Category Archives: Mexico

Jefferson Morley’s struggle to find the truth about George Joannides and the CIA’s fight to hide it

maninmexicoFirst, a brief word of apology to Jefferson Morley, whose excellent and meticulously researched book, Our Man in Mexico: Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA was first mentioned here almost exactly one year ago, with the promise of a review to come…like so many other worthy projects, the review ended up on the back burner (the saltmine beckons and is unusually active at present), but it has not been forgotten.  In the meantime, Machetera will say this: the book is terrific – engagingly written, carefully corroborated, it is a must-read for anyone curious about the CIA’s long reach in Mexico, particularly during the period in the fall of 1963 when the CIA did and then didn’t know about Lee Harvey Oswald’s visit to Mexico City in his failed search for a Cuban visa.  So get the book, now.

Second, José Pertierra has just published an exclusive interview with Morley at CubadebateContinue reading

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In Mexico…I felt like a human being

This moving interview with Juan Almeida Bosque, one of the very few remaining Commandantes of the Cuban Revolution, who died a week ago last Friday, was filmed 33 years ago.  Subtitles are, unfortunately, a little bit complicated to master, so you’ll have to wait a bit for those.  In the meantime you can at least watch the video with an English transcript in hand (thanks to Manuel Talens for the Spanish transcription).  The emotion transcends any language barrier.  The song Almeida mentions: La Lupe, sung by Silvio Rodríguez, follows.

Almeida: Well, Santiago, I was a revolutionary who was committed to my movement.  We’d gotten out of Isla de Pinos and we continued in the same kinds of situations for which we’d attacked the Moncada and spent 22 months in the Isla de Pinos prison, and Fidel had left for Mexico along with another group of compañeros, Raúl and others, and I decided to rejoin my compañeros.  I took off on a boat; I’d talked with Yeyé and told her to help me get a passport – she worked in José Manuel Gutiérrez’s firm.  They asked me for a passport, I worked in various ways to come up with the money to go, I talked to my old man – he was the first to give me money so that I could go – other compañeros, and we put together some dollars and we left; compañero Darío López, the Gallego they called him, and another compañero who died in the landing, compañero Cabrera.

We left, and we arrived at Veracruz, and from Veracruz, we arrived by train in Mexico City, and, I’m going to tell you something frankly and I’m going to talk about something that I have experienced all my life, and it would be dishonorable if I didn’t say it: I felt for the first time, in Mexico, like a human being.  I’m going to explain what that means.  At that time, you remember how blacks lived here, in this country (Cuba).  If you went to a bar, they turned it into a Club, so you couldn’t go in.  All the limitations, the lessons, the relations, it was a tough situation.  And in Mexico, honestly, in a group of compañeros and there in the Mexican capital, I felt as though I could move around like a human being, I went to the places I’d longed to go.  It wasn’t like here, where you had to first think about where you were going and once you got there, whether they’d let me in.  That was one of the best moments that I felt in my life.  Emotional and transcendental moments?  Those I’ve had throughout this entire process.  I couldn’t tell you which has been the most transcendental for me, nor the most important; everything has been moving, I put my will into everything, I’ve left personal things behind, everything has been on behalf of the Revolution.  I gave my youth for the process and my old age, well, I’ll continue giving those years for the Revolution as well.

Interviewer: And this old age is hardly upon you…

Almeida: Well, no, but I’m not that young either, next year I’ll turn 50 already.

Interviewer: Before Moncada and the Granma, what kind of work did you do?

Almeida: I was a mason, I worked for awhile in a masonry, other times I built cement forms, but well, more or less that was my…

Interviewer: And you had a talent for music.

Almeida: Yes, but that I had since the age of 14; what happened was that I started to write verses, then I saw that nothing happened with the verses and so I put them to music, and with music still nothing happened, because I went to the radio stations at the time, the CMQ, with my piano pieces to see if they had any interest and nobody was interested.  So the revolutionary process had to take place for me to be known, for me to know myself (wide smile) as a composer.  The most emotional piece for me is the one to do with the gratitude that I explained to you, that made me feel like a human being; it was dedicated to a woman in Mexico, to Lupe…(opening chords).  There I talked about things to do with her, and the things that had influenced me to write that song in that country.  And now it is dedicated not just to that Mexican woman, but to all Mexican women.  And to Mexico.

La Lupe, performed by Silvio Rodríguez

Thought crime gestapo on the march in Mexico, Colombia and Honduras

See the man in the center of this picture?

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Note his weapon.  Yes, a purse.  His name is Miguel Angel Beltran Villegas.  He’s a Colombian sociologist and historian.  Just a little over three months ago, Felipe Calderon, acting on orders from his sith lord Alvaro Uribe, sent his immigration goons to UNAM where Beltran was a visiting scholar, to grab him and deport him to Colombia where he was thrown in a maximum security prison with truly violent offenders.  (Just like the U.S. has done with the Cuban Five.)

Then, Uribe’s judges lied about it, claiming Beltran was apprehended in Colombia, not Mexico.  What idiots.  Do we have photos?  Why yes, we do.  Here are the photos of this dangerous sociologist/historian being carted away by Mexican police. Continue reading

Tlatelolco – the 40th anniversary

Mexico, October 2, 1968: The Night of Tlatelolco; the Death of the Student Movement

Ernesto Páramo – Tlaxcala

Translation: Machetera

The events of the night of Tlatelolco are still concealed, 40 years later, by a cold, dense fog that obscures the identity of a multitude of secondary actors, who nevertheless played important roles in the tragedy. The main actors who took the decisions and had direct responsibility for the events that led to the slaughter were: the President of the Republic, Gustavo Díaz Ordaz; the Interior Secretary, Luis Echeverría Álvarez, the President’s Chief of Staff, Luis Gutiérrez Oropeza, the commander of the military operation in Tlatelolco, General José Herández Toledo, and the commander of the Olympia Battalion, Colonel Ernesto Gutiérrez Gomes Tagle, among others, along with those who dedicated themselves to sowing confusion as a strategy of disinformation in the days that followed the slaughter. All have remained beyond the reach of law and justice.

However, the blood of the young people and the tears of the adults are still fresh and painful.

The massive marches of more than 700,000 or 800,000 students, workers, housewives, and office workers that took more than three or four hours to arrive at the Zócalo from the Anthropology Museum, are still present and fresh in the memory of those who participated actively and those who formed a silent cordon along their path, to watch them march and lend their support. Continue reading