Embassy in Cuba thousand 500 people attended. Dior promoted with this activity the name El Encanto encouraging the visit of important personalities such as Ernest Hemingway, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Maurice Chevalier, Lana Tuner, Lucho Gatica and Ava Gardner.
«But the House also had an effect on emigration, mainly in Asturias, where landfall men one day would mark history in Spain. For instance, Pepin Fernandez, the man of the Atlantico Department in Spain, was the innovator and first brought to the Iberian peninsula the system he learned in El Encanto: department stores. »
Between you and the Historian of Havana, Eusebio Leal, exists a close relationship, how that friendship emerges and what join you botht?
– I remember I wrote an e-mail telling him the idea of my book and had the courtesy to answer.
«I can never forget that gesture that both thank, in short I have only words of thanks to Dr. Eusebio Leal Spengler; the man who has continued the track of Dr. Emilio Roig de Leuchsenring, first historian of the town of San Cristobal de La Habana.
«I keep a beautiful memory from Leal, who wrote a book and I recommend, son of my time.»
You have told me about the attraction to the city of Matanzas, what you love with the Athens of Cuba?
– The first coat introduced in Matanzas in 1828 by King Fernando VII, but the city of Matanzas was founded on October 12, 1693, is the capital of the province of the same name. It reminds me of the legend of Open Yumurí, whose characters are the daughter of a chieftain of the western region and the son of the chief of the Grand Camagüey. I find it curious this legend by the love I feel for Matanzas, my girlfriend is always waiting but not stop sending letters, but receives no answer, but I know it’s there.
«It is my passion so I saw the beaches in Varadero and exclaimed, It’s a dream or is it that I’m in paradise! People from Matanzas, for hospitality and a very different view.
«I remember when the holidays ended and returned crying for leaving behind the earth so many times made me happy, let back in at night the bay. Whenever I go to my second home, Galicia, and visited the city of Vigo I begin to make a comparison between the old and the new continent, only to find a consolation for nostalgia.
«What memories are projected in my mind Sauto Theatre, Bridge Tirry, sitting with my parents in Freedom Park, not forgetting the Velasco hotel with all its splendor and elegance for excellence!»
Do you foresee any historical research make this city?
– It would make a great book like Jose Jacinto Milanes illustrious, Alberto Falcón, Damaso Perez Prado, José Silvestre White and Laffitte, Faílde Miguel Ramón Demetrio Perez, Natalia Calvo Broch, etc.
«I think as a researcher and historian to say that will make a beautiful book of this city have to live in it for many spiritual reasons, must live and live within it.»
Miguel Angel Céspedes Alvelo, is a graduate of Physical Culture in Cuba, Faculty Comandante Manuel Fajardo, in the art of swimming. He hails from the province of Camaguey, created the first Gallego Swim Club Rosalia de Castro, in the Galician societies in Cuba. He was Technical Director of the delegation Swimming Lanzarote, Canary recognized by the Federation of this sport.
Descendant of Galician parents, living in Spain since 2001. Currently Alvelo Céspedes teaches swimming and working on a bus transportation company, while still researching and writing on issues related to migration.
The author of Manuel Fraga un gallego cubano, Fidel Castro un cubano gallego,is as well a Cuban-Galician. In Galicia he has his second home, but breathes through its pores to Cuba, the land of his birth.