Category Archives: English translations

The Cuban Five and the Tricks Ahead

The Cuban Five and the Tricks Ahead español

By Edmundo García

Translation: Machetera

I’d like to begin this article by making something perfectly clear: If the Government of Cuba agrees to allow Alan Gross to travel to the United States, for whatever period of time or reason, I believe that not even the bones of the anti-terrorist fighter Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, who is currently serving a double life sentence plus fifteen years, will ever see the sun of Cuba again.  That’s what I think, and now I’ll explain. Continue reading

The inconvenient truth about Guillermo Fariñas

The Cuban dissident Guillermo Fariñas and the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize español, français

Salim Lamrani

English translation: David Brookbank

On October 21, 2010, the European Parliament announced the recipient of the 2010 Sakharov Prize “for freedom of thought”, and awarded it to the Cuban dissident Guillermo Fariñas Hernández. According to the European organization, Fariñas joins “a long line of dissidents and defenders of human rights and freedom of thought”.  The president of the Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, pointed out that the opponent of the government in Havana “was prepared to risk his health and life to change things in Cuba”. This is the third time in nine years that a Cuban opposition figure has received this distinction, following the Ladies in White in 2005 and Oswaldo Payá en 2002.1

It is worth reviewing the personal journey of Guillermo Fariñas and his entrance into the world of dissidence in Cuba, before evoking the politicization of the Sakharov Prize. Continue reading

Enrique Ubieta Gómez on Prague, revisionist history, and the Cuban Five

Czech resistance hero Julius Fučík

In Prague: first impressionsespañol

Enrique Ubieta Gómez

Translation: Machetera

I’ve been invited to participate in the Fifth Regional Meeting of Cubans Residing in Europe, to be held this weekend in Prague.  Without a doubt it will be quite a rich experience, because with the advent of transnational corporate “freedom,” this capital, one of Europe’s most beautiful, has transformed itself  into a city that is deaf, mute and blind.   The Czechs no longer believe, hope, or care.  Its politicians are the most corrupt in Europe.  With the exception of the fiercely stigmatized communist paper, the ordinary press in the new country belongs to foreign consortia.  But the “free” citizens don’t want to think.  An editor here was sued for re-issuing Julius Fučík’s “Notes from the Gallows.”  History has been re-written, to the extreme of changing the date of the victory over Nazi fascism in order to attribute the honor to U.S. troops.  The current Chancellor, son of someone whose property was nationalized by socialism, had to learn his “native” tongue in order to re-insert himself and re-appropriate half of the country.  First, he made an investment: he was one of Havel’s principal financial backers.  I promise to write more, later.

Heroes and complete history.  Reflection on the Cuban Five, from Prague español

Just a few hours ago an act of solidarity with the five anti-terrorist Cubans being held as political prisoners in the United States took place, attended by Rosa Aurora, the wife of Fernando, one of those heroes.

I’m familiar with the discussions that sometimes arise between historians and academics on the greater or lesser social visibility of certain heroes (sometimes even on the qualification itself) and of people and events in history.  The counter-revolution doesn’t care for the revolutionary pantheon.  I suppose that this includes Mella, Villena, Jesús Menéndez and José Antonio Echevarría, among others diminished or made invisible in the pseudo-republic.  In the frankly rightwing newspapers such as Spain’s El País or Miami’s El Nuevo Herald, they’ve tried to present Che Guevara as a murderer and Fulgencio Batista as a democrat who made mistakes.  Miami’s circumspect historians (no matter where they live, whether in México or Barcelona, there’s a Miami mentality that marks and defines a person) sometimes call for “a complete history” in which Julio Lobo and Orestes Ferrara – two millionaires with dubious ethics – return as heroes in the social pages of a press made for the purpose of reproducing their values precisely. Continue reading

Mario Vargas Llosa’s Iraq Chronicles


War Trophies español

Santiago Alba Rico

Translation: David Brookbank, Machetera & Manuel Talens

(From the book “Crimes of War” published by the Committee in Solidarity with the Arab Cause, which includes the report written by brigade members about civilian victims.)


Sometimes things are so simple that one allows oneself to be carried away by discouragement; they are so simple and function with so few elements that there is no way to change them.  The worst that can be said about relationships of domination – conjugal, economic or colonial – is that they enormously simplify the mental universe of those involved, reducing it to the two perfect pieces of evidence that have accompanied and legitimized forceful triumph for thousands of years: the superiority of the victor and the inferiority of the vanquished.

In part for reasons of pedantry and in part out of superstition – and with the hope of increasing the fragility of the scenario by exaggerating its complexity – I have searched over much time for more complex and elaborate similarities with more ramifications.  But I give up.   Everything is so simple that it will endure, so plain that it will not fall apart: every one of those gestures that we call “Western,” each and every one of its parliaments and chatter, its toys, its depressions, its newspapers, its shopping baskets, its values, each one of its Christmas decorations and each of its electro-domestics, presuppose and reinforce the most simple and virtuous contempt for everyone else; the most generous, friendly, genuine and proper minimization of the Other; the sweetest, most intelligent, and most moderate negation of our neighbor.   Continue reading

A peek inside Heather Hodges’ jewelry box: From Franco to Quito and all points in between

Hodges received a medal identical to this one. The image is from an online auction of fascist memorabilia:

The U.S. Ambassador in Quito, Heather Hodges, Knows All About Coups D’Etat as Well as Blockadesespañol

By Jean Guy Allard

Translation: Machetera

The United States Ambassador in Quito is “distinguished” for her numerous links with USAID, the public face of U.S. intelligence which dedicates scores of millions of dollars annually to the attempt to destabilize progressive governments in Latin America.  In her diplomatic career, she had the “privilege” of personal familiarity with the bloody dictatorship of the putschist Guatemalan Rio Montt and of conspiring as a high level official in the U.S. State Department’s Office of Cuban Affairs.

Heather Hodges is the former U.S. Ambassador to Moldova, a country that was part of the former USSR, where she dedicated herself to exacerbating the differences that Moldova had with Russia over the Trans-Dniestr region.

In Ecuador, it’s known that “Her Excellency” has not lost any opportunities to foment the sordid work of her intelligence personnel and exacerbate controversy in the debate about a separatist Guayaquil, promoted by certain rightwing elements. Continue reading

Luis Posada Carriles’ right hand man, Francisco Chávez Abarca, nabbed in Venezuela

"Potbelly" Francisco Chávez Abarca is on the Interpol Most Wanted list for his involvement in various explosive attacks in Cuba in the 1990's

Francisco Chávez Abarca, Posada Carriles’ Right Hand Man, Captured in Venezuela español

Translation: Machetera for Tlaxcala

Hugo Chávez, Venezuela’s president, reported today that the Salvadoran Francisco Chávez Abarca, accused of being Luis Posada Carriles’ right hand man, and the author of various explosive attacks in Cuba, was arrested in a nighttime intelligence operation on Thursday when he tried to enter Venezuela.

In an address from Miraflores Palace (the government headquarters), the Venezuelan leader explained that Abarca was arrested in the airport at Maiquetía (in the north) and was transferred to the headquarters of the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN) for interrogation.

Nicknamed “Potbelly,” Chávez Abarca is on Interpol’s Most Wanted list due to his implication in various attacks with explosives in Cuba in the 1990’s. Continue reading

Myths and stereotypes that distance us from equality

Myths and Stereotypes that Distance us From Equality español

Atenea Acevedo

Translation: Machetera for Tlaxcala

One of the most deeply rooted pillars of inequality between men and women in societies throughout the world is that of the sexual division of labor.  Proponents of gender inequality, that is, social constructs based on genital differences as the element that grants greater or lesser hierarchical privileges to a particular sex, usually choose one of two easy paths to explain and legitimize different treatment granted men and women.

The first consists of trying to make inequality a natural phenomenon by validating it with supposed biological arguments, such as that of the genitals being the definer of temperament and character, abilities or clumsiness, predilections or detachments, and even the affinity for particular occupations and pastimes, in addition to the sexual orientation of people who, according to such a scheme, are considered “normal.” Continue reading