The Totalitarian Left and Their “Escraches” / 14ymedio, Carlos Alberto Montaner

Former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe (EFE)
Former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe (EFE)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Carlos A. Montaner, Miami, 2 July 2016 – Cesar Nombela is the chancellor of the Menendez and Pelayo International University located in Santander, Spain. He is a renowned researcher in the world of microbiology. It occurred to Dr. Nombela and the Governing Council to award former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe the institution’s Medal of Honor, as they had done previously with other politicians from the democratic West, and immediately the totalitarian left, which has it in for Uribe, launched a protest.

In the face of the orchestrated scandal, the institution’s authorities, startled, decided to delay the award ceremony and to “widen the inquiries.” Uribe, who had exerted no effort to receive the unexpected honor, asked that it be revoked and urged the Chancellor to promote a good debate about the topic of Colombia. A person whose enemies have tried to assassinate him 15 times is more interested in substance than vanity.

This is a perfect example of the growing climate of intolerance cultivated in Spain by the totalitarian left. In 2010, then-professor Pablo Iglesias organized an escrache at Madrid’s Complutense University in order to prevent Representative Rosa Diez, an open and tolerant social democrat, from being able to express her ideas. Escrache is a sinister lexicographic contribution from Argentina, apparently of Langue d’Oc origin, which describes violent acts undertaken to silence an ideological adversary.

A few weeks ago it was the turn of psychology professor Haim Eshach from Israeli university, Ben Gurion. It was a very important topic. They had invited him to the Autonomous University of Madrid to explain how his country teaches science and technology to very young children, which might explain, at least partially, why the small Middle Eastern nation, with five times fewer inhabitants, generates forty times more patents and scientific discoveries every year than does Spain.

He could not speak. The totalitarian left, which is usually pro-Palestinian—that is one of its most visible distinguishing features, its strings pulled and financing managed, in part, by Hezbollah and Hamas—prevented him as part of an obscene anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic campaign called the BDS Movement (Boycott, Divestment and Sanction) created in 2005, whose strategy is to isolate Israel in order to cause its disintegration even though that course will be severely detrimental to some one million or more Islamic Arab Israelis who live in the country.

The Palestinian argument for trying to demonstrate that the BDS Movement is anti-Israeli but not anti-Semitic is that some Israeli organizations and some Jews from the academic world, like linguist and political activist Noam Chomsky, support it.

That is true, but it is as absurd a proposition as trying to justify Nazism because (as historian Cesar Vidal tells us), the Jew Hans Sander was decorated by the Nazi Party, while there were also Jewish generals in Hitler’s army, Helmuth Willberg and brothers Johannes and Karl Zukertort.

We are living in a shameful era of escraches, extortions and assaults on freedom of expression. In Cuba, “acts of repudiation” began in 1960 and are still constantly carried out 56 years later. The political police recruit school children and certain rough-and-ready militants from the Communist Party, and drive them to churches in order to abuse the Ladies in White, or take them on buses to the homes of the democratic opposition to insult them and sometimes beat them.

Ecuador has one of the most restrictive press laws in the west. The autocrat Rafael Correa can order the arrest of a person for making a gesture of displeasure to him, persecute journalists for revealing uncomfortable truths, or unleash a virulent campaign against innocent people, accusing them of being “CIA agents” as just happened to Dr. Karen Hollihan, victim of a disinformation operation typical of the intelligence services.

Will the totalitarian left manage to silence democrats? I do not believe so, but even if they did, the quotation from Cervantes would still be true: “Liberty, Sancho, is one of the most precious gifts the heavens gave to men; all the treasures of the earth and the sea do not equal it: For liberty, as for honor, one can and should risk one’s life.” 

Translated by Mary Lou Keel