Jul. 29, 1998: Diario Las Américas, Miami (translation). Jul. 29, 1998: Newsgroups soc.culture.cuba, soc.rights.human, soc.culture.latin-america, can.politics, us.politics, alt.politics.usa.congress, alt.politics.radical-left, alt.news-media, misc.activism.progressive

Castro: a not very sincere "fireman"

Gonzalo Guimaraens

Fidel Castro has pronounced "the dismal prayer of the armed struggle,"

so it is reported from Havana by the correspondent of the AFP, adding

that the old "pyromaniac" would be transforming himself into a

"fireman." As proof, he cites the good deeds that Castro is willing to

give to Colombia, from a request from the outgoing president Ernesto

Samper, to put an end to the prolonged internal conflict in that

country, which it has practically persisted as long as the Cuban

revolution. "Castro will lend his good capabilities if they are so

needed," stated Samper, in Havana, explaining that now, the last saying

is with the president-elect Andres Pastrana. The Interior Minister of

Samper added that the communist dictator, would be ready to "serve as an

instrument of peace to Colombia."

Castro, all of a sudden has transformed from night to day, into an

"instrument of peace?" In reality, it is enough to read his recent

analysis about the present juncture of Latin-America and the world, to

verify that the supposedly "neo-fireman" is guilefully suiting the

methods of the old "pyromaniac," to the present circumstances. But pay

attention, without changing the revolutionary objectives.

As a matter of fact, the dictator has not resigned nor even disowned

from the subversive struggle, that operated from Cuba, and provoked a

blood bath all over the continent, and that still is tearing Colombia

apart. Castro limits himself to prove that at the present moment, there

are no "objective" conditions for the classic guerrillas to operate "at

Bolshevik style." And he gives an important clue about "new tactics" to

carry on the social revolution in Latin America, when he suggests as a

model of "movement of masses," to Movimiento Sin Tierra (MST) of Brazil.

In what does that model of the MST consist of, that Castro has praised

so much? As we shall see, in that Brazilian organization, the strategy

is much more clever, and to a certain extent, more threatening than the

classic guerrillas. At the same time, it retains invariably the

communist goal, the same one that brought Russia and the Eastern Block

so much misery, and that it still subjugates the island of Cuba. "We

want a socialistic and equalitarian society," explains Juan Pedro

Stedile, an ex-seminarian, ideologist and national director of the MST,

stating documents of such movement that mix explosive ingredients of

Maoism, castrism and liberation theology.

Observe some aspects of the new strategy. To the public's eye, the

revolutionary goal has its mimesis varnished with a "humanitarian"

social justice, of assistance to the peasants and the jobless in the

cities. Parallel to this, there are certain international mass-media and

some network organizations (NGO's), that are in charge

of broadcasting to the world that new pseudo-humanitarian profile.

Together with the mobilization of the masses in the countryside and the

cities, the MST is consolidating "liberated zones" in its numerous

camps, situated in 22 Brazilian provinces. In which , with the

participation of "ideological" teachers from the same organization, they

prepare a new generation of revolutionaries, estimated at around 50,000

children and adolescents between the ages of 7 and 14 years old.

Therefore, Fidel Castro has taken the Brazilian MST as a model to be


Could the colombian guerrillas all of a sudden be willing to sit down in

the negotiating table, but not ready to put down the guns, and adopt in

the near future a profile analogous to the Brazilian MST, to try to form

in the countryside and in the cities "movements of masses," of which it

lacks completely? How can we put aside in advance, such a possibility?

More so when there are going to be "lame ducks" ready to interpret such

a strategy, like a sincere sign from the guerrilla to incorporate in the

civic life of their country.

Presumably inspired in the new ways of Castro, the guerrilla will opt to

profit from the juicy political advantages, strategies and finances of

the negotiations that have just started in Germany and that will

continue in Colombia. Pablo Beltran, one of the directors of the

pro-Castro guerrilla movement ELN, said that one of the objectives of

the negotiations, is that the colombian State recognizes the "authority"

of the guerrilla over vast areas of territory in which they operate.

They also do not pretend to surrender their guns, as this will entail a

dismembering of that nation. "There is no question of handing over

our weapons before or after any peace deal" advised Milton

Hernandez, another director of ELN.

The disposition to preserve the military apparatus, is very significant

from the castroite perspective, not only for Colombia, but for all of

Latin America. The Cuban dictator lets escape his hidden desire, that

the conditions that he calls as "objectives,"(in other words, economic

and political crises), would become present again in Latin America. This

way they could generate anew the possibilities of an armed struggle,

this time with the backing of the "movement of masses," at the MST

style. On June 25th, 1998, in a press conference in Havana, and

transcribed in the newspaper "Granma," as he was referring to the

repercussions of a possible and expected "global economic crises," Castro

said that this one will unfold "a disaster that could spread to Latin

America from countries that according to him, are "very vulnerable,"

like Brazil. If that crisis reaches a country like Brazil, it will drag

immediately with it, Argentina and others, provoking "uncontrollable

phenomenoms," he added without hiding any satisfaction at such an

unexpected perspective.

It will be sorrowful to incur in serious political mistakes that

compromise such an expected stability and Christian prosperity of the

continent. It is imperative not to lose out of sight, these machinations

from a perfect "pyromaniac." He has created a subversive school with

followers in all of Latin America, capable of continuing their actions,

even with a so-commented poor state of health. Those in Colombia and

other countries imagine seeing Castro today as a "fireman," should

realize before it is too late, that in his new role, he is demonstrating

not to be very sincere.

The author of this article is a Uruguayan political analyst, specialist

in Cuban affairs.

E-Mail: cubdest@cubdest.org