The cities have popular characters that make them much richer in their essence, much more human and diverse. These men and women mark the days from a different life, full of sparkling events. They are often seen as being outside the norm and are even rejected. remedies It still recounts the exploits of Lino Lobatón, the last of the magical inhabitants par excellence, who always lived halfway between genius and madness, between ruin and pomp, between fame and popular ridicule. His story was always tremendous, as it is said that he came into the world in the midst of an earthquake that cracked the walls of many of the most solid homes. This, in later words of the character himself, was a prelude to a life full of ruptures, controversial events and the search for transcendence.

Lino was a worker in the field of culture for a time, since he could be seen in activities as a kind of disseminator par excellence, but then his eccentricity was on the rise: first came a construction helmet, then a cape like a storybook character of fairies and finally a wheelbarrow in which he was collecting whatever object was on the road. With all that he created what is known as The jungle, a museum that was made of cardboard and that encompassed his entire house. Each of the figures was a statue or installation made from the waste of the city. In the middle of it all was what he called his throne, where he sat watching the stars and listening to the radio. On some nearby murals, Lino had drawn some galaxies with chalk. A poster about the visit of Pope John Paul II could be seen the same as an advertisement for the electric company, a part of the floats of the parrandas than an official document. Without nuances and in a very his own way, the artist recreated his own personal mythology made with pieces of his Afro-Cuban faith and with ideas of the Cuba of the time.

Later came fame, tourists from around the world came to The Linen Jungle and he gave them a tour where he explained each of the meanings. Remedios came to grant him the title of Illustrious Son and even composed a musical piece for him in the Concert Band. Why? Well, the man gave himself to love, he always had a smile and was affable, his first impulse was to help others, to be useful. Society did not see him as a phenomenon or as someone out of the norm, but he had assumed it. Several local poets dedicated their verses to him, in a beautiful gesture of justice. Although the image of a tall individual, with a helmet and a cape through the streets can be shocking, everyone who stopped to meet him confirmed his kindness, his character as an innocent child. And it is that in Remedios there are plenty of excellent people, those who assume others, whether or not they are from the city, like his family. In the old town there was a place for everyone who came at any time, as well as a smile and a good treatment. That’s why Lino was an Illustrious Son, because he had all those virtues.

The popular character functioned as a symbol that Remedios was alive and maintained her essence. In every solemn act, there was Lino, with his charm and manners, with a soft voice and a gentleman as well. In the last years of his life he had incorporated the Cuban flag into his attire, in fact, he carried it the same in a paper format as in cloth. Sometimes the banners he carried were not well cared for, but instead had tears, perhaps as a sign that the reality in which man lived was not perfect either, but contained problems, disputes, events of various kinds, confrontations and pain. In fact, Lino appeared several times in the press and a program was made for him on national television, as an example of those people who are capable of building a secluded world without giving up human warmth. In Remedios he was loved, he was given his place and everyone respected that someone like that existed, giving the local culture that color and that nature.

Physically aged, the man maintained his youthful kindness, laughed with everyone, invited anyone who visited Remedios to his Jungle, gave them a kind of lecture on the spirituality of Remedios. Lino firmly believed in his mission in this world, defended it and assumed it, without having anything else to do. He did not have a distraction or a job other than that of popular character. To his credit were the years as a priesthood consecrated to the city, to cultural activism, to eccentricity seen as a healthy exercise and full of creation. It is not known if, as some say, he suffered from some psychological ailment, the truth is that this only made him more sane, more lucid and hard-working, more contributing and authentic. Thus, Lino is part of the tradition of the crazy wise men, which comes from the sap of Don Quixote de la Mancha.

In the museum grounds or in the plaza, Lino was a gentleman, an ambassador of luxury, a permanent representative of the best and most original. Those who talked with him, who went to his Jungle, will know how much that place is missed, that way of summarizing the culture. In fact, one of the great losses of recent years was not having preserved La Jungla beyond Lino’s death. Perhaps with a more anthropological vision and in line with the academy, but saving the legacy of one of the people that he knew how to transcend from the particular, the typical, the personal; it is good to restore such an atypical museum. But while this need arrives, we must know that there was a person named Lino Lobatón, whose legacy and work went beyond himself and who distinguished the town from the rest of the surrounding towns.

With his essence placed in the facets of genius, artist, museologist, street actor, popular narrator; this man was a time in the most recent history of the Eighth Village of Cuba. The last photographs show the fighter who went with his wheelbarrow and renewed the elements of the Jungle with other pieces, giving the environment of his peculiar museum that enthusiasm. Lino chose a life marked by the original, by lucid madness, by life after all.

When he no longer appeared in the streets with his helmet and cape, when there were no more smiles; All that remained was the memory and passing in front of the mansion where he lived and imagining how, in earlier times, innocence and enthusiasm flourished there.

Lino Lobatón preferred this eloquent silence that transcends time and leaves us longing for those years, when everything was simpler and more magical.