Carromero’s Book and Death / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

The most sinister part of Death Under Suspicion is that it is the testimony of a man condemned to death, because Ángel Carromero reports that, before finally being deported to his homeland to serve the rest of his sentence in Spain (in December 2012), a Cuban State Security official warned him that if he ever told the truth, he would also be extrajudicially executed, like Harold Cepero and Oswaldo Payá.

You can believe Ángel Carromero now or not. It doesn’t matter. But there are thousands of dead for us to believe this horror of the Cuban official.

The Castro regime only lies in public. In private, never.

Read the entire article in English here.

2 April 2014

A Dictatorship Exactly Like the Cuban? / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

OLPL in el nacional screen shot 9 april 2014There are countries that never recover from totalitarianism. They remain anthropologically backward, even though, after a more or less traumatic transition from dictatorship to democracy they end up being First World countries.

Faith in themselves and in society dies. A desolate loneliness is sown in the souls of the surviving citizens, whether they were victims or executioners. All hope is hopeless. Even God ends up suspected of a debacle against divinity. They flee their past like the plague. The word never regains its shine of a human thing and is devalued, like a bridge permanently in danger of collapse. They cease to be a society to become something far more sinister and silent. This is the transcendent triumph of totalitarians: once installed, they are irreversible in perpetuity.

This happened in my country, Cuba, although almost no Cuban is capable of recognizing it, perhaps to avoid his share of the blame.

This is happening in your country now, Venezuela, and half the world seems to accept it with a criminal complicity.

When the machinery of the State is the deliverer of a Dogma that must be imposed at any price, be it Mohammed or Marx, when the government hijacks the balances that resolve and evolve within a modern society, when the individual is worth less than an amorphous mass, when a whole life turns into a vaudeville theater where the intelligence apparatus is manipulating its script with puppets and deaths, then the damage to civilization ends up being constitutional. Genetic. Generation after generation. The human being is annihilated with a bullet to the head, or condemned to decades in prison, or to permanent exile.

Paternalistic despotism is that simple, half slanderous and half childish, in its radical simplicity. Like a boy who, in cold blood, opens the entrails of a worm or a lizard that he trapped in the garden. Fascist childhood, Eden of all extremisms—and exterminations.

There is something almost sanctifiable in these serial murderers in the name of socialism and only of socialism, whether of the 21st century or antiquity: there is no totalitarianism that hasn’t justified its genocides in the sacred name of a social good, with or without mixing God into the equation of corpses piled over corpses piled over corpses. Rude geology.

Whoever tires (of killing), loses. That is the limitless logic of the State gangs, be they Muslims or Marxists.

And that happened in my country, Cuba, which in a few months paid with thousands of deaths—and with an exile in the millions—for the barbaric beauty of a Revolution that was applauded throughout Latin America.

And that is happening in your country now, Venezuela, which unfortunately applauded the Fidelist feast of the anonymous dead of Cuba, those who half a century back died in the mountains or on the scaffold, also for you, trying—even with the assassination of the commander in chief—to spare you this massacre that today continues to excite the wicked international Left.

No dictatorship is exactly like the Cuban. But Castroism is exactly like all dictatorships.

8 April 2014

The Castro Regime Kills and Doesn’t Lie / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 2.48.37 PMThe Castro regime is, above all, biopolitical. Power over the life and death of each one of the individuals, within and beyond the national frontiers of the wicked little island in the Caribbean Sea. The Castro regime is nothing if not necropolitical: death or the pardoning of life, at times with a legal view at times in a succulent secrecy.

The death penalty was restored in Cuba as soon as Fidel Castro’s guerrilla’s were installed in the Sierra Maestra. Ernesto Ché Guevara and Raúl Castro, two “leaders” who did not cause a single member of Fulgencio Batista’s constitutional army to fall in combat, loved to kill handcuffed men, especially when the accused came from the ranks of their own Rebel Army. So they won their ranks, their epaulettes gleaming with the cadavers condemned by “conviction.”

In the so-called “flatlands,” in the violent urban underground of 1957 and 1958, the Revolutionary death penalty was happily applied right in the Cuban streets by the shooters—not to be confused with the terrorists—of the 26th of July Movement (M-26-7). Continue reading

Oliver Stone’s Venezuela: Between Forgetting and Horror / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Scenes from Oliver Stone's new documentary 'Mi Amigo Hugo.' Photo: Created by Sampsonia Way via YouTube.

Scenes from Oliver Stone’s new documentary ‘Mi Amigo Hugo.’ Photo: Created by Sampsonia Way via YouTube.

For over a month now, the people of Venezuela have been joining together to protest the country’s Chavista government, which has ruled since Hugo Chávez took power 15 years ago. The demonstrations down on the streets and at the barricades are unstoppable. They form a sea of largely young people, a generation that has known no other reality but nonetheless is thoroughly fed up with the only one it knows. As a result, they are crying out that enough is enough.

Is it worth-while to focus on the last images and letters coming from the inside of the last living utopia on Earth? Is Cuba by now a contemporary country or just another old-fashioned delusion in the middle of Nowhere-America? A Cold-War Northtalgia maybe? Can we expect a young Rewwwolution.cu within that Ancien Régime still known as The Revolution? I would like to provoke more questions than answers.

They are condemning the shortages, the wholesale delinquency, the government corruption, the ransoming of civil society (including the closure of the free press), Cuba’s meddling attempts at imposing a monolithic model of society, the electoral fraud, and the list goes on and on. Ultimately, they are denouncing the asphyxiation of the very fragile illusion that we call Latin American democracy. Continue reading

Carromero’s Last Days / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Ángel Carromero

Ángel Carromero

The young Spanish politician Ángel Carromero’s days are numbered. It could be 6 or 666 days, but it will not be a “natural” death. He knows it and his executioners also know that he knows it. So it must be in his still-open file in the confidential archives of Cuban State Security. Hence, the Ministry of Interior (MININT) thugs who let him leave Cuba contrary to every prediction warned him, with all historical honesty: if you talk, no one will save you from the long arm of evil.

Rest in peace, Ángel Carromero, witness to totalitarianism in its terminal phase. Nobody escapes the criminal Castroism in the democracies. Hence the fascist repudiation that was the Iberian Left’s welcome for this snitch of two assassinations, with the political correctness that demands we pardon the clan of the Cuban comandantes.

The Spanish publisher Anaya just punished Death Under Suspicion. A book that the intellectuals will literally turn to shit with their prejudices and opinions. They don’t believe this victim, nor any who come from Cuba. They don’t want to read this kind of gloomy witness to the meaning of Real Socialism’s survival. They don’t want to have to—and certainty not because of a Popular Party politician—stop showing solidarity with the Real Socialist Revolution. They don’t want to believe that Crimes of the State are possible in the mecca of international anti-imperialism. Nobody asked this right-wing guy, imprisoned in Cuba and in Spain no less, to spoil the Faustian fiesta of the European Left and its sentimental Castrismo.

Especially in Spain, where the hatred of everything Spanish that can be smelled from Havana (the only city on the planet where everyone wants to be Spanish).

I won’t say a single word about the book. There is nothing new in its pages. It’s just a testimony in the face of posterity, so that new generations will remember, when it pleases them, that at noon on 22 July 2012, in Cuba, the State committed a double assassination against the human rights activists Harold Cepero and the founder of the Christian Liberation Movement Oswaldo Payá, our first winner of the Andrei Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought from the European Parliament (2002), and perhaps also our first Premier when the Castro regime collapsed.

Carromero  already spoke. He spoke from minute zero, when men in plain clothes took him to the militarized hospital in eastern Cuba, the most vile area of our debased little island. Men in plain clothes who never spoke at the hijacked trial where they condemned Carromero in Cuba, a trial whose sentence of four years perhaps even the King of Spain himself now considers impeccable, such that the Iberian National Audience literally also throws shit all over this conspicuous case of a Spaniard* killed at the hands of another Spaniard.

It would not be strange that Oswaldo Payá’s death had been agreed to in advance, beyond the Plaza of the Revolution: perhaps with sectors of the Cuban exile interested in paving an economic path to reconciliation—the new reconcentration; perhaps with the quackquackquack Cardinals who, in the end, practically made Payá a Catholic pariah inside Cuba; perhaps with the high politics that is cooked up between Strasbourg and Washington DC, where, far from the thousand and one infertile forums, everyone agrees that democracy in Cuba has to wait. Contrary to Payá’s redemptive preaching, the last thing they want is for Cubans to recognize their rights. We have lived too many decades without rights, why insist now on these desires for freedom that will only destabilize our region in relation to Europe and the United States.

The Cuban people should express their gratitude for Ángel Carromero’s unarmed courage and they should hurry while he’s still alive. But I suspect that after the testimony of Death Under Suspicion, once again the idea of Revolution and the idea of crime-without-punishment will be synonymous with the idea of lack of solidarity.

Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

*Translator’s note: Oswaldo Payá had Spanish citizenship; Ángel Carromero was driving the car in which he died.

From DiariodeCuba.com, 25 March 2014

Me in Venezuela’s “El Nacional” / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Yesterday, the OAS voted for much more than the silence of María Corina Machado. Yesterday the OAS sentenced her to the murderous loneliness of nasty socialism, which is the only one that germinates in America. Yesterday the OAS made itself an accomplice to a crime against morality which, like the coercive quotas of Venezuelan oil, muddies the miserable hands and tarnishes the reactionary faces of half a continent. Read the entire article here.

23 March 2014

With or Without the Organization of American States (OAS) / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 10.27.44 AMAs a child in Havana, more than a decade after Cuba had been expelled from the Organization of American States (OAS)—for placing itself within the Soviet Iron Curtain and constituting a danger to the region’s democracies—we were still forced to chant at school that slogan with no expiration date: “With or without OAS, we will win the fight.”

As kids we had no idea what “OAS” might mean. We imagined it as the imperialist bald eagle that frightened us in so many children’s songs of that era.

But our childish innocence wasn’t important, as long as we never flagged in our discipline as “Moncada pioneers”: that is, children capable of assaulting the Moncada barracks and dying fighting at dawn, disguised in the uniforms of those soldiers who were taken by surprise in Carnival season, as Fidel Castro did in the putsch of Sunday, 26 July 1953.

All that mattered then was to show and demonstrate our patriotic devotion in the classroom, shouting this slogan until the veins in our necks ached. We had no idea what “living in chains is to live in dishonor and ignominy” meant, but we just sang that line in our National Anthem with grim theatricality at every morning assembly.

It seems that the slogan of the Cuban Communists remains strongly in force. The government in Havana boasts it will never return to the OAS, and promotes parallel organizations—like the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States—to diminish the prestige and power of the OAS. And to top it off, Cuba controls, through a headless Venezuela, the geopolitical interests and economic dependence of the region, given that many Latin American ambassadors appearing in front of the OAS are nothing more than puppets, supporting or boycotting as a block in response to neocastroism’s strategic interests, be they “Twenty-first Century Socialism,” or “State Capitalism” or “Raulpolitik.”

Orlando and Maria in Washington DC

Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo and Maria Corina Machado in Washington DC on 21 March

Yesterday, Friday March 21, I spent the day at the OAS in Washington DC. An odious odyssey of fears and lies was taking place within, in the opaque style of dictatorships, under the pretext that every people have exercised their right to decide through majority vote. But, in reality, we’re not talking about 100% sovereign nations. In the best of cases they are the pawns and parasites of the authoritarian chess game controlled from behind the Havana Curtain. In the worst of cases, they are despotic-populist regimes where the caudillo and his clan are legally “reelected” to the end of time, with no options for the opposition, and with an infiltration of intelligence forces comparable only to the criminal Plan Condor from decades back.

Yesterday, María Corina Machado was treated by a miserable majority at the OAS as a fugitive from supposed Venezuelan justice. Her companions—the student leader Carlos Vargas, the union leader Iván Freitas, and Rosa Orozco who became an activist after the assassination of her daughter Geraldine Moreno—were rudely censored and almost ejected in handcuffs from the building by OAS Security (not to be confused with State Security, much less with the murky Cuban G-2, which coerces without batting an eye—by force of blackmail and terror—Eurodiplomats, global magnates and Yankee congressmen and women: remember that Castro spies have been captured inside the Pentagon).

The message could not be more repugnant, with or without the OAS: the leaders of the area are delivering María Corina Machado into the jaws of some desperate usurpers between Havana and Caracas, who no longer care about formal procedures because they know their time is up and that only slaughter will keep them in their positions in perpetuity, if they finally manage to impose in Venezuela and the rest of nations that call themselves “Bolivarian”—that word which, like “revolution,” means nothing and is the cause of all the impunity—the civil cemetery in which we Cubans have lived since the first year of “our” Revolution.

María Corina Machado has humbly declared that there are millions of citizen leaders in Venezuela today. True, but this formula is completely useless to the rage of the repressors, who need to stigmatize, isolate, disable, imprison, exile, and even execute, as if by accident, a specific number of leaders.  A sacrificial relationship with good Venezuelans whom she and Leopoldo López now definitely represent. A limited list that is a limitless list of hope for finally eradicating—after more than half a century of myths and bullying—continental Castroism.

Yesterday, the OAS voted for much more than the silence of María Corina Machado. Yesterday the OAS sentenced her to the murderous loneliness of nasty socialism, which is the only one that germinates in America. Yesterday the OAS made itself an accomplice to a crime against morality which, like the coercive quotas of Venezuelan oil, muddies the miserable hands and tarnishes the reactionary faces of half a continent.

22 March 2014

The Cuban MININT: Lies, Death, Evil / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Click on image to go to original article.

Click on image to go to original article.

Thousands and thousands of Cuban are now working, day and night, to the peak of their professional abilities, so that the Venezuelan dictatorship won’t fall. This is now the number one priority of Plan Fatherland, inside and outside our little dictatorial island. Without Venezuela, there is no future for Fidelismo (as its faithful still call it), nor for the Castrismo (as its detractors now call it).

It’s calculated that the Cuban Ministry of the Interior (MININT) with a terrifying number of agents, collaborators, informants and military. There are analysts – and also deserters – who have even put six zeros after the final number of paid and volunteers from the omnipotent MININT.

Indeed, for decades Cuba has ceased to be a country that behaves statistically like a military camp, like a totalitarian one-man bastion. This is the essence of Real Socialism, far beyond theories of equity and obligatorily free social programs. This is the essence of what the Latin American Communist parties don’t know, or don’t know how to distance themselves from.

In principle, of course, everyone is invited to the revolutionary avalanche that immediately unhinges the civil logic of our societies. But, woe unto those who are not enthusiastic or don’t feign enthusiasm for the “process”: sooner rather than later they will have to choose – totally democratically – between shutting up or leaving or ending up in prison or dead. Havana or Managua or Santiago de Chile or Caracas: the scenarios and obscenities repeat themselves.

MININT is the Revolution itself. Cuba might well be called the Minitarian Republic of Cuba. So as not be extinguished with the deaths of the octogenarian Castro brothers, the shock wave of the thousand and one Minints needs to impose itself as soon as possible on the continent’s sister republics, Venezuela being the victim that has most dramatically resisted our interference: an invasion that went from being silent to being murderous, but that, murderous or not, still continues complicitly condoned by international indolence.

For Cuba’s geopolitical – geophagic – interests, the forging of a supranational bloc is imposed that is as monolithic as each one of its communist parties. An alliance whose tactic and even syntactic axis comes from the Plaza of the Revolution’s marble obelisk itself. Hence the megalomaniacal charisma of Hugo Chavez that so disturbs the Cuban hierarchy; hence the pertinence of a proletarian dandy with a presidential sash. It is a question of life and death, the infamous instinct of self-perseveration (because someone who makes the lives of others unlivable shouldn’t have the right to life).

And so the Cuban Ministry of the Interior kills and orders killings in Venezuela with impunity, as it killed and ordered killings with impunity in Cuba and in Chile and in Nicaragua, to name just a sample of the puppet regimes in the region that came to power through the guerrillas or the ballot boxes.

However, all this comes packaged in a rhetoric that shines in the naïve imagination and on the silly T-shirts of the new generations. We all hate capitalism from capitalism. We all want to be justice-seeking subversives and rebels-with-a-cause. Like the slogan we repeat in all of the Island’s schools from the time we’re five years old, “Pioneers for communism, we will be like Che!” (Castro Hood in the barbaric forest of his Merry Men.)

The worst thing is that this violence is irreversible. Castroism is not escaped through peaceful means. The Castro regime ensures that in practice there is no peaceful, nor palatable, way out. They have loaded their weapons with death and have the narrative behind which they disguise themselves as victims of imperial aggression. There is no legitimate opposition to continental Castroism. There is no decent dialog with continental Castroism. They came to power through the violence of ballots or bullets. And they will only leave power through greater violence.

In this sense, it has been the only honest dictatorship in history: “Socialism or Death!” as in the morbid closing phrase of official Cuban speeches. As the founding leader of the Christian Liberation Movement, the martyr Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas said, this slogan makes it clear than anyone seeking liberation in Cuba will find death. As it was true for him, when they killed him on a Cuban highway on 22 July 2012, in an extrajudicial execution for which there is a surviving witness in Spain, the young politician Ángel Carromero.

Venezuelans: an army of Cubans is now working day and night, probably threatened with death by the counterintelligence agents of their own regime—as the Bolivarian elite maybe threatened with death—so that the Venezuelan dictatorship won’t fall. It is MININT against MININT. It is a war to the death for life. Venezuelans must know this, in your historic struggle in the streets, if you don’t want to abort this new independence for your country, if you want to finally put an end to your status as a military camp. And I say this ashamed of being Cuban.

Venezuelans: MININT is not authorized to concede defeat; it must be imposed on them even at the price of sacrifice. And I say this ashamed of being Cuban.

From El Nacional, Venezuela, CLICK HERE FOR ORIGINAL IN SPANISH

15 March 2014