Thursday, September 06, 2012

Seen on Univision

A few minutes ago I was dumbfounded when, while viewing an interview on Univision's national news show with a nice lady from the Puente Movement, in the background I noticed a large framed photo of Ernesto Guevara de la Serna Lynch, the man known to most of the world as Che and to most Cubans as El Chacal de La Cabaña.

The Puente Movement:  "Puente Arizona is part of the global movement for migrant justice and human rights. As a grassroots community-based group Puente promotes justice, non-violence, interdependence and human dignity. Puente Arizona works to empower the community and build bridges by working collaboratively with various organizations and individuals."

So I decided to write this organization with such good goals, a note about the psychopath who adorns their walls: 
As an artist and writer I've spent years researching and creating work, both written (I've written an online bio of Che as a young man) and visual arts about this complex man. I have read all his diaries and writings and speeches and interviews, and from his own words comes out a RACIST psychopathic personality which I've discovered that most people are not aware of.

Don't listen to me if you are the types of people who are easily seduced by dogma and what Hollywood and ignorant Latin American and European icon-makers have made of the myth of Che. I ask that you listen to Che from his own diaries and memories - if after reading what Che has written, said or done, you still believe that any decent human being who is struggling for the rights of others should have a poster of Che as a positive image, then you are way beyond logic - Read on:

On Mexicans: "Mexicans are a band of illiterate Indians."

On Blacks: "The black is indolent and a dreamer; spending his meager wage on frivolity or drink; the European has a tradition of work and saving, which has pursued him as far as this corner of America and drives him to advance himself, even independently of his own individual aspirations."

On Black Cubans: "We're going to do for blacks exactly what blacks did for the revolution. By which I mean: nothing."

On Homosexuals: Che played a principal role in setting up Cuba's first labor camp in the Guanahacabibes region in western Cuba in 1960-1961, to confine people who had committed no crime punishable by law, revolutionary or otherwise. This "crimes" involved homosexuality, drinking, vagrancy, disrespect for authorities, laziness and playing loud music. Che defended that initiative in his own words: “We only send to Guanahacabibes those doubtful cases where we are not sure people should go to jail… people who have committed crimes against revolutionary morals, to a lesser or greater degree.... It is hard labor, not brute labor, rather the working conditions there are hard.” Che's homophobia is expressed in the poster placed at the entrance to the forced labor camp, where homosexuals were confined, which read:  “The work will make you men”', replica of the slogan “The work will make you free” used in the Nazi concentration camps. It was intended to correct the homosexual behavior applying rigorous punishments with the intention of modifying this social deviation, which does not constitute a crime punishable by law.

On the thousands of executions that took place in 1959: In an appearance on Channel 6 of Cuban TV in February 1959, Che declared that "at La Cabaña all executions are carried out under my express orders.” He adds: “It is necessary to work at night, the man offers less resistance at night than during the day. In the nocturnal calm the moral resistance is weakened. Do the interrogations at night. It is not necessary to make many inquiries to shoot somebody. What one need to know is if it is necessary to shoot him. Nothing more. You should always give the accused the possibility to do his discharge before executing him. And this means, understand me well, that the accused should always be executed, without mattering which has been his discharge. Make no mistake about this. Our mission doesn’t consist in giving procedural guarantees to anyone, but to make the revolution, and we must begin by the same procedural guarantees.”

On the right of workers to strike: In a TV speech June 26, 1961, when he was Minister of Industries Che said: “The Cuban workers have to start being used to live in a collectivism regimen and by no means can they go on strike.”

I support what you are trying to accomplish - but I am sickened to see that you do it under the image of a murdering psychopath - I blame it on ignorance on your part, and hope that you can do your own research and then put that image of Che where it belongs, the garbage bin.

Un abrazo,

Lenny Campello
 Five gets you ten that they ignore this email and go on trying to do good things under the banner of a murdering racist whose image has been redone by 60 years of lies. I hope that I am wrong.

Debbie and Antonio

Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Antonio Villaraigosa
Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz: "What are you here for?"

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa: "I'm getting fitted for a hearing aid"

September 6

Today is my birthday, and as a proud former Naval officer, I am pleased by some key naval historical references to this day in history.

- In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed from La Gomera in the Canary Islands (where my maternal grandmother came from), his final port of call in the Old World before crossing the Atlantic for the first time and reaching the New World... of course, now we know that the Vikings and Basque fishermen had made the crossing hundreds of times prior to his voyage, but his is the one that counted!

- In 1522, La Victoria, the only surviving ship of Fernando Magellan's courageous expedition, returns to the sherry-growing town of San Lúcar de Barrameda in Andalucia, Spain, thus becoming the first seagoing vessel to circumnavigate the world.

- In 1620, the Pilgrims sail from Plymouth, England, on the Mayflower to settle in Massachusetts.

Potomackers: Wanna go to an opening tomorrow?

Seen on Univision...

I was commenting to a friend that it is clear to the most casual observer that Spanish language TV stations, and more specifically (here in the US) Univision, have a very clear and machista attitude on how they cast and present their weather forecasters (most of which are young women), such as Univision's muy bonita Jackie Guerrido, as this image search of Univision's famous weather lady yields.

Then out of the blue I received a mass email which was titled "Why God Sends Rain to Latin America and not to the Middle East‏" - The email consists of a collage of images of female weather presenters from various TV stations across Latin America and closes with three images of weather newscasters in Middle Eastern countries.

I'll let you be the judge, but this re-affirms what I have been droning about for quite a while here, and that is how I've noticed how Spanish language media in the US (and I guess Latin America) gets away with stuff like this obvious objectification of female news staff that would get your local TV station picketed left and right.

And, ahem... the mass email ends with "Any Questions?"