So this was paradise.
Over the barbed wire fence I noticed some comrades leaving Santa Fe Beach. Riding three to a rusty bicycle, swerving until they caught enough speed to balance their weight, while I sat sipping coconut drinks on a plush longue chair.
Although we had special permission due to the work my stepfather, Antonio, had been doing for some government types, I was nervous about going to the Marina. Marina Hemingway in Santa Fe, just ten miles or so from my neighborhood of El Vedado, was a forbidden part of the island. Tourists only, rarely any exceptions.
On humid summer days, often after we were back from the work camp, my cousin and I would visit the public beach of Santa Fe. We often stared at the Marina after a swim or after running around when all that was left to do was sit and ponder.
We would close our eyes and tantalise our empty stomachs with the smells of the Marina’s seasoned grills sizzling under the same scorching sun th…