By Martin Guevara
HAVANA TIMES – I feel close to my uncle in his spiritual side, his rich character, an intellectual who takes action, a man who searches for truth within and outside of himself, the path of this misplaced stone, who fought against every obstacle when he was a child, who loved poetry, beautiful girlfriends and he wasn’t disgusted if they were extremely rich.
He was a nonconformist, who felt the pain of others, or another person’s pain as his own and believed he should intervene. When other people were in pain more than with his own.
However, I don’t share his contact and empathy with violence, because I reject outright any form of oppression, spilling of blood, killing, to reach political, economic and social objectives. I have even been more aware, recently, about how there is also violence involved in what we eat or what we wear and I need to think about this dilemma.
This leads me to also say that I find people who have only been condemning the almost 200 people executed by firing squads at La Cabana fortress under Che’s orders, suspicious, because they don’t say a single thing about the millions who have been killed in worst ways since 1959 up until the present day.
Bombing civilians, children, the elderly, whether that was in Vietnam with napalm which burned through the skin until it reached the bone, or Agent Orange which led to a variety of health effects and disturbing physical abnormalities, or in Iraq, Afghanistan, Panama, causing hundreds of thousands civillian deaths; nor do they condemn that army’s use of torture, be that in Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo, like anywhere else where people strapped with bombs kill human beings. They are lacking in all sincerity.
I can only talk about my uncle’s violence, the violence of Division 82, the Royal Navy, G2, KGB, Spain, Italy and German’s fascist genocide, Soviet and Chinese communism, and Kampuchea, of the racist police in the United States, the repressor of any Cuban or Soviet diversity, of dismemberment and stonings in Saudi Arabi, massacres in Africa between Africans; with those who, like me, condemn these forms of terror and others that exist. Not only the violence of some, while justifying the violence of others.
I don’t waste a minute on these people.
If a relative or friend of somebody who was executed at La Cabana were to come to me, I would respect them and listen to them, because I am interested in intra-history. I have always taken great care when speaking to former Cuban political prisoners; the fact they have spent 15 or 20 years in prison fills me with a certain respect for them, maybe in the memory of the years my old man spent behind bars, for thinking differently to the ideology that reigned at the time.
Especially bearing in mind the fact that what made Ernesto famous in this world that he walked, traveled, where he made his sacrifice, wasn’t his less appreciated side, known in Miami, but the exact opposite, billions of people wearing his image on T-shirts and posters, for his humanitarian acts.
Some people have talked to me about Ernesto’s speech before the UN, when he stated, in the least politically correct and most shocking way according to my life philosophy, but brutally honest nonetheless: “Yes, we have executed people; we are executing people and shall continue to execute people as long as it is necessary.”
What I have never heard, what nobody has ever heard, is a US president on the same UN podium admitting:
“Yes, we dropped Napalm and Agent Orange on millions of civilians, children, old people, women and men, we have brutally tortured soldiers and civilians in every war, we kill millions of people with bombs; yes, we did this, we do this and we will continue do this.”