Omar Quintero Montes de Oca, known in Cuba and the world as the promise payer, is getting closer every day to his destiny at El Cobre Sanctuary, in Santiago de Cuba, and has invited the group Buena Fe to accompany him.
According to what the Guantanamo group announced on its Facebook page, Omar contacted them and asked them to help him fulfill his promise by singing the song “Valientes”, originally dedicated to the Cuban doctors who fought Ebola in Africa.
“I alerted him that our presence there could attract the attention of interests unrelated to their humanitarian and beautiful sacrifice, as they have been in charge of demonizing us day after day in digital media,” the musicians indicated.
But, according to the publication, Omar’s answer was categorical: “For me it will be an honor to have you with me at that moment”.
It is understandable that Omar, who has been so grateful to the doctors for the treatment and care given to his son Lázaro, wants to be accompanied by this Buena Fe song that has become a tribute to all health care workers in Cuba and around the world, especially during the hard days of the pandemic.
However, as they have said in their Facebook profile, this request from Omar will surely cause discomfort in those who oppose Buena Fe.
But Omar is not afraid nor does he owe explanations to anyone. Nor will it be the first time that this man, who, moved by his faith, travels on foot from Havana to Santiago de Cuba, will be the target of criticism and even offenses.
The youtuber Alexander Otaola has already called him “the shit eater of the car”, visibly upset because Omar supports the Cuban government and does not hide to say so.
However, despite receiving other hateful comments, on his way through several provinces Omar has been able to experience the affection he receives from the people who crowd to see him pass by, help him and encourage him.
“It’s not a question of ideology, but of faith,” said one user who lives in Italy. “What does it matter what ideology you defend, when your intention is to save your son’s life? I don’t like Buena Fe, but if I were in Cuba I would accompany them in their entrance to El Cobre. The health of a son is above any difference”.
On Buena Fe’s fanpage, users have thanked the group’s gesture and assure that the support of the people of Santiago will be greater for Omar’s entrance.
“It baffles me to know that there are people who must have heart, family and loved ones and yet they are so cruel and malicious. It is sad to know that they are on the lookout to make a storm out of anything, one of those that sweep away in their path”.
“We are before a father, who in his desperation for the illness of his son (which as we all know, cancer is equal to death and kills you physically and emotionally), was left with no options, and only gave him to ask for his welfare, promising in return a sacrifice. Perhaps at the time of the events, he did not even realize how far he was from the Shrine he was promising to walk to, but those of us who are parents know that for a child we will do anything, from crossing the country on foot to facing the devil himself if necessary”, said a forumer.
“Then I do not understand why speak ill of this man, of this father, who already has enough with his pain, with his ailments, because we must not forget that while his body hurts from so much walking, his weight loss is noticeable, his physical fatigue is increasing, no one, but absolutely no one, can know the dimension of the wound he carries in his heart, that which cries and bleeds without anyone seeing it”.
“Leave the man alone, he just wants to fulfill his promise, he only wants to thank the Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre that his son is still alive, he does not want to be the center of attention of anyone, much less be the epicenter of negative comments,” he concluded.
Although many responded with hate messages to the offenses of the youtuber Otaola, there are also many Cubans living in the United States who have supported Omar in his journey.
Recently, Cuban comedian and singer Eric Concepción gave Omar’s son, Lázaro, a donation of money from several Cuban-Americans, including political analyst Sasha Tirador.
Anonymously, other Cubans living in North America and Europe have also supported the trip of this Havana native old man with donations.
However, the greatest displays of solidarity and affection have taken place in several towns in the country, where people have not only accompanied Omar during a stretch of his walk, but have also given him money, clothes, shelter and food, or simply holy cards of the Virgin of Charity and photos and belongings of their sick relatives for Omar to deliver to the Santuario del Cobre (Copper Shrine).
In Camagüey, for example, several people helped Omar, who after a walk of almost 40 kilometers in one day, stopped because of the ailments caused by his herniated disc, the hypertension he suffers from and his swollen feet.
In the videos shared, it could be seen that several traumatologists attended to this man and even a member of the Red Cross came to give him a foot massage. From that moment on, volunteers from that organization have been accompanying them on their journey and sleeping next to him in tents.
Meanwhile, in Havana, his son Lazaro has received help and visits from Cubans who know his address in Marianao, and come to profess their affection and admiration for his father, for this sacrifice he is making for his son.
The official media and other independent media have had to cover the tour.