In Prague: first impressions – español
Enrique Ubieta Gómez
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