“Whether or not he or his brand-new Defense Minister or his wife or his cats
are reelected, Álvaro Uribe is a fascist, and the Colombian government is a murderous government unworthy of being called friendly or brotherly, as my brother Chávez told him (4). Uribe can’t be a contributor or anything like that, and has to be excluded on principle from the Latin American Union.
Having a Latin American Union with self-confessed traitors in our ranks would be –at best– naïve, and a slip-up none of our good dead would ever forgive.”
Celia Hart, daughter of two great Cuban revolutionaries, Haydee Santamaria and Armando Hart, has written a wonderful tribute to those who continue the revolution, especially the FARC and the ELN.
Tomorrow, is the 55th anniversary of the attack on the Moncada barracks, the first major revolutionary act against the Batista regime. It was a tactical disaster but a symbolic victory. Fidel was there of course, as was Celia’s mother, Haydee. Both Haydee’s brother and boyfriend were involved in the attack and were tortured and eventually killed. In order to induce Haydee to talk, Batista’s bastards kept bringing her body parts belonging to her brother and boyfriend. She never cracked.
Celia covers a lot of ground here: recent release of Ingrid Betancourt, Alvaro Uribe’s fascist control of Colombia, Fidel, the plight of Palestinians and Iraqis, writings of Jose Marti, quotes from Che, the plight of the Cuban 5, and the valiant struggle of the FARC and ELN.
She celebrates many and takes some people to task. Yes, it’s long, but with a good cafecito, you will be glad you took the time.
Viva la revolucion!
The FARC, today more than ever
With all my heart, I wish to celebrate our National Rebelliousness Day, my
26th of July, with the guerrillas, trade unionists and fighters in general
from beautiful Colombia.
By Celia Hart Santamaria
(For Kaosenlared) [18.07.2008 23:19]
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
“In revolution one wins or dies (if it is a real one)”
I. The ups and downs of history
It will soon be the 55th anniversary of the attack on the Moncada Garrison
on July 26, 1953, when by, force of arms which they could get only after a
lot of unrepeatable sacrifices, a bunch of kids decided to storm tyrant
Batista’s second biggest garrison and one of imperialism’s most outstanding
strongholds in Our America.
Neither the stories already known nor those yet to be told, nor the wildest
imagination would suffice to detract from our amazement at so much courage,
personal generosity and political maturity.
And here we are, thanks to the integrity of those branded as “crazy” by the
whole political spectrum of those days. There are the horrific images of
torture and murder at a time when it seemed we would have to give everything
up for lost, including that picture of two women who had to relinquish all
their worldly goods as a result of that event, although they surely earned
heaven in return.
History tends to repeat itself, and that’s not only one of its charms but
also its main virtue: we can use it as a means of comparison, association
and guidance. We keep its other face in our academies to make wise
individuals out of us… which is also important, much as God thinks
Today’s left-wing reformists are definitely worthy of modern-day
psychological studies. They can’t understand us, worn as they are by so many
liberal slogans and irrevocably tuned to the relative nature of events to
justify almost anything and change ideas and speeches in a flash with a
simple phrase like “things were different then”. Nicolò Machiavelli himself
would be appalled by their babyish way of doing politics.
That any historical analysis must be put into the right time and space
context is beyond doubt, but never a revolutionary principle. Principles are
If they only knew, those latter-day reformists, that Albert Einstein’s
Special Theory of Relativity is largely based on a constant –the speed of
light– they would keep their mouths shut! Such constant, c = 300,000 km/s,
stands as the cornerstone of the blessed theory. Therefore, since it depends
on no system of reference, the speed of light is unchanging. And so is the
consequence, immutable regardless of any reference.
Nature and the heart always abide by the same laws.
That’s why I’d like with all my heart to share with the guerrillas, trade
unionists and fighters in general from beautiful Colombia the celebration of
my 26th of July, the National Rebelliousness Day when Cuban youths, guns in
hand (and I mean GUNS IN HAND) honored José Martí.
And I don’t say it because they appear to be in the minority, even for a
left-wing movement. Quite the opposite: I’d do it because they have become
the target of criticism by people we all respect very much. I’d do it
precisely in his name, the most respected of all… my Fidel, Fidel Castro,
who spearheaded the Cuban Revolution, the most lasting and BEAUTIFUL in
I celebrated this, my 26th of July, with the usually neglected names, be
they in Colombian dungeons or Zionist prisons; even with those held hostage
by the FARC, whom everybody seems to have forgotten today, in the aftermath
of the rescued swallow that will never make a summer.
Buried deep in the heart of the Empire’s most important springboard in our
America’s epicenter, the oldest guerrilla force ever deserves a much
stronger revolutionary commitment and more support from this watered-down
left, even if, for purposes of the fiercest criticism, we can and must level
at them!… but always from the same side of the fence rather than from the
changing, dubious and ephemeral side of the already sorrowful, eroded
II. My Commander and Pax Romana
I won’t repeat or discuss my Commander Fidel’s reflection on the FARC and
its historical leaders (1). Not for fear; everybody knows that. It’s just
out of sheer grief. And my fingers feel no pain as they slide all over my
keyboard. God knows I need and love Fidel so much, much more than I do the
Sun and the firmament together…
With his eight remarks (2), my comrade James Petras has already responded to
Fidel. Although I disagree with him about a thing or two, nobody would dare
lie through their teeth by branding James Petras as an enemy of the Cuban
and the Latin American revolution. He’s stood by our side when the things
have been tough, when many a pen rushed to condemn the decision we had to
take in 2003 to send three hijackers to the firing squad. While the left’s
ink hurled insults at us, Petras stood by us.
I dissent from James Petras’s view that the Colombian guerrilla has no
bearing on the episodes experienced by the beautiful Cuban guerrilla headed
by “intellectuals” like Fidel and Che. I disagree with him in that point,
but his thorough appraisal is no less commendable because of that. On the
contrary, it makes it stronger.
Manuel Marulanda was an ignorant peasant no more than Fidel and Che were
intellectuals playing with squirt guns. As guerrillas, all three were
committed to the Revolution and tailored their fight to the specific
realities of their milieux. That’s how far I will go into Fidel’s Pax Romana
reflection and Petras’s eight theses. Tears and confusion usually give bad
advice, so I’d better give time a minute –if it ever wears a watch– and wait
to see whether the same attacks will be launched on someone like “Tirofijo”,
recently deceased, for being the world’s “oldest” guerrilla and best
revolutionary. If so, we would have to study Fidel’s reflections a thousand
times over and read between the lines, for I’d like to think, and above all,
believe –and more than believe, feel– that they’re about something more than
just mere criticism of the FARC and Marulanda.
No matter how compelling reason may be, I won’t admit that there are affairs
of state involved, as any logic along those lines will come up against the
interests of a Revolution that Fidel has enthroned for good.
José Martí said:
“That is why in America the imported book has been conquered by the natural
man. Natural men have conquered learned and artificial men. The native
half-breed has conquered the exotic Creole. The struggle is not between
civilization and barbarity, but between false erudition and Nature”. (3)
And that’s what Marulanda was: a natural man of Our America.
III. The American Union is impossible if the enemy is involved
Whether or not he or his brand-new Defense Minister or his wife or his cats
are reelected, Álvaro Uribe is a fascist, and the Colombian government is a
murderous government unworthy of being called friendly or brotherly, as my
brother Chávez told him (4). Uribe can’t be a contributor or anything like
that, and has to be excluded on principle from the Latin American Union.
Having a Latin American Union with self-confessed traitors in our ranks
would be –at best– naïve, and a slip-up none of our good dead would ever
Let’s read again about what José Martí called Our America! Again, America is
not just a regional project. I insist, because it’s on behalf of our
supposed unity that many reformists pretend to sell us all those despicable
worms, including Uribe, his aristocrat ministers and one Ingrid Betancourt.
So there goes José Martí again:
“Only those born prematurely are lacking in courage. Those without faith in
their country are seven-month weaklings. Because they have no courage, they
deny it to the others (…). The ships should be loaded with those harmful
insects that gnaw at the bone of the country that nourishes them. If they
are Parisians or from Madrid, let them go to the streetlamp-lined Prado, to
boast around, or to Tortoni’s, in high hats (…). These sons of our America,
which will be saved by its Indians in blood and is growing better; these
deserters who take up arms in the army of a North America that drowns its
Indians in blood and is growing worse!”. (3)
Ingrid Betancourt will never go beyond her manicures, forever confined to
colorful magazines or TV programs teeming with stupid details.
Pascual Serrano said it loud and clear: “Betancourt and her family have not
betrayed anybody. They’re just back in the social, political and economic
class where they always belonged: Colombia’s wealthy neoliberal bourgeoisie”
However, we can teach Ingrid Betancourt, the new media princess of this
eerie summer –provided she doesn’t faint on us or gets one of her nails
chipped– what Latin American fascism did to tens of thousands of innocent
women who were raped, tortured and thrown off to the sea from helicopters in
an effort to make them say things they never really knew. We can teach her
about babies kidnapped by the killers of her real parents, and about Plan
Condor, which gave her “brave president” a power niche in this continent
and keeps stretching his mandate.
I don’t care what people say: measured against such horrors, Princess
Ingrid’s stay in the Colombian jungle can be compared to a sojourn in a
And it’s not something of the past. All that suffering is still endured
today by Palestinian, Afghan and Iraqi women. And even at Guantánamo Bay,
here in my own land! Suffice it to read Alejandro Ruiz’s heartfelt words.
Tel Aviv’s Mossad, whose advisors helped Uribe so much, knows very well
about treating female hostages.
Ingrid enjoys perfect health, as evidenced by the images of her kissing and
hugging the worst heads of state in the world.
So much determination to save this princes should, or better yet, can have
an important logistical influence on any plan to rescue the Mexican women
who are murdered in Ciudad Juárez and Atenco, prevent any more innocent
little girls in Palestina from being torn apart by Zionist bombs, or at
least help us punish those responsible for these and many other crimes…
Well, judging by the way things are going in this mad world, it would be
harldy surprising if the girls were blamed for not doing their homework….
IV. To Hugo Chávez
May no one doubt my love, respect and admiration for the president of
Bolivarian Venezuela. There are plenty of my writings out there in support
of his project, for which I’d be willing to give my life.
But that’s not enough. Honesty is one of the Revolution’s weapons,
especially because it’s endorsed by commitment. I followed Chávez’s lead
when I lacked Fidel’s voice that horrible July 31, 2006. And what does
Chávez tell us now? That Uribe’s captives are better off than FARC’s
hostages (4) “because they can be visited”. Is that the only reason?
In that case I can tell my Bolivarian comrade that I know a couple of
innocent Cubans, René and Gerardo –two of our Cuban Five– who can’t be
visited by their wives Olga and Adriana because they tried to prevent
kidnappings, illegal trade in immigrants and other actions aimed at
decimating a small people.
They and the other three comrades were kidnapped by the U.S. ten years ago.
Yes, kidnapped, just like Ingrid Betancourt was, only much worse! And I
regret that the Colombian army won’t help me release them from that steel
jungle. In the meantime, they know nothing about their wives. Adriana went
through vile humiliations for hours in the U.S. before she was forced to fly
back to Cuba without even knowing how many hairs his joyful, optimistic
husband had lost ever since he was imprisoned. Young and healthy, she’s one
of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met, perhaps bound to die childless,
unlike Ingrid Betancourt.
We’ve also overlooked two details owing to this bout of collective amnesia:
a) FARC’s unilateral decision to release two women, and b) the Continent’s
top genocidal government sequestered Clara Rojas’s little Enmanuel, a child
born in the jungle. Whether he was conceived as a result of rape or an act
of love under the stars, we don’t know. Clara is yet to make clear whether
she was mistreated or doted upon by a FARC member who deserved to father the
boy. Be that as it may, this story of love –or lack thereof– is worthy of a
movie script better than the one about Ingrid Betancourt’s alleged
V. Ingrid gets rid of us… and we her
Ingrid is free, and I’m glad for her, her family and, most of all, her
child. Even more so now that we and the FARC comrades are also “rid” of the
However, there’s a whole population sequestered in Colombia that nobody is
trying to rescue. I refuse to accept, if only because the 26th of July is
drawing near, that the price of the fatigues that the FARC and ELN wear and
that of my red and black banner be charged on that population.
Let’s rearm, then, for war.
Following the military disaster that the attack to the Moncada garrison was,
Cubans restructured our war doctrine. Yes, it’s called war. There will be
war as long as there’s injustice and murders at large. That’s something that
even my eleven-year-old son understands.
My uncle Enrique Hart died trying to activate a bomb in 1958. It’s true
that, owing to Cuba’s specific circumstances then, so-called “terrorism”
harmed no innocent person, only the revolutionary fighters themselves,
including my own uncle. Still, those irregular methods of struggle were
never relinquished, and if anyone says otherwise let’s hear them! On that
point I second James Petras 100% percent: a revolution is not made with
roses. Roses are for love, if ever we have any time left for love and
growing roses in the midst of so much disaster.
If it’s true that guerrilla warfare is what fuels the Empire’s arrogance,
whose fault is it then that the Palestinians and Iraqis are suffering? Which
guerrilla’s? Were we to pay heed to arguments about why we should dislike
them, whose fault is it that the world is going to pieces? Is it ours? Are
the revolutionaries to be blamed for the climate change, the rise in fuel
prices and the merciless killing of polar bears and thousands of living
species? And this is only by transitive law.
But Fidel Castro –my Fidel– said once in front of a crowd gathered in
Havana: “Do away with the philosophy of plunder and you will have done away
with the philosophy of war”. (7)
Plunder is what the Colombian people are enduring. Plunder is what we’re all
enduring. Even our own conscience is being plundered.
Ingrid, the princess of this weird summer, said that Uribe is a great
Once snatched out of FARC’s “ferocious clutches”, begging for mercy on the
hundreds of prisoners held in her own country or the U.S. and calling the
army to account for so many dead Colombians instead of congratulating them
so much is the least she could have. So much so when we know her rescuing
didn’t really take place as they say…
Unfortunately, the media have become weapons of mass destruction which
enthrall us with their excellent making, images and words.
VI. Che and Rafael Correa
As I said from the start, history is like sea waves: they go up and down.
Smart fishermen know it only too well, so they wait for the right time to
stretch their drift nets.
Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa, for whom all men and women –especially
us WOMEN– would be capable of mopping the sky with a single pail of water–
said: “They know who provides the best support and the best bases to Uribe:
the FARC, whose foolish acts make him all the more popular” (8). Is Uribe’s
popular thanks to the FARC??? Who would believe it!!! If that’s so, he
should pay the guerrilla group a share of what he gets through dubious
I don’t believe that anymore than I believe last March’s raid, where
civilians were wounded and a number of guerrillas and an Ecuadorian peasant
were shot at point-blank range, is the result of FARC’s existence.
Rafael Correa was very much to the point in the OAS Assembly last March when
he rebuffed the war on terror as a justification for the foray into Ecuador.
If there’s anything captivating about Correa is that he sails under no
political flag to stand for his principles, defend his country and face up
to the Empire.
But when it comes to our summertime princess, he charmed no one. “How great
that [Betancourt] has been freed, and how bad has the FARC looked!” (8).
Ingrid, however, rooted for and commended the Colombian army for the March
1st raid, tagged by Correa himself as one of the worst actions ever
conducted in America.
The ex-hostage condoned the shame, disrespect and larceny committed in
Rafael Correa’s land.
Yet, that was not the Ecuadorian president’s biggest mistake. He put his
foot in his mouth deep enough to outmatch Hugo Chávez!
Rafael Correa resorted to the most unsuitable “Saint” to disqualify the
guerrilla, a Saint you can hardly mention unless you’re carrying a rifle on
your shoulder or shedding a tear over your helpless inability to follow his
lead. Therefore, he mentioned Che Guevara in vain. You don’t do that, much
less to lash against a guerrilla force in Latin America, with or without
As a Christian, Correa is well aware that thou shalt not take the Lord’s
name in vain. And Che Guevara is the revolutionary’s God… if we had one.
Let’s see then what He, Che, said: “The capture of power is the unique
strategic possible aim of the revolutionary forces, and everything must be
bound by that premise”. (9)
That’s what the FARC and the ELN are trying to do. It’s all about seizing
power, and not only the government, my friends. Being in government is
merely the first step… provided that accomplishment can be called a step.
Our Rafael Correa should not and cannot believe that Uribe draws his
strength from FARC’s “terrorist” leanings. What makes him strong is the
presence of imperialism’s IV Fleet off the Caribbean coasts and the fact
that we the revolutionaries seem to be running out of choices, now that even
Fidel frowns on the use of force.
Last March we stood by Correa and his sound principles against a deceiving
Alvaro Uribe, who keeps lying. We all loved to see the Ecuadorian economist
taking the presidential chair of his country. How come he invokes Che
against the FARC? I’ve already pointed out my objection to taking hostages,
but there’s a big difference between that and using Che to put them to
Rafael Correa has used Che’s Saint Name in vain. And there you have, even
Ingrid the summertime princess rubber-stamps what the pharisaical Colombian
brass did against Manuelita Sáenz’s land….
Now that was a real princess, made of a mold you never find around anymore,
who knew how to warn Bolívar against Santander. Manuelita, the liberator of
America, died in poverty, forgotten by everyone and rescued by none except
VII. …and in the end, only Che
“Now that we’re discussing America, we must ask ourselves the standard
question: what tactical elements should be implemented to accomplish the
great aim of capturing power –socialist power, needless to say– in this part
of the world? Is it at all possible to do it by peaceful means in our
continent’s present circumstances?
Our categorical answer is: impossible in most cases. At best, we would
formally get hold of the bourgeois power superstructure, and the transition
to socialism by a government who assumes formal power under bourgeois laws
must take place through a very violent offensive against anyone who tries
one way or another to stop its advance towards new social structures.” (9)
Take your pick: elections, armed struggle, strikes or love poems.
But how do we defeat them? You see, we will have to defeat them eventually
if we truly want to save the Earth, polar bears, pandas and whales… let
alone this forgotten human species, slowly dying day by day by its own hands
and ideas in a sort of cruel collective suicide attempt.
God willing, the war will go on, because the philosophy of plunder will
continue and bring with it, as my Commander Fidel said, the philosophy of
All ways are welcome when the ultimate goal is to do away with those who
kill the world’s children, pets, bees and water sources while they whoop it
up for the liberation of one, just one victim who, incidentally, is among
the least damaged in the world.
It’s your call! I only have one word, even at the risk of disagreeing with
our best men: Revolution.
What about yours?
Thanks to the FARC and ELN and all those who fight to keep these hopes
alive, as they make me and the whole world live.
(1) Fidel Castro, “La paz romana”, Rebelión, 6 de julio de 2008.
(2) James Petras, “Fidel y las FARC”, Rebelión, 12 de julio de 2008.
(3) José Martí, “Nuestra América”, Revista Ilustrada de Nueva York, 30 de
enero de 1891 (Obras escogidas; tomo II, Editora Política, La Habana, 1979,
(4) Hugo Chávez, “Chávez a las FARC: La guerra de guerrillas pasó a la
historia; es hora de liberar a todos los rehenes”, Telesur, 10 de junio de
(5) Pascual Serrano, “La traición de Ingrid”, Rebelión, 5 de julio de 2008.
(6) Alejandro Ruiz, “Ingrid no pasea por Guantánamo”, Blog Venezuela
Cantaclaro, 13 de julio de 2008.
(7) Fidel Castro’s Speech in the United Nations, New York, 1959.
(8) Rafael Correa, “Declaraciones”, Resumen Latinoamericano, 5 de julio de
(9) Ernesto Guevara, “Táctica y Estrategia de la Revolución Latinoamericana”
(octubre- noviembre de 1962), published in Verde Olivo magazine on October