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(en) "Cuba Libertaria" #3: Other voices - interview with Canek Sánchez Guevara, grandson of Che Guevara (ca)

From GALSIC <cesamepop@noos.fr>
Date Mon, 3 Jan 2005 09:22:48 +0100 (CET)

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There is not the slightest doubt that the Castrist revolutionary rhetoric is
having less and less effect and that faced with the daily reality that the
Cuban people are forced to put up with, there are more and more who say, as
Saramago said: "I have gone along this far!". However, also because there are
still some of good faith who are waiting for an impossible regeneration of the
"Cuban Revolution", we reproduce here some extracts of a declaration by the
grandson of Che Guevara, Canek Sánchez Guevara, which appeared in the Mexican
magazine REFORMA on 17th October 2004:

"(…)In the western press, so barely free in reality (so full of implications
that nobody understands, and with more than superficial, flat criticism), it is
common for questioning of the Cuban regime to begin with insulting the
continuance of it in practices which are outdated and ineffective, tyrannical
and victimist, heroic and poor. The system is attacked with total ignorance, a
lot of disinformation and, worse, is described as communism. My posture,
however, is different, even contrary, if you like. All my criticism of Fidel
Castro and his followers is based on their distancing themselves from
libertarian ideals, of their betrayal of the Cuban people and of the terrible
surveillance established to keep the State in a position of dominance over its

The immobility that the work of the revolution fell into has its origin in the
concept of itself that it introduced: permanency. In order to be permanent, the
revolution (once the initial highly revolutionary decade had passed) had to
remain immobile because otherwise it would free the libertarian forces implicit
in it. What remains then, is not revolutionary action but the social class that
holds the control of the "revolutionary" institution. The revolution (the
movement that this was) died years ago in Cuba - of a natural death, by the way
- and it had to be killed off by those who had started to keep it from turning
against them. It had to be institutionalized and smothered by its own
bureaucracy (indeed, Che had already warned us of this), by corruption
("robolución", it was called), by nepotism ("sociolismo") and by the vertical
nature of that famous organization: the Cuban "revolutionary" State. Thus,
popular wisdom soon abolished the concept of dictatorship of the proletariat
removing the qualifier and leaving only the noun, absolute and forbidden:

The new socialist bourgeoisie did not delay in adopting the most abject
arguments and methods of the recently dethroned right in everything relating to
private life, and even bettered the right with regard to political association
(let's be honest, a rebellious youth like Fidel Castro was, in today's Cuba,
would immediately be shot, not even exiled); all this was made worse by the
fact that it was a "left-wing" government originating in a most heterogeneous
and heterodox civilian and military movement. The persecution of homosexuals,
hippies, free thinkers, syndicalists, poets (dissidents of sort) certainly
seems in excess of what was being combatted. The criminalization of being
different has nothing to do with freedom. Neither does the concentration of
power in the hands of a few form part of libertarian ideas, and even less so
the perpetual surveillance of individuals or the prohibition of any
associations that may beformed on the margins of the State. Undoubtedly power
is in the hands of the people but only symbolically; the real power, the taking
of decisions, is not. It belongs to the State, and the State is Fidel. (…)

The insistence by the regime's leaders and insulters that this is a Marxist
system surpasses all absurdity, given that in Cuba, Marxism is only a school
subject, a watchword of the Party and other "organizations of the masses", and
at best a dream cut short. For Marx (for any libertarian, in fact), freedom and
dictatorship are in enduring conflict. Sure, they walk together (like any pair
of opposites), but not on the same path, and by doing so (by seeking to do so,
I mean), they will never arrive at the same place: if the end justifies the
means, then the means foreshadow the end... in other words, freedom cannot be
reached by way of imposition. Never...

A sort of falsely proletarian aristocracy was gestating within the "popular"
government, opposing the democratization of the revolutionary project with all
its strength. The Cuban revolution was not democratic because it engendered
within itself the social classes dedicated to impeding it: the revolution gave
birth to a bourgeoisie, a repressive apparatus intended to protect itself from
the people and to a bureaucracy that distanced itself from the people. But
above all it was anti-democratic because of its leader's religious messianism.
Appointing oneself saviour of the Nation is one thing; remaining so for ever is
another thing. In effect, Fidel, with his troops and the better part of
civilian society, liberated Cuba from Batista's gangster dictatorship; but, by
obstinately remaining in power he only turned into the same thing - dictator.
>From young revolutionary to old tyrant there is an abyss, the same as there is
between the dissenting of that young rebel and the orders of an old man who has
gone mad with power and glory. (…) Instead of struggling for a sceptical
society, free-thinking and critical, he applauded credulity, submission and
absolute obedience in the people. Everything that he questioned in the old
regime has been triplicated in the new one. Everything that he attacked as a
youth, he has endorsed as an old man. (…) Fidel fought as a free man but today
he denies the freedom of men: he has become one of them, despotic, cynical and
arrogant to the point of paroxysm; neither better nor worse than any Fox, Bush,
Berlusconi or Putin. Castro is one of them: just the same, the very same, the
same rubbish, albeit in another guise and keeping its distance. Not only has
the struggle for freedom not been concluded in Cuba, neither has it been
concluded in Mexico or Vietnam, in the United States or in Chile, in Angola or
in Russia, in China or in Nicaragua... It has not been concluded because we are
still slaves of conditions that are imposed on us: all that we are comes from
what we are allowed to be. And that, my friend, is not freedom."

Note: The full text can be read (in Spanish) on the web at:

Bulletin N° 3 December 2004
Paris, France

G.A.L.S.I.C - Tribuna Latinoamericana
Support Groups for Libertarians and Independent Syndicalists in Cuba
145, rue Amelot
75011 Paris (France)
E-mail: cesamepop@noos.fr

Addresses for contact and information:
MLC: movimientolibertariocubano@yahoo.com.mx
Solidaridad con Cuba: cubava2OO3@yahoo.com.mx
El Libertario (Venezuela): ellibertario@hotmail.com
GALSIC - France: cesamepop@noos.fr

translation by nmcn/ainfos

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