Veronica’s Smile

Armando Chaguaceda

Veronica Moser-Sullivan

HAVANA TIMES — Veronica won’t be able to smile, eat ice cream or go to the movies with her parents and friends. A murderous bullet snatched away her future this past Friday when a 24-year-old — armed with two rifles and a couple of pistols — committed wholesale slaughter in Greater Denver (Colorado).

James Holmes opened fire in a theater that was premiering the last film in the Batman series: The Dark Knight Rises. He indiscriminately killed 12 people and injured 58 other spectators.

The incident adds to the long (and apparently unstoppable) list of tragic events that impact US society from time to time. The Waco killings (1993), Columbine (1999) and now the shootings in Aurora are all aspects of the same problem.

These are macabre expressions of a society where the cult of violence — both institutional and individual — is tinged with religious and conservative colors while blending in with a sacrosanct respect for “freedom.”

This is a country where the powerful lobbyists of the National Rifle Association veto any attempt to regulate the firearms market, and where with just as much passion the Tea Party for months attacked the moderate health care reform program proposed by President Obama.

This is the domestic thrashing of an imperial logic whose ultra-capitalist credentials are well known by those of us in Latin America and the Caribbean.

I am aware of this logic from living in Mexico, where I’ve become familiar with (and suffer) the everyday the effects of the uncontrolled trafficking of arms coming from the north. These fuel the wave of violence that convulses our neighborhoods.

This was also shown to me a few weeks ago through the tragic death of the son of some friends; nothing seems more absurd than the death of a child.

Then too, I’m sure that I oppose such logic because I grew up on an island where — though tension and poverty are growing — gun violence is not a part of daily life.  People there are opposed to such activities thanks to education and the strict regulation of gun ownership.

What makes me I shudder today, every time I turn on the news, is seeing the smile of Veronica Moser-Sullivan and knowing how her life was cut short. I’m equally shaken from being convinced that such tragedies will be repeated, with the pain lingering well beyond the momentary indignation of world public sentiment.

After all, in a vibrant society like the US, they have succeeded in planting the snake eggs of fanaticism, extreme individualism and the cult of violence.

These elements threaten the vital legacy (the liberal and progressive one) of that nation’s founders and its citizens, because what’s clear is their conservative utopia – one based on the defense of a market without a republic and the racist and provincial privatization of the “common” good.



Armando Chaguaceda

Armando Chaguaceda: My curriculum vitae presents me as a historian and political scientist. I'm from an unclassifiable generation who collected the achievements, frustrations and promises of the Cuban Revolution and now resists on the island or contributes through numerous websites, trying to remain human without dying in the attempt.

6 thoughts on “Veronica’s Smile

  • US population 314,034,000 verses Cuba 11,247,945 do the math people; it will be unresonable to judge the madness of a few to justified your comments against a great nation, as ric honda said, the right to posses a gun does not means we have to used them against innocent civilians.Yes, I would love to grow old in a world without guns, wars, genocide, and so forth. I myself do not own a gun even when I have that right under our constitution to protect my home.

  • Hello from New York City, NY! Senor, other than the last paragraph of your diary entry, I follow what you say and I agree with most of what you say. First, I am grateful for this website existing. Second, I am really grateful that people from your homeland are paying attention to the news from around the world, including from my country. I am 62 years old. When I think about this news story, I am absolutely disgusted. The situation here is a mess and is not getting better. Most people with functioning brains will agree that nothing will get better, uless and until the political situation is changed. I don’t think that’s going to happen any time soon. And third, I hope nothing like what happened in Aurora, Colorado, in that movie theater ever happens in your homeland.

  • Ric Honsa represents the worst of the US of A. Shame on you that even the death of a little girl does not nake you reconsider your obsession with guns.

  • Thank you, Armando, for a fine article. As a proud citizen of the United States, I’d like you to know that the comments of Ric Honsa above represent only a small segment of my fellow citizens.

    Under our rotting monopoly capitalism, violence is a commodity, purveyed to the people through the mass media, the popular culture, and the military-industrial complex. And all the while we are urged to think of ourselves as a peace-loving nation.

    Well, we are a peace-loving nation . . . but our government and economy are controlled by monsters.

  • hmm…looks like the N.R.A. has some search engine which, as soon as a comment is made urging gun control, alerts its members to spew the organization’s line, plus ad hominem invectives, against any writer who dares challenge its premises. Incidents like Aurora are happening with ever-increasing frequency. I can remember the first such incident, way back in 1965, when another nut-ball killed many students from the top of a tower at the University of Texas. The incident was unusual back then; now, it seems to occur every few months. This sort of incident reflects the growing social disintegration in our empire.

  • How dare you use the death of this poor girl to bash our nation! You don’t live here, and you have no real concept of living in a truly free nation. This poor child was murdered by a madman. He is responsible for this madness. But you blame the U.S. who has “succeeded in planting the snake eggs of fanaticism, extreme individualism and the cult of violence.”

    And this? : “This is a country where the powerful lobbyists of the National Rifle Association veto any attempt to regulate the firearms market, and where with just as much passion the Tea Party for months attacked the moderate health care reform program proposed by President Obama.”

    The NRA cannot “veto” anything. But they can speak for us gun owners. BTW, I own several guns, and I don’t run around my area shooting people for fun. And you speak of regulation? You have NO CLUE about the regulation here in the U.S. as it pertains to guns. You don’t live here. You are obviously communicating your biased opinion based upon what you know, which is not much at all, in terms of this great nation.

    Your piece smacks of socialistic notions, and you clearly have no concept of what it means to live as a free man. You should take a long look in the mirror and consider what you have written about this girl, this nation, and this crime.

Comments are closed.