Great men have always seemed eternal to us, and in a certain way, they are. And even more so when it comes to someone close, who cared about his homeland, he lived in line with that and - in addition - was a good person, one of those more given to books than to pomp and applause.
This is how we remember Víctor Marrero, at least the grateful ones. That is why we are happy with the "finding" of the document that certifies his appointment as Historian of the City, a reminder of merit not always fairly valued, as if Martí's phrase were not axiom: "The best way to say is to do."
Writer Argel Fernández Granado
ON THE TRACK
Writer Argel Fernández Granado, known for his high poetry and gentlemanly image, was chatting informally with José Ángel Naranjo, the miniaturist painter when news suddenly emerged: "I have in my hands the document that says that Víctor was the Historian of Las Tunas City."
The plastic artist, a member of the staff of the City Historian's Office, learned about the "paper treasure" through Ana María, his daughter and co-worker. He was a friend of Marrero, just like Argel, of those who talk at home, work, or another place any day.
"Imagine my joy. I quickly mobilized to try to make it visible. I thought: This is the way to prove what not even Victor himself was interested in doing, to know why..., perhaps out of modesty. But he was named Historian of the City by the Municipal Assembly of the People’s Power, and today, that document is treasured by the Office of the City Historian," comments the poet. He shows me the copy that he made, which it clearly reads that Martha Rodríguez Martínez, who served as Secretary of the governing body from 1997 to 2014, signed the certificate.
Martha Rodríguez, former Secretary of the
Municipal Assembly of the People's Power.
It states that "in the 2nd Ordinary Session of the 10th Mandate Period, held on October 8, 2000 (...), Agreement No. 13 was adopted", in which, "in compliance with the powers conferred upon "The Municipal Assembly of People's Power agrees to: Approve for the position of City Historian our colleague Víctor Manuel Marrero Zaldívar, who has been performing these functions since 1985."
Precisely, Martha, currently, president of the Provincial Electoral Council, told 26 seeking new insights into the process that led to appointing Víctor. "I remember how, within the agenda of that session of the Assembly, the proposal of Víctor Marrero as Historian of the City was brought up and the delegates unanimously approved it. This is stated in an agreement. The role he had played in the collection and dissemination of the history of our city, his contribution to the schools, and other aspects of his work were also highlighted there," pointed out the official.
Likewise, she remembers the solemn sessions held by the Municipal Assembly, in which he wisely intervened, providing interesting data about Las Tunas. For this reason, she reaffirms the importance of defending his legacy "because whoever defends history, defends the country."
Ana María Naranjo, a specialist from the City Historian's Office and the person responsible for the "finding", adds other lights to the matter: "At the request of his family and Culture workers, I searched among his belongings for those of meritorious value to treasure in our Office... ¡And what a surprise to find the document whose existence Victor himself had confessed to me!, followed by the sad phrase: 'Among so many documents, I can't find it’.”
Ana María Naranjo, a specialist from the
City Historian's Office.
The young woman says that she met Víctor in 2005 when she started working as a specialist, and he helped her a lot with her improvement. "He lent me books, took me to activities in the Provincial Committee of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC) and the provincial branch of the Union of Historians (UNHIC)," she says. And then she announces that they named the UNHIC base section in the Historian's Office after him.
"And we will have a day that honors him in November, where - among other activities - we Will place an offering in the pantheon where he rests. This is what we did last year and now, even my father is working on a portrait of him, which we want to give to the family on the upcoming anniversary of his death, which occurred on November 11, 2021," she adds.
For his part, Ricardo Ávalo Avilés, acting president of the Las Tunas branch of UNHIC, and officially, its vice president says: "Due to his research and his perseverance in historical research, he came to acquire the first - since the rather popular point of view - the title of Historian of the City of Las Tunas. However, for several years the documentation that supported this condition was not made visible. Fortunately, it was found and although he could not receive remuneration for it during his lifetime (he earned a lower salary as a cultural promoter of the Municipal Directorate of Culture), this document does justice to his appointment, to his work.”
Ávalo Avilés recognizes how Víctor Marrero devoted heart and mind to delving into the history of the City, always from dedication and humility. Not in vain he was awarded the Provincial History Award in 2020." He also remembers that decade of the 80s when "Víctor served as a museologist for the Heritage section and dedicated himself to researching on Chaparra (currently, Jesús Menéndez municipality), Manatí, “Amancio,” “Colombia,” Jobabo... With him, I had a beautiful professional, and friendly relationship. We even participated together in archaeological excursions to “Amancio” and Puerto Padre. This is how we must remember him, as a constant researcher.”
Ricardo Ávalo Avilés, acting president of the Las Tunas branch of
No person is perfect, but some cultivate more lights than shadows along the way, and – even more meritorious – they do so for the common good. One of them was our Historian, the one who - as Argel said - "not only worried about his improvement but also about the improvement of others. He was a pillar of our culture, and continues to be, because we still have his writings, even some still unpublished, either in the possession of the Office of the City Historian, or his widow, who is his executor.”
"During his career, he made an effort to investigate in depth the history of our province, the life of Major General Vicente García and other patriots, the presence of Ismaelillo in the taking of Las Tunas in 1897, clarifications regarding dates and places, among other contributions. I traveled with him to Venezuela, and he asked to be assigned to Río Chico to go and search in situ everything related to the time when Vicente García lived there and about his death. Then he would write very seriously about it. His work is unavoidable. His memory deserves all the respect of the people of Las Tunas."
Certificate of appointment of Víctor Marrero as Historian of Las Tunas.