‘Manzanita’ the DynamiterJuly 28, 2012 | Print |
HAVANA TIMES — A large billboard has popped up around the city with the smiling face of the Jose Antonio Echeverria and the phrase: “A golden heart full of dynamite.”
Contemplating such flowery summer language, the question occurred to me: What would a visitor who didn’t know our history think? Or those young people that repudiate it for the way the history is canned in school?
They might believe that Echeverria (“Manzanita”) was a kind of good natured dynamiter, one who loved planting bombs that would explode in colorful flowers.
I think it’s necessary to clarify things a little. Echevarria was not a philanthropic arsonist. His dynamite had a precise aim: to overthrow the dictatorship. Clearly that’s the most important, something that shouldn’t be missed in an allusion to him, someone who died trying to execute Batista.
I don’t understand what those who designed that billboard were thinking. Why didn’t they make a reference to that aim? Could it be that they’re expecting the visit of some dictator invited by the Cuban Communist Party and didn’t want to make a bad impression? (An invitation for reasons of realpolitik of course, not affinity).
And now a question concerning participation: If Manzanita were alive, if he were young and attending the university, what would he do? Would he join the ranks of the Young Communists (UJC), or hang out at G Street Park or plant bombs?
I think that he would be writing in a blog. There’s nothing now more powerful right now in Cuba than the dynamite of public opinion. Something major will happen when people perceive their power, which is none other than their own strength. This is why Mobutte never allowed the arrival of the submarine cable from Ugambia.