Do you have any news about Ernestito?

By Martin Guevara

Fidel y el Che. Photo: cubadebate.cu

HAVANA TIMES — The Revolution had entered this impasse that even couples experience after their initial lust, rumbling around on sofas and beds. It was facing dilemmas about which path to take to leave this Utopian island behind and to concentrate on the harsh differences that reality posed. Saying goodbye to the innocence and mystery of new horizons, there would no longer be any more passion filled kisses under the lighthouse or lingerie bitten to shreds.

The cold phase of the relationship had arrived and the frozen USSR was watching on. Years ago, Che had got into bed with Fidel in the center of messianic illusion, giving way to the lava of their inner volcano in an activity that was far more dangerous than writing, than observing, than mountain climbing, than flying a plane or rugby, global subversion using the people’s will.

They walked along parallel paths, with their own light, although it came from different places. Ernesto accepted Fidel’s leadership, but he didn’t stop pointing out the ideas that he felt were the right ones to build liberté, égalité and fraternité in the Americas at every step of the way and he criticized those who clashed with his initial ideas.

The Revolution triumphed with erotic power, enjoying unconditional love; they were the forefathers of the rock aesthetic, bearded with long hair and not very clean, working-class, rebels and disobedient, educated at fine schools, holding altruistic ideas; they just needed music, hedonism and Bacchus’ love; they had plenty of gunpowder, their willpower spread rampantly and there was a surplus testosterone, but they still romanticized. Then, they faced the plateau phase that takes place just before climaxing in the worst possible way.

Fidel, in a frenzy, lost his mind with those who shadowed him and reminded him that the revolutionary project was inclusive and democratic; Ernesto didn’t just obey his Comandante while at the firing squad, when it came to the economy or voluntary work. Romance had already become routine, there were far too many gentrified bellies and the sound of guns firing was needed, the comfort of new lands plagued with injustice as an excuse to say goodbye and welcome a new love.

Born so that his asthma would recklessly push him forward, only Goethe, Verlaine, Luis Felipe and Sartre could understand his burden.

Satisfaction was unlikely, like in Tomas Moro’s Utopia, just like creativity in art before being betrayed by the full stop, by the last stroke, laying down the chisel, when it rejects its capacity to transform and becomes an object.

Che, like Pieta Rondanini by Miguel Angel, remained in the limbo of the impossible, above the wave crest, against the wind, in the highest point that the sea allows, and he didn’t disappear among the sea foam and whirlpools like Fidel and water, who were so wise and adaptable.

However, from the heart of Africa, the bonfire led to barren land; he had just lost his mother in faraway Argentina, how would he keep his motor going? She had passed away in great pain without shedding a single tear, her only plea was to ask over and over again:

Do you have any news about Ernestito? Nobody knew where he was.

She left for another dimension on one of her other son’s birthdays, who weren’t absent like Ernesto, but who weren’t visible either.

The USSR was no longer Bolshevik, Fidel was no longer a rebel and Che’s motor needed more fuel to take another path; coming back to nothing, the Templar’s last stab, Rocinante’s last gallop trying to find the windmill and Dulcinea.

His image is constantly traveling about on t-shirts and wallets along with Marley, Lennon and Hendricks, his anxiety immortalized.

Finally, he reached Utopia.

  • Carlyle MacDuff

    One has to have empathy with Martin Guevara in discussing his uncle as a family member and bearing in mind their family time together in Cuba. Secondly Martin’s scorn for Fidel Castro is self evident and understandable.
    But the reality of both men is undeniable.

    Dr. Ernesto Guevara de Serna Lynch was initially motivated by his concern for humanity, but the absorbing the teachings of Karl Marx and adoption of communism overcame that concern and resulted in the outstanding characteristic that motivated both Fidel Castro Ruz and himself, that of pure hatred. Common humanity was brushed aside.
    “To send men to the firing squad, judicial proof is unnecessary. These procedures are an archaic bourgeois detail.”
    In pursuit of that belief, Guevara sent hundreds to their deaths.
    “The peoples cooperation can often be coaxed by the use of systemic terror.”
    The Castro regime pursued that,
    “If the nuclear missiles had remained we would have used them against the very heart of America including New York City.”
    That view was strongly supported by Fidel Castro who in his blind hatred was prepared to sacrifice millions of Cubans:
    “First of all, Cuba would have burned in the fires of war. Without a doubt, the Cuban people would have fought courageously, also without a doubt, the Cuban people would have perished heroically.”
    and:
    “We are a people prepared to suffer immolation so that it’s ashes may serve as a foundation for new societies. When an agreement was reached (Khruschev and Kennedy) by which the atomic missiles were removed, without asking our people, we were not relieved or thankful for the truce, instead we denounced the move with our own voice.”

    The people of Cuba were not consulted, the views of these two men, Guevara and Fidel Castro were entirely their own reflecting their conceit. The blind hatred by each is self-evident. The people of Cuba can only be grateful that both these men being deceased can no longer pursue the sacrifice of Cuba in pursuit of their hatred.

    The use of nuclear weapons against New York City would have killed far more people than the Islamic attack of 9/11 and far more destruction. As Khruschev himself pointed out to Fidel Castro it would have started a Third World War.

    That however did not quench that blind hatred held by both Ernesto Guevara de Serna Lynch and Fidel Castro Ruz. Death and destruction were their objectives.

    • Nick

      Mr MacD……….
      Your one sided and blinkered view of Cuban history is hilarious.
      Many of Cuba’s policies since 1959 have been absurd.
      But with the greatest respect, you present a counterbalance which is equally if not yet more absurd.
      Furthermore, your views appear to be equally, if not more, ideologically driven.

      • Carlyle MacDuff

        You may find factual record hilarious Nick, but doing so demonstrates a somewhat sick mind. All the quotes by both Guevara and Fidel CastroI are factual, All the executions are a matter of record. How can that be blinkered? As you are so blind to reality, please be good enough to show how I am wrong?
        If being opposed to communism and to the actions of Guevara and Fidel Castro both in purpose and in practice is being “ideologically driven”, so be it.
        Anybody who reads your contributions, knows that you pose as sitting on the fence and striking balance. However, it is quite clear on which side of the fence you actually sit – you just don’t have the intestinal fortitude to be honest and admit it.
        Again, please demonstrate where any part of what I wrote is absurd!

        • Nick

          One of your favourite tricks is to quote people out of context.
          Another is to allude to historical events, again entirely devoid of any shred of context.
          It is not that your facts are not facts.
          Most of the time they are facts. The problem is that they are hand picked facts. Facts devoid of context. Devoid of the kind of nuance that context lends.
          You suggest that the leaders of the Cuban were motivated by ‘pure hatred’ alone.
          Really??
          This Mr McD, is clearly a very absurd interpretation.
          Any neutral viewpoint would allow for the fact that the ambition for independence and national sovereignty were strong motivating factors.
          Regarding the blood-letting prior to and post the triumph of the revolution, some people only refer to the former and others (such as your good self) only refer to the latter.
          These opposing viewpoints clearly stem, not from a wish to anylyse history, but from pre determined ideologically based starting points.
          It is clear that you are a staunch anti-communist.
          You hate communism.
          You mention being motivated by ‘pure hatred’.
          It would seem that ‘pure hatred’ is what largely motivates your comments?

          • Carlyle MacDuff

            A very clever but all too obvious an introduction of the word ‘alone’ Nick following the words ‘pure hatred’. But you fail in your somewhat childish endeavors to manipulate my views.
            I have repeatedly stated in these pages, that the revolution of 1958/59 was necessary for Cuba to rid itself of dictatorship. Indeed I say so in ‘Cuba Lifting the Veil’. I have also explained that many of the revolutionaries were not communists – leading examples being Camilo Cienfuegos, Huber Matos and the other thirty eight who were sentenced along with Matos at the trial personally conducted by Fidel Castro Ruz. It was at that trial that Faustino Perez one of Fidel Castro s own officers, interrupted to enquire:
            “Is this Batistiano terror?”
            To which Fidel Castro responded:
            “No, this is revolutionary terror.”
            Your endeavors to warp and twist what I write reflect your mind!
            Where are your own endeavors to provide the history of Cuba?
            I note that you don’t deny the facts which I provide, but merely endeavor to protect the images of those you so admire.
            If your mind is incapable of distinguishing the hatred that drove Dr. Ernesto Guevara and Fidel Castro, then you should explain the reasons why? I did not quote either of those men “out of context”. There is no “trickery”! The difficulty for you Nick is that you cannot abide the truth about them.
            Your pretense Nick that you present balance is over. Clearly you are a defender of the Castro communist regime.
            I have repeatedly stated that I detest communism – a consequence of that which I have witnessed. You endeavor to change that to: “You hate communism.” That is where you are again in error, my detestation is not based upon passion but upon reality.
            You correctly say that: “It is not that your facts are not facts.” If you Nick have contradictory facts to those which I present, please provide them.
            In closing, I understand your frustration, but cannot sympathize with it, for it reflects a self-imposed form of myopia.
            You will be glad to know that as I shall go home for Christmas in ten days time, my contributions will shortly cease. Such are the difficulties communication when living under communist control.

          • Nick

            So you detest communism.
            And I ‘endeavour to change that to: “You hate communism”‘.
            I have no idea what you are getting at there Mr MacD ???
            It doesn’t frustrate me as you suggest. Not at all.
            And I am most certainly not wishing to manipulate your words because I don’t need to.
            I just think you should perhaps go check a dictionary or thesaurus as the two words (hate and detest) are most surely synonyms.

            Now they they say that imitation is the best sort of flattery so I think I’ll ‘take a leaf out of your book’ and quote myself:

            Regarding the blood-letting prior to and post the triumph of the revolution, some people only refer to the former and others (such as your good self) only refer to the latter.
            These opposing viewpoints clearly stem, not from a wish to analyse history, but from pre-determined ideologically based starting points.

            Your highly selective fact picking is done to further your viewpoint. Fair enough.
            Your viewpoint stems from a ‘detestation’ (if you prefer) of communism. This seems to prevent you from ever reaching a balanced analysis. This is where I try to differ as I am not bound by any detestation of communism (or of capitalism for that matter).

            I am most joyed to learn that you will be spending Christmas in the place of your choosing. And I’m pleased that your ‘detestation’ of communism does not deter you from spending Christmas in this place of your choosing.
            I won’t refer to you as ‘childish’ or ‘myopic’ or in any other such detrimental terms. I shall simply wish you many glad tidings.

          • Carlyle MacDuff

            Firstly as a matter of courtesy NIck, I thank you for your glad tidings and reciprocate them.

            I am spending Christmas at home with my wife, not even communism will deter me from that!

            In response to your proposal I checked the dictionary – ‘The New Oxford Dictionary of English’ to find that I was correct to differenciate between hate and detest. The two are different.

            But Nick, lets not pick nits. I detest dictatorship – HOW ABOUT YOU NICK – or do you have a “balanced” difference? I regard dictatorship whether by left or right as evil. I hope there is a special place which Mussolini, the Kim family, Pinochet, Mugabe and the Castro brothers and others of similar persuasion can share for eternity. They deserve each other!

            Now that may not agree with your claimed “balanced analysis”, but my own experiences and the history of communism in practice do not permit fence-sitting, I continue to detest it.

          • Nick

            Good. I am glad that we have got past semantics.
            Unlike you I don’t tend to put all those so called ‘dictatorships’ in the same basket.
            I would always try to look at such leaders and judge them on their merits or de-merits as I would regarding leaders of so called ‘capitalist democracies’ (who have committed various horrific crimes against their fellow mankind.
            I know there is a (disingenuous) argument that say, Fidel Castro and Mussolini were of the same ilk (totalitarian).
            But the more persuasive argument is that they were in fact, at opposite ends of the political spectrum.
            Don’t forget that the first people to be attacked by fascists in Spain, Italy and Germany were communists and socialists. They were also the first to fight back.
            And I am sure that, despite your detestation of communism, you will be aware that it was Communist USSR at the forefront in the defeat of fascism in Europe (certainly in terms of military force, numbers of combatants committed and numbers of military and civilian casualties).
            Obviously you may very well choose to refer to the preceding Ribbentrop/Molotov pact, but this did not alter the eventual outcome.

            This however, does not alter the fact that Stalin, as an individual, was a brute.

            Having said that I would view leaders on their merits/de-merits, I must admit to sharing your hatred/detestation of fascism.
            There are still fascists in the UK and various borderline right wing extremists groupings.
            In fact the current president of the USA has recently seen fit to promote one of these minor British fascist groups.
            His promotion gave them publicity they had not had since one of their followers shouted their name whilst stabbing and shooting a Centre-Left Member of Parliament (and young mother) to death in the street.

            It is great a shame that the president of a such a great country should choose to actively promote fascism.
            I simply cannot imagine trump, by contrast, ever promoting a communist organisation.
            Why not?
            Because there is a very big difference between these two ‘isms.

          • Carlyle MacDuff

            I note without surprise Nick that whereas you hate/detest fascist dictatorship, you do not object when it is communist dictatorship. So on the basis of your merits/de-merits, you score zero!
            At least you ceased posing as having ‘balanced’ views and came down firmly on the left hand side of the fence, The pretense is over!

          • Joseph Marti

            As if there was ever any doubt….

          • Carlyle MacDuff

            Nick launches his “balanced” view attacks, because he cannot abide the truth about communism and the Castro regime Joseph. He pretends to be on the fence whilst all the time promoting Castro’s communism. He endeavors by inference to paint capitalist countries as non- democratic. There is a good example in his last contribution where he writes: “the murky blurring of right wing capitalism and fascism.” The UK has an unfortunate history of left wing mouthpieces spouting warped half-truths. The Communist Party has alternately grown and faded as members transferred their loyalties backwards and forwards to the Labour Party. The current Leader of the Labour Party is a known admirer of Hugo Chavez and Nicholas Maduro. Nick fits in! Bet he sings the ‘International’ on May Day!

          • Nick

            I predicted a few comments back that you would, in all likelihood, mention the Ribbentrop/Molotov pact.
            And you have. So no surprises there.
            It is often quoted by those who prefer to lump opposing ideologies together to fit in with their simplistic good vs evil philosophies.
            As a learned chap you will obviously be aware of the agreement between the UK and Nazi Germany signed the previous year.
            Obviously that is all a long time ago.
            And, as all historians know, none of it alters the fact that the USSR played the biggest role in ultimately defeating European Fascism in the 40s.

            As per usual, you don’t like it when I respond to your bluster with balanced facts.Therefore you resort to the usual jibes.
            I do not have the slightest problem with that.
            There is clearly an overlap between right wing capitalism and fascism. It is a matter of basic historical fact. Capitalist businessmen and right wing capitalist politicians have partnered with fascists on a multitude of occasions.
            To attempt to deny this is clearly ludicrous.

            And whatever one thinks of the democratic process that took trump to The White House, the fact of the matter is that he is supported by fascists and he, in turn, promotes fascism.

          • Carlyle MacDuff

            There you go again claiming to be balanced whilst endeavoring to deny, deny, deny and defend the policies, actions and expressions of communism. Time as you will know Nick, doesn’t change in the communist world, for communists are stuck in the groove of 19th century Marxist bunkum.

          • Nick

            Although it would be completely incredulous to most people, if you are actually refusing to acknowledge the many historical overlaps between right wing capitalism and fascism then it is clearly you who are in deep denial.
            And you have a very large blind spot if you are unable to recognise the fact that fascism is currently on the rise in the USA and Europe (sadly they are very much encouraged by the views and actions current incumbent of the White House).

            I don’t think any of my comments are particularly defending ‘the policies, actions and expressions of communism’ as you put it.
            I am as skeptical of communism as I am regarding right wing capitalism (with it’s historic and current links to fascism which you deny).

            I think you just like to accuse me of this because it’s easier than examining your comfortable old ‘good vs evil’ worldview.
            They make plenty of excellent ‘good vs evil’ movies.
            Hollywood and Bollywood are experts in this format.
            It has been a theme of tales and stories since the dawn of time.

            The facts are somewhat more complex.

            But we wouldn’t ever want the facts to get in the way of a good story do we Mr MacD?

          • Carlyle MacDuff

            Well Nick you are steadily moving away from my original introductory remarks about the blind hatred that drove both Dr, Ernesto Guevara and Fidel Castro into trying to equate capitalism with fascism. It doesn’t work! I stand by everything I wrote. The quotations I gave by both men are factual. You suggest that those quotations are out of context because you cannot abide the truth about your evident heroes.
            As usual you endeavor to have your cake and eat it by writing:

            “I am as skeptical of communism as I am regarding right wing capitalism.”

            That discloses the truth Nick, you are a true skeptic, continuously doubting the knowledge that others have and you yourself do not possess.

            With that I must bid you adieu, I have to prepare for going home late next week!

          • Nick

            You have a lot of knowledge Mr MacD.
            But there is also a certain amount of knowledge that is apparently beyond your reach.
            Not because you are thick (Coz you obviously ain’t).
            But because you are set in your ways and refuse to reach for it.
            You have a firm viewpoint. Then you select certain facts that back up your viewpoint and refuse to accept those that don’t.
            You quote historical figures entirely outside of the context of the era because your ambition is not to analyse history, but to re-inforce your firm viewpoint.
            Which is all fine by me as nobodys perfect (least of all myself I’m sure).
            Wish you a happy festive season and an enjoyable time with your family in the Pearl of the Caribbean.

          • Nick

            As an unpleasant postscript to this debate:
            In Austria, the country of Hitler’s birth, a right wing capitalist party has remained in power by partnering in coalition with an extreme far-right party.
            In this disturbing new development the so called ‘Freedom Party’ (founded in 1956 by a former Nazi SS Officer) becomes the only far right party in government in Western Europe.

          • Joseph Marti

            No argument from me.

          • Nick

            And very smart you are too Mr MacD…..
            although perhaps slightly too fixated with fences?
            And you do seem have trouble with accepting the following facts:
            Historically there have far more links between right wing capitalism and fascism than there ever have been between communism and fascism (sworn enemies). In fact the boundaries between right wing capitalism and fascism very often blur.
            This still bears true today. In fact lately, there has been a strong resurgence of that murky blurring of right wing capitalism and fascism.
            Some people have trouble acknowledging these facts as they don’t fit in too neatly with the traditional old ‘good vs evil’ way of breaking down the world.
            You could try looking outside of this ‘good vs evil’ way of explaining things Mr MacD….
            It seems to have got you all ‘fenced in’.

          • Carlyle MacDuff

            You really are confused Nick. You say that Hitler was not a National Socialist but a Fascist. Then you say that communism and fascism are: “sworn enemies”. So it was sworn enemies communist Russia and fascist (your description not mine) Germany that represented respectively by Molotov and Ribbentrop made a pact to invade Poland and carve up Poland and the Baltic States between them. As soon as the pact was signed, Stalin told Mekhlis the head of the army’s Political Administration that the military press should stop irritating the Germans and give up writing about “Fascism”. The Soviets then provided Germany with vast amounts of raw materials including oil, grain, manganese and chromium. Stalin took part in a conference with the Nazis as late as February 1940.
            So much for “sworn enemies”

    • Joseph Marti

      “Blind hatred” is a common symptom of homicidal psychopathy.

      • Carlyle MacDuff

        Yup!

  • Gerard Matthews

    In my younger days i thought, no believed that Che was an ideal revolutionary and deserved the following that he had, however as i got older i revisited my original view of Che, and it was not the same. Cuba had not improved on the world stage, the people of Cuba had not made any progress, in fact they had gone backwards. The leaders of the revolution had put themselves above the people that they had intended or led us to believe that they had fought and won the revolution for. I believe that Fidel was mixed up with eventual murder of Che, because Fidel was not prepared to have his heroic image challenged by someone who the Cuban people had taken to their hearts. I believe that Fidel felt challenged and threatened by Che’s popularity with the Cuban people. They seem to have made Che into some sort of mystical creation. Fidel started as a revolutionary hero of the Cuban people and ended up practically ruining the country both financially and he also attempted to crush the Cuban peoples spirit over the years. Che however lives on in peoples memories and ironic as it might sound his early demise proved to be has saviour, he is still seen as hero and is revered as a hero, even if he like Fidel was a murderous renegade who executed quite a few Cuban people. Sorry Che but a hero to some people you might be, however not my type of hero!

    • Hans Frankfort

      That’s why Che spent most of his time visiting countries outside of Cuba while Fidel was in power so he won’t be a threat to Fidel’s power; and then Che ended up to start his own war in Bolivia where he was killed. Ideology, whether political or religious, should never replace public service to meet the needs and wants of people they claim to serve; therefore, both Fidel and Che failed miserably by placing ideology above people. Cubans need leaders who can lead and serve the people. That day will come hopefully within my lifetime!

    • Joseph Marti

      Unfortunate that Che died a martyr to some, with aberrated idolism obscuring the heinous animal he was. His image on t-shirts, posters, and the like leave me sickened at the fickle superficiality it represents. True revolutionaries? Camilo Cienfuegos, Huber Matos and like-minded patriots and true martyrs. Camilo’s image should be on those t-shirts. Not only was he a much more befitting savior for Cubans, but much better looking.