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"
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
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.