Bad Handwriting in La Joven Cuba (14) / Regina Coyula

Translator’s note: This series of posts are comments from Regina to authors or commentators on the blog La Joven Cuba.This one is addressed to someone using the nickname “Edu.”

I don’t know if there is, among us, some historian, but if you take [the 1920’s student leader and proponent of revolutionary socialism] Antonio Guitaras as a symbol, the least is to know him by heart, the natural curiosity that would have led them from beginning to end; not that I or anyone else come with knowledge of this era, and they would consider them at least superficial. You must go beyond the nationalized Guiteras, the one that appears in the textbooks, and know the total Guiteras. You refer to two anecdotes where you have heard bells. He gave Summer Welles ten minutes to abandon Cuba, where they met, and not in his office. Wells kept on protesting and Guiteras recorded that he had lost three of the ten minutes.

The anecdote about the National Hotel you also do not have clearly. Officers of the Army of the Republic had taken shelter there, some of them very committed to Machado, who did not accept the 4th of September Movement. Guiteras, as minister of government and Batista has head of the army led the attack on the National Hotel, they were with everyone, because the officers had been holed up there for nearly a month, about which Guiteras said: We can’t permit a State within a State. It’s a mockery.

Joven Cuba — Young Cuba — was a clandestine organization whose objective was armed conflict. The Batista-Guiteras dispute was political, but also very personal. The members of Joven Cuba undertook fund-raising activities to create a “suitable climate,” consisting of bombs, Tony’s methods prior to JC. Although you can dive into the biography of Guiteras by Jose A. Taberes del Real, or into the books of Lionel Soto and Newton Briones published by the non-suspect Political Publishers, I offer you a family anecdote. My uncle Fernando Perez-Puelles, then an engineering student, belonged to the Young Cuba board, and previously had belonged to the University Students Directorate (DEU). Fernando armed explosive devices, and on one opportunity my mother, four years younger, helped him transport one of these devices wrapped as a present. I have known this story since I was a girl. Edu, this also part of not fragmenting the history that so concerns you.

I can explain your annoyance with the Miriam Celaya’s commentary (which was not a diatribe). She doesn’t need defenders because she is a born debater, but beware, don’t disqualify her so quickly. You can like her or not, but Miriam is cultured and educated. I ask you to reflect and reread your comment, where there are a few blemishes and an excess of testosterone. You allege it is against Miriam, but the immediacy betrays you and you fall into the plural again are mistaken. A little restraint would not hurt. The country I would like is one in which you are exactly as you describe, Miriam doesn’t like Guiteras, and the group of the University Students Federation (FEU) is not useful to triumph, this time in a literal sense, to a peace-loving citizen.

Edu, I don’t know if you consider that I adopt a pose of wisdom, I confess to you that to comment to you often forces me to revisit the history books, which I love and which reinforce my Cubanness and what it means to be Cuban. (The italics are quotes from you.) My greetings.

August 19 2011