|Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas|
Ideas have consequences and those ideas are sometimes represented by iconic images. This is the case with the image of Ernesto "Che" Guevara and the philosophy of political action that he advocated and that others seek to emulate. His claim to fame was the role he played along with Fidel and Raul Castro in installing a totalitarian communist regime in Cuba and attempting to spread this model using violent means in Africa and Latin America causing the deaths of ten of thousands of innocents.
Che Guevara, an admirer of Mao Zedong adapted his form of guerilla warfare from the Chinese communist leader. Che published influential manuals Guerrilla Warfare (1961) and Guerrilla Warfare: A Method (1963), based on his own experiences and partly Mao's writings. Guevara stated that revolution in Latin America must come through insurgent forces developed in rural areas with peasant support. His legacy of glorifying violence through an erroneous analysis of guerilla warfare led to bloodbaths in Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Chiapas, Congo, Angola and decades of military dictatorship and political violence.
|Ernesto "Che" Guevara meets Mao Zedong|
Guevara had been killed and just months before being assassinated Martin Luther King Jr. told his staff to combat the “romantic illusion” of Che Guevara style guerilla warfare among young radicals concluding: “We must not be intimidated by those who are laughing at nonviolence now.”
However the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) doesn't agree with Dr. King and decided on June 18, 2013 to add “The Life and Works of Che Guevara” to the World Registrar. UNESCO is funding to preserve Che Guevara’s papers. Guevara in addition to promoting communist ideology, is known as an advocate for guerrilla warfare who viewed terrorism as a legitimate method of struggle against an enemy. U.S. tax dollars are paying for some of this. Perhaps one should consider some of the messages UNESCO and U.S. tax dollars are paying for promoting the writings of Mr. Guevara.
However the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) doesn't agree with Dr. King and decided on June 18, 2013 to add “The Life and Works of Che Guevara” to the World Registrar. UNESCO is providing funds to preserve Che Guevara’s papers. Guevara in addition to promoting communist ideology, is known as an advocate for guerrilla warfare who viewed terrorism as a legitimate method of struggle against an enemy. U.S. tax dollars are paying for some of this. Perhaps one should consider some of the messages UNESCO and U.S. tax dollars are paying for promoting the writings of Mr. Guevara.
“Blind hate against the enemy creates a forceful impulse that cracks the boundaries of natural human limitations, transforming the soldier in an effective, selective and cold killing machine. A people without hate cannot triumph against the adversary.” (1967)
“To send men to the firing squad, judicial proof is unnecessary … These procedures are an archaic bourgeois detail. This is a revolution!” (1959)
UNESCO promoting these writings internationally will lead to more bloodshed and conflict. Instead of embracing this icon of violence, the world needs to learn from and emulate non violent icons such as Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, Aung San Suu Kyi, Corazon Aquino, Vaclav Havel, Lech Walesa, Desmond Tutu, and Martin Luther King Jr.
In a world that has been torn apart by war, who offers more hope for the future, a disciple of Mao Ze Dong or Martin Luther King Jr?
Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas was a disciple of King, who corresponded with both Lech Walesa and Vaclav Havel. Unlike the Argentine revolutionary, Oswaldo’s nonviolent resistance required much more creativity and courage to confront an all powerful totalitarian state, and he offered a moral and ethical path to liberation.
In October 2002, the European Parliament awarded Oswaldo Payá the Andrei Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Members of the European Union pressured the Cuban government into allowing Oswaldo to travel to Europe to collect the Sakharov Prize. In December of 2002, the Castro regime granted him permission to travel to the ceremonies in Strasbourg, France, but not before attacking Oswaldo's home and leaving death threats there. In Strasbourg on December 17, 2002, he accepted the Sakharov Prize. In the course of a twenty minute speech, Oswaldo Payá outlined his political philosophy.
The first victory we can claim is that our hearts are free of hatred. Hence we say to those who persecute us and who try to dominate us: “You are my brother. I do not hate you, but you are not going to dominate me by fear. I do not wish to impose my truth, nor do I wish you to impose yours on me. We are going to seek the truth together.” This is the liberation which we are proclaiming.On March 30, 2012 prior to his untimely death on July 22, 2012 at the hands of Castro's state security apparatus Oswaldo was warning of the fake change underway in Cuba.
Days prior to his death Oswaldo Payá offered a path to freedom in July of 2012 in the publication Somos Liberación."Our Movement denounces the regime's attempt to impose a fraudulent change, i.e. change without rights and the inclusion of many interests in this change that sidesteps democracy and the sovereignty of the people of Cuba. The attempt to link the Diaspora in this fraudulent change is to make victims participate in their own oppression."
“Already many Cubans have discovered and soon all of them will discover that this oppression, that this imposed lie, can be overcome recognizing ourselves as brothers to conquer our rights peacefully. So there is hope.”Che Guevara's legacy of blood and terror should be lamented not celebrated, much less promoted by international organizations subsidized by US taxpayers. However the life and writings of Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas should be and placed within the canon of nonviolence in the World Registrar. Finally, friends of freedom should celebrate this icon of Cuban freedom and nonviolent resistance with his image.
|#NoCheNoche event organized by the Victims of Communism on July 19, 2017|