In the center of Fraternity Park there is a tree surrounded by a fence. It is a ceiba that was planted there ten years after it germinated. Presidents from all of the Americas each packed a small bit of the most fertile earth found in their respective countries and brought it to Cuba to provide the soil to host this tree.  Since 1928, when it was planted here, it has been called, “The Tree of the American Brotherhood.”

Over the iron gate giving access to the grounds, all the names of the dignitaries who attended the inaugural ceremony are engraved, with the exception of Cuba’s Gerardo Machado, whose name succumbed to the tip of a chisel as a result of the people’s fury after the collapse of his brief dictatorship, the first in the history of our republic.  Nobody celebrated the 80th anniversary of this event.  It was not celebrated by the government because, like other symbols of this pre-revolutionary stage, it is abhorrent, like all the institutions of civil society are abhorrent, and cannot be celebrated.

The unworthy old ceiba grows, regardless of people’s repudiation and indifference.  Inside the fence, topped with the official seals from all the republics of the continent, the municipal employees who clean the park store their work tools.