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Alberto Yarini: Cuban, white and Abakuá pimp

Yarini Abakuá

San Isidro remembers the walk of this singular Cuban during the first decade of the Republic.

His elegance, his peculiar way of speaking in a low voice, but thinking aloud, his talent for business and the fidelity of his convictions made him immortalize the phrase that was created for him, which he quoted: Yarini is a man of everything.

Famous for his love affairs, his charitable works and his Abakuás beliefs, a religious identity that he defended until his death, led him to become one of the most controversial figures in the history of Cuban neighborhoods.

Yarini: the king of San Isidro

He was born in a golden cradle, opening his eyes to the world on February 5, 1882. He was baptized in the Church of Monserrat under the name of Alberto Manuel Francisco Yarini Ponce de León.

His lineage came from owners of sugar-producing estates based in Matanzas, with Italian and Spanish paternal roots on the mother's side.

He received an education in the United States of America, a fact that favored his linguistic fluency in English and Spanish.

Gifts that allowed him to stand out in oratory and politics, the latter becoming one of his greatest aspirations, a possibility that was supported by his father being Don Cirilo a founding member of the Society of Dentistry and full professor of the School of Dental Surgery from the University of Havana and his mother, Doña Juana Emilia, a virtuous pianist who held concerts for Napoleon III at Las Tuileries.

The red light district, nourishing artery for the evils of the Republic

A man of short stature, with a handsome face and great bearing, history remembers him as the most famous pimp in Cuba.

He was dedicated to importing French prostitutes who operated in San Isidro, a place known as the red light district, thus helping to nurture the evils of the Republic: vice, gambling and prostitution.

Defender of the despised social class in republican Cuba, supporter of racial equality and generous distributor of his wealth among the habitabefore San Isidro.

He was in charge of several incomes from old prostitutes already retired from the trade who in gratitude gave him Creole sweets.

Calle Paula 96, Scenario of part of his income and loves

Alberto knew how to deal between the two worlds in which he developed: that of a wealthy society and his adventures in the poor neighborhood.One of his clubs was established in his house on Calle Paula # 96, in which approximately 7 women worked.

History with fatal outcome

ON November 21, 1910, he was assassinated at the hands of his French rival Louis Letot and his entourage, known as the apches, not followed by receiving the impact of the bullets that surprised him because he actually died in the Emergency hospital, a disturbance that was caused by the robbery of Yarini from little Berthe La Fontaine, the most beautiful and valuable woman in the forbidden quarter, which belonged to the French court.

Letot also received the funeral parlor this day when he was executed in the middle of the street by the trigger of Pepe Bastarrechea who was considered the best friend of the Capo de San Isidro.

Ten thousand people attended the funeral of the King of the red light district, from his burial his followers known as the Guayabitos began a war against his murderers, a fact that led to the closure of the neighborhood three years later.

Cuban culture, the veneration of his figure and the popular heritage

The cinematographic lens was based on the work Requiem by Yarini by the Cuban composer Carlos Felipe Hernández to give life to the film Los Dioses Rotos, a tape that narrated part of the biography of the famous pimp.

According to accounts, he is venerated in the Colón Necropolis by people who come to him to make promises and thank him for miracles by bringing him flowers. Due to his virile stock, scholars classify him as the son of Shango Orisha of the Yoruba Pantheon king of music, drum and women.

Alberto Yarini, white man and Abakuá

Until 1959, history records that the members of most of the Abakuás plantations in Cuba were made up of black and mestizo men.

Although sporadically they accepted white people, it was not until the beginning of the XNUMXth century that the first plant with white men was founded, with the passage of time this religion has become an ethnic range allowing the initiation of numerous followers.

Yarini was a respected Abakuá not only for having the bearing and wood of a leader but because his charitable works and his personality led him to earn respect in the society of San Isidro, Compostela and Concordia.

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