Teresita Rivera, standing in front of the Cuban courthouse in Havana, Venezuela. (Anna Merlan/VII Net)

While everyone around them is resigned to all-out war, Teresita Rivera is acting like it isn’t going to happen. The 59-year-old quietly sits beside her sick husband in an upholstered armchair, smoking a cigarette in silence, though she bears a fearsome look in her eyes. Two days earlier, her husband had told her he would have “an old man’s illness” next time.

This is how he should have died, Mrs. Rivera, who was raised by her brother and two sisters, says. And yet Mrs. Rivera is still afraid. She remembers the night of the attack on Havana on September 11, 1949, the terrorist bombing of a Cuban bus. Her parents were in the seat opposite her father’s when the bomb exploded. “My parents did not die. They just went to sleep.” But the son who killed them will one day “have his moment of glory,” she says, and she is too afraid to let him get very far.