HAVANA TIMES — Ernesto “Che” Guevara was taken prisoner and assassinated on October 9, 1967 under orders from the CIA.
We know this thanks to testimonies offered by the person who executed him.
Every 8th of October, however, Cuba continues to commemorate Che Guevara’s “fall in combat” and even his “physical disappearance.”
Those phrases were also used in the course of this year.
Why falsify the historical record?
Today October 28th marks 55 years since the disappearance – here the term is apt – of Camilo Cienfuegos.
Less renowned than Che outside of Cuba, Camilo Cienfuegos – the “broad-smiling comandante”, as he was known back in his time – embodied people’s feelings towards youth, work and charisma.
Many urban legends about his disappearance have existed. The official version of events is that the Cessna plane he was travelling on fell into the ocean, never to be found.
A friend told me that, even at the close of the 60s, there were those who maintained Camilo was living incognito in Havana.
Today, 55 years since his disappearance, it would be worthwhile to pay closer attention to Camilo Cienfuegos’ political ideas. We don’t much see him on television, and I don’t recall ever having been shown any of his speeches, and he did deliver a number of these.
The year 1959 continues to embody a number of mysteries for those of us who live in Cuba.
What really pisses me off is that phrase, “physical disappearance.”
Used as a euphemism for the word “death”, it is a cold and false expression.
It is not even adequate as a euphemism: death is biological, not physical, even if we agree that life continues in some form of patriotically spiritual dimension.
It would be good to replace “disappearance” with a more accurate expression.
I hope our memory of recent history becomes less cold and increasingly more exact.