The “Hero” Who Couldn’t Find the Entrance
The “Hero” Who Couldn’t Find the Entrance / Angel Santiesteban
Posted on September 26, 2014
A great truth was revealed at the VIII Conference of the National Union
of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC, by its Spanish initials).
We have to admit when our detractors speak the truth. There’s no other
option than –for the sake of honesty– to accept how right they’ve been.
Therefore, I have to admit that, yes, “The UNEAC is the Moncada of
culture”*. It’s impossible to state it any clearer, for we know well
the political, human, logistic, and leadership failures that the assault
on the Moncada Barracks in 1953 symbolized, when the immature and
terribly suspicious Fidel Castro stationed a select group to practice
their aim in Santiago de Cuba. With neither suitable arms nor adequate
preparations to confront the army, he sent them to a certain death.
How can intellectuals pretend not to recognize Fidel Castro’s cowardice,
who — in spite of having gone to school in that city and having planned
the attack — couldn’t find the entrance to the barracks, when those who
had never been there were able to get behind its walls?
It is infuriating to watch that documentary where Fidel Castro, leaning
on a car of that era, explains how he was unable to find the entrance,
yet the cars traveling ahead and behind him managed to penetrate the
garrison, whose entrance is of such a size that a blind man could find
it! But we already know that there’s nothing worse than one who doesn’t
want to see what’s in front of him.
That wasn’t his only mistake. We know that, throughout the entire
struggle of the Rebel Army, he never participated in a single battle;
and he advised Raul Castro to do likewise: while leading his comrades in
the midst of combat, the latter would abandon the fight only to appear
days later when the town square had been taken. Fidel Castro not only
couldn’t find the entrance, he was unable to follow the sounds of
gunfire on that fateful morning, nor could he redirect himself towards
other posts during the shootout. On the contrary, he remained huddled,
waiting for the end, and when he learned his soldiers were dead or
captured, he sought shelter in a hole in order to finally turn himself
in to the Catholic Church (which he never thanked for saving him), and
reemerge as the hero.
Certainly, seen as a failure (the only way to comprehend this event),
without a doubt, as the president of the UNEAC, Miguel Barnet, put it:
“The UNEAC is the Moncada of culture”. He’s never been more right.
Lawton Prison Compound. April, 2014
* Santiesteban is referring to the speech by Miguel Barnet at the
opening of the VIII UNEAC Conference.
Translated by: Yoyi el Monaguillo
23 May 2014
Source: The “Hero” Who Couldn’t Find the Entrance / Angel Santiesteban |
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