The Cuban Renegade - 11 - Sun on the Rocks


When precious metals agent Cubandor and teleoperator Clarity Nice reach the northern island of Cayo Coco in Cuba, a group of revolutionary Cuban security guards working for colonel Swarez da Silva, men known as Marrulleros, arrest them as counter-revolutionary elements, and send them to a high profile prison, in the name of a new revolution which the colonel hopes, will lead him to power in Cuba.

The ex-assistant of Cubandor, Mista Jack, a money changing dwarf from the British Virgin Islands who now works for the Cuban bureaucracy, informs Cubandor that all of his assets in Cuba, including his cigar plantation and precious metals vault, Fort Ebena, have been frozen. Cubandor is labeled a renegade, a person who has betrayed the principles of the original revolution carried out by Castro, and Swarez sends him and Clarity to a prison known as La Vista, with orders to keep both of them there, until Cubandor signs the sale of his plantation and Fort Ebena to the Cuban government, and until he reveals to Swarez the location of a mysterious minted gold bar known as Lady Fortuna.

With the help of a lawyer, Clemente, and La Vista's warden Naomi, Clarity manages to leave La Vista and gives an order to free the inmates and Cubandor from the Cuban prison.




The parking lot of the Russian embassy was filled with over one hundred cars. At the end of the line, all security cars, mostly small twenty or thirty year old Ladas made in Russia awaited. One of the guards dressed in black, spoke to her.

"We have to wait for all these cars to leave, then you´re going back to La Vista."

Clarity noticed a valet in charge of valet parking. While the guards were talking among themselves, she moved towards the car of a Cuban professor, a 1950´s Buick, being brought by the valet. She thanked the employee of the Russian embassy with a kiss on the cheek and got into the driver´s seat. She lowered the window and picked up the roll of keys for all the remaining cars, from the valet, throwing them in the passenger seat. She checked the glove compartment of the car, finding identification papers of the professor, an authority on treadmills who had been personally invited to the party by Mista Jack. A tag on the car windshield acknowledged his membership of the People´s Council and his access to the Council of Ministers.

She followed the car of Mista Jack outside Havana, through the countryside of Cuba, until they reached Ciudad El Cachar, a military compound where most of Swarez´ Marrulleros had been stationed, awaiting orders from Swarez himself. Clarity stopped the car on the side of the road, looking on as Mista Jack went through the gate of the compound. She took a deep breath and drove towards the gate, lowering the window, greeted by Marrullero Molina Villaverde.

"Patria y ejercicio," she said, showing her Marrullero shirt, "Profesora Marrillo Parela, I´m the new treadmill instructor of colonel Swarez."

Clarity pointed to the car tag on the windshield and the guard looked closely at it, to ensure it was valid. The guard browsed inside the car a few seconds and lifted the gate. She drove slowly inside the compound and parked the car behind one of the barracks, walking around the compound discretely, until she found the barrack of Mista Jack. She stepped towards one of the windows, which was open, and peered inside, seeing the aide of Swarez less than a foot from the window, his back turned on her, looking at several numbers on his cell phone. She saw Mista Jack dial a number listed as Minint, Ministry of Interior.

"Yes, the treadmills are here in Cuba, Swarez wants to distribute them to various generals and use them as store of value to back the new currency that will be printed with the new machine. No, I didn´t import the new machine in barrack three, it came with the treadmills. All the paperwork at the office of exporting items explains this, the order to import illegally came from Swarez, he´s a Cuban renegade. Swarez will be here briefly, send troops to Ciudad El Cachar, you´ll pick up all the documents of Swarez insurgency here, and you can send him to La Vista along with Cubandor and the inmates. Yes, tell the members of the council of state that I will transfer the gold and palladium out of Fort Ebena in their name through BICCC, the Banco Inter Central del Caribe y Cuba. Yes, all of this is going to BVI, individual accounts of BICCC held at the British Virgin Islands on behalf of the officials."

Clarity turned around and saw one of the barracks labeled three, unguarded. She walked towards the barrack and opened the door to a dark room. She turned on the lights and entered a small warehouse with several large, bulky items covered in canvass.She approached the nearest shipment, and noticed a document attached to the canvass.

She looked at the document acknowledging the import by the Cuban military forces of a shipment sent by the Central Bank of Kenya from the Ruaraka banknote printing press facility, which produced one hundred and fifty of the world´s leading currencies. The shipment, officially stamped as a stationary treadmill, was over twenty feet long, a few feet wide and about four feet high. It was covered by a sturdy khaki green canvass. She lifted the canvass and discovered a banknote printing press with a computerized screen interface that could be used to sort notes of any orientation, denomination or issue, at speeds up to one hundred twenty thousand notes an hour, or two thousand notes a minute. She heard the churping noise of a bird near a window. She turned around and saw Mista Jack standing there, sneaking towards her. Clarity kept her composure.

"What are you going to do with this printing press that can sort notes?" asked Clarity.

"I´m going to print bills, but of course," said Mista Jack, "and count them, then exchange those bills for all the gold, platinum and palladium of Fort Ebena. All of that is going to leave Cuba very soon, Cubandor will be stripped of his fortune, accumulated over hundreds of years by his family."

"Printing money is illegal in Cuba, I´m pretty sure of that." said Clarity, "if you´re not the Central Bank of Cuba."

"I won´t print them here, we´re bringing all of this to Monteviena and accuse Cubandor of printing illegal money."

The door of the barrack opened, and Colonel Swarez walked quickly towards the shipment.

"What is this?" he asked, "why is she here?"

"This is our passport to the riches of Fort Ebena, after Minint sees this printing press in Monteviena, Cubandor will not be able to say he wants the best for Cuba, or for the currency of Cuba. Miss Clarity Nice is not a U.S. renegade like she says she is, she will not annoy us for long, she knows La Vista is where she belongs. I believe she has something for me in fact."

Mista Jack frisked Clarity and found the newspaper wrap from his briefcase. He unwrapped the item and showed the minted bar to Swarez.

"Lady Fortuna, finally," said Swarez.

As the head of the Marrulleros held the gold minted bar, all thoughts of prudence left his mind. Swarez pocketed the gold bar and examined another bulky canvass beside the large printing press. It was a collection of over fifty treadmills and elliptical machines.

"What is this doing here? All of this should be at Lujo Siete."

"Pre-testing," said Mista Jack, "had to include them with the other shipment to get through customs bureaucracy."

"I don´t like my belongings near something illegal, don´t want to end up at La Vista accused of being a renegade by the National Council for the Defense of the island of Cuba."

A Marrullero came in announcing that Cubandor and the inmates of La Vista had reached the Monteviena plantation, which had closed its doors. Swarez tilted his neck, left and right, a sign that he was starting to feel uneasy, mostly about surveillance personnel of Castro.

"What about the scouts of Minrex and Minint, Interior and Foreign Ministries? They want to come here to get an answer as to what my Marrulleros were doing in the National Assembly replacing regular troops from the Cuban Army."

"I spoke with the vicepresident of the council of state, the secretary of the council of state and a few members, they are ready to exercise legislative initiative, and decree a general mobilization to defend the country against the aggression of Cubandor and the inmates of La Vista. Cubandor allies at the National Assembly will have to switch sides in favor of our revolution to nationalize all privately held cigar farms in Cuba. Ciudad el Cachar is safe from an official inspection by Special Troops."

"And Monteviena will be mine, finally a place to grow my own cigars," said Swarez.

Mista Jack nodded and pointed to the large printing press, explaining to Swarez that by printing banknote bills depicting the Monteviena cigar, Cubandor would be portrayed as a Cuban renegade who wanted to bypass Cuban Law issuing his own money, betraying the principles of the revolution. Swarez gave the order to a group of Marrulleros to lift the printing press into a truck. All the troups were leaving Ciudad el Cachar for the Monteviena plantation of Cubandor. Mista Jack glanced at Clarity.

"What do we do with her?" he asked, "we should shred her inside the shredder of the banknote printing press." Swarez placed the canvass of the banknote press back in place, shaking some dust off it.

"We´ll use her as a Trojan horse to get inside the Monteviena plantation, it will mean less effort for our Marrulleros."






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