The world goes on after Fidel Castro’s death, his ashes preserved for future generations as if they were relics or mummies of the Pharaohs. Yet, it seems that a spiritual universe spread over the Cuban territory during the funeral services, offering all kinds of signs.
During these days of grief and mourning I interviewed several spiritualists from Jaimanitas, west of Havana, to learn about the experiences they had in relation to Fidel’s death and to the psychic atmosphere that might have accompanied it. To break down the wall of silence between us, I told them about a couple of paranormal events that occurred to me and my friend, journalist Tania Diaz Castro, at our homes at exactly 10.30 at night on Friday, November 25 (the time when the Commander in Chief died).
At that hour, Tania heard the gate of her yard suddenly open on its own. Despite her age, she jumped up and went to the garden, torch in her hand, to see what happened. In my case, the apparition caused damage: the light switch suddenly turned on, the bulb burnt out and everything went dark. When I told the spiritualists of these signs, they immediately set off to talk about what happened to them at that precise moment.
Carmen, a famous spiritualist in the area nicknamed “the Tarot Queen” by her neighbours, told me that Fidel lived a life free of worries about death; when he was a child, a black man from Biran, Haiti, gave him a small book in which the exact hour, day, month and year of his death was inscribed. Thus, November 2016 must have been the worst month of his life. “The water in the glasses on my altar showed me the course of the last week, the last day and the last hour of his life. It might seem an advantage, but I think that the worst agony a human being might go through is to learn the exact date of one’s journey to the other world.”
I asked Carmen if she shared the opinion of other spiritualists who claim that Fidel has become a spirit. She affirmed: “Don’t you know the old saying that a bad thing never dies? Fidel is not only in Punto Cero, he is also in Bauta, in Cojimar, in Santiago de Cuba, he is simply everywhere… He’s here and now, listening… Don’t you feel it? Look at the water in the glasses, look how it vibrates.”
The Zen philosophy says that when a person dies, that what is left of them depends on the merits earned in life. Thus, if the deceased had many merits, it will take much longer for them to disintegrate than for a common mortal. For example, the spirit of Buddha still lives on in the ethereal world, such as that of Confucius and others.
Scientists from the USA and the USSR came to a similar conclusion from the studies of the other world conducted in the 1980s. In those years, the Sputnik magazine (which was, by the way, widely read by the Cubans) published several articles on Spiritism with photographs of the laboratory where the studies were carried out, showing haggard faces of scientists and a Russian woman with cat’s eyes and an enigmatic appearance who was the subject of scientific investigation and was asked to describe and explain the paranormal world.
Olga, senior member of the group of spiritualists of Jaimanitas, has a whitewashed room with an altar where there are glasses and cups filled with water, a cross and a necklace, a giant-sized photo of the Commander in Chief hanging above. Many people come to seek her advice, even from the government.
“One of Fidel’s personal photographers is my godson. I was very fond of Fidel and I still love him because he is not dead. His spirit lives on, he’s still there, in Punto Cero. Can’t you feel him? He’s only a few blocks from here… I used to perceive him all the time when he was alive, but now I can feel him even stronger…
Zoila, popularly nicknamed “the sorcerer”, is another renowned spiritualist. She claims that she has cured tumours and allergies just with her hands and that she can help to calm an upset stomach within a few minutes. She told me that on the day when Fidel died, there was a reflection of his face in agony in all the glasses on her altar. At night, the sky was black and red with purple tones, all people of Jaimanitas could see it. Jose, local painter, says that it was the same colour as that in one of Michelangelo’s works on the arrival of the death…