Paris pays tribute to a murderer

By Luis Leonel León Published in Spanish on January 15th, 2018.

Not only is it an unfortunate, pathetic and deceitful act, it is also very dangerous that in the most popular tourist destination in the world, with total impudence, tribute is paid to a murderer; And even worse, to an assassin to whom the more childish left, and often prosaic, continues to try to disrupt as evidenced by the words of the mayor of that city, Anne Hidalgo, “a militant and romantic icon”, as defined by the official in a tweet.

With this typical tropology of leftism, (and it does not matter if conscious or unconscious), the Spanish-French mayor of the Socialist Party mocks the Parisians with an exhibition at the city hall of the French capital dedicated to the communist guerrilla Ernesto Ché Guevara. It is with the supposed venality, the naivety and the money of the taxpayers, that this ideological and pseudo-cultural reverence has been organized to such criminal, whose victims, once again thanks to the slippery paths of the left, usually enter the technical and vulgar category of “low” in the name of supposed progress of humanity and social struggles. Bloodied fallacies of the progress.

So, in Paris, apparently until February 17th, despite the discontent and protests, this exhibition will remain a compliment to one of the symbols and myths of Castroism and of much part of the left.

Cured with much more shamelessness than rigor (if any), the exhibition proposes a very different Guevara that how he really was. His injustices, falsehoods and crimes are neither shown, nor his multiple contributions to the ruin and debasement of the Cubans, and not a few Latin Americans with the so-called socialism of the 21st century, but, as if his history was different, he is presented as a dreamer of the “new man”. Of course, without explaining what this new man is, which is nothing but a blind, impoverished and tormented herd of sad men, an army of automatons, censored and self-censored, who lie for fear of expressing their truth, who are prisoners of the daily suffocation, repeating revolutionary slogans while yearning to be able to flee from the miseries of communism to which they have been condemned, which has lost, concealed or exterminated their ability to think and dream. A society like that can only sustain a communist system. That is Castroism. It is the eternal rumba towards loss, the grimace of degradation, the lie of failure, a phrase worn in a corroded wall of Havana.

Ché Guevara, born in Argentina in 1928, became a commander of Fidel Castro’s guerrilla in the fifties and was executed by Bolivian military when he tried to subvert democracy in that country in 1967. He was never moved by ideals of adventure, as they intend to show in insipid movies of the left propaganda. The dark networks of communism drove his ideals. That was his ideology. His history, not his myth, confirms it.

It is a great irresponsibility, and collusion with criminality, sold as a “militant and romantic icon” someone who, for accomplishing his supposed adventure, was nicknamed “the butcher of La Cabaña”. While Guevara was the head of La Cabaña, the old fortress became, more than a military unit, one of the most sinister places on the island. There, he sentenced many Cubans to be shot without prior trial, as he had done experiencing pleasure in the Sierra Maestra. He condemned others to the concentration camps. His phrases of contempt towards the blacks, American Indians, religious, homosexuals are well known. This is enough to destroy the myth and classify it as one of the most detestable criminals that has stained the twentieth century. The left, far from defending his image, should feel ashamed, but I don’t know if that will be possible.

The world should know that this communist, full of hatred and psychiatric ideas, was one of the arms of Fidel Castro (who by the way, and as the Communists usually do, finally abandoned him to death in the Bolivian jungle). He occupied other key positions in the nascent Caribbean dictatorship. He was director of the Department of Industrialization of the National Institute of Agrarian Reform, Minister of Industry, President of the National Bank, represented the Castro government in international forums such at the United Nations Organization, and negotiated military and commercial agreements with his main partner and adviser: the regime of the Soviet Union. In all his positions and missions, his goal was to arm himself with the totalitarian power and expand it beyond the island. His legacy, like that of the Castro’s family, is a deadly trail of machinations, crimes, and economic, social and cultural catastrophes that cannot yet be accounted for. It sadly still persists. And to a large extent, it is thanks to tributes like this one.

That this happens in Paris, whether subtly or devious, is also a way of trampling the memory of the victims of Guevara and of the communism: a macabre ideology that turned 100 years old. I would like to know the answer, the sincerest possible, from the mayor of Paris to the victims of this criminal. What would explain to the relatives of the dead trampled by Guevara, and to the taxpayers, the objective of this exhibition? Will it be the same purpose with which this type of maneuver is done in Cuba and elsewhere: confusing, palliating, indoctrinating, and serving as a bridge to inoculate the communism virus?

With this exhibition are they trying to tell Parisians, especially young people, the most misinformed or confused, the same they have told several generations in the world; not only in Latin America, but also in families, groups and socialist schools as the communist academies of Europe usually present themselves?

Hopefully Paris will take urgent notes of this blunder and the disastrous consequences of not reading between the lines. In Cuba, every day the totalitarian state glorifies Guevara as one of its symbols and merchandise of media distortion, enchantment and popular indoctrination, not only at the national level, but also in Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and other countries that are prisoners of undemocratic regimes whose structure and argument of permanence are inspired by the Castroism Cuban revolution.

To those who, like millions of Cubans, have suffered for many years from indoctrination and misinformation, and do not know for sure who Ché Guevara was, I recommend, not the Castro propaganda praises that unfortunately flood bookstores in the world, but the books that tell his true story. I think of the texts, just to mention two eloquent examples by the Argentine essayist Nicolás Márquez: “El “analla, the true story of Ché”, or the most recent, “La máquina de matar”, the definitive biography of Ché, in which his author is aware of an unbeatable tool: “To overthrow the myth of Che, there is no better source than Che himself.”

It is a mockery of art and museographers in Paris, which welcomes more than 40 million foreign tourists every year, and where you will find several of the most famous monuments on the planet such as the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Arc of Triumph, the Avenue des Champs de Elysees, the Arc of Defense, the Opera Garnier, or large museums such as the Louvre, trying to glorify one of the greatest assassins of the Cuban revolution and the region. A shame.

Luckily, not everyone has fallen into Hidalgo’s jamo (web), his communist advisors and support groups. Several French citizens, as well as intellectuals of different nationalities, have expressed their dissatisfaction and strongly criticized this ruse, calling Che Guevara for what he is: a murderer and an essential part of the distortionary propaganda of a totalitarian dictatorship.

One of the voices that have expressed it with more force has been the Cuban novelist, exiled in Paris, Zoé Valdés. Since October 2017, when the author of “La nada Cotidiana” and “La Ficción Fidel”, thanks to a friend who works in the town hall, she learned about the preparations for this exhibition. She contacted Florence Moretti, from the Department of Public Relations and Human Rights of the City Hall, who promised to talk to the mayor, whom the writer knows well, since she was on her support team for her candidacy. Paradoxically, Hidalgo previously helped Valdés to make a tribute to the Cuban opposition group “Damas de Blanco” in Paris, quite the contrary to this insensitive and equivocal exhibition that today stains the Parisian city hall.

Valdés immediately called several people asking them to stop the exhibition, and wrote an open and preventive letter to Hidalgo, which was published by Libertad Digital, and contacted other intellectuals, such as Jacobo Machover, by sending him messages telling him everything that would happen, and which he then posted on his Facebook page. According to the author of “Te di la vida entera y la Habana, mon amour”, in that initial moment, before the exhibition was inaugurated, not a few gave it the importance that they have expressed today, but the renowned novelist did not stop there, and wrote a letter, signed by more than 1,000 people, which was sent to the mayor, the president of France, the Prime Minister, journalists, politicians and personalities of all trends in that country, denouncing this embarrassment. We must thank Zoé Valdés for her tireless fight against the demons and creepers of Castroism, both in her literary and journalistic work, and in her civic activism on social networks.

The most famous nickname of Paris is “The City of Light (Ville lumière)”, awarded for its reputation as a center of arts and education in the world and as a pioneer of urban lighting.

It is time (perhaps a long ago it is time) for Parisians, and many others in the world, to become enlightened again and to keep themselves safe from the pitfalls of communism. Do not forget that culture is usually your best wrapping and rapture.

Published in Spanish by El Nacional on Thursday January 11th, 2018.
Luis Leonel Leon: Journalist, writer, television producer and Cuban filmmaker exiled in the United States. His articles appear in El Nacional (Caracas), Diario las Américas (Miami) and other media outlets. He directs the Colección Fugas publishing house. Member of the Press Committee of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy.
Translated by Lizandra Garriga on Monday January 15th, 2018.