A Chip Off The Old Block: Che’s Daughter / Ángel Santiesteban

Che Guevara's daughter Aleida Guevara

As if by agreement, Mariela Castro flatters the Dutch system of prostitution in the Amsterdam red light district, and Aleida Guevara (both without highlighting they’d come from the most advantaged sperm of their fathers who fertilized the eggs of their mothers), counsels the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez Frias, that he should nationalize the entire press. Their declarations do discredit to themselves. In each interview they gave they received a red card and a penalty.

To recommend such barbarism to the Caudillo shows an Olympian underestimation of him, as if it hadn’t already previously occurred to him. Perhaps little Aleida didn’t read about Chavez’s closure of the newspapers and radio and TV channels? Couldn’t she imagine that her uncle Fidel had already advised the same.

What is happening is that times now are not the same if we compare them to the decade of the sixties, and no one has informed this brat that she has lived in a bubble (having had the privilege of believing that socialism is effective because her table has never lacked filet mignon, nougat, apples and wine, all as a great concert of imports), and she is unaware that the world is watching and expressing its disagreement with such abuses and lack of democracy, and, precisely because of these follies typical of dictators, in recent times the most important political changes in contemporary history are taking place.

I’d like to note that this post has been the most difficult of all those written by me so far. I find Aleida so alien, so distant from the events of the world, that at times it seems to me as if she is mentally retarded. I saw her with her children in primary school many times, at 5th and 62nd Streets, with her arrogant airs and figure, looking at the rest of the parents over her shoulder at a prudent distance so as not to mingle with the plebs. I could also appreciate the sly contempt with which the parents responded. Listening to the teachers, after flattering her, cursing her and cataloging the ungratefulness and abuse of her position as “daddy’s girl.”

In addition to her caudillo-taliban education, you have to remember her genetic inheritance, hence Aleida Guevara’s pose as a Court Aristocrat, nails bared as is natural. It doesn’t take much imagination to know what she would be capable of if you put a little power in her hands.

I always remember the shocking testimony of Comandante Benigno, who may have known Che well, when they went to execute the peasant who told the enemy the coordinates where they could find Fidel Castro’s guerrilla camp in the Sierra Maestra, and after a “summary trial,” the accused was led by Che, William Galvez and Benigno, and as they left the camp, looking for a place to carry out the execution, they hear an unexpected gunshot very close to their ears. The shock made them take a defensive position, when they looked they saw the body of the peasant fall with his head exploded from a shot by Che, who, cold-bloodedly, put away the pistol and advised them to hurry back because it was going to rain. There’s nothing more to say. To end this interminable story, on his arrival at La Cabaña prison, where he established his command post, he provoked a river of blood with hundreds of firing squads. He spent more bullets in La Cabaña than in the entire guerrilla war.

In Africa, after the battle in which an African soldier, in order to save his own life, had to abandon his machine gun because of its weight and the difficulty of moving it, Che called him a coward in front of everyone. And the African soldier refuted him, explaining that he had no other human choice. And Che, with the same coolness with which he destroyed the peasant’s head with his bullet, said laconically, “you made a coward of yourself.” And in the follow battles the soldier chose to lose his life rather than abandoning the machine gun again, and the same Che, later in his diary, recognized that it had been his fault. He had this gift of killing people, directly and indirectly, those who because of ideology and by chance ran into him.

And now his daughter, she takes after her father, doesn’t know the reality of Cubans, lives in a house that she doesn’t know how or by whom it got built and she’s never had to pay the costs of it, drives a car without having earned it, at a cost which is the sweat of people who were never consulted about whether they would accept the sacrifice for her comfort, and now on her Trip to Peru she assures the press, thinking herself greatly conversant in the political and social world, that she has counseled the dictator Hugo Chavez to imitate her uncle Fidel. How ridiculous is this girl from the court? I can’t forget when, as an adult, she went to Argentina for the first time, and in less than a month returned speaking with the intonation of her father. She was greeted at the airport before a world cringing in embarrassment, in front of her uncle Fidel, who timidly watched her butcher the accent, a capricious cadence at a desperate speed.

And now she comes to us with her know-it-all airs, wandering the world with the people’s money and the memory of her father. I’ll never understand how there can be people who are proud of a man who ordered executions and who, himself, with his own hand, carried out the sentences. It seems to me that the figure of Che has been the image most manipulated in our era.

Now we have to endure this daughter of her father and niece of her uncle, who comes to us with her extremist actions that reaffirm, in addition to her genetics, the sentiments of her biological family and the work of her in loco parentis Fidel Castro.

As my aunt would say, “God save us, and take us confessed.”

Ángel Santiesteban-Prats

January 10 2012