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The other fight

Had he proposed it, Lázaro Gámez Torres could have been a circus artist, since he was born into a renowned family that encouraged him, and even did the odd pirouette. According to his account, his grandfather, the Mexican Emilio Torres, arrived in Cuba in 1909 and promoted an artistic project in that turn that was recognized in the country.

But the life of Lazaro had another way. He took advantage of the study opportunities given by the Revolution and graduated as an engineer in transport operations in the former Soviet Union. It was in the 90s of the last century, that his life took a turn; Because of the difficult situation the country was experiencing in the so-called “special period”, he opted for a taxi driver’s place, in order to achieve economic improvement.

Since then, he has not strayed from that path. Now, as a tenant in Agency No. 10, where he drives a minibus (061), the days of the fight against the pandemic are fresh, which became complex and we had to be on the red line. “On March 13, in the afternoon, we were summoned to a meeting and we were informed that, given the situation, we should have a group of minibuses ready to provide services at the SIUM, in Havana.

“We started transporting people on the 18th. I confess that the first time I was afraid, but I overcame it. The important thing was to take protective measures, and from the beginning they gave us all the means and instructions to follow so as not to be infected. We avoided talking and it was a requirement to carry only two or three people in the car ”.

Not infrequently he was impressed and with others he had to act as psychologists. “I transported passengers who came from abroad, some came feeling bad, crying … we told them to have confidence, that everything would be fine.”

He proudly recognizes the work done by the workers of his Agency, No. 10, in Havana, and in general by all the members of Taxis-Cuba, delivered with altruism and dedication to that task. “They have been intense days; Sometimes we would arrive very early at the airport and leave at night, nobody raised any objection. At home, the family cared and we also worried about them, we took extreme measures not to make them sick ”.

Talkative, optimistic, he affirms that they are still willing to fulfill the task entrusted to them. “We have been on many other missions,” he alleges and adds that the professionalism of the Taxi-Cuba drivers is recognized by foreign and courtyard tourists.

Like many Cubans of his time, Lázaro carried out an internationalist mission in Angola and among the stories that marked him was the combat of Cuito-Cuanavale. Today he is considered one more fighter in the fight against COVID-19.

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