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.

The Lost Moral Compass of a Harvard Mexican Councilman Part II

By Javier Rodriguez   from Boyle Heights  25 Sept. 2014

  • Hecho en México and the $1 Million Lawsuit Against LASUD and Semillas Charter School are on the Move and D14 C. Jose Huizar “once again” Fell Asleep.
  • Gloria Molina is now a Candidate Challenging Huizar for the D14 Council seat.
  • Playboy Jose Huizar has a $660,000 campaign war chest, but not surprising, he is desperate.

Incredibly, Councilman Jose Huizar, who did not lift a finger to personally intervene and mediate the long term conflict in El Sereno between Hecho en Mexico and Semillas Charter School, has just met with the activist restaurant owners, Jorge Bravo and Connie Castro Bravo and shamefully asked them for their reelection endorsement. However, according to Jorge and the conversation we had last Sunday over Huevos con Chile Verde, on their most “important issue, the survival of their dream, the restaurant, the Councilman’s record is lousy. He didn’t do anything”

The following is a quote directly from the letter sent to Huizar, when the couple pleaded for him to intervene personally:

“This restaurant is a dream come true for our family who strives everyday to reach and fulfill the American Dream.  We have done nothing wrong and yet we have been forced to bury our heads in shame for much too long.  We have to protect our rights as business owners as property owners and as residents of this community.  That is why we are here seeking your support and are requesting your assistance in finding a real solution to this intolerable situation that has been short of getting physical.  We cannot allow this type of bullying to continue in our community.  We need your help and we need to know what you are going to do to help us, you have to do the right thing you have to do the JUST thing.  Please help Hecho en Mexico Restaurant continue to thrive as a small business in our community.”

 

Jorge and Connie Bravo

Hecho en Mexico Restaurant

March 22, 2012

 

“Please help Hecho en Mexico Restaurant continue….”

When the Bravos wrote this dramatic letter to Huizar they were desperate.

The intolerable bullying by the Semillas leaders was outright harassment against them and their landmark eatery. The campaign bécame vicious and personal with protests and an illegal boycott of the restaurant through the school student body and the parents. It was a fabricated campaign with the obvious alleged objective of driving the business into the ground and bankrupt them so the school’s Real Estate Corporation could then purchase the property for a very cheap price and probably convert it as the school cafeteria.

Essentially for the Bravos, both Mexican immigrants, it became a battle for the livelihood of their family and for the 25 immigrant employees and their families, most of them undocumented, DREAMers included. In the beginning they could not understand the treacherous move by their friend Marcos Aguilar, the Aztec principal. Why? Hecho en Mexico, which was opened years before the school, had given the school staff total solidarity in the form of meeting space, food, fundraisers, etc.

Political Advisor

On or about the same time the letter was sent to Huizar, I was asked to become the Bravo’s political advisor and I accepted. However in 2012, beginning in March I was in Mexico as part of a human rights delegation delivering a convoy of trailers with tons of aid for the Tarahumara Indians of Chihuahua who were in a crisis and there were reports of many suicides by way of jumping off cliffs in the Copper Canyon. Additionally, after Chihuahua, I traveled to Mexico City to cover the beginnings of their presidential campaign which ended in another massive fraud. I also traveled with Elvira Arellano to Tenosique, Tabasco, a southern border town to participate in a Holy Week procession with Mexico’s immigrant rights leaders and 150 Honduran immigrants who had just crossed into Mexico. We walked 30 Kilometers to the abandoned train station where the train “La Bestia” stopped, that is until recently.

Lastly during the three trips for a total of 5 ½ months on the road in my homeland, I visited several war zones including my home state of Coahuila which was then the second most violent area in the country –Guerrero was first- and my family lives in Torreon and Piedras Negras. In the latter city my cousin Angeles Rivera Hernandez was recently elected as a Councilwoman. There, the shooting and killings between the controlling Cartel and the Mexican military forces and Federal Police were common and on several occasions I was very close to them and at least during one of the confrontations, I was able to write a news breaking press release that essentially described the live impact of a military armed war battle on a family. I immediately emailed it to my private media list in the US, Canada, England, Spain, Central America and Mexico as well as to social activists and friends.

Trust me, when you are close to the armed engagements, the adrenalin intensity is high and one has to be extremely cautious and follow rules of conduct for journalists in times of war. Some of these rules I learned from firsthand experience in my travels as a member of human rights delegations in the last four decades in Central America and Mexico. Additionally, I also relied on my readings, especially those of progressive journalist Robert Fisk of England’s “The Independent.” For years, the international community has considered him an eminence and also a highly respected war correspondent and columnist on the Middle East with a highly critical view of US foreign intervention of the region.

To give you a comparative picture, during the war in Iraq, Fisk’s reports were gotten through direct field investigation in Bagdad and other war zones, personal contacts and resources and was never embedded to US military control of the war correspondents. In contrast, as I recall, Univision’s News anchorman Jorge Ramos’ war reports were beamed from outside Iraq, including a near comical one from an empty portable military hospital built in Kuwait.

During the first and second trips in Mexico, I was also in the inseparable company of the late Jose Luis Sierra, the Assignment Editor for Mundo Fox National News and an experienced journalist who passed away two weeks ago.

In addition to my traveling and writings covering the themes mentioned above, I also kept abreast of the political developments here at home and as an integral active member of Occupy LA, from wherever I was in Mexico, I coordinated and generated parts of the debate in the organization through the internet. I also developed a good portion of the political and media strategy for Hecho en Mexico.

I finally returned to LA in early October 2012 and immediately after my arrival, I drove to Huizar’s office. Unexpectedly though, I ran into him as he was exiting the Benjamin Franklin Library across from City Hall Boyle Heights. I informed him I was the political advisor for Hecho En Mexico and that for the good of the community, the conflict had to be resolved positively and unequivocally I conveyed to Jose it was imperative for him to handle matter personally. He smiled and said he would get back to me, but I read his lack of enthusiasm. It was obvious he wasn’t going to fight for the people, so he never got back to me.

Throughout this three year old conflict that had divided a pocket of District 14, Jose never intervened personally. Instead he had assigned his El Sereno Field Representative to propose mediation and a date was set. However, the Semillas School administrators and board rejected the offer and refused to attend the session. The Councilman should have seen the writing on the wall and should have displayed a full court press on the administrators. But as in La Casa del Mexicano, the public massive urination and lack of restrooms at Mariachi Plaza, as well as cronic violence and the killings of youth in the immediate vicinity, etc., his disdainful Harvard attitude was “classic vintage” Jose. If he had been a hands on and caring leader, the million dollar lawsuit could have been avoided. Meantime, the Bravos hired a Top Gun Law Firm with country wide influence. Through their public relations arm the case was aired nationally exclusively in the Wall Street Journal which also reported on a preliminary LA Court decision favoring the lawsuit.

With Molina now in the run the stakes suddenly changed. It is almost a certainty that the $175,000 paid for his questionable car accident which according to Arturo Ramirez, President of the Mariachi Association, “all the mariachis know he was drunk, they saw him;” plus the fact that $200,000 have already been paid by the City for the sex abuse scandal; his lack of direct hands on leadership and courage; the $1 million lawsuit and legal fees, which in the end will be paid by the people of Los Angeles: his big loss in the mayor’s election when he campaigned hard for Wendy Davis against Mayor Garcetti and lost; the same results with his endorsement of former Chief of Staff Anna Cubas and her loss to Curren Price; and as the 14th D district election unfolds, they will probably become hot button campaign issues.

Lastly, Hecho’s Jorge Bravo indicated he wasn’t happy with Huizar and I’m confident he will withstand the pressure, however my calls to Connie Bravo have run into a wall. My activist instinct is discreetly whispering, the Councilman may have already charmed his way into an endorsement. 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.

For the complete set of articles on Huizar, please see my blog LaRayueladeJavier.WordPress.Com

  1. The Lost Moral Compass of a Harvard Mexican Councilman Part I.
  2. Gang Killings of Mexican Youth in Boyle Heights and Jose Huizar is Still Nowhere in Sight.
  3. Press Statement on Public Urination in the Boyle Heights Arts District and the Mariachi Plaza.

The Lost Moral Compass of a Harvard Mexican Councilman Part I

By Javier Rodriguez   from La Plaza Del Mariachi 15 August 2014

  • BREAKING: The FBI Revealed Today the Identity of One of the “Perps” in the Racist Bombing of Four African American Families on May 12 in Boyle Heights.
  • The Corruption of the Historical Casa del Mexicano and our Playboy Councilman Huizar,

The violence in the poverty stricken Eastside Latino quarter of Boyle Heights continues unabated. Recently however, it was tainted with racist terrorism when allegedly, eight Latinos bombed the homes of four African American families. The terrifying scene erupted in the Ramona Gardens Public Housing Projects located three miles northeast of the Mariachi Plaza.

Caught on video from the start as they entered the vicinity of the Housing Projects, the eight “perps” have not been arrested nor identified until today. In a news breaking story of this morning, the FBI reported the department had used testing of finger prints on glass and bingo, the scientific DNA search revealed Carlos “Big Tricker” Hernandez, age 29, was already in custody for robbery in Riverside. According to FOX NEWS, Hernandez a known member of Big Hazard, either constructed the bomb or threw it against the apartments at  Ramona Gardens.

With the clock ticking and the fact the crime was obviously racially motivated, not long after, the LAPD, accompanied by mostly Latino community leaders, staged a press conference inside the housing complex offering a $100,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of the criminals involved in the bombings.

Upon scanning the news reports of the media event then, including the large photo published in La Opinion the following day, Councilman Jose Huizar, who represents the 14th District, did not appear in the picture nor is he quoted in the article. More, egregiously, he failed to personally visit the stunned community to show compassion and provide leadership to assure the victims a prompt investigation and protection. As with all the violent murders and constant weekly shootouts of the last 18 months in Boyle Heights, all indicators point to Jose Huizar, the Harvard and immigrant councilman, once again “was missing in action.”

The area sits between the County General Hospital and the USC School of Medicine on the Westside and Cal State L.A. on the East and like most Latino barrios, the Southern wing is divided by the San Bernardino Fry. Along with El Sereno and Eagle Rock, Boyle Heights is part of the 14th Council District in the City of LA. The Gardens is also a long time bastion of the Hazard St. Gang, composed of several hundred hard core members and lest not forget, it is also one of the intense pockets of poverty in the city. The subsidized public complex houses 1791 residents of which 78 are African Americans, most which I presume, are part of the now noticeable multiracial Diaspora migrating into the district since around the start of the millennium.

I have lived and been an activist in LA for decades and with a few exceptions, my grass roots home base has been the Heights. I first began to get acquainted with Huizar at La Serenata de Garibaldi Restaurant which my family co founded back in 1985 and where the councilman is a regular customer. But it’s not until late 20I0 when I began to get somewhat closer to him and it was due to two personal developments. The first took place at a Latino Piano Bar Restaurant where I sing as a hobby with live music and one evening, Jose arrived with a group of people, so I introduced him to the packed crowd and he received a loud ovation. I also sang a highly popular ranchero love song which, coincidentally, was his late father’s favorite song and he was touched.

The second is the story of two late night murders in an unsavory neighborhood bar on East 1st Street called “Oscar’s”. The incident hit the news and soon after through the barrio grapevine, the word was out that Jose’s mother was a regular client there and she may have been inside the “cantina” when the shooting ensued. I had met her about two months prior when I was invited to an afterhours house party located a half of mile from the bar. When I arrived with some friends, I was introduced to the hostess and owner of the home and she claimed to be Huizar’s mother. I was there for approximately an hour and while there and I observed the ambience was racy and very liberal. Before leaving, I was also introduced to the owner of the mentioned bar, who minutes before had exited a bedroom with a female companion.

A few weeks after the killings, as a member of a board of directors for a planned charter school to be housed at La Casa del Mexicano, also in Boyle Heights, I attended an early morning meeting at Philippe’s Restaurant to meet with the Councilman and his staff to request his support for the school venture. When the school business was over, I pulled Jose to the side and in full confidence I conveyed to him the information I had about the bar tragedy and the afterhours house party at his mother’s. He seemed clearly touched and impressed and looking directly at my eyes, he thanked me and said “I won’t forget this Javier.” He then called Ana Cubas, his Chief of Staff and a recent candidate for City Council, over and told her, “let’s stay very close to this man. He has his ears to the ground.” If you’re reading this, you logically could deduce, like I did, the story leads to the beginning of a bond. The following narrative conveys what are some of the contemporary issues that I have lived or have observed here

The Corruption at the Historical Casa del Mexicano

El Comite de Beneficencia Mexicano CBM-Mexican Benefit Corporation is historically considered the oldest existing Mexican solidarity organization in Los Angeles and it was organized by the Mexican community with the guidance of the LA Mexican Counsel in 1932. According to the news reports of the time and the CBM bylaws that I translated, it was founded as a nonprofit organization with a large dues paying membership, an executive staff and a twenty plus board of directors elected annually by the members at its monthly general meetings. Its stated mission was to assist the large Mexican community in Los Angeles.

The historical context of this social development for the Mexican community was dramatic and it included the fact that Mexico had just concluded its social and armed revolution of 1910 and the war of the Cristeros that followed immediately; the Great Depression of the thirties was full blown; The threat of fascism and the 2nd World War were on the rise; The Mexican government stunned the world and filled the nation with pride when under the Presidency of General Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico confronted the American and English oil giants and nationalized its oil resources; and most important, these were the years of the repatriation and deportation of more than I million Mexicans, many born in the United States. In this same period, the CBM founded La Casa del Mexicano and its first offices were opened on the corner of Brooklyn and Gage Ave(Think Self Help Graphics). Later in 1949, through a community wide fundraising campaign, the CBM purchased the old church on Euclid Pl. -now known as Calle Pedro Infante- and this transaction was fully paid in cash.

For the activists that follow my blog, La Rayuela de Javier.Wordpress.Com, 1932 is also the year that my oldest brother Jose was born in the mining town of Basis in the high North Sierra of Durango. Before the end of that decade, my father, a miner and union leader, a Cardenista and a member of the Communist Party, with my mother, Jose and Jacobo still a baby, began the trek on horseback towards the north that finally, after 18 years, landed the Rodriguez Hernandez Family unto the City Los Angeles. A year later as a member of the Guadalajara Juniors Soccer Team, the first Mexican youth soccer team founded in LA, I attended my first meeting at La Casa del Mexicano.

Understandably, for decades the CBM and La Casa were a center of humanitarianism, solidarity, political and cultural activity. Many events, fiestas, charity, beauty contests, visits by major international Mexican stars such as Cantinflas and presidents set foot in the house of Mexicans. But probably one of the most important contemporary political activities sponsored by and held at La Casa, was hosting the March 25 Coalition in the making of the May 1st Great American Boycott of 2006. The historical event was organized in defense of all undocumented immigrants and the 55 million Latinos in the US against the anti immigrant Republican far right campaigns of the time. The M25C organized and staged a one day national boycott of the economy -which I directed- that moved millions of Latinos in Los Angeles and nationally to boycott work, schools, shopping, and shut down tens of thousands of businesses. According to pundits, it also stopped an estimated 20 industries, including gardening and landscaping, garment, construction, meat packing, restaurant and hotel services, home care, shipping, etc. Additionally, many coalitions organized their boycotts and an estimated 100 mega marches in as many cities from coast to coast. La Casa was an integral part of this and the rest of the marches and events that followed until 2009.     

However, at the same time, I’ll say from the nineties up to 2010, gradually the CBM lost its moral compass. In August 2001 I served as the political advisor to a group of dozens of dissidents and in a month’s time, with about 100 community leaders, activists and residents of Boyle Heights, we successfully stormed the building, cut the locks and chains, forced our way in and secured it by camping inside 24 hours a day for a whole month.

Unfortunately though, ten years later the corruption was again rampant and the board of directors had been reduced to three persons: President Martha Soriano, the Secretary Ruben Soriano and the Treasurer Martha Velazquez. There were no more members and there was zero legal or public accountability. The Committee to Rescue La Casa was organized and on September 15, 2011 the campaign to publicly denounce the high level corruption, the violation of the CBM bylaws and California corporate laws kicked off successfully.

The Committee was composed of many ex members, ex officers, including former presidents, Real Estate crack shots Joe Adame and Lucy Diaz, progressive lawyers, community leaders, activists and several Rodriguez’. As a priority, a delegation met with Councilman Huizar and we were promised a letter calling for a government investigation on La Casa. Time passed and the committee lobbied in good faith, but the weeks turned to months and it was obvious he was not going to move on our behalf. For all of us and especially for me, it was a major disappointment.

Then the political graffiti appeared in the neighborhood streets that said “Corruption in La Casa del Mexicano and Councilman Huizar is asleep.” In less than 24 hours, his office issued the letter signed by him and addressed to the California Secretary of State Debra Bowen. By the following afternoon his area director called informing me the letter was ready. However it was a weak undemanding document but we exploited it anyway.

The letter was not only weak, it had been directed to a government institution which had no jurisdiction over the matter. But by then we had successfully lobbied Sen. Kevin de Leon and his office wrote to Attorney General Kamala Harris and officially requested the coveted investigation. The differences between both politicians were like night and day. The information was massively emailed to the media, it was placed on line through several websites and sent widely to thousands of social activists and other sectors.

With press releases, statements and articles, plus protests and investigation by the campaign Committee public opinion was mobilized. La Opinion alone, through the energy, passion and investigative approach of reporter Jorge Morales, published a record 12 articles, plus photos on the case. Of course we had to also lobby the Attorney General’s office and the prosecutor assigned to the case and so did Sen. de Leon’s staff and we all succeeded. The official investigation took off. But Councilman Huizar never issued a press release nor gave a media interview to take a stand on the issue. In fact, his letter or any type of official demand from his office ever reached the Secretary of State. This, along with the other fact that this State Department had no jurisdiction, no authority to investigate the case, was uncovered through our investigations.

Essentially he had sided with his ally LASUD President Monica Garcia and the failed non union charter school project. As well, he didn’t understand, believe or cared about the serious allegations of violations against the CBM’s bylaws and State Corporate Law, carried out for years, by the CASA administrators. Moreover, Jose did not show any interest in the ongoing investigations and the condemning facts the reporter Morales and the Legal and Real Estate Eagles we had in our ranks, revealed. Unbelievably, the bottom line, he tacitly leaned with the Sorianos, who were to receive a $10,000 monthly rent payment for the rental of the historic building to the Charter School. To reiterate conclusively, he sided with continuing the corruption in the Heights.

*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 similar neighborhood violence in the area. His blog is Larayueladejavier.wordpress.com; A victim of hacking his old email  bajolamiradejavier@yahoo..com has been recovered.

Javier will attempt to publish, on a weekly basis, all the pieces on the issues relating to his work as a full time activist or as a journalist on Boyle Heights and Latinos in general

 The continuing topics in a series consist  of: The Harvard Councilman.

The conclusions on the investigation and the charges of corruption at La Casa del Mexicano and the CBM brought about successfully by the State Attorney General.

The violence and barrio Capital Punishment.

The conflict and divisions within the LA Latino political class brought about in the last Mayoral election, The  major sexual harassment scandal and the costs to the City and taxpayers.

Hecho en Mexico $1,000,000,Lawsuit against Semillas Charter School where once again Huizar was MIA.

The questionable auto accident with an official City Car, the unexplained delayed drug and alcohol mandatory police test, the $175,000 settlement and the lack of deeper investigative reporting by the media, especially the Latino Media.

The sex scandal has already cost us and the city $200,000 and a future court verdict or a settlement will perhaps cost us an added costly sum in the hundreds of thousands.

The opinions of the community, the mariachis, activists, priests, media circles, etc.

September 22 Millions March and the broken $10,000 donation promise to publish 1 million flyers and posters.

By Javier Rodriguez, Isabel Rodriguez, Antonio Rodriguez, Jacobo Rodriguez, Francisco Paco Rodriguez, Ricardo Rodriguez, Jaime Rodriguez and Marianna Herrera

From Mariachi Plaza       15Image April 2014            Please Post

  • Obama to Hispanic Caucus: “If Congress doesn’t act on reform in 90 days, I will use bold executive authority.”
  • Chicago calls for 90 days of action and move millions to march.
  • Arellano: “On May 1st No Work, No School and no Deportations.”
  • The road to passing legislation leads through the White House door of executive action.
  • The national pressure is on: NDLON led activists protest in 80 cities; After 27,000 miles and 92 Congressional Districts, the Fast for Families and We Belong Together tour arrives in DC; from coast to coast, civil disobedience increases; Deported DREAMers and families Xross the border and demand asylum.The Chicago demonstration, the largest to date, definitely marks the pace for the movement as a whole, because it calls for an increase of targeted political pressure on the president through out the 90 days he asked for in a recent meeting with Gutierrez and other members of the Hispanic Caucus.  As expected, the president finally committed, for the first time, to take “bold executive action” if Congress fails to pass the awaited legislation on reform. The bold executive decrees expected by these leaders are the coveted protection given to the DREAMers in 2012 for all the undocumented now living within the USA, in addition to extending those rights to all deportees with no serious criminal record, to return and unify with their families.Clearly -as we the Rodriguez brothers and sisters recently wrote in a lengthy article that was published nationally, pointing out, that what was missing in the struggle for reform was the massive street movement of 2006, the call from Chicago proposes to the nation to mobilize the masses of the people, by the millions.  Additionally, the strategy of popular political pressure on the President inherently carries the double objective of cracking the back of reactionary Republicans in Congress to wrest the big prize of comprehensive reform:   We have wasted too much time knocking at the door of Republican Congressmen. Our unified vote convinced Republican Party leaders that their party can never win the White House unless they pass immigration reform, but they cannot act without rank and file Republicans. Those rank and file Republicans will never act to pass immigration reform as long as the President is deporting 1100 people a day – as long as the President is doing what they want.”At this moment the Chicago plan appears to be the most comprehensive: A) Politically it maintains a clear line on demanding a stop to deportations and the brutal separation of families, calling for executive action and the same kind of protection the President decreed for the 1.7million DREAMers in 2012, and b) Not allowing the immediate crisis to cloud their vision and leave out the long term goal of comprehensive immigration reform, the Grand Prize of this 28 year old struggle. They see clearly the political pressure has to be exerted on both fronts, Obama and the Republicans, and c) organizationally, as we do, they probably see the existing favorable conditions for the mass mobilization of millions  unto to the streets, to engage the whole country in support of the demands. In comparison2) The Fast for Families circle, reeling from the success of last year’s national fast for families which moved large and important sectors, including clergy and top politicians –Obama, Biden, Reid, Pelosi to name a few- just completed a national caravan which traveled 27,000` miles and visited 92 Congressional Districts, primarily speaking out for immigration reform and strategically targeting the pressure on the Republicans in their home bases.  4) The radical DREAMers which instituted the border which allowed almost 200 deportees to return to the US including Arellano have set a radical creative bar bringing new alternative tactics to the strategy of reuniting families and exposing the brutality and senseless deportations of non criminal immigrants. These groups and their leaders essentially –and there are more- exhibit a high moral ground in national public opinion and a vast national network which if pulled together, can probably succeed in reaching the goal of mobilizing millions as Chicago proposes. We speculate Elvira’s remarkable return to the US will add a much needed voice of national leadership, meaning another figure of popular stature which has also been one of the missing pieces in the equation of this epical struggle. Especially because she is charismatic, undocumented, a woman and a mother who with her son spent a year in a progressive activist sanctuary church defying a deportation order. Heroically, she then left the protective spot in August of 2007 and clandestinely traveled directly to Los Angeles -the city that initially placed her on the national map and made her and her son Saul national figures- because she wanted to spark life into the movement.  Today she is a former deportee who took advantage of the border opening created by the radical wing of the dreamer movement and like a miracle of struggle, is now back in the good old USA and once again in high gear. Proof of this is the unmatched homecoming gathering described above with 300 clergy and the mass of people motivated with her return to the windy city that saw her rise.Unfortunately,  in contrast in LA, the divisions are so marked that for this year’s May 1st opportunity to contribute and build an unequivocal show of force, with a unified massive march, and also set the pace for the rest of the nation, once again the movement is fractionalized and several marches are scheduled. Instead of strengthening our position against the Republican far right, the anti immigrant national organizations and ICE, they will take notice. Essentially the same “2009” mentality of Sharks and Coyotes is prevalent and continues unabated, ZAZ. *Javier Rodriguez is a journalist, a blogger and a media and political strategist. His blog is Larayueladejavier.wordpress.com. Isabel is a long time activist, a member of the Millions of Voices Coalition and presently is on her final year at Cal State University LA Masters on History and Latin America. Antonio is also a long time activist, a civil rights attorney and a former contributor to LA Times and La Opinion Op-Ed pages. Jaime is a long time social activist and presently serves as a field deputy in California’s Senate District 30th?  Jacobo is a retiree, a bail bondsman, a long time  community activist and a former labor organizer. Ricardo,  a former student leader,  just led and completed a successful union drive for 500 workers in Barstow with United Electrical and Machine Workers Union-UE, a Gourmet Chef and Caterer. Mariana is also an activist, an  MA Therapist, has two masters and is a Theater Playwright for CASA 0101 in Boyle Heights.
  •  
  • To be truthful, when the request made to President Calderon to give her diplomatic status to return to the United States failed, and the fact that she was removed during the presidency of George W. Bush, a reactionary Republican, because she was a recognized leader with no criminal record, we didn’t expect her back.
  • When she was arrested in LA and deported in less than 12 hours to Tijuana, she was already a relentless and intrepid national figure and that trajectory was immediately placed in high gear in Mexico. Her spectacular arrival galvanized public opinion to the point that it forced President Felipe Calderon to grant her a private meeting. He offered her a home and scholarships for her son, and though she was living in utter poverty in Michoacán, a highly dangerous place, she graciously rejected them, informing him she was meeting with him on behalf of the people. To our knowledge and Javier traveled and spent time with her in 2012 in Mexico City and Tabasco border where thousands of Hondurans cross into Mexico and begin their long journey to America on “The Beast,” in her 7 year stay in her home country, she was probably the spokesperson that was most interviewed by the mainstream local and internationally media on the issues of Central American migration through Mexico, the struggle to defend them as well as the fight -in Mexico- for immigration reform in the US.
  • In her most recent article, Arellano calls for a May 1st with No Work, No School and No Deportations and we propose NO REPUBLICANS. If the one day boycott materializes, it will be a first for Chicago.
  •  5) The organizational and political success exhibited in the March 27 Chicago Homecoming for Elvira events by the Chicago circle composed of Gutierrez, Arellano, Rev. Lozano and Rev. Coleman, which is one of three city factions, has the campaign trail experience in mobilizing national public opinion through several tours,  as well as co-leading the mass marches of 2005 and 2006 in Chicago and a vast reserve of contacts in several levels. With Cong. Gutierrez, the most recognized and popular figure in this struggle, it is also the only one with direct access to the White House. 
  • 3) The FIRM Coalition, considered the largest amalgam of organizations in the country, as soon as the Republicans backtracked on the principles, began setting up the punishment phase leading to the November elections. It should be noted that this is the D.C. based organization that emanated from a 2008 national conference that set up the massive petitions, organized telephone conferences of over 60, 000 activists and convened the 200,000 people national march on March 21, 2010 in the Capitol. 
  • 1) the National Day Laborers Organizing Network, the leading group behind the grass roots recent protests in 50 to 80 cities primarily stands on the abolition of deportations demand.
  •  
  •  
  • “What is clear now is that the road to passing legislation leads through the White House door of executive action. The threat of executive action is the only hope of bringing the congress to act. The reality of executive action is the only way reactionary members of the Republican caucus can be brought to the table.
  • However, the movement leaders are not waiting. They are clearly defining a path of action to get to the Promised Land:  Familias Latinas Unidas Co-Chair Emma Lozano joined Elvira Arellano in calling for 90 days of action. “We must stand against every single deportation and we must stand with every single family that has been separated to reunite them. We must organize mass civil disobedience. We must march and march and march until the streets are filled with our millions.”
  • At the rally, Gutierrez explained his recent negotiations with the President. “The president has asked for 90 days to see if the Republican Congress will finally act. If not, he has committed to the use of bold executive authority.”
  • In a spectacular comeback Chicago homecoming for Elvira Arellano held on March 27, 2014, over 300 pastors plus 1500 immigrant rights leaders and activists, including Cong. Luis Gutierrez and Rev. Emma Lozano, staged a rally, then marched to ICE headquarters where a reported 50 participants were arrested in another major demonstration of Civil Disobedience. The organizers envision the multifaceted strategy and militant actions will set the pace for the national movement for the next 90 days.  Obviously, injected with the energy of social adrenaline, the pastors pointed to “Elvira’s miraculous return as cause for new hope in the [immigration reform] movement in Chicago.”

LA RAYUELA DE JAVIER Elvira Arellano is Back in Chicago and Dramatically Sparks the Movement  

By Javier Rodriguez, Isabel Rodriguez, Antonio Rodriguez, Jacobo Rodriguez, Francisco Paco Rodriguez, Ricardo Rodriguez, Jaime Rodriguez and Marianna Herrera

From Mariachi Plaza       14 April 2014            Please Post

  • Obama to Hispanic Caucus: “If Congress doesn’t act on reform in 90 days, I will use bold executive authority.”
  • Chicago calls for 90 days of action and move millions to march.
  • Arellano: “On May 1st No Work, No School and no Deportations.”
  • The road to passing legislation leads through the White House door of executive action.
  • The national pressure is on: NDLON led activists protest in 80 cities; After 27,000 miles and 92 Congressional Districts, the Fast for Families and We Belong Together tour arrives in DC; from coast to coast, civil disobedience increases; Deported DREAMers and families Xross the border and demand asylum.The Chicago demonstration, the largest to date, definitely marks the pace for the movement as a whole, because it calls for an increase of targeted political pressure on the president through out the 90 days he asked for in a recent meeting with Gutierrez and other members of the Hispanic Caucus.  As expected, the president finally committed, for the first time, to take “bold executive action” if Congress fails to pass the awaited legislation on reform. The bold executive decrees expected by these leaders are the coveted protection given to the DREAMers in 2012 for all the undocumented now living within the USA, in addition to extending those rights to all deportees with no serious criminal record, to return and unify with their families.Clearly -as we the Rodriguez brothers and sisters recently wrote in a lengthy article that was published nationally, pointing out, that what was missing in the struggle for reform was the massive street movement of 2006, the call from Chicago proposes to the nation to mobilize the masses of the people, by the millions.  Additionally, the strategy of popular political pressure on the President inherently carries the double objective of cracking the back of reactionary Republicans in Congress to wrest the big prize of comprehensive reform:   We have wasted too much time knocking at the door of Republican Congressmen. Our unified vote convinced Republican Party leaders that their party can never win the White House unless they pass immigration reform, but they cannot act without rank and file Republicans. Those rank and file Republicans will never act to pass immigration reform as long as the President is deporting 1100 people a day – as long as the President is doing what they want.”At this moment the Chicago plan appears to be the most comprehensive: A) Politically it maintains a clear line on demanding a stop to deportations and the brutal separation of families, calling for executive action and the same kind of protection the President decreed for the 1.7million DREAMers in 2012, and b) Not allowing the immediate crisis to cloud their vision and leave out the long term goal of comprehensive immigration reform, the Grand Prize of this 28 year old struggle. They see clearly the political pressure has to be exerted on both fronts, Obama and the Republicans, and c) organizationally, as we do, they probably see the existing favorable conditions for the mass mobilization of millions  unto to the streets, to engage the whole country in support of the demands. In comparison2) The Fast for Families circle, reeling from the success of last year’s national fast for families which moved large and important sectors, including clergy and top politicians –Obama, Biden, Reid, Pelosi to name a few- just completed a national caravan which traveled 27,000` miles and visited 92 Congressional Districts, primarily speaking out for immigration reform and strategically targeting the pressure on the Republicans in their home bases.  4) The radical DREAMers which instituted the border which allowed almost 200 deportees to return to the US including Arellano have set a radical creative bar bringing new alternative tactics to the strategy of reuniting families and exposing the brutality and senseless deportations of non criminal immigrants. These groups and their leaders essentially –and there are more- exhibit a high moral ground in national public opinion and a vast national network which if pulled together, can probably succeed in reaching the goal of mobilizing millions as Chicago proposes. We speculate Elvira’s remarkable return to the US will add a much needed voice of national leadership, meaning another figure of popular stature which has also been one of the missing pieces in the equation of this epical struggle. Especially because she is charismatic, undocumented, a woman and a mother who with her son spent a year in a progressive activist sanctuary church defying a deportation order. Heroically, she then left the protective spot in August of 2007 and clandestinely traveled directly to Los Angeles -the city that initially placed her on the national map and made her and her son Saul national figures- because she wanted to spark life into the movement.  Today she is a former deportee who took advantage of the border opening created by the radical wing of the dreamer movement and like a miracle of struggle, is now back in the good old USA and once again in high gear. Proof of this is the unmatched homecoming gathering described above with 300 clergy and the mass of people motivated with her return to the windy city that saw her rise.Unfortunately,  in contrast in LA, the divisions are so marked that for this year’s May 1st opportunity to contribute and build an unequivocal show of force, with a unified massive march, and also set the pace for the rest of the nation, once again the movement is fractionalized and several marches are scheduled. Instead of strengthening our position against the Republican far right, the anti immigrant national organizations and ICE, they will take notice. Essentially the same “2009” mentality of Sharks and Coyotes is prevalent and continues unabated, ZAZ. *Javier Rodriguez is a journalist, a blogger and a media and political strategist. His blog is Larayueladejavier.wordpress.com. Isabel is a long time activist, a member of the Millions of Voices Coalition and presently is on her final year at Cal State University LA Masters on History and Latin America. Antonio is also a long time activist, a civil rights attorney and a former contributor to LA Times and La Opinion Op-Ed pages. Jaime is a long time social activist and presently serves as a field deputy in California’s Senate District 30th?  Jacobo is a retiree, a bail bondsman, a long time  community activist and a former labor organizer. Ricardo,  a former student leader,  just led and completed a successful union drive for 500 workers in Barstow with United Electrical and Machine Workers Union-UE, a Gourmet Chef and Caterer. Mariana is also an activist, an  MA Therapist, has two masters and is a Theater Playwright for CASA 0101 in Boyle Heights.
  •  
  • To be truthful, when the request made to President Calderon to give her diplomatic status to return to the United States failed, and the fact that she was removed during the presidency of George W. Bush, a reactionary Republican, because she was a recognized leader with no criminal record, we didn’t expect her back.
  • When she was arrested in LA and deported in less than 12 hours to Tijuana, she was already a relentless and intrepid national figure and that trajectory was immediately placed in high gear in Mexico. Her spectacular arrival galvanized public opinion to the point that it forced President Felipe Calderon to grant her a private meeting. He offered her a home and scholarships for her son, and though she was living in utter poverty in Michoacán, a highly dangerous place, she graciously rejected them, informing him she was meeting with him on behalf of the people. To our knowledge and Javier traveled and spent time with her in 2012 in Mexico City and Tabasco border where thousands of Hondurans cross into Mexico and begin their long journey to America on “The Beast,” in her 7 year stay in her home country, she was probably the spokesperson that was most interviewed by the mainstream local and internationally media on the issues of Central American migration through Mexico, the struggle to defend them as well as the fight -in Mexico- for immigration reform in the US.
  • In her most recent article, Arellano calls for a May 1st with No Work, No School and No Deportations and we propose NO REPUBLICANS. If the one day boycott materializes, it will be a first for Chicago.
  •  5) The organizational and political success exhibited in the March 27 Chicago Homecoming for Elvira events by the Chicago circle composed of Gutierrez, Arellano, Rev. Lozano and Rev. Coleman, which is one of three city factions, has the campaign trail experience in mobilizing national public opinion through several tours,  as well as co-leading the mass marches of 2005 and 2006 in Chicago and a vast reserve of contacts in several levels. With Cong. Gutierrez, the most recognized and popular figure in this struggle, it is also the only one with direct access to the White House. 
  • 3) The FIRM Coalition, considered the largest amalgam of organizations in the country, as soon as the Republicans backtracked on the principles, began setting up the punishment phase leading to the November elections. It should be noted that this is the D.C. based organization that emanated from a 2008 national conference that set up the massive petitions, organized telephone conferences of over 60, 000 activists and convened the 200,000 people national march on March 21, 2010 in the Capitol. 
  • 1) the National Day Laborers Organizing Network, the leading group behind the grass roots recent protests in 50 to 80 cities primarily stands on the abolition of deportations demand.
  •  
  •  
  • “What is clear now is that the road to passing legislation leads through the White House door of executive action. The threat of executive action is the only hope of bringing the congress to act. The reality of executive action is the only way reactionary members of the Republican caucus can be brought to the table.
  • However, the movement leaders are not waiting. They are clearly defining a path of action to get to the Promised Land:  Familias Latinas Unidas Co-Chair Emma Lozano joined Elvira Arellano in calling for 90 days of action. “We must stand against every single deportation and we must stand with every single family that has been separated to reunite them. We must organize mass civil disobedience. We must march and march and march until the streets are filled with our millions.”
  • At the rally, Gutierrez explained his recent negotiations with the President. “The president has asked for 90 days to see if the Republican Congress will finally act. If not, he has committed to the use of bold executive authority.”
  • In a spectacular comeback Chicago homecoming for Elvira Arellano held on March 27, 2014, over 300 pastors plus 1500 immigrant rights leaders and activists, including Cong. Luis Gutierrez and Rev. Emma Lozano, staged a rally, then marched to ICE headquarters where a reported 50 participants were arrested in another major demonstration of Civil Disobedience. The organizers envision the multifaceted strategy and militant actions will set the pace for the national movement for the next 90 days.  Obviously, injected with the energy of social adrenaline, the pastors pointed to “Elvira’s miraculous return as cause for new hope in the [immigration reform] movement in Chicago.”

La Rayuela de Javier

For 20 Million People and their Families, American Deportation Policy is Living Under a Harsh Dictatorship “Democracy.”  

By Javier Rodriguez   from Plaza del Mariachi   20 March 2014

To friends and family, the country’s deportations of our people is about to hit 2 million deportations, and yes the suffering is devastating. The most immediate comparative I can provide is the unequivocal fact the millions of deportees and the almost 20 million people directly affected by the failed  hard line repressive dogmatic approach to immigration, that is the 12 million undocumented, their  5 million US born sons and daughters, plus their 2.5 to 3 million spouses, are living a harsh dictatorship “democracy.” However as the Americas Voice press release so emphatically clarifies, the grand prize for all of us is not just succeeding in getting the executive presidential order to protect the people from the  “ICE wrath,” but to also succeed in exerting enough political pressure on the Republican Far Right to concede a vote for immigration reform in the House of Representatives.  So read on, ZAZ, Javier

The Devastation of Needless Deportations

America’s Voice | Released on 03/20/2014 at 10:27am

On the Cusp of 2 Million Deportations, New Video Highlights American Families Being Ripped Apart

As House Republicans stall progress on immigration reform, American families continue to pay the price. The Obama Administration has been deporting immigrants at a reckless pace—over 1,000 a day—and is set to make history in the coming days when it hits the 2 million mark on deportations.  Two million is too many.

A new video from America’s Voice documents the case of one such family. Brigido Acosta-Luis was deported this past November even after his U.S. citizen wife, Maria Perez, waged a grueling battle to keep her family together. Despite the fact that he qualifies for “prosecutorial discretion” under a 2011 memo from former ICE Director John Morton, and is eligible for a green card based on his marriage to Maria, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) denied all of Brigido’s legal options to stay and he is now living in Mexico, thousands of miles away from his wife and kids.

As Maria says in the video:

We did everything together.  We cooked together.  We did the laundry together.  So when you take a part of that team out, it just breaks up the family.  My son needs him.  My daughter needs him.  And I need him.

ICE targeted Brigido on an “expedited removal” order from 2002.  Back then, Brigido entered the United States with a valid tourist visa but was inexplicably detained, stripped him down to his underwear, and interrogated for hours at the airport.  He was bullied into signing a paper and flew back to Mexico on his own ticket.  According to ICE, this counted as a deportation.  So when he was found living in the United States in 2013, ICE reinstated that prior order of deportation and took him into custody.

This story is just one family in two million, but it provides a small glimpse into the aftermath of deportation so many families are experience across the country (see here for a collection of other heart-breaking stories of families fighting deportation on America’s Voice’s new action page).  Many of these targeted individuals would qualify for legal status and citizenship under pending legislation House Republicans are blocking in Congress.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

House Republicans are to blame for stopping immigration reform in its tracks. The Senate has taken action, the public supports reform with a path to citizenship and the votes exist today in the House if only House Leadership would give us a vote. Their inaction comes with far-reaching political consequences that could well doom the GOP future.  But that doesn’t mean there’s no hope. The President has the power to stop the bleeding and roll back the deportation machine. He can and must use his executive authority to take immediate, temporary and common sense actions to change course and stop the egregious deportation of people that would qualify for citizenship under legislation he supports.

Watch the video and learn more about similar paces on America’s Voice’s new action page here:  http://americasvoice.org/2million/     

Tagged as: Deportations, Highlights, Immigration, Immigration 2014, Immigration Reform, President Obama and the White House

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