Carlos Alberto Montaner. Source of photo: Liberal International
I am in Miami doing some interviews about Cuba. Last night, my dinner date told me we were going to a birthday party at Montaner's apartment.
She assumed that meant Carlos Alberto Montaner, the Cuban writer and author of several dozen books, including "Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution."
So we headed toward a Miami high-rise along Brickell Avenue. On the way, my date's friend, a Cuban who arrived eight years ago, said she was nervous about meeting someone of Montaner's stature.
"I've got butterflies in my stomach," she said. "People say Montaner's going to be the next president in a reorganized Cuba. That's what I've heard."
We reached the exclusive high-rise and pulled up to the gate. I told the security guard we were going to Montaner's apartment.
The guard asked for our names and gave us a valet parking ticket.
We left the car and proceeded to the 24th door.
I knocked on the door and a man answered.
I had never met Montaner, but I could tell right away it was the author. I shook his hand and introduced myself, my date and her friend.
I glanced into the apartment and could see there was some kind of gathering going on.
Montaner smiled warmly, but hesitated to let us in.
"And who invited you?" he asked politely.
"Nelson Rubio," who hosts a Miami radio show, we told him.
No, there must be some mistake, he said.
That's odd, we thought, so we called Nelson's cell phone to find out what was going on.
We quickly found out the problem: We had the wrong Montaner! Our party was on the 18th floor.
Yikes. I gave Montaner my business card anyway and shook his hand again. Then we headed to the 18th floor, where a party for Nelson's 44th birthday was underway.
This time, we got the right apartment.