Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Chip Off The Old Block: Che’s Daughter / Ángel Santiesteban

A Chip Off The Old Block: Che's Daughter / Ángel Santiesteban
Angel Santiesteban, Translator: Unstated

As if by agreement, Mariela Castro flatters the Dutch system of
prostitution in the Amsterdam red light district, and Aleida Guevara
(both without highlighting they'd come from the most advantaged sperm of
their fathers who fertilized the eggs of their mothers), counsels the
President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez Frias, that he should nationalize
the entire press. Their declarations do discredit to themselves. In each
interview they gave they received a red card and a penalty.

To recommend such barbarism to the Caudillo shows an Olympian
underestimation of him, as if it hadn't already previously occurred to
him. Perhaps little Aleida didn't read about Chavez's closure of the
newspapers and radio and TV channels? Couldn't she imagine that her
uncle Fidel had already advised the same.

What is happening is that times now are not the same if we compare them
to the decade of the sixties, and no one has informed this brat that she
has lived in a bubble (having had the privilege of believing that
socialism is effective because her table has never lacked filet mignon,
nougat, apples and wine, all as a great concert of imports), and she is
unaware that the world is watching and expressing its disagreement with
such abuses and lack of democracy, and, precisely because of these
follies typical of dictators, in recent times the most important
political changes in contemporary history are taking place.

I'd like to note that this post has been the most difficult of all those
written by me so far. I find Aleida so alien, so distant from the events
of the world, that at times it seems to me as if she is mentally
retarded. I saw her with her children in primary school many times, at
5th and 62nd Streets, with her arrogant airs and figure, looking at the
rest of the parents over her shoulder at a prudent distance so as not to
mingle with the plebs. I could also appreciate the sly contempt with
which the parents responded. Listening to the teachers, after flattering
her, cursing her and cataloging the ungratefulness and abuse of her
position as "daddy's girl."

In addition to her caudillo-taliban education, you have to remember her
genetic inheritance, hence Aleida Guevara's pose as a Court Aristocrat,
nails bared as is natural. It doesn't take much imagination to know what
she would be capable of if you put a little power in her hands.

I always remember the shocking testimony of Comandante Benigno, who may
have known Che well, when they went to execute the peasant who told the
enemy the coordinates where they could find Fidel Castro's guerrilla
camp in the Sierra Maestra, and after a "summary trial," the accused was
led by Che, William Galvez and Benigno, and as they left the camp,
looking for a place to carry out the execution, they hear an unexpected
gunshot very close to their ears. The shock made them take a defensive
position, when they looked they saw the body of the peasant fall with
his head exploded from a shot by Che, who, cold-bloodedly, put away the
pistol and advised them to hurry back because it was going to rain.
There's nothing more to say. To end this interminable story, on his
arrival at La Cabaña prison, where he established his command post, he
provoked a river of blood with hundreds of firing squads. He spent more
bullets in La Cabaña than in the entire guerrilla war.

In Africa, after the battle in which an African soldier, in order to
save his own life, had to abandon his machine gun because of its weight
and the difficulty of moving it, Che called him a coward in front of
everyone. And the African soldier refuted him, explaining that he had no
other human choice. And Che, with the same coolness with which he
destroyed the peasant's head with his bullet, said laconically, "you
made a coward of yourself." And in the follow battles the soldier chose
to lose his life rather than abandoning the machine gun again, and the
same Che, later in his diary, recognized that it had been his fault. He
had this gift of killing people, directly and indirectly, those who
because of ideology and by chance ran into him.

And now his daughter, she takes after her father, doesn't know the
reality of Cubans, lives in a house that she doesn't know how or by whom
it got built and she's never had to pay the costs of it, drives a car
without having earned it, at a cost which is the sweat of people who
were never consulted about whether they would accept the sacrifice for
her comfort, and now on her Trip to Peru she assures the press, thinking
herself greatly conversant in the political and social world, that she
has counseled the dictator Hugo Chavez to imitate her uncle Fidel. How
ridiculous is this girl from the court? I can't forget when, as an
adult, she went to Argentina for the first time, and in less than a
month returned speaking with the intonation of her father. She was
greeted at the airport before a world cringing in embarrassment, in
front of her uncle Fidel, who timidly watched her butcher the accent, a
capricious cadence at a desperate speed.

And now she comes to us with her know-it-all airs, wandering the world
with the people's money and the memory of her father. I'll never
understand how there can be people who are proud of a man who ordered
executions and who, himself, with his own hand, carried out the
sentences. It seems to me that the figure of Che has been the image most
manipulated in our era.

Now we have to endure this daughter of her father and niece of her
uncle, who comes to us with her extremist actions that reaffirm, in
addition to her genetics, the sentiments of her biological family and
the work of her in loco parentis Fidel Castro.

As my aunt would say, "God save us, and take us confessed."

Ángel Santiesteban-Prats

January 10 2012

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