Blog Larayueladejavier.WordPress.Com    bajolamiradejavier@yahoo.com

  • Two new polls out Monday show voters are on board with President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration.
  • “Latino Voters support the Presidential Action by a whopping 90%,” and “Latino respondents blame Republicans in Congress for their inaction on the issue—64% to 24%.” Latino Decisions
  • By a 39-point margin–67 percent compared with 28 percent—all likely 2016 voters view favorably the plan Obama announced last week,” Hart Executive Research Associates

By Javier Rodriguez from Los Angeles   26 November 2014                    

Predictably, the Presidential Executive Action signed by Barack Obama, designed to protect 5 million undocumented immigrants residing in the U.S. –the majority parents of US born or legal resident children- from the scourge of deportation, and renewable every three years, has kicked off an unprecedented explosion of support from the American electorate. 

Two of the latest polls published on Monday clearly show that contrary to the pessimist predictions from right wing quarters, voters are in tune with the president’s bold move to begin fixing the old broken immigration system, in addition to the fact that he is doing it by integrating almost half of the 11.5 million undocumented communities into the mainstream.  

The awaited presidential move as of last Thursday night is now a reality and the only thing that could possibly reverse the decree would be if the  right wing controlled Senate and Congress   petition the Supreme Court  to declare the Executive Action unconstitutional. If not, we the people have a presidential protection that will last many years, similar to the ones signed by past presidents.

However, the immigration reform movement cannot sit idly by because the moment is key and highly emotional. Obama has the Republican leadership against the wall and their midterm election strategy of continuing on the offensive has crumbled. As predicted, they ran into the unstoppable Latino and Asian demographic Tsunami and the stark reality of the upcoming national elections of 2016 and it’s obvious, they had no other plan. Unequivocally, the media and the majority of credible analysts have it right: the Republicans are on the defensive, they are divided into several camps, with the far right, which includes Ted Cruz, driving the hard line and hypocritically  playing the Crying Game without passing their own reform bill. And the president and the crowd in Las Vegas, on national TV, loudly reminded them with the robust campaign chant of “pass a bill, pass a bill, pass a bill” and the country was and is listening. Additionally and more myopic, the Koch Brothers and the other far right wing billionaires, who poured hundreds of millions into the last republican campaign, thought they were going to have a free ride and bask on making legislation and bills for themselves, but it appears that their plan also crumbled y ZAZ here we are.

By the same token, the same myopia that is blinding the right can also affect the reformers, unless, unless they up the ante and catch the ball launched by the president. That is to also take advantage of the window in front of us -before the Republicans take control of both houses- and begin the new state of play by putting a more creative and implacable pressure on Speaker Boehner and Senate leader McConnell to once and for all, place the comprehensive immigration reform law to legislate the permanent protection -with the path to citizenship- for all the qualified undocumented part of our family, up for a vote. For this to happen, the reform movement leaders have  to understand that the opinion polls and the electorate are now dramatically leaning in favor of reform, therefore the demographic Tsunami has to appear everywhere relentlessly pointing at the republicans. 

Essentially, and unfortunately at the same time, what this means is that the new generation of growing leadership, Latino media included, has to convince or bypass the always divided Crying Game leaders within our ranks, in all the important strategic battle ground states and wage the necessary “unified not divided” political and organizing campaigns, to once again inject immigration reform into the American Dream, just as we did in 1986.

For this to be made a reality, the reform movement has to also take advantage of the growing momentum and the obvious change in the correlation of forces, meaning the forces at play on this side of the court, made possible by the 5 million People Executive Action Victory.

*Javier Rodriguez is a blogger and a media and political strategist. A long time social activist, he isa co founder of the Millions of Voices Coalition in LA that on Sept. 22, 2013  organized one of the largest marches with thousands of people in Downtown LA for Immigration Reform; He was also the initiator and directed the making of the 1.7 million historical immigration march in Los Angeles on March 25, 2006, as well as the May 1st 2006 Great American Boycott;

By Javier Rodriguez  from Los Angeles   23 November 2014

The awaited Presidential Executive Action is now a reality and an estimated 5 million immigrants in the US are now protected for three years and the only thing that can reverse the presidential decree would be if the  right wing  congress appeals to the Supreme Court to declare the Executive Action as unconstitutional. If not,  we the people have a presidential protection that will last many years, similar to the ones signed by other presidents.

However, the immigrant rights movement can not sit idly because  the moment is key and exiting. Obama has he Republican leaders against the wall and their strategy of continuing on the offensive since the midterm election has crumbled. They ran against the unstoppable Latino  and Asian demographic reality and the upcoming national presidential election of 2016 and its obvious, they have no plan. They are divided, on the defensive and loudly playing the . The Koch Brothers and other far right ideological right wing billionaires, who poured hundreds of millions into the last campaign, thought they were going to have a free ride and bask on making legislation and bills for themselves y ZAZ here we are.

But the same myopia that blinded them can also affect us, unless, unless we up the ante and catch the ball launched by the president. That is putting the pressure on Speaker Boehner and Senate leader McConnell to wrest a full congressional legislation, meaning a comprehensive immigration reform law to legislate permanent protection for all the undocumented part of our people. Essentially what this means is that the new generation of leadership in our ranks has to defeat the always divided Crying Game leaders in all the important strategic battle ground states and wage the necessary unified political and organizing campaigns to make immigration reform a full reality.

ZAZ, Javier

By Javier Rodriguez  Los Angeles  17 November 2014

 For the last 12 months I have lived a ruthless and excruciating experience stemming from a complicated health problem that painfully attacked both of my legs and hips. Initially it began with a bout of bursitis in the left groin where one of the body’s bursa bags was irritated and inflamed 400%. After months of treatment, therapy and medication, the bursitis was resolved, but inexplicably, the problem gradually evolved into several issues, stages and diagnostic confusion, always accompanied by a high level of weakness and pain.

In late September I suffered what in medical terms is known as a “flare up.” A kind of muscle explosion that causes a relentless level of pain every single hour of the day, that is until I medicate and neutralize it. The explosion this time may have been brought on by the chronic fracturing of both of my hips, which astonishingly were just found and diagnosed. Concretely, the trauma has reduced my capacity for physical mobility by a wopping 60%. Essentially I can’t walk, however in this year long world of painful darkness, suddenly I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

 On Thursday morning November 6, the brutal pain awakened me once more and I finally had had enough. I told myself “Ya basta maestro” and I headed directly to the Kaiser Sunset Emergency in a desperate search for relief.  Unexpectedly however, the move sent me on a 15 hour spiral that would give my life a thousand times more relief than the shot I launched for that morning.

To give you a perspective into this world of chronic pain, which is estimated 100 million people suffer in the U.S., for almost a year every morning, the pain has awaken me and from there on, with every move my body’s muscles make, a turbulence takes over, exploding with sharp radiating force, and many of times is combined with a heavy throbbing pain that pierces through deeply into the bone. Trust me, that anguishing agony overwhelms your mind and body. It’s like riding a roller coaster 7/24, it’s always there, up and down.

When you’re a writer, especially a columnist or a political and media strategist, you have to grasp the moments of creativity that move at times in flash like speed wherever you may be or whatever you may be doing, as you work, read, research or write. Even in this the most difficult period of my life, my favorite creative moments arise in the daily conversations on the ongoing issues, the political events or the daily Op-Ed columns with a circle of intimate political friends, including my family. However the life of severe pain I been living, combined with the medication can take its toll, diminishing intellectual and artistic grasping space, especially in the morning hours.  

 That morning, as during the rest of the week, the meds had zero curing effect because I was living the worst episode of pain of my 12 month ordeal. The constant and severe attacks on my quadriceps, the hamstring and hip abductors, which initiated with the September flare up seriously incapacitated my mobility and also weakened me like never before. Fortunately, I had enough will power and the mental strength to move ahead to the hospital.

Incredibly though, trough out the 30 minute drive from Boyle Heights to my destination, what concerned me most was, “how was I, the well known immigrant and human rights leading activist,” going to convince the ER Medical Staff that my pain was real and severe and that I needed relief above and beyond the narcotic pills I had in my pocket.  Additionally, make them understand that my 2 month adverse medical condition warranted at least a 24 hour period of observation to hopefully bring me out of my misery.

As dramatic and incredible this tale may seem, this is the battle that has been at the heart of my survival against Kaiser Permanente, one of the giants of medical care in America. Additionally, the hostile experiences with Kaiser personnel have not only accompanied my pain but they have also increased it. Here are some examples:

1.) On May 25 of this year, I had a similar major flare up that caused me extreme weakness and pain on my lower limbs to the point that on that day, they dangerously buckled under  on more than one occasion. Late that evening I ended up at ER where I made almost the exact demands of the present for relief and to be placed on observation. The response then was humiliation and told “this was not a hotel,” twice, and as that discussion ensued, the staff resorted to threats, called the hospital security and the LA Police Department followed. Assisted by the morphine and the adrenalin in me, at 6 AM, with Security Guards standing by, I actually walked out of Emergency without any Kaiser offered assistance.

2.) Knowing the lack of an existent centralized diagnosis and the confusion on my case, I requested from my primary physician to analyze my medical record and provide the needed direction on my case and it was accepted. But when we met three weeks later,  immediately I knew he hadn’t done his homework. He treated the meeting as a regular follow up appointment with no new diagnosis or a new direction on my case. However on my next bash of meds, he restricted me to two pills per day.

3.) Recently, Dr. Christopher Ching, my pain management physician took control of my pain medicine prescription and immediately after cut off the one that I had been effectively using for months.

 

November 6 Déjà Vu at Kaiser ER

I parked inside the parking lot of the Sports Medicine Clinic located directly across the Sunset Hospital and the plan was to request a Kaiser shuttle to ER. Cane in hand I began the trek, about 20 yards to the Clinic’s front desk. On the way though, I ran into one of the cement parking block and the edge of the patio and I tried to step up, but all I recall is my legs giving out and my body spinning. I tried to hang on, I believe on a tree or a plant, but my strength also gave out and as I spun, I fell flat and hard on my left side and I screamed out in pain.   

In seconds civilians came to my aid and with all the strength in my arms and their help I pulled myself  and I stood up. As this was happening I felt lightheaded and I felt my mind traveling fast and it felt eerie. I then turned and saw the clinic’s  emergency response team of medical staff running towards the me and crowd. I was placed in a wheel chair and was taken inside the clinic while we waited for the transportation to ER.

When we arrived there it was the two African American nurses who accompanied me who spoke to the reception clerks and explained my situation. I was then seen by a female nurse  which by coincidence or some kind of spiritual sign, she knew Dr. Ching and had also had unfortunate and bitter medical experiences with him. As she completed the intake and because of the severe fall and the pain, I was given priority and I was officially admitted into Kaiser Emergency.

“Relief arrived and it came wrapped in the morning accident.”

That in itself was a relief and more so when I was given the first Intravenous injections of morphine for the implacable pain. About two hours later on Thursday November 6, 2014, the head ER doctor came in to my room with a smile that said everything. She  poignantly informed me and I quote, “we finally know what is wrong with you, you have two broken hip bones.” Then what she added next will stay with me for a long time, “no one can say you’re crazy any more.” I began to tremble and I openly burst out in tears.

The unraveling of my 12 month ordeal had begun. Approximately two hours later I recognized Dr. Hall from Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Departments across the street where I had fallen in the morning. He also came in with a big smile and without a doubt for me, he had some wonderful breaking news. “You’re going to surgery sometime this evening  to replace your right hip. The left one will have to wait until you recover and all we need is to wait for an operating room.”

It was impossible to continue repressing my emotions. For the second time that day, I began to tremble and cry. Frack, I couldn’t stop. All I could think about was, “relief had finally arrived and it had come wrapped in the morning accident.” I had Finally been  vindicated, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I could now begin to take my life back. The diagnosis/decision given by the Orthopedics Department, that is Dr. Hall and his two other colleagues, in my case, to consecutively replace my hips at first look is a routine one. After all, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 332,000 total hip replacements are performed in the United States each year. However, from my vantage point it is a major qualitative change in direction, to the point, that if the recovery on both hips is successful, I will be walking again without any tools, without the episodes of severe pain and the dangerous medication. Additionally, the eye witnesses to the dangerous fall and the intervention on my behalf by all the Kaiser patient members and the emergency team from Orthopedics was absolutely a blessing and this is irrefutable.

From a Major Kaiser Hospital to a Kaiser Contracted and Operated Nursing and Rehabilitation “Mini Hospital.”

After the  successful operation and the rea placement of my right hip with Prosthesis, on Saturday  evening November 8, I was transferred to Fountain View Convalescent, a nursing facility in Hollywood that essentially serves as a Mini Hospital for Kaiser. But don’t misunderstand me and trust me, it’s a good paying union shop and relatively speaking it’s a high level patient friendly health provider and a fantastic place for recovery. It provides sufficient supportive services and the professional staff needed for physical recovery. The problem as always is management, so please continue and you’ll understand.

Although the estimated recovery time for hip replacement is placed at 3 to 6 months, the  administrators here, headed by a callous Dr. Jeegar Rana and LVN Timmy Nichols and, both Kaiser staffers, on November 11, precisely 52 hours after my admission here, determined the Skilled Nursing Services I have a right to under federal law, were to end on November 13, 2014.  

I appealed the case and the Independent Quality Improvement Organization – QIO, the official investigative body for all Medicare appeals against Kaiser, immediately ruled in my favor and against the shabby biased Kaiser argument that I’m disqualified to receive the recovery services at Fountain View. Since Saturday Nov 15, in the vulnerable condition I’m in, I have been the subject of corporate intimidation and was told by Nichols not to get comfortable, because by next Tuesday I will once again receive a Notice of Medicare Non Coverage, that is a Kick Out Notice. I asked him for the medical or legal basis for the upcoming attack and his response was, “that’s my job man.”

Of course the rational here is really political and the decision is probably coming from Corporate Headquarters. So I’m making a call to everyone with a legal mind or to all the blog readers who might have a friend that can assist me pro bono and help me, please do call on them, ZAZ

*Javier Rodriguez is a journalist, a blogger and a media and political strategist. A long time social activist, he founded the Committee to Rescue La Casa del Mexicano; he is also co founder of the Millions of Voices Coalition in LA that on Sept. 22, 2013  organized one of the largest marches with thousands of people in Downtown LA for Immigration Reform; He was also the initiator and directed the making of the 1.7 million historical immigration march in Los Angeles on March 25, 2006, as well as the May 1st 2006 Great American Boycott;

Back in 1982-86, he directed the mass street mobilizations in LA that led up to the Amnesty Law IRCA of 1986; a journalist, he traveled for 5 ½ months throughout Mexico in 2012, observing and writing about the country’s political process, the aftermath of a highly questioned presidential election, visited several war zones and his family, as well as the State of Tabasco at the border with Guatemala, where the Central American migrants catch the train they call “La Bestia-The Beast.” Between 1987 and 1996, his son Jesus, his nephew Jaramillo and his brother Jesus all fell victim to neighborhood violence in the area. His blog is Larayueladejavier.wordpress.com; a victim of hacking his old email   bajolamiradejavier@yahoo.com has been recovered.

“SE HACEN PENDEJOS” Carlos Fuentes Mexico City 1996 Part II

  • The 2010 struggles for immigration reform, the Washington D.C. 200,000 People held on March 21.
  • The LA May 1st march of 2010 and the onerous, divisive and extreme sexist role of the LA leaders, or in synthesis “el Como se Hacen Pendejos,”

By Javier Rodriguez     Los Angeles 31 October 2014

The November 2014 Mid Term Elections are now only for days away and regardless of what party wins the majority in the US Senate, the countdown for the presidential Executive Order  DACA II, which is expected to provide broad protection and security for the millions of undocumented immigrants, will begin, and with it, a fierce intense national debate will ensue.

Predictably, as a preamble, the Republican leaders have already begun to launch heavy artillery and have threatened to destroy it by any means. Here’s a 180 degree turnaround by three prominent Republican ex members of the Gang of 8:

  • “Acting by executive order on an issue of this magnitude would be the most divisive action you could take — completely undermining any good-faith effort to meaningfully address this important issue, which would be a disservice to the needs of the American people,” Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida wrote to Obama. AP 30 Oct. 2014It is in this context that this series of highly critical pieces on the Latino immigrant rights leaders are being offered for discussion and I’ll start with the year 2010 which in terms of our accomplishments as a movement it is undeniably factual to place it second to 2006 in numbers and momentum. Our own LA leader and long time CHIRLA Director co-chaired the event’s program and it propelled her as a national figure. It was her moment. When we got back to California, the Arizona SB 1070 exploded and just in time for the first meeting to organize the next round of May 1st marches. Recall that in the first part of these series, I pointed out that the previous year 2009, May 1st was a travesty of divisions, and six diminutive marches were held which essentially buried immigration reform for years to come. Angelica agreed and promised to discuss the points in her circles. The work with about 40-50 delegates from the four coalitions and different organizations which were MIWON, Full Rights, SCIC, the March 25 Coalition, the County Federation, SEIU, LIUNA, etc., began. The infrastructure was laid out and as usual I volunteered for the media committee along with Jorge Mario Cabrera and about 7 other media wonks. With five weeks or so to May 1st the opening press conference was scheduled. However as the days moved on, some confusion set in and as the day for the press conference neared, Cabrera sent out an email cancelling it. We lost two weeks of real work. The Coalition’s real press conference and the call I made for one march was an absolute success and this was made exactly two weeks before May Day. Unfortunately, the obsession to continue trying to manipulate the process continued to the last minute of the program at the end of the march. However I can proudly say they got their ass whipped. Immediately after the march I consulted with several of the leaders on the size of the march -it was huge, bigger than Washington on March 21- and collectively I got the green light and I called it at 250,000 and of course it was the national momentum that moved the people. To this day Sister Angelica has yet to apologize. 
  • I’ll end this Part II article with a letter I received on May 3, 2010, two after the march in LA. It is from Celina who worked with me and the Media Committee. She exposes one of the ugliest manifestations of male sexism against women of the May 1st Coalition by LIUNA members, the closest allies Juan El NAFTA had in his coalition and according to my sources he knew about the abuses on the young women activists. I’ll stop here and you read on.
  • Nevertheless, behind the scenes the press event was scheduled and it was staged, but the SCIC and the March 25 Coalition were excluded except that the media did not bite and the event attended by the other half of leaders primarily the groups mentioned above, was a fiasco. Immediately the internet got hot with stern criticisms and accusations of divisions. Incredibly, at the following general meeting they tried to cynically silence the truth with band aids but it was impossible. To use a Maoist term of the 70s, their attitude was putchist, meaning extreme organizational chauvinism. In other words they thought the implicated largess of their faction would prevail. The sorriest part was the role played out by Angelica. My sense is that her husband Rasputin prevailed over her common sense and then CHIRLA, the Filipinos, in complicity with Juan Jose “El NAFTA,” Raul Murillo and La Hermandad, ANSWER, LIUNA and SEIU, etc., conspired and met behind our backs to manipulate the process and place themselves on top, but it didn’t work.
  • Understanding the momentum and the need to follow the success of the Washington march, I knew it was paramount to maintain the unity of all the coalitions in Los Angeles and other organizations and personalities which were already part of the recently general coalition. And for that purpose, I convened an early morning meeting with Angelica at Philippe’s Deli in Downtown LA which she graciously accepted. With no formal agenda, I opened the conversation with my thoughts on the Washington march, and the fact the national coalition had become the vanguard in the fight for reform, and rightly so, had set the agenda for the nation. I added also, that politically she had also grown significantly and her status and moral authority had taken a leap forward. In that context, I explained the need to cement the unity and not allow divisions in the general coalition and that the conditions were obvious to ensure the success for only one giant May 1st march.
  • The year began on March 21 with a spectacular mammoth mobilization of 200,000 people convened in the capitol by the largest pro immigrant reform coalition in history and the primary demand was the passage of legislative reform. It was a gathering that marked the beginning of a major campaign, it truly represented every corner of the country and another first, in the ESPN televised program, President Obama addressed the crowd and the nation by video. Though back in the Immigrant Spring of 2006 on April 10 D.C. was flooded with half a million people New York with 300,000 and Dallas 500,000, all against the infamous Sensenbrenner Bill, March 21 was more focused and pro active because we had taken the offensive. Additionally, that same Sunday evening, ACA, the health reform, was approved by conciliation and signed into law by the President. For us it was a double victory and it enhanced our status as a powerful grass roots force.
  • With the election over, when President Obama issues the widespread protection order, it is imperative for the pro immigrant and Latino national grass roots movement to unify and effectively defend the order, and on the long term, forge an organizing and political strategy that will assist all the liberal, progressive and independent national forces in defeating the far right Republicans in the 2016 elections.

Celina

Thank you for so maturely expressing your thoughts. I can assure I can understand your pain and that of your coalition members. The offenses and resentments of those people from LIUNA are indefensible. Can I respectfully ask you to edit your letter and then resend it to me? I would do it but I’m swamped with a document I have to produce today. I’m on a deadline and other matters,

Best,

Javier — On Mon, 5/3/10, prettycelina1@aol.com <prettycelina1@aol.com> wrote:

From: prettycelina1@aol.com <prettycelina1@aol.com> Subject: Fw: Thank you To: bajolamiradejavier@yahoo.com Date: Monday, May 3, 2010, 12:12 PM

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry —–Original Message—– From: prettycelina1@aol.com Date: Mon, 3 May 2010 19:07:50 To: Javier Rodriquez<bajomiradejavier@yahoo.com> Subject: Thank you I read your review of the march. Gracias por el credito que le distes al equipo de la media. It was a pleasure working with you. Really rewarding as seeing as far as the eye could see people coming. I also want to thank you for denouncing the security issues we had. I was verbally abused and harassed by members of security. At the stage three of them put their hands on me as well. Even as  Ray from RIFA, William from M25, Carlos Montes, Ron Gochez explained to them that I was one of the six coordinators and must be at the stage, the security member from LIUNA, Richard wouldn’t let me in, not because it was a “full stage” as 6 other people got in at the same time they refused my entrance. We went as far as showing my name as a coordinator and Richard said “I still don’t and won’t see it. You’re a nobody and this will teach you to complain about my staff”. The other guy said, “see bitch, I told you you’re a nobody. After 3 failed attempts, Marroquin came over and we explained that all we were trying to do was make sure I was let in, no one else.  Marroquin finally got me in and even then it wasn’t easy as he fought for me. The girl in security pushed me trying to block my entrance.  I asked her not to touch me. Earlier that day, at 8 am, the other guy who was also at the stage entrance had verbally abused me and other members of my coalition. I had various reports from female members that were yelled at and cursed by this individual as they were setting up; to the point that other people had to interfere. When I in a polite matter asked one of them, Andy, he agreed to give us more time as I was thanking him and told him that I will talk to Gerardo to facilitate things and to be smoother. Last thing I wanted was for anyone to get in trouble for us. That same security guy that was later on the stage started yelling and snapping his fingers at me and said, “I don’t see anything moving out of this truck, get fucking moving you stupid bitch, you’re fucking nobody. You do as I say and get the fuck out of here” The verbal abuse went on for 5 more minutes. I told him he wasn’t going to speak to me or anyone like that, that I was the liaison for this group and we are trying to work together. I said I was going to Gerardo and talk to him about the situation and that we are trying to help but we won’t be mistreated. I ran into Marroquin as I was asking for Gerardo and I explained the events to him so then he removed the individual. The police was very pleasant as they informed security we had till 9:30 to remove the vehicle. Prior to that time we asked them to please help us get the vehicle out, as many members of the media were using it to take footage and pictures of the preparations because it was an elevated platform and it was surrounded before 8:30 by people.  I also saw the way they treated you. I was standing next to Umberto as I asked him to please talk to the team to let you in and they shouldn’t be treating leadership or anyone else that way. Different members of the media including channel 52, BBC also complained about the security mistreatment. Both Ray and I had to fight hard to let a team of Credentialed and International officials. They were 6 Consuls and 1 Congresswoman from different countries (El Salvador, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica)  that had come to show their support, organized a press conference the day before in our support, they were denied access to the backstage area. The security member said “no one gets in unless Richard tells me, he is my boss”. They eventually got in with the help of Ray, Dawn and I, but the situation and how they were treated was highly abusive. The Consul for Costa Rica left and the board member of the FMLN was also sent away. To be clear this is the original reason I went over to the stage where the other members were to speak to the other 4 program coordinators. Ray had already been made aware. It was decided collectively that we would communicate. Even now I don’t know what else will be done to rectify their abuse of power and in order for this not to continue to take place.  If this is the way we treat our allies, since we fight for justice, what hope do we have to fight against those who see us as enemies, when we are being unjust among us. We don’t even need them to destroy and separate us as we are doing it for them.  Gracias otra vez por el analisis. In Solidarity,  Celina      Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

In Part III, I will provide an X-Ray of the making of the September 22 Millions of Voices March in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Texas in the context of the national campaign, the May 1st marches of the same years and the onerous, divisive and the continued extreme sexist role of the LA leaders, or in synthesis el “Como se Hacen Pendejos,” ZAZ

*Javier Rodriguez is a journalist, a blogger and a media and political strategist. A long time social activist, he founded the Committee to Rescue La Casa del Mexicano; he is also co founder of the Millions of Voices Coalition in LA that on Sept. 22, 2013 organized one of the largest marches with thousands of people in Downtown LA for Immigration Reform; He was also the initiator and directed the making of the 1.7 million historical immigration march in Los Angeles on March 25, 2006, as well as the May 1st 2006 Great American Boycott;

Back in 1982-86, he directed the mass street mobilizations in LA that led up to the Amnesty Law IRCA of 1986; a journalist, he traveled for 5 ½ months throughout Mexico in 2012, observing and writing about the country’s political process, the aftermath of a highly questioned presidential election, visited several war zones and his family, as well as the State of Tabasco, at the border with Guatemala, where the Central American migrants catch the train they call “La Bestia-The Beast.” Between 1987 and 1996, his son Jesus, his nephew Jaramillo and his brother Jesus all fell victim to neighborhood violence in the area. His blog is Larayueladejavier.wordpress.com; a victim of hacking his old email   bajolamiradejavier@yahoo.com has been recovered.

By Javier Rodriguez     Los Angeles 29 October 2014

The November 2014 Mid Term Elections are now a week away and the debate between the far right Republicans and the Democrats has intensified and the major prize is control of the US Senate. With it is the destiny of the rainbow of national issues including health care, abortion and women rights, tax breaks for the super rich,  and of course the erosion of immigration reform is also on top of the Republican agenda. See today’s Paul Ryan quote:

“GOP-Led Senate Will Block Illegal Amnesty Plan. If President Barack Obama carries through with his plan to take executive action on amnesty for illegal immigrants after the midterm elections, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan vows to use every weapon in the Republicans’ congressional arsenal to stop him.” NEWSMAX With the Republicans at the helm of both Houses and their unequivocal agenda on behalf of the super rich and the fact they will use their majorities to bulldoze anything built to benefit the 99%, the National Latino Organizations, US Labor and growing Latino media see the writing on the wall and for sometime now have been mobilizing the vote for the President and Democrats. Unfortunately though, the perpetually divided “Old Guard” of LA immigrant rights leaders and their Coalitions, as usual, have failed to respond in unity. When Barack Obama postponed the awaited DACA II Executive Order for the 11.5 million Undocumented Immigrants until after the November 4 Mid Term elections, the street response was almost invisible but the crying game was loud. Then closer to home, the conservative faction of the  LA County Board of Supervisors voted to continue the infamous 287g Program in the county jails and sadly the opposition responded with a reported 50 people instead of thousands.

I selected the quote “Se Hacen Pendejos/They play the idiot part” from one of Latin America’s premier writer, the late Carlos Fuentes. A critical and influential Mexican voice, Fuentes made this poignant, idiosyncratic and condemning comment in March 1996 against Mexico’s ruling class. It was precisely after President Ernesto Zedillo ordered a major military attack against the Zapatista Army of Liberation Front in the State of Chiapas who since the January 1, 1994 uprising, controlled 40% of the jungle land that bordered with Guatemala. For two years, the liberated territory had lived in relative peace under an internationally watched negotiated agreement between the Indigenous EZLN and the government. The armed confrontation, which involved thousands of soldiers and rebels, stunningly lasted only twelve days because broad sectors of Mexican society compelled both fronts to successfully negotiate peace. Otherwise, there could have been a bloodbath similar to Felipe Calderon’s 1996 war which is now Pena Nieto’s with over 100,000 dead and 30,000 disappeared. This is precisely what Fuentes was alluding to when he communicated the classic “Se Hacen Pendejos” criticism to President Zedillo and the reactionary political wing of his administration.

For years in Los Angeles the leadership of the immigrant rights movement has had a similar mindset of thoughtlessly playing the game of  “Hacerse Pendejos.”Though with exceptions when provisional unity has been reached by all the coalitions there has been relative success as in 2010. However, when the political reality for a historical breakthrough was at a crossroads, as in early 2009 or today 2014, the sectarian and factionalist bipolar mentality of this generation of LA leaders, unfortunately, leads them into the reckless divisions and predictably the Crying Game of blaming everything on the political ruling class, the politicians, instead of analyzing the defeat and asking, “where did we go wrong?” To be fair, the only one with a loud enough megaphone to point in the direction of self analysis was Univision’s Jorge Ramos when he alluded to the lack of Plan B in the fight for immigration reform.

In January 2009, when Barack Obama took possession as president and “his promise to fight for passage of immigration reform in his first year in office was in the air, it was imperative for LA to unify and convene the nation to take the streets in huge numbers, in many cities, to maintain the pressure on the democratic administration and on the newly elected and first ever African American president Barack Obama to place immigration reform on par with health reform, which admittedly, was the most popular national issue.” To that end, the March 25 Coalition implemented an early strategy of knocking on every door of our illustrious leaders from Las Hermandades Mexicanas, CHIRLA, MIWON, CFL, LIUNA, Full Rights Coalition, COFEM, SCIC, Angelica Salas, Myron “Rasputin” Payes, Juan Jose Gutierrez “El NAFTA,” Raul Murillo, Francisco Moreno, the ultra leftist Ron Gochez, Jesse Diaz, the 300 Lb. activist, etc. and place before them the undisputable need to unify a serious collective force to face the historical challenge before  the movement, but to no avail.

However, even though the year before the March 25 Coalition led the May 1st 2008 campaign and successfully moved and estimated 40,000, the 2009 efforts to unify the whole of the coalitions into one mega march ran into a Chinese Wall of rejection. The arrogance of the leaders  led them to believe they had been rehabilitated. They, apparently concluded the people would line up behind them for an upcoming and successful next round of May 1st 2009 marches. Incredibly, their quest to control the political street process, blinded them, and unfortunately, they couldn’t see the historical election of the first African American president beyond their egos and logically, because of the same afflicted dogmatism, they didn’t see the political opening, la coyuntura historica, in front of their eyes and the need to battle with all the grass roots power at the disposal of the movement.

So the historical juncture brought on by Obama’s black presidency and to push for the promised immigration reform in his first year in office, incredibly, instead of one unified colossal mega march in the hundreds of thousands or millions in Los Angeles, the bedrock of the movement, the leaders played the divisive card all the way to May 1st and had 6 marches averaging 2,000 each for a total of 12,000 people. It was a circus and logically, the Democratic Party and the White House took notice, saw the opening and placed reform on a second plain.  

In the fight to ensure the coveted reform or the Obama Presidential Executive Order, the years 2013 and 2014 are also highly important years and a unified movement could have played a significant role, but again, because of the bipolar political mentality, la mentalidad enana in the LA leadership, it has yet to materialize.

In my next blog I’ll briefly address the success of the 2010 struggles against Arizona’s SB 1070 and the marches that moved hundreds of thousands in the nation in D.C., LA and Phoenix. I will also give an X-Ray of the making of the September 22 Millions of Voices March in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Texas in the context of the national campaign, the May 1st marches of the same years and the onerous, divisive and extreme sexist role of the LA leaders, or in synthesis el “Como se Hacen Pendejos,” ZAZ

*Javier Rodriguez is a journalist, a blogger and a media and political strategist. A long time social activist, he founded the Committee to Rescue La Casa del Mexicano; he is also co founder of the Millions of Voices Coalition in LA that on Sept. 22, 2013 organized one of the largest marches with thousands of people in Downtown LA for Immigration Reform; He was also the initiator and directed the making of the 1.7 million historical immigration march in Los Angeles on March 25, 2006, as well as the May 1st 2006 Great American Boycott;

Back in 1982-86, he directed the mass street mobilizations in LA that led up to the Amnesty Law IRCA of 1986; a journalist, he traveled for 5 ½ months throughout Mexico in 2012, observing and writing about the country’s political process, the aftermath of a highly questioned presidential election, visited several war zones and his family, as well as the State of Tabasco, at the border with Guatemala, where the Central American migrants catch the train they call “La Bestia-The Beast.” Between 1987 and 1996, his son Jesus, his nephew Jaramillo and his brother Jesus all fell victim to neighborhood violence in the area. His blog is Larayueladejavier.wordpress.com; a victim of hacking his old email   bajolamiradejavier@yahoo.com has been recovered.

By Javier Rodriguez   from Boyle Heights   9 Oct 2014

With the upmost respect, I am posting this article by Fidel on one of the most heroic chapters of Cuban Solidarity in Angola, Africa in 1976, when, with their disciplined and highly trained military forces, the Cubans helped and more so led the onslaught against the racist and then believed invincible South Africa Apartheid armies. The victory was decisive in revealing to the African people in the whole continent, that South Africa Apartheid could be defeated, even with the American Empire and Israel’s support mainly with intelligence gathering and of course weapons.

It was a futile attempt to stop the decolonization of Angola and these are the words of Nelson Mandela, who at that time was the world’s most known and popular political prisoner.

Fidel incisively reveals the South Africans were attempting, in essence  to stop, again to reiterate, with American and Israel help, the celebration of Angola’s Independence from Portugal Colonialism.

In fact, after his release and during his first world tour to thank the countries which with their unstoppable international support and solidarity -after 26 years of imprisonment, made not only his release possible,  but more important, also made possible the freedom and independence of Angola and later South Africa- the one stop that was a must for Mandela was Cuba. He went to thank Fidel and the Cuban revolution and to insist Fidel visit Cuba. In fact number two, there is a video that unequivocally reveals the meeting in a small apartment office between Mandela and Fidel and the interpreter, where the former conveys to the Cuban leader, “all I want to know is when are you going to visit our country {South Africa} so my people can see you and thank you in person.”

In the article below, “Heroes of Our Time” Fidel not only describes and analyses that unprecedented historical development of 1976 and places the thousands of Cuban forces, all volunteers, as true heroes of humanity, but also places it in the context of today’s contemporary history, when just a few days ago Cuba sent 186 medical volunteer doctors:

“the  first Medical Brigade to Sierra Leone, noted as one of the area’s most seriously affected by the cruel Ebola epidemic, is an example which the country can be proud of; as in this instance it is not possible to reach a higher place of honor and glory. Just as nobody had the slightest doubt that the hundreds of thousands of combatants who went to Angola and other African countries, had provided humanity with an example which will never be able to be erased from human history; nor can it be denied that the heroic action of the army of white coats will occupy one of the highest places of honor in this history.” Fidel Castro

It is important to mention that UNIVISION, a staunch enemy of progressive and left revolutions in Latin America, conveniently in its national news, anchor Jorge Ramos today  omitted to mention the Cuban departure of the white coat soldiers to Africa. And to give you the broader picture of humanitarian medical help in the form of Cuban volunteer doctors and support staff, for several years and up to the present there have been 10,000 doctors in Venezuela, an unspecified amount of medical personnel in Nicaragua, and within the last 12 months 7,000 of them traveled to and provide free medical care to Brazil. It should be categorically clarified that the Cubans live amongst the people they serve and I’m talking about ghettoes and the countryside.

Now at the same time Obama is boasting of sending assistance to Africa in the form of military personnel, not volunteer doctors, primarily because that highest level of principles and values that are required are not taught in the schools of higher learning in the entrails of the Empire. In fact number three; upon graduation from American medical schools, our new doctors exit their university schools with an average $200,000 debt, which from the get go, places them at an economic disadvantage in society. This fact has been documented extensively and without exception, the progressive think tanks have revealed “the student debtsw” of all careers and schools in the country were planned by the financial institutions as an exploitation measure to wrest  capitalist profits in the billions of dollars.

I will end with this also important historical fact of the Mexican immigrant solidarity of those years for the anti colonialist revolutions of Viet Nam, Cuba, Angola, Ethiopia, Algiers, etc. The trail blazing and pioneering organization of the immigrant rights movement of those years, C.A.S.A. Autonomous Center for Social Action, then led by over 250 young activists, intellectual, students, community and labor leaders, including all my brothers and sister, waged a national campaign of information, history and analysis of the Angola revolution and the Cuban participation through community and university forums held in many cities where CASA chapters existed , media interviews, press conferences and constant reports in our national newspaper “Sin Fronteras.” So if you haven’t met one of the most important heroic personalities of the last 114 years and you have not been ideologically vaccinated to the point of being dogmatically blinded by the system’s propaganda machine, do like Oliver Stone, Beyonce, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and all my family “investigate and search for the truth about Cuba and its revolution.”  ZAZ, read on……. 

 

*Javier Rodriguez is a journalist, a blogger and a media and political strategist. A long time social activist, he founded the Committee to Rescue La Casa del Mexicano; he is also co founder of the Millions of Voices Coalition in LA that on Sept. 22, 2013  organized one of the largest marches with thousands of people in Downtown LA for Immigration Reform; He was also the initiator and directed the making of the 1.7 million historical immigration march in Los Angeles on March 25, 2006, as well as the May 1st 2006 Great American Boycott;

Back in 1982-86, he directed the mass street mobilizations in LA that led up to the Amnesty Law IRCA of 1986; a journalist, he traveled for 5 ½ months throughout Mexico in 2012, observing and writing about the country’s political process, the aftermath of a highly questioned presidential election, visited several war zones and his family, as well as the State of Tabasco, at the border with Guatemala, where the Central American migrants catch the train they call “La Bestia-The Beast.” Between 1987 and 1996, his son Jesus, his nephew Jaramillo and his brother Jesus all fell victim to neighborhood violence in the area. His blog is Larayueladejavier.wordpress.com; A victim of hacking his old email   bajolamiradejavier@yahoo..com has been recovered.

         

GRANMA Oct 7, 2014

Heroes of our time

There is much to say about the difficult times humanity is experiencing. Today, however, is a day of special interest for us and perhaps for many other people. Throughout our short revolutionary history, since the insidious coup, carried out by the empire on March 10, 1952 against our small county, we have often been faced with the need to take important decisions.

When there was no other alternative, other young people, from any other nation faced with our complicated situation, did, or intended to do the same as us, although, in the particular case of Cuba, fate, as on so many other occasions throughout history, played a decisive role.

Due to the scenes created in our country by the United States at that time, with no other objective than to curtail the risk of limited social advances which could inspire future radical changes in the Yankee property that Cuba had become, our Socialist Revolution was conceived.

The Second World War, which ended in 1945, consolidated the dominance of the United States as the principal economic and military power, and turned the country – which itself lay far from the battle fields – into the most powerful on the planet.

The crushing victory of 1959 – this we can assert without a shadow of chauvinism – became an example of what a small nation, fighting for itself, can also do for others. Latin American countries, with a minority of honorable exceptions, leaped upon the crumbs offered up by the United States; for example, Cuba’s sugar quota which, for almost a century and a half had supplied this county during its most critical years, was divided up among producers eager to enter world markets.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, the illustrious U.S. General who governed the country at the time, had led allied troops in the war in which they liberated, despite their own powerful means, just a small part of Europe occupied by the Nazis. The substitute for President Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, turned out to be the traditional conservative who usually assumes such political responsibilities in the United States during difficult times.

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics – which, until the end of the 20th century was the greatest nation in the history of the struggle against the ruthless exploitation of human beings – was dissolved and replaced with a Federation which reduced the area of that great multinational State by no less than 5.5 million square kilometers.

There was something, however, that could not be dissolved: the heroic spirit of the Russian people who, together with their brothers from the rest of the USSR, have managed to preserve a force powerful enough that, in addition to the People’s Republic of China and countries such as Brazil, India and South Africa, they constitute a group with the necessary power to curb the attempts to recolonize the planet.

We experienced two illustrative examples of these realities in the People’s Republic of Angola. Cuba, like many other socialist countries and liberation movements, collaborated with Angola and others who were fighting against Portuguese control in Africa. This control was exercised through direct rule with the support of its allies.

Solidarity with Angola was one of the key issues for the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries and the Socialist Camp. The country’s independence was inevitable and was accepted by the international community.

The racist State of South Africa and the corrupt government of the former Belgium Congo, with the support of European allies, carefully prepared to conquer and divide up Angola. Cuba, who had been supporting the nation’s struggle for many years, received a request from Agostinho Neto to train the Angolan armed forces which, stationed in Luanda, the country’s capital, should be ready by November 11, 1975, when Neto would officially take office. The soviets, faithful to their commitments, had supplied military equipment and were only awaiting the day of independence to send instructors. Cuba, for its part, agreed to send the instructors requested by Neto.

The racist regime of South Africa, globally condemned and despised, decided to advance its plans and send forces in armored vehicles, equipped with powerful weaponry which, having advanced 100 kilometers from its border, attacked the first training camp, where various Cuban instructors died following heroic resistance. After several days of fighting by those valiant instructors and Angolans, they managed to halt the South African advance towards Luanda, the capital of Angola, to where a battalion of Special Troops from the Ministry of the Interior had been transported from Havana, in the Cuban airline’s old Britannia fleet.

That was how the epic struggle in that sub-Saharan African country began, terrorized by the racists whites, in which motorized infantry battalions and tank brigades, armored artillery and other fighting means, repelled the racist South African forces, forcing them to retreat back to the same border from which they had come.

It was not in 1975 that the most dangerous period of struggle occurred. That would come approximately 12 years later, in southern Angola.

Thus what seemed liked the end of the racist escapade in southern Angola was only the beginning, but at least they had learnt that the revolutionary forces of white, mulato and black Cubans, together with the Angolan soldiers, were able to make the supposedly invincible racists swallow the dust of defeat. Perhaps they relied too heavily on their technology, wealth and the support of the dominant empire.

Although it was never our intention, the sovereign attitude of our country was not without conflict with the USSR, which itself did so much for us in truly difficult times, when cutting the fuel supplies to Cuba from the United States could have led to a prolonged and costly conflict with the dominant Northern power. Whether this danger existed or not, the dilemma we faced was deciding whether to be free or to resign ourselves to being slaves to the powerful neighboring empire.

In a situation as complicated as that of Angolan independence, in the direct fight against neocolonialism, it was impossible for differences regarding some aspects not to arise, which could have had serious consequences on the planned objectives, which in Cuba’s case, as part of this struggle, had the right and duty to lead it to success. Whenever we believed that any aspect of our foreign policy could be at odds with the strategic policy of the USSR, we did everything possible to avoid it. The common objectives required that each respect the merits and experience of the other. Modesty is not incompatible with the serious analysis of the complexity and importance of each situation, although in our policy we were always very strict with everything relating to solidarity with the Soviet Union.

At decisive moments of the struggle in Angola against imperialism and racism, such a situation occurred, which stemmed from our direct participation in the fight and the fact that our forces not only fought, but also trained thousands of Angolan combatants, who we supported in their struggle against the pro-Yankee and pro-racist forces of South Africa. A soviet solider was the government advisor and directed the Angolan forces. We disagreed however, on an important point: the reiterated frequency with which he defended the erroneous measure of stationing the best trained Angolan troops more than 5,500 kilometers from the capital of Luanda, an idea relating to a different kind of warfare, nothing like the subversive and guerilla character of the Angolan counterrevolutionaries.

In reality the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola didn’t have a base, nor did Savimbi have a point from which to resist, it was a trap by the South African racists which served only to lure the best and most well equipped Angolan troops there, to strike them at will. We therefore opposed the strategy – which was applied more than once – until the end when it was demanded that we hit the enemy with our own forces which led to the battle of Cuito Cuanavale. I would say that the prolonged military confrontation against the South African army was the result of the last offensive against Savimbi´s supposed “capital” – in a distant corner of the border between Angola, South Africa and occupied Namibia -, toward which the valiant Angolan forces, departing from Cuito Cuanavale, a former NATO military base, well equipped with the newest armored cars, tanks and other combat means, began their 100 kilometer march to the supposed counterrevolutionary capital. Our bold fighter pilots supported them with Mig-23s whilst they remained still within their combat radius.

Once they passed those limits, the enemy launched a heavy attack against the Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola soldiers with their combat planes, heavy artillery and well equipped ground forces, resulting in heavy casualties of dead and injured. But this time, in their pursuit of the battered Angolan brigades, they headed towards the former NATO military base.

The Angolan units retreated in a front several miles wide separated by gaps of a few kilometers. Given the severity of the losses and the dangers which could result from them, employing the usual means, a request was sent to the President of Angola to appeal to Cuba for support, and that’s what he did. The firm response this time was that the request would only be accepted if all Angolan forces and means of combat on the Southern Front were subordinated to Cuban military command. This condition was immediately accepted.

Forces were quickly mobilized for the battle of Cuito Cuanavale, where the South African invaders and their sophisticated arms clashed with armored units, conventional artillery and the Mig-23s flown by our brave pilots. The Angolan artillery, tanks, and other means in the area which lacked personnel were made ready for combat by Cubans. The Angolan tanks which during their retreat could not overcome the obstacle of the mighty Queve River, to the east of the former NATO base – the bridge over which had been destroyed weeks before by an unmanned South African plane laden with explosives – were buried and surrounded by anti-personnel and anti-tank mines. The advancing South African troops came up against an insurmountable barrier against which they crashed. In this way, with a minimal number of casualties and advantageous conditions, the South African forces were decisively defeated on Angolan soil.

But the fight was not over; the complicity of Israeli imperialism had turned South Africa into a nuclear country. Once again our army was faced with the risk of becoming the target of such weapons. But this point, with all the relevant facts, requires further elaboration, which can perhaps be written in the coming months.

What happened last night which led to this lengthy analysis? Two things, I consider to be of singular significance:

The departure of the first Cuban Medical Brigade to Africa to fight against Ebola.

The brutal murder in Caracas, Venezuela, of the young revolutionary Member of Parliament, Robert Serra.

Both events reflect the heroic spirit and potential of the revolutionary processes taking place in the homeland of José Martí and the birthplace of the liberation of Latin America, the heroic Venezuela of Simón Bolívar and Hugo Chávez.

How many shocking lessons can be learnt from these actions! Words can hardly express the moral value of such events, which occurred almost simultaneously.

I will never be able to believe that the murder of the young parliamentarian was the work of chance. It would be really inconceivable if the repugnant act, comparable to those orchestrated by the worst Yankee intelligence organizations, had not been committed intentionally, even when it absolutely fits the plans and actions of the enemies of the Venezuelan Revolution.

Anyway, the position of the Venezuelan authorities to emphasize the need to thoroughly investigate the nature of the crime seems absolutely correct to me. The people, however, have expressed their deep conviction regarding the nature of the brutal and bloody act.

The departure of the first Medical Brigade to Sierra Leone, noted as one of the areas most seriously affected by the cruel Ebola epidemic, is an example which the country can be proud of; as in this instance it is not possible to reach a higher place of honor and glory. Just as nobody had the slightest doubt that the hundreds of thousands of combatants who went to Angola and other African countries, had provided humanity with an example which will never be able to be erased from human history; nor can it be denied that the heroic action of the army of white coats will occupy one of the highest places of honor in this history.

It won’t be the producers of lethal weapons who receive this deserved honor. May the example of the Cubans heading to Africa also capture the hearts and minds of other doctors around the world, especially those who posses resources, practice a religion or have the deepest conviction to fulfill the duty of human solidarity.

Those heading to fight against Ebola and for the survival of other human beings have a difficult task ahead of them, even risking their own lives. We must not cease in our efforts to ensure that those who fulfill such duties count on the maximum safety in the tasks they undertake and the measures they must take to protect themselves and our own country from this and another illnesses and epidemics.

The personnel heading to Africa are also protecting those who remain here, because the worst that can happen is that this epidemic or other more serious illnesses reach our continent, or the heart of any community in any county in the world, where a child, mother or human being could die. There are enough doctors on the planet to ensure that no one has to die due to lack of medical attention. This is what I wish to express.

Honor and glory to our valiant fighters for health and life!

Honor and glory to the young revolutionary Robert Serra and his partner María Herrera!

I wrote these ideas on October 2 when I learnt of both pieces of news, but I preferred to wait another day in order for public opinion to form and ask Granma to publish it on Saturday.

Fidel Castro Ruz

October 2, 2014

8:47 p.m.  

Artículo de Fidel: Los héroes de nuestra época

Mucho hay que decir de estos tiempos difíciles para la humanidad. Hoy, sin embargo, es un día de especial interés para nosotros y quizá también para muchas personas.

A lo largo de nuestra breve historia revolucionaria, desde el golpe artero del 10 de marzo de 1952 promovido por el imperio contra nuestro pequeño país, no pocas veces nos vimos en la necesidad de tomar importantes decisiones.

Cuando ya no quedaba alternativa alguna, otros jóvenes, de cualquier otra nación en nuestra compleja situación, hacían o se proponían hacer lo mismo que nosotros, aunque en el caso particular de Cuba el azar, como tantas veces en la historia, jugó un papel decisivo.

A partir del drama creado en nuestro país por Estados Unidos en aquella fecha, sin otro objetivo que frenar el riesgo de limitados avances sociales que pudieran alentar futuros de cambios radicales en la propiedad yanki en que había sido convertida Cuba, se engendró nuestra Revo­lución Socialista.

La Segunda Guerra Mundial, finalizada en 1945, consolidó el poder de Estados Unidos como principal potencia económica y militar, y convirtió ese país —cuyo territorio estaba distante de los campos de batalla— en el más poderoso del planeta.

La aplastante victoria de 1959, podemos afirmarlo sin sombra de chovinismo, se convirtió en ejemplo de lo que una pequeña nación, luchando por sí misma, puede hacer también por los demás.

Los países latinoamericanos, con un mínimo de honrosas excepciones, se lanzaron tras las migajas ofrecidas por Estados Unidos; por ejemplo, la cuota azucarera de Cuba, que durante casi un siglo y medio abasteció a ese país en sus años críticos, fue repartida entre productores ansiosos de mercados en el mundo.

El ilustre general norteamericano que presidía entonces ese país, Dwight D. Eisenhower, había dirigido las tropas coaligadas en la guerra en que liberaron, a pesar de contar con poderosos medios, solo una pequeña parte de la Europa ocupada por los nazis. El sustituto del presidente  Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, resultó ser el conservador tradicional que en Estados Unidos suele asumir tales responsabilidades políticas en los años difíciles.

La Unión de Repúblicas Socialistas Soviéticas —que constituyó hasta fines del pasado siglo XX, la más grandiosa nación de la historia en la lucha contra la explotación despiadada de los seres humanos— fue disuelta y sustituida por una Federación que redujo la superficie de aquel gran Estado multinacional en no menos de cinco millones 500 mil kilómetros cuadrados.

Algo, sin embargo, no pudo ser disuelto: el espíritu heroico del pueblo ruso, que unido a sus hermanos del resto de la URSS ha sido capaz de preservar una fuerza tan poderosa que junto a la República Popular China y países como Brasil, India y Sudáfrica, constituyen un grupo con el poder necesario para frenar el intento de recolonizar el planeta.

Dos ejemplos ilustrativos de estas realidades los vivimos en la República Popular de Angola. Cuba, como otros mu­chos países socialistas y movimientos de liberación, colaboró con ella y con otros que luchaban contra el dominio portugués en África. Este se ejercía de forma administrativa directa con el apoyo de sus aliados.

La solidaridad con Angola era uno de los puntos esenciales del Movimiento de Países No Alineados y del Campo So­cialista. La independencia de ese país se hizo inevitable y era aceptada por la co­munidad mundial.

El Estado racista de Sudáfrica y el Go­bierno corrupto del antiguo Congo Belga, con el apoyo de aliados europeos, se preparaban esmeradamente para la conquista y el reparto de Angola. Cuba, que desde hacía años cooperaba con la lucha de ese pueblo, recibió la solicitud de Agostinho Neto para el entrenamiento de sus fuerzas armadas que, instaladas en Luanda, la capital del país, debían estar listas para su toma de posesión oficialmente establecida para el 11 de noviembre de 1975. Los soviéticos, fieles a sus compromisos, les habían suministrado equipos militares y esperaban solo el día de la independencia para enviar a los instructores. Cuba, por su parte, acordó el envío de los instructores solicitados por Neto.

El régimen racista de Sudáfrica, condenado y despreciado por la opinión mundial, decide adelantar sus planes y envía fuerzas motorizadas en vehículos blindados, dotados de potente artillería que, tras un avance de cientos de kilómetros a partir de su frontera, atacó el primer campamento de instrucción, donde varios instructores cubanos murieron en heroica resistencia. Tras varios días de combates sostenidos por aquellos valerosos instructores junto a los angolanos, lograron detener el avance de los sudafricanos hacia Luanda, la capital de Angola, adonde había sido enviado por aire un batallón de Tropas Especiales del Ministerio del Interior, transportado desde La Habana en los viejos aviones Britannia de nuestra línea aérea.

Así comenzó aquella épica lucha en aquel país de África negra, tiranizado por los racistas blancos, en la que batallones de infantería motorizada y brigadas de tanques, artillería blindada y medios adecuados de lucha, rechazaron a las fuerzas racistas de Sudáfrica y las obligaron a retroceder hasta la misma frontera de donde habían partido.

No fue únicamente ese año 1975 la etapa más peligrosa de aquella contienda. Esta tuvo lugar, aproximadamente 12 años más tarde, en el sur de Angola.

Así lo que parecía el fin de la aventura racista en el sur de Angola era solo el comienzo, pero al menos habían podido comprender que aquellas fuerzas revolucionarias de cubanos blancos, mulatos y negros, junto a los soldados angolanos, eran capaces de hacer tragar el polvo de la derrota a los supuestamente invencibles racistas. Tal vez confiaron entonces en su tecnología, sus riquezas y el apoyo del imperio dominante.

Aunque no fuese nunca nuestra intención, la actitud soberana de nuestro país no dejaba de tener contradicciones con la propia URSS, que tanto hizo por nosotros en días realmente difíciles, cuando el corte de los suministros de combustible a Cuba desde Estados Unidos nos habría llevado a un prolongado y costoso conflicto con la poderosa potencia del Norte. De­sa­parecido ese peligro o no, el dilema era decidirse a ser libres o resignarse a ser esclavos del poderoso imperio vecino.

En situación tan complicada como el acceso de Angola a la independencia, en lucha frontal contra el neocolonialismo, era imposible que no surgieran diferencias en algunos aspectos de los que po­dían derivarse consecuencias graves para los objetivos trazados, que en el caso de Cuba, como parte en esa lucha, tenía el derecho y el deber de conducirla al éxito. Siempre que a nuestro juicio cualquier aspecto de nuestra política internacional podía chocar con la política estratégica de la URSS, hacíamos lo posible por evitarlo. Los objetivos comunes exigían de cada cual el respeto a los méritos y experiencias de cada uno de ellos. La modestia no está reñida con el análisis serio de la complejidad e importancia de cada situación, aunque en nuestra política siempre fuimos muy estrictos con todo lo que se refería a la solidaridad con la Unión Soviética.

En momentos decisivos de la lucha en Angola contra el imperialismo y el racismo se produjo una de esas contradicciones, que se derivó de nuestra participación directa en aquella contienda y del hecho de que nuestras fuerzas no solo luchaban, sino que también instruían cada año a miles de combatientes angolanos, a los cuales apoyábamos en su lucha contra las fuerzas pro yankis y pro racistas de Sudáfrica. Un militar soviético era el asesor del gobierno y planificaba el empleo de las fuerzas angolanas. Discrepábamos, sin embargo, en un punto y por cierto importante: la reiterada frecuencia con que se defendía el criterio erróneo de emplear en aquel país las tropas angolanas mejor entrenadas a casi mil quinientos kilómetros de distancia de Luanda, la capital, por la concepción propia de otro tipo de guerra, nada parecida a la de carácter subversivo y guerrillera de los contrarrevolucionarios angolanos. En realidad no existía una capital de la UNITA, ni Savimbi tenía un punto donde resistir, se trataba de un señuelo de la Sudáfrica racista que servía solo para atraer hacia allí las mejores y más suministradas tropas angolanas para golpearlas a su antojo. Nos oponíamos por tanto a tal concepto que más de una vez se aplicó, hasta la última en la que se demandó golpear al enemigo con nuestras propias fuerzas lo que dio lugar a la batalla de Cuito Cuanavale. Diré que aquel prolongado enfrentamiento militar contra el ejército sudafricano se produjo a raíz de la última ofensiva contra la supuesta “capital de Savimbi” —en un lejano rincón de la frontera de Angola, Sudáfrica y la Namibia ocupada—, hacia donde las valientes fuerzas angolanas, partiendo de Cuito Cuanavale, antigua base militar desactivada de la OTAN, aunque bien equipadas con los más nuevos carros blindados, tanques y otros medios de combate, iniciaban su marcha de cientos de kilómetros hacia la supuesta capital contrarrevolucionaria. Nuestros audaces pilotos de combate los apoyaban con los Mig-23 cuando estaban todavía dentro de su radio de acción.

Cuando rebasaban aquellos límites, el enemigo golpeaba fuertemente a los valerosos soldados de las FAPLA con sus aviones de combate, su artillería pesada y sus bien equipadas fuerzas terrestres, ocasionando cuantiosas bajas en muertos y heridos. Pero esta vez se dirigían, en su persecución de las golpeadas brigadas angolanas, hacia la antigua base militar de la OTAN.

Las unidades angolanas retrocedían en un frente de varios kilómetros de ancho con brechas de kilómetros de separación entre ellas. Dada la gravedad de las pérdidas y el peligro que podía derivarse de ellas, con seguridad se produciría la solicitud habitual del asesoramiento al Presidente de Angola para que apelara al apoyo cubano, y así ocurrió. La respuesta firme esta vez fue que tal solicitud se aceptaría solo si todas las fuerzas y medios de combate angolanos en el Frente Sur se subordinaban al mando militar cubano. El resultado inmediato fue que se aceptaba aquella condición.

Con rapidez se movilizaron las fuerzas en función de la batalla de Cuito Cuanavale, donde los invasores sudafricanos y sus armas sofisticadas se estrellaron contra las unidades blindadas, la artillería convencional y los Mig-23 tripulados por los audaces pilotos de nuestra aviación. La artillería, tanques y otros medios angolanos ubicados en aquel punto que carecían de personal fueron puestos en disposición combativa por personal cubano. Los tanques angolanos que en su retirada no podían vencer el obstáculo del caudaloso río Queve, al Este de la antigua base de la OTAN —cuyo puente había sido destruido semanas antes por un avión sudafricano sin piloto, cargado de explosivos— fueron enterrados y rodeados de minas antipersonal y antitanques. Las tropas sudafricanas que avanzaban se toparon a poca distancia con una barrera infranqueable contra la cual se estrellaron. De esa forma con un mínimo de bajas y ventajosas condiciones, las fuerzas sudafricanas fueron contundentemente derrotadas en aquel territorio angolano.

Pero la lucha no había concluido, el imperialismo con la complicidad de Israel había convertido a Sudáfrica en un país nuclear. A nuestro ejército le tocaba por segunda vez el riesgo de convertirse en un blanco de tal arma. Pero ese punto, con todos los elementos de juicio pertinentes, está por elaborarse y tal vez se pueda escribir en los meses venideros.

¿Qué sucesos ocurrieron anoche que dieron lugar a este prolongado análisis? Dos hechos, a mi juicio, de especial trascendencia:

La partida de la primera Brigada Mé­dica Cubana hacia África a luchar contra el Ébola.

El brutal asesinato en Caracas, Vene­zuela, del joven diputado revolucionario Robert Serra.

Ambos hechos reflejan el espíritu heroico y la capacidad de los procesos revolucionarios que tienen lugar en la Patria de José Martí y en la cuna de la libertad de América, la Venezuela heroica de Simón Bolívar y Hugo Chávez.

¡Cuántas asombrosas lecciones encierran estos acontecimientos! Apenas las palabras alcanzan para expresar el valor moral de tales hechos, ocurridos casi simultáneamente.

No podría jamás creer que el crimen del joven diputado venezolano sea obra de la casualidad. Sería tan increí­ble, y de tal modo ajustado a la práctica de los peores organismos yankis de inteligencia, que la verdadera casualidad fuera que el repugnante hecho no hubiera sido realizado intencionalmente, más aún cuando se ajusta absolutamente a lo previsto y anunciado por los enemigos de la Revolución Venezolana.

De todas formas me parece absolutamente correcta la posición de las autoridades venezolanas de plantear la necesidad de investigar cuidadosamente el carácter del crimen. El pueblo, sin embargo, expresa conmovido su profunda convicción sobre la naturaleza del brutal hecho de sangre.

El envío de la primera Brigada Médica a Sierra Leona, señalado como uno de los puntos de mayor presencia de la cruel epidemia de Ébola, es un ejemplo del cual un país puede enorgullecerse, pues no es posible alcanzar en este instante un sitial de mayor honor y gloria. Si nadie tuvo la menor duda de que los cientos de miles de combatientes que fueron a An­gola y a otros países de África o América, prestaron a la humanidad un ejemplo que no podrá borrarse nunca de la historia humana; menos dudaría que la acción heroica del ejército de batas blancas ocupará un altísimo lugar de honor en esa historia.

No serán los fabricantes de armas letales los que alcancen merecido honor. Ojalá el ejemplo de los cubanos que marchan al África prenda también en la mente y el corazón de otros médicos en el mundo, especialmente de aquellos que poseen más recursos, practiquen una religión u otra, o la convicción más profunda del deber de la solidaridad humana.

Es dura la tarea de los que marchan al combate contra el Ébola y por la supervivencia de otros seres humanos, aun al riesgo de su propia vida. No por ello debemos dejar de hacer lo imposible por garantizarle, a los que tales deberes cumplan, el máximo de seguridad en las ta­reas que desempeñen y en las medidas a tomar para protegerlos a ellos y a nuestro propio pueblo, de esta u otras enfermedades y epidemias.

El personal que marcha al África nos está protegiendo también a los que aquí quedamos, porque lo peor que puede ocurrir es que tal epidemia u otras peores se extiendan por nuestro continente, o en el seno del pueblo de cualquier país del mundo, donde un niño, una madre o un ser humano pueda morir. Hay suficientes médicos en el planeta para que nadie tenga que morir por falta de asistencia. Es lo que deseo expresar.

¡Honor y gloria para nuestros valerosos combatientes por la salud y la vida!

¡Honor y gloria para el joven revolucionario venezolano Robert Serra junto a la compañera María Herrera!

Estas ideas las escribí el dos de octubre cuando supe ambas noticias, pero preferí esperar un día más para que la opinión internacional se informara bien y pedirle a Granma que lo publicara el sábado.

Fidel Castro Ruz

Octubre 2 de 2014

8 y 47 p.m.

By Javier Rodriguez   from Boyle Heights   8 Oct 2014

With the upmost respect, I am posting this article by Fidel on one of the most heroic chapters of Cuban Solidarity in Angola, Africa in 1976, when, with their disciplined and highly trained military forces, the Cubans helped and more so led the onslaught against the racist and then believed invincible South Africa Apartheid armies. The victory was decisive in revealing to the African people in the whole continent, that South Africa Apartheid could be defeated, even with the American Empire and Israel’s support mainly with intelligence gathering and of course weapons.

It was a futile attempt to stop the decolonization of Angola and these are the words of Nelson Mandela, who at that time was the world’s most known and popular political prisoner.

Fidel incisively reveals the South Africans were attempting, in essence to stop, again to reiterate, with American and Israel help, the celebration of Angola’s Independence from Portugal Colonialism.

In fact, after his release and during his first world tour to thank the countries which with their unstoppable international support and solidarity, made not only his release possible after 26 years of imprisonment, but more important, also made possible the freedom and independence of Angola and later South Africa, the one stop that was a must for Mandela was Cuba. He went to thank Fidel and the Cuban revolution and to insist Fidel visit Cuba. In fact number two, there is a video that unequivocally reveals the meeting in a small apartment office between Mandela and Fidel and the interpreter, where the former conveys to the Cuban leader, “all I want to know is when are you going to visit our country {South Africa} so my people can see you and thank you in person.”

In the article below, “Heroes of Our Time” Fidel not only describes and analyses that unprecedented historical development of 1976 and places the thousands of Cuban forces, all volunteers, as true heroes of humanity, but also places it in the context of today’s contemporary history, when just a few days ago Cuba sent 186 medical volunteer doctors:

“the  first Medical Brigade to Sierra Leone, noted as one of the area’s most seriously affected by the cruel Ebola epidemic, is an example which the country can be proud of; as in this instance it is not possible to reach a higher place of honor and glory. Just as nobody had the slightest doubt that the hundreds of thousands of combatants who went to Angola and other African countries, had provided humanity with an example which will never be able to be erased from human history; nor can it be denied that the heroic action of the army of white coats will occupy one of the highest places of honor in this history.” Fidel Castro

It is important to mention that UNIVISION, a staunch enemy of progressive and left revolutions in Latin America, conveniently in its national news, anchor Jorge Ramos today omitted to mention the Cuban departure of the white coat soldiers to Africa. And to give you the broader picture of humanitarian medical help in the form of Cuban volunteer doctors and support staff, for several years and up to the present there have been 10,000 doctors in Venezuela, an unspecified amount of medical personnel in Nicaragua, and within the last 12 months 7,000 of them traveled to and provide free medical care to Brazil. It should be categorically clarified that the Cubans live amongst the people they serve and I’m talking about ghettoes and the countryside.

Now at the same time Obama is boasting of sending assistance to Africa in the form of military personnel, not volunteer doctors, primarily because that highest level of principles and values that are required are not taught in the schools of higher in the entrails of the Empire. In fact number three; upon graduation from medical school our new doctors exit their university and medical schools with $200,000 debt which places them at an economic disadvantage medical in society.

I will end with this also important historical fact of the Mexican immigrant solidarity of those years for the anti colonialist revolutions of Viet Nam, Cuba, Angola, Ethiopia, Algiers, etc. The trail blazing and pioneering organization of the immigrant rights movement of those years, C.A.S.A. Autonomous Center for Social Action, then led by over 250 young activists and leaders, including all my brothers and sister, waged a national campaign of information, history and analysis of the Angola revolution and the Cuban participation through community and university forums, media interviews, press conferences and constant reports in our national newspaper “Sin Fronteras.” So if you haven’t met one of the most important heroic personalities of the last 114 years and you have not been ideologically vaccinated to the point of being dogmatically blinded by the system’s propaganda machine, do like Oliver Stone, Beyonce, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and all my family “investigate and search for the truth” ZAZ read on…….

    

GRANMA Oct 7, 2014

Heroes of our time

There is much to say about the difficult times humanity is experiencing. Today, however, is a day of special interest for us and perhaps for many other people. Throughout our short revolutionary history, since the insidious coup, carried out by the empire on March 10, 1952 against our small county, we have often been faced with the need to take important decisions.

When there was no other alternative, other young people, from any other nation faced with our complicated situation, did, or intended to do the same as us, although, in the particular case of Cuba, fate, as on so many other occasions throughout history, played a decisive role.

Due to the scenes created in our country by the United States at that time, with no other objective than to curtail the risk of limited social advances which could inspire future radical changes in the Yankee property that Cuba had become, our Socialist Revolution was conceived.

The Second World War, which ended in 1945, consolidated the dominance of the United States as the principal economic and military power, and turned the country – which itself lay far from the battle fields – into the most powerful on the planet.

The crushing victory of 1959 – this we can assert without a shadow of chauvinism – became an example of what a small nation, fighting for itself, can also do for others. Latin American countries, with a minority of honorable exceptions, leaped upon the crumbs offered up by the United States; for example, Cuba’s sugar quota which, for almost a century and a half had supplied this county during its most critical years, was divided up among producers eager to enter world markets.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, the illustrious U.S. General who governed the country at the time, had led allied troops in the war in which they liberated, despite their own powerful means, just a small part of Europe occupied by the Nazis. The substitute for President Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, turned out to be the traditional conservative who usually assumes such political responsibilities in the United States during difficult times.

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics – which, until the end of the 20th century was the greatest nation in the history of the struggle against the ruthless exploitation of human beings – was dissolved and replaced with a Federation which reduced the area of that great multinational State by no less than 5.5 million square kilometers.

There was something, however, that could not be dissolved: the heroic spirit of the Russian people who, together with their brothers from the rest of the USSR, have managed to preserve a force powerful enough that, in addition to the People’s Republic of China and countries such as Brazil, India and South Africa, they constitute a group with the necessary power to curb the attempts to recolonize the planet.

We experienced two illustrative examples of these realities in the People’s Republic of Angola. Cuba, like many other socialist countries and liberation movements, collaborated with Angola and others who were fighting against Portuguese control in Africa. This control was exercised through direct rule with the support of its allies.

Solidarity with Angola was one of the key issues for the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries and the Socialist Camp. The country’s independence was inevitable and was accepted by the international community.

The racist State of South Africa and the corrupt government of the former Belgium Congo, with the support of European allies, carefully prepared to conquer and divide up Angola. Cuba, who had been supporting the nation’s struggle for many years, received a request from Agostinho Neto to train the Angolan armed forces which, stationed in Luanda, the country’s capital, should be ready by November 11, 1975, when Neto would officially take office. The soviets, faithful to their commitments, had supplied military equipment and were only awaiting the day of independence to send instructors. Cuba, for its part, agreed to send the instructors requested by Neto.

The racist regime of South Africa, globally condemned and despised, decided to advance its plans and send forces in armored vehicles, equipped with powerful weaponry which, having advanced 100 kilometers from its border, attacked the first training camp, where various Cuban instructors died following heroic resistance. After several days of fighting by those valiant instructors and Angolans, they managed to halt the South African advance towards Luanda, the capital of Angola, to where a battalion of Special Troops from the Ministry of the Interior had been transported from Havana, in the Cuban airline’s old Britannia fleet.

That was how the epic struggle in that sub-Saharan African country began, terrorized by the racists whites, in which motorized infantry battalions and tank brigades, armored artillery and other fighting means, repelled the racist South African forces, forcing them to retreat back to the same border from which they had come.

It was not in 1975 that the most dangerous period of struggle occurred. That would come approximately 12 years later, in southern Angola.

Thus what seemed liked the end of the racist escapade in southern Angola was only the beginning, but at least they had learnt that the revolutionary forces of white, mulato and black Cubans, together with the Angolan soldiers, were able to make the supposedly invincible racists swallow the dust of defeat. Perhaps they relied too heavily on their technology, wealth and the support of the dominant empire.

Although it was never our intention, the sovereign attitude of our country was not without conflict with the USSR, which itself did so much for us in truly difficult times, when cutting the fuel supplies to Cuba from the United States could have led to a prolonged and costly conflict with the dominant Northern power. Whether this danger existed or not, the dilemma we faced was deciding whether to be free or to resign ourselves to being slaves to the powerful neighboring empire.

In a situation as complicated as that of Angolan independence, in the direct fight against neocolonialism, it was impossible for differences regarding some aspects not to arise, which could have had serious consequences on the planned objectives, which in Cuba’s case, as part of this struggle, had the right and duty to lead it to success. Whenever we believed that any aspect of our foreign policy could be at odds with the strategic policy of the USSR, we did everything possible to avoid it. The common objectives required that each respect the merits and experience of the other. Modesty is not incompatible with the serious analysis of the complexity and importance of each situation, although in our policy we were always very strict with everything relating to solidarity with the Soviet Union.

At decisive moments of the struggle in Angola against imperialism and racism, such a situation occurred, which stemmed from our direct participation in the fight and the fact that our forces not only fought, but also trained thousands of Angolan combatants, who we supported in their struggle against the pro-Yankee and pro-racist forces of South Africa. A soviet solider was the government advisor and directed the Angolan forces. We disagreed however, on an important point: the reiterated frequency with which he defended the erroneous measure of stationing the best trained Angolan troops more than 5,500 kilometers from the capital of Luanda, an idea relating to a different kind of warfare, nothing like the subversive and guerilla character of the Angolan counterrevolutionaries.

In reality the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola didn’t have a base, nor did Savimbi have a point from which to resist, it was a trap by the South African racists which served only to lure the best and most well equipped Angolan troops there, to strike them at will. We therefore opposed the strategy – which was applied more than once – until the end when it was demanded that we hit the enemy with our own forces which led to the battle of Cuito Cuanavale. I would say that the prolonged military confrontation against the South African army was the result of the last offensive against Savimbi´s supposed “capital” – in a distant corner of the border between Angola, South Africa and occupied Namibia -, toward which the valiant Angolan forces, departing from Cuito Cuanavale, a former NATO military base, well equipped with the newest armored cars, tanks and other combat means, began their 100 kilometer march to the supposed counterrevolutionary capital. Our bold fighter pilots supported them with Mig-23s whilst they remained still within their combat radius.

Once they passed those limits, the enemy launched a heavy attack against the Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola soldiers with their combat planes, heavy artillery and well equipped ground forces, resulting in heavy casualties of dead and injured. But this time, in their pursuit of the battered Angolan brigades, they headed towards the former NATO military base.

The Angolan units retreated in a front several miles wide separated by gaps of a few kilometers. Given the severity of the losses and the dangers which could result from them, employing the usual means, a request was sent to the President of Angola to appeal to Cuba for support, and that’s what he did. The firm response this time was that the request would only be accepted if all Angolan forces and means of combat on the Southern Front were subordinated to Cuban military command. This condition was immediately accepted.

Forces were quickly mobilized for the battle of Cuito Cuanavale, where the South African invaders and their sophisticated arms clashed with armored units, conventional artillery and the Mig-23s flown by our brave pilots. The Angolan artillery, tanks, and other means in the area which lacked personnel were made ready for combat by Cubans. The Angolan tanks which during their retreat could not overcome the obstacle of the mighty Queve River, to the east of the former NATO base – the bridge over which had been destroyed weeks before by an unmanned South African plane laden with explosives – were buried and surrounded by anti-personnel and anti-tank mines. The advancing South African troops came up against an insurmountable barrier against which they crashed. In this way, with a minimal number of casualties and advantageous conditions, the South African forces were decisively defeated on Angolan soil.

But the fight was not over; the complicity of Israeli imperialism had turned South Africa into a nuclear country. Once again our army was faced with the risk of becoming the target of such weapons. But this point, with all the relevant facts, requires further elaboration, which can perhaps be written in the coming months.

What happened last night which led to this lengthy analysis? Two things, I consider to be of singular significance:

The departure of the first Cuban Medical Brigade to Africa to fight against Ebola.

The brutal murder in Caracas, Venezuela, of the young revolutionary Member of Parliament, Robert Serra.

Both events reflect the heroic spirit and potential of the revolutionary processes taking place in the homeland of José Martí and the birthplace of the liberation of Latin America, the heroic Venezuela of Simón Bolívar and Hugo Chávez.

How many shocking lessons can be learnt from these actions! Words can hardly express the moral value of such events, which occurred almost simultaneously.

I will never be able to believe that the murder of the young parliamentarian was the work of chance. It would be really inconceivable if the repugnant act, comparable to those orchestrated by the worst Yankee intelligence organizations, had not been committed intentionally, even when it absolutely fits the plans and actions of the enemies of the Venezuelan Revolution.

Anyway, the position of the Venezuelan authorities to emphasize the need to thoroughly investigate the nature of the crime seems absolutely correct to me. The people, however, have expressed their deep conviction regarding the nature of the brutal and bloody act.

The departure of the first Medical Brigade to Sierra Leone, noted as one of the areas most seriously affected by the cruel Ebola epidemic, is an example which the country can be proud of; as in this instance it is not possible to reach a higher place of honor and glory. Just as nobody had the slightest doubt that the hundreds of thousands of combatants who went to Angola and other African countries, had provided humanity with an example which will never be able to be erased from human history; nor can it be denied that the heroic action of the army of white coats will occupy one of the highest places of honor in this history.

It won’t be the producers of lethal weapons who receive this deserved honor. May the example of the Cubans heading to Africa also capture the hearts and minds of other doctors around the world, especially those who posses resources, practice a religion or have the deepest conviction to fulfill the duty of human solidarity.

Those heading to fight against Ebola and for the survival of other human beings have a difficult task ahead of them, even risking their own lives. We must not cease in our efforts to ensure that those who fulfill such duties count on the maximum safety in the tasks they undertake and the measures they must take to protect themselves and our own country from this and another illnesses and epidemics.

The personnel heading to Africa are also protecting those who remain here, because the worst that can happen is that this epidemic or other more serious illnesses reach our continent, or the heart of any community in any county in the world, where a child, mother or human being could die. There are enough doctors on the planet to ensure that no one has to die due to lack of medical attention. This is what I wish to express.

Honor and glory to our valiant fighters for health and life!

Honor and glory to the young revolutionary Robert Serra and his partner María Herrera!

I wrote these ideas on October 2 when I learnt of both pieces of news, but I preferred to wait another day in order for public opinion to form and ask Granma to publish it on Saturday.

Fidel Castro Ruz

October 2, 2014

8:47 p.m.  

Artículo de Fidel: Los héroes de nuestra época

Mucho hay que decir de estos tiempos difíciles para la humanidad. Hoy, sin embargo, es un día de especial interés para nosotros y quizá también para muchas personas.

A lo largo de nuestra breve historia revolucionaria, desde el golpe artero del 10 de marzo de 1952 promovido por el imperio contra nuestro pequeño país, no pocas veces nos vimos en la necesidad de tomar importantes decisiones.

Cuando ya no quedaba alternativa alguna, otros jóvenes, de cualquier otra nación en nuestra compleja situación, hacían o se proponían hacer lo mismo que nosotros, aunque en el caso particular de Cuba el azar, como tantas veces en la historia, jugó un papel decisivo.

A partir del drama creado en nuestro país por Estados Unidos en aquella fecha, sin otro objetivo que frenar el riesgo de limitados avances sociales que pudieran alentar futuros de cambios radicales en la propiedad yanki en que había sido convertida Cuba, se engendró nuestra Revo­lución Socialista.

La Segunda Guerra Mundial, finalizada en 1945, consolidó el poder de Estados Unidos como principal potencia económica y militar, y convirtió ese país —cuyo territorio estaba distante de los campos de batalla— en el más poderoso del planeta.

La aplastante victoria de 1959, podemos afirmarlo sin sombra de chovinismo, se convirtió en ejemplo de lo que una pequeña nación, luchando por sí misma, puede hacer también por los demás.

Los países latinoamericanos, con un mínimo de honrosas excepciones, se lanzaron tras las migajas ofrecidas por Estados Unidos; por ejemplo, la cuota azucarera de Cuba, que durante casi un siglo y medio abasteció a ese país en sus años críticos, fue repartida entre productores ansiosos de mercados en el mundo.

El ilustre general norteamericano que presidía entonces ese país, Dwight D. Eisenhower, había dirigido las tropas coaligadas en la guerra en que liberaron, a pesar de contar con poderosos medios, solo una pequeña parte de la Europa ocupada por los nazis. El sustituto del presidente  Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, resultó ser el conservador tradicional que en Estados Unidos suele asumir tales responsabilidades políticas en los años difíciles.

La Unión de Repúblicas Socialistas Soviéticas —que constituyó hasta fines del pasado siglo XX, la más grandiosa nación de la historia en la lucha contra la explotación despiadada de los seres humanos— fue disuelta y sustituida por una Federación que redujo la superficie de aquel gran Estado multinacional en no menos de cinco millones 500 mil kilómetros cuadrados.

Algo, sin embargo, no pudo ser disuelto: el espíritu heroico del pueblo ruso, que unido a sus hermanos del resto de la URSS ha sido capaz de preservar una fuerza tan poderosa que junto a la República Popular China y países como Brasil, India y Sudáfrica, constituyen un grupo con el poder necesario para frenar el intento de recolonizar el planeta.

Dos ejemplos ilustrativos de estas realidades los vivimos en la República Popular de Angola. Cuba, como otros mu­chos países socialistas y movimientos de liberación, colaboró con ella y con otros que luchaban contra el dominio portugués en África. Este se ejercía de forma administrativa directa con el apoyo de sus aliados.

La solidaridad con Angola era uno de los puntos esenciales del Movimiento de Países No Alineados y del Campo So­cialista. La independencia de ese país se hizo inevitable y era aceptada por la co­munidad mundial.

El Estado racista de Sudáfrica y el Go­bierno corrupto del antiguo Congo Belga, con el apoyo de aliados europeos, se preparaban esmeradamente para la conquista y el reparto de Angola. Cuba, que desde hacía años cooperaba con la lucha de ese pueblo, recibió la solicitud de Agostinho Neto para el entrenamiento de sus fuerzas armadas que, instaladas en Luanda, la capital del país, debían estar listas para su toma de posesión oficialmente establecida para el 11 de noviembre de 1975. Los soviéticos, fieles a sus compromisos, les habían suministrado equipos militares y esperaban solo el día de la independencia para enviar a los instructores. Cuba, por su parte, acordó el envío de los instructores solicitados por Neto.

El régimen racista de Sudáfrica, condenado y despreciado por la opinión mundial, decide adelantar sus planes y envía fuerzas motorizadas en vehículos blindados, dotados de potente artillería que, tras un avance de cientos de kilómetros a partir de su frontera, atacó el primer campamento de instrucción, donde varios instructores cubanos murieron en heroica resistencia. Tras varios días de combates sostenidos por aquellos valerosos instructores junto a los angolanos, lograron detener el avance de los sudafricanos hacia Luanda, la capital de Angola, adonde había sido enviado por aire un batallón de Tropas Especiales del Ministerio del Interior, transportado desde La Habana en los viejos aviones Britannia de nuestra línea aérea.

Así comenzó aquella épica lucha en aquel país de África negra, tiranizado por los racistas blancos, en la que batallones de infantería motorizada y brigadas de tanques, artillería blindada y medios adecuados de lucha, rechazaron a las fuerzas racistas de Sudáfrica y las obligaron a retroceder hasta la misma frontera de donde habían partido.

No fue únicamente ese año 1975 la etapa más peligrosa de aquella contienda. Esta tuvo lugar, aproximadamente 12 años más tarde, en el sur de Angola.

Así lo que parecía el fin de la aventura racista en el sur de Angola era solo el comienzo, pero al menos habían podido comprender que aquellas fuerzas revolucionarias de cubanos blancos, mulatos y negros, junto a los soldados angolanos, eran capaces de hacer tragar el polvo de la derrota a los supuestamente invencibles racistas. Tal vez confiaron entonces en su tecnología, sus riquezas y el apoyo del imperio dominante.

Aunque no fuese nunca nuestra intención, la actitud soberana de nuestro país no dejaba de tener contradicciones con la propia URSS, que tanto hizo por nosotros en días realmente difíciles, cuando el corte de los suministros de combustible a Cuba desde Estados Unidos nos habría llevado a un prolongado y costoso conflicto con la poderosa potencia del Norte. De­sa­parecido ese peligro o no, el dilema era decidirse a ser libres o resignarse a ser esclavos del poderoso imperio vecino.

En situación tan complicada como el acceso de Angola a la independencia, en lucha frontal contra el neocolonialismo, era imposible que no surgieran diferencias en algunos aspectos de los que po­dían derivarse consecuencias graves para los objetivos trazados, que en el caso de Cuba, como parte en esa lucha, tenía el derecho y el deber de conducirla al éxito. Siempre que a nuestro juicio cualquier aspecto de nuestra política internacional podía chocar con la política estratégica de la URSS, hacíamos lo posible por evitarlo. Los objetivos comunes exigían de cada cual el respeto a los méritos y experiencias de cada uno de ellos. La modestia no está reñida con el análisis serio de la complejidad e importancia de cada situación, aunque en nuestra política siempre fuimos muy estrictos con todo lo que se refería a la solidaridad con la Unión Soviética.

En momentos decisivos de la lucha en Angola contra el imperialismo y el racismo se produjo una de esas contradicciones, que se derivó de nuestra participación directa en aquella contienda y del hecho de que nuestras fuerzas no solo luchaban, sino que también instruían cada año a miles de combatientes angolanos, a los cuales apoyábamos en su lucha contra las fuerzas pro yankis y pro racistas de Sudáfrica. Un militar soviético era el asesor del gobierno y planificaba el empleo de las fuerzas angolanas. Discrepábamos, sin embargo, en un punto y por cierto importante: la reiterada frecuencia con que se defendía el criterio erróneo de emplear en aquel país las tropas angolanas mejor entrenadas a casi mil quinientos kilómetros de distancia de Luanda, la capital, por la concepción propia de otro tipo de guerra, nada parecida a la de carácter subversivo y guerrillera de los contrarrevolucionarios angolanos. En realidad no existía una capital de la UNITA, ni Savimbi tenía un punto donde resistir, se trataba de un señuelo de la Sudáfrica racista que servía solo para atraer hacia allí las mejores y más suministradas tropas angolanas para golpearlas a su antojo. Nos oponíamos por tanto a tal concepto que más de una vez se aplicó, hasta la última en la que se demandó golpear al enemigo con nuestras propias fuerzas lo que dio lugar a la batalla de Cuito Cuanavale. Diré que aquel prolongado enfrentamiento militar contra el ejército sudafricano se produjo a raíz de la última ofensiva contra la supuesta “capital de Savimbi” —en un lejano rincón de la frontera de Angola, Sudáfrica y la Namibia ocupada—, hacia donde las valientes fuerzas angolanas, partiendo de Cuito Cuanavale, antigua base militar desactivada de la OTAN, aunque bien equipadas con los más nuevos carros blindados, tanques y otros medios de combate, iniciaban su marcha de cientos de kilómetros hacia la supuesta capital contrarrevolucionaria. Nuestros audaces pilotos de combate los apoyaban con los Mig-23 cuando estaban todavía dentro de su radio de acción.

Cuando rebasaban aquellos límites, el enemigo golpeaba fuertemente a los valerosos soldados de las FAPLA con sus aviones de combate, su artillería pesada y sus bien equipadas fuerzas terrestres, ocasionando cuantiosas bajas en muertos y heridos. Pero esta vez se dirigían, en su persecución de las golpeadas brigadas angolanas, hacia la antigua base militar de la OTAN.

Las unidades angolanas retrocedían en un frente de varios kilómetros de ancho con brechas de kilómetros de separación entre ellas. Dada la gravedad de las pérdidas y el peligro que podía derivarse de ellas, con seguridad se produciría la solicitud habitual del asesoramiento al Presidente de Angola para que apelara al apoyo cubano, y así ocurrió. La respuesta firme esta vez fue que tal solicitud se aceptaría solo si todas las fuerzas y medios de combate angolanos en el Frente Sur se subordinaban al mando militar cubano. El resultado inmediato fue que se aceptaba aquella condición.

Con rapidez se movilizaron las fuerzas en función de la batalla de Cuito Cuanavale, donde los invasores sudafricanos y sus armas sofisticadas se estrellaron contra las unidades blindadas, la artillería convencional y los Mig-23 tripulados por los audaces pilotos de nuestra aviación. La artillería, tanques y otros medios angolanos ubicados en aquel punto que carecían de personal fueron puestos en disposición combativa por personal cubano. Los tanques angolanos que en su retirada no podían vencer el obstáculo del caudaloso río Queve, al Este de la antigua base de la OTAN —cuyo puente había sido destruido semanas antes por un avión sudafricano sin piloto, cargado de explosivos— fueron enterrados y rodeados de minas antipersonal y antitanques. Las tropas sudafricanas que avanzaban se toparon a poca distancia con una barrera infranqueable contra la cual se estrellaron. De esa forma con un mínimo de bajas y ventajosas condiciones, las fuerzas sudafricanas fueron contundentemente derrotadas en aquel territorio angolano.

Pero la lucha no había concluido, el imperialismo con la complicidad de Israel había convertido a Sudáfrica en un país nuclear. A nuestro ejército le tocaba por segunda vez el riesgo de convertirse en un blanco de tal arma. Pero ese punto, con todos los elementos de juicio pertinentes, está por elaborarse y tal vez se pueda escribir en los meses venideros.

¿Qué sucesos ocurrieron anoche que dieron lugar a este prolongado análisis? Dos hechos, a mi juicio, de especial trascendencia:

La partida de la primera Brigada Mé­dica Cubana hacia África a luchar contra el Ébola.

El brutal asesinato en Caracas, Vene­zuela, del joven diputado revolucionario Robert Serra.

Ambos hechos reflejan el espíritu heroico y la capacidad de los procesos revolucionarios que tienen lugar en la Patria de José Martí y en la cuna de la libertad de América, la Venezuela heroica de Simón Bolívar y Hugo Chávez.

¡Cuántas asombrosas lecciones encierran estos acontecimientos! Apenas las palabras alcanzan para expresar el valor moral de tales hechos, ocurridos casi simultáneamente.

No podría jamás creer que el crimen del joven diputado venezolano sea obra de la casualidad. Sería tan increí­ble, y de tal modo ajustado a la práctica de los peores organismos yankis de inteligencia, que la verdadera casualidad fuera que el repugnante hecho no hubiera sido realizado intencionalmente, más aún cuando se ajusta absolutamente a lo previsto y anunciado por los enemigos de la Revolución Venezolana.

De todas formas me parece absolutamente correcta la posición de las autoridades venezolanas de plantear la necesidad de investigar cuidadosamente el carácter del crimen. El pueblo, sin embargo, expresa conmovido su profunda convicción sobre la naturaleza del brutal hecho de sangre.

El envío de la primera Brigada Médica a Sierra Leona, señalado como uno de los puntos de mayor presencia de la cruel epidemia de Ébola, es un ejemplo del cual un país puede enorgullecerse, pues no es posible alcanzar en este instante un sitial de mayor honor y gloria. Si nadie tuvo la menor duda de que los cientos de miles de combatientes que fueron a An­gola y a otros países de África o América, prestaron a la humanidad un ejemplo que no podrá borrarse nunca de la historia humana; menos dudaría que la acción heroica del ejército de batas blancas ocupará un altísimo lugar de honor en esa historia.

No serán los fabricantes de armas letales los que alcancen merecido honor. Ojalá el ejemplo de los cubanos que marchan al África prenda también en la mente y el corazón de otros médicos en el mundo, especialmente de aquellos que poseen más recursos, practiquen una religión u otra, o la convicción más profunda del deber de la solidaridad humana.

Es dura la tarea de los que marchan al combate contra el Ébola y por la supervivencia de otros seres humanos, aun al riesgo de su propia vida. No por ello debemos dejar de hacer lo imposible por garantizarle, a los que tales deberes cumplan, el máximo de seguridad en las ta­reas que desempeñen y en las medidas a tomar para protegerlos a ellos y a nuestro propio pueblo, de esta u otras enfermedades y epidemias.

El personal que marcha al África nos está protegiendo también a los que aquí quedamos, porque lo peor que puede ocurrir es que tal epidemia u otras peores se extiendan por nuestro continente, o en el seno del pueblo de cualquier país del mundo, donde un niño, una madre o un ser humano pueda morir. Hay suficientes médicos en el planeta para que nadie tenga que morir por falta de asistencia. Es lo que deseo expresar.

¡Honor y gloria para nuestros valerosos combatientes por la salud y la vida!

¡Honor y gloria para el joven revolucionario venezolano Robert Serra junto a la compañera María Herrera!

Estas ideas las escribí el dos de octubre cuando supe ambas noticias, pero preferí esperar un día más para que la opinión internacional se informara bien y pedirle a Granma que lo publicara el sábado.

Fidel Castro Ruz

Octubre 2 de 2014

8 y 47 p.m.

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