Alfredo Fernandez Rodriguez

Simon Bolivar, the South American liberator.

The 2nd Unity Summit for Latin American and Caribbean countries took place in Cancun, Mexico, on February 22 and 23.  Once again the handy theme of “Latin American Unity” was the central focus.

Firm in their speeches, our presidents —as always on these occasions— saw the yearned-for “Latin American Unity” as an inevitable fact.

Once again the “visionary politicians of the region” filled their rhetoric with the ever real possibility of a luminous future for the entire region (and laid the blame for all the continent’s problems on the USA).

I, who disbelieve almost everything in this world, conceive of “Latin American Unity” as a permanent fallacy.

The Spaniards were expelled from these lands two hundred years ago.  However, the hatred toward them was transmuted into hatred between neighbors…an animosity almost always more radical and bitter than that held toward the Iberian conquerors.

Since then in Latin America, today I can tell if someone is Uruguayan if they don’t want to be Argentinean.  Likewise, I know they’re Chilean by their ignoring Bolivians, while the Colombians are proud for not being Venezuelan, and any Costa Rican feels embarrassed when they’re confused with a Nicaraguan.

It doesn’t matter that we practically speak the same language, a Cuban will never be able to take a sip of Patagonian Maté without a grimace of disgust.  Nor would a Bolivian understand a Borinquén’s joke, and if they did…who would bet on the Bolivian laughing?

It’s common to hear anyone from the region speaking of their European ancestors with admiration, it doesn’t matter that these forebears left no inheritance in their name, or even that the forefathers didn’t know of their existence.  It seems what’s important for many people, perhaps a great many, is to demonstrate they don’t have any Indian or black blood – only Spanish.

From this humble blog I request, once and for all, that we come to terms with hard reality. Friends…“Latin America Unity” will not happen, two hundred years and the end of Bolivar’s life is enough for me to confirm it.

On his death bed in Santa Marta, Bolivar didn’t die as physically ill as is thought; rather, his illness was of the soul, awoken time and time again from the dream of “Latin America Unity” by endless acts of disloyalty on the part of his friends.


Alfredo Fernandez

Alfredo Fernandez: I didn't really leave Cuba, it's impossible to leave somewhere that you've never been. After gravitating for 37 years on that strange island, I managed to touch firm ground, but only to confirm that I hadn't reached anywhere. Perhaps I will never belong anywhere. Now I'm living in Ecuador, but please, don't believe me when I say where I am, better to find me in "the Cuba of my dreams.

One thought on “Dangerous Friendships

  • Well, there is the fact that, generally, you’re all in more basic stages of capital formation. So there is that. And a common bank for such a grouping that does happen to be in the same region (shipping costs). Plus there are just so many smart and educated Cubans, that Habana really does need to take it’s place as a new Capital of that region.
    The major thing holding back Cuban thinkers’ Revolutionary innovation is the fair bit of repression every one knows is in which stage exits. It’s a shame, because capital cities, during repression become the cages from which talent and intelligence fly.

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