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Yirmara and journalism at the foot of danger

yirmara-01-580x387Yirmara is not going to like this chronicle. What’s more, she warned me not to write it. Maybe she thinks she doesn’t deserve it. Perhaps it will do everything possible so that some Google mechanism hides it in the cloud and nobody ever finds it in the infinity of networks. She won’t want anyone to read it. And I really do apologize. I will not be a flatterer, because I hate it, and so does she, and a flattering chronicle there is no God who reads it to her.

Yirmara is not going to like this chronicle, but I have to write it. I have forced myself to do it. Naive me, who believes that a text can be at the height of a journalist like her.

If someone talks about Yirmara Torres, immediately there will be someone who says “teacher”, “news chief”, “president of the Union of Cuban Journalists in Matanzas”, “reporter to all”. To this we must add that Yirmara is a journalist at the foot of danger, and she showed it to us —in case anyone doubted it— in the coverage of the worst fire in the history of Cuba, which occurred at the Matanzas supertanker base.

She served as president of the provincial Upec, worrying about the journalists who suffered burns when she blew up the first tank and the fire wanted to devour the first thing in front of it. She visited them, called them. She had coffee with them.

And, because humility also lies in not wanting perks when she holds a position, she Yirmara put the transportation of the Upec de Matanzas based on the coverage of the fire. I will always repeat, wherever I stop, that Cubadebate owes the coverage we did to Yirmara Torres.

I don’t know how she manages it, but in addition to providing us with her house for a few hours of sleep for almost a week, and in addition to taking care of her work as president of Upec, Yirmara did not fail to report the incident even one single day

On Monday, August 8, at three in the morning, one of the explosions caught us at her command post, very close to the area of ​​the fire. It was the first time I felt fear, the heat hit you in the face and my hands were shaking. Yirmara noticed. She was serene. There is nothing more rewarding than in moments like that, someone telling you that everything is going to be alright. That was Yirmara.

Yirmara was also the one who came with teary eyes to give me the best news she received that day. In a voice message from her, a young firefighter told her: “Honey, I’m the boy you interviewed, I’m alive.” If there is one thing a journalist cannot lack, it is sensitivity, and Yirmara has more than enough, just as she had the courage to approach danger and keep an entire country informed.

There is one thing we all agree on. Yirmara doesn’t like to talk about herself, she prefers —and it’s nice that she does— to highlight the work of others. For this reason, I am sure, Yirmara will not like this chronicle.

(By: Andy Jorge Blanco/ Cubadebate)

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