Saturday, November 26, 2016

Did He Disappear, Or Was He Gotten Rid Of?

Did He Disappear, Or Was He Gotten Rid Of? / Cubanet, Jose Daniel Ferrer

Cubanet, Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, Santiago do Cuba, 29 October 1916 —
The top headline in the nightly news on the Castro family's private
television — the only television permitted in our country – on October
28th this year, was: "Cubans are paying tribute to Camilo Cienfuegos on
the 57th anniversary of his physical disappearance." Then we see
leaders, the military, workers and students, all of them in the service
of the family who own the television and who also own everything in
Cuba, – when a few people own everything, the rest don't even own their
own lives – scatter flowers in the sea or in rivers in homage to the
brave and much-loved guerilla. Lázaro Expósito, Secretary of the Cuban
Communist Party in the province of Santiago de Cuba, and his entourage,
distributed their flowers in the contaminated Santiago Bay.

Was Camilo lost at sea? Or, did Fidel Castro make him disappear? For
most Cubans, the second possibility seems more likely. My father, Daniel
Ferrer, fought in Column 9 under the command of Huber Matos, and, with
me still in primary school, he told me that Camilo hadn't fallen into
the sea, that that was just a story. He never explained to us why he
said that. Since I was a kid I have never wanted to be deceived or used.
From the 5th grade on, I never again "threw flowers for Camilo." They
haven't found any trace of the light aircraft which, supposedly, crashed
into the sea. Will we need a diver like the one who discovered the
wreckage of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's plane?

If Camilo was, and I think it is true, a brave, intelligent and sincere
man who fought for the restoration of democracy to the Cuban people –
the great majority of Cubans who fought against Batista thought that
they were fighting to restore the 1940 constitution, never imagining
that they were fighting for one family to become owners of the whole
nation – it is logical to think that, when he saw the disastrous road
along which Castro was leading the Revolution, he would have expressed
his disagreement, or, at the very least, Fidel and Raúl would have
imagined that it would not be easy to manipulate him and, in either
case, would have decided to get rid of him. And if that is what
happened, he certainly does deserve flowers, respect, admiration and
justice. But not that we should participate in the Castros' farce of
casting flowers on the sea.

If, on the other hand – and I don't think it's true – Camilo was another
docile instrument in the hands of the Stalin of Birán (Fidel Castro's
birthplace), always ready to obey orders, even though the orders
converted his country into a nation of slaves, and he really disappeared
in an airplane accident over the sea, after Huber Matos' arrest, then
it's the best thing that could have happened to him. In that way, he
died clean, without having on his shoulders the weight of the tyranny's
subsequent grave and continuous crimes And, if that's how it was, he
deserves neither flowers nor admiration.

But, I do think that he deserves flowers, respect, admiration, and
justice. And for that, I do not throw flowers into the sea. One day, we
will know where his remains are. I don't know why, but whenever they
speak of Camilo, or of other friends and victims of the Castros, even
inluding the Argentinian communist who executed so many Cubans in
Havana's La Cabaña fortress, I remember Lev Trotsky, Sergei Kirov, Lev
Kámenev and Gregory Zinoviev, among other victims of Joseph Stalin's purges.

They say there is no proof that Stalin ordered Kirov's assassination, or
that Castro got rid of Camilo. But what we do know is that Stalin did
not like to be upstaged by anyone, and that the Castros even stick
people away and out of sight if they seem to be the slightest bit
"difficult." Kirov and Camilo seemed to be malcontents. Those who want
to have everything, do everything to control everything, and then they
tell whatever whoppers suit them. But, in Stalin's time, there was no

Translated by GH

Source: Did He Disappear, Or Was He Gotten Rid Of? / Cubanet, Jose
Daniel Ferrer – Translating Cuba -

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