Sunday, June 3, 2007

La Raza


We all know that Martí famously said that there are no races, and yet throughout his writings we find the expression "la raza." Of course, there is no contradiction in terms. The races which Martí denied were the artificial constructs which divided men on the basis of the quantity of melanin in their skin or the contours of their facial features or hair. For Martí, "race" meant something else. In a word, identity. That is, what an indidivual happened to identify himself as, not how society identified him. Marti extolled la raza at every opportunity. He knew such a diverse people as inhabited "Our America" could only find common ground in a shared identity that transcended color or ethnic origins and embraced everyone who claimed a share in it. Although Martí tended to idealize the indigenous peoples, he did not do so at the expense of the Spanish. Never in his writings will you find any mention of the Black Legend which purported that Spaniards were more bloodthirsty, rapacious and brutal than any other European people. This canard, invented by the English to explain Spain's predominance in the Americas, could have been exploited to good advantage by Marti among their American descendents, who continued to believe it long after the English discovered that the French were the real "villains" of Europe. But Marti rejected the Black Legend because it was a lie and he had no intention of building the future upon a lie. He also surmised that it would be the greatest folly for Hispanics to attack the mother country on such grounds, because sooner or later that same Black Legend would be transposed on the descendents of the Spaniards once the Spaniards themselves had been forced to quit Cuba and Puerto Rico.

Ironically, Marti's death unleashed just such a response in the U.S. media of the time. An industry actually grew up around defaming Spain, which was nurtured by William Randolph Hearst and other imperialist editors, who championed Cuba's freedom but not her independence. Freedom, that is, under the aegis of the United States. Of course, the Spanish committed atrocities enough in Cuba to require no embellishment, particularly in the 2 years of Valeriano Weyler's rule. But the anomaly was transformed into the norm. Cuba was the "Ever-Faithful Isle" for nearly 400 years not because Spain was always cruel to us, but because she was not. It was only in the last 50 years years of its 400-year rule that Spain became a cruel mother and then it was not because she disdained us but because she didn't want to let us go. That break would have been quick and relatively painless except for the U.S., which sanctioned and abetted Spain's abuses while turning its back and worse on the rebels who only asked from this country what the Thirteen Colonies had asked of France and Spain.

The U.S., of course, wanted Cuba as a slave state and tried on numerous occasions to buy the island from Spain for extravagant amounts. When Spain declined to sell (and bless you for that, Spain), the U.S. decided that it was in its interest to uphold Spain's claims in Cuba until the day that it would wrest Cuba from her. What it didn't want to do was wrest the "ripe apple" from a victorious Cuban Republic, and it did everything in its power to make sure it wouldn't have to. Like a vulture that circled its prey for a century, the U.S. finally moved against Cuba when the rebels had wrested control of 90 percent of the island from Spain and were on the verge of ending Spanish rule in Cuba. Then came the yellow press, jingoism, Manifest Destiny and finally the misnamed Spanish-American war where with a loss of no more than 200 soldiers (and most of these from diarrhea) the Americans stole the victory which a half-million Cuban lives had secured and then came Occupation, the Platt Amendment, and Guantanamo which framed the birth of the Cuban Republic, and, a half-century later, the Eisenhower State Department (which Senator McCarthy was right to say was riddled with Communist agents), The New York Times, the embargo on arms sales to Cuba and the ultimatum to Batista to turn Cuba over to that "Jeffersonian democrat" Fidel Castro. After they had killed the Cuban Republic, the Americans buried it but good with the Bay of Pigs, the Kennedy-Khruschev Pact and a hundred over betrayals, which brings us to today's "Wet Foot/Dry Foot" policy and the U.S. becoming, Communist Cuba's largest trading partner.

BUCL's campaign against Spain ignored two vital facts: the first was that we (not the Americans) defeated Spain more than 100 years ago, and, second, that we have yet to overcome the consequences of U.S. meddling in Cuba, and that not until we do shall Cuba again be free.

I sense, because I can read the BUCLERs and anticipate their acts — no great praise accruing to me therefor, since it is like guessing the tricks of really simple children — that they are soon to conclude their Campaign against Spain and move on to another target of opportunity; Italy, perhaps. Before we conclude the Spanish imbroglio, however, I should like to point out the reason that attacking the Spaniards is no different from attacking our own oppressed brothers on the island.

The first to discern this fact was not a Cuban, but the great Puerto Rican patriot and philosopher Eugenio Maria de Hostos (1839-1903), himself, incidentally, the grandson of Cubans and married to a Cuban. Of him Marti said that if Cubans had heeded Hostos' advice in the Great War (1868-1878) they might have prevailed. So Hostos' opinion is important; very important. Call him, if you will, along with Betances, the Puerto Rican Marti. He observed this about Spaniards and Cubans and what he noted 130 years ago is still true today:

"The Spanish, whose will is misguided, have not been able to commit the one evil deed that would forever have condemned Cubans to the horrors of being Spaniards: they have not been able to engender Spanish children. The Spaniards mixed with Indian women, and had Cuban children; with negro women, and had Cuban children; with foreign women, and had Spanish children; with Spanish women, and even they bore Cuban children. They brought them up to love Spain and hate Cuba; but their children became Cubans in their love for the oppressed island and their bitter hatred for the oppressor. They taught them to be zealots of the Spanish God, the Spanish king, and Spanish grandeur, but their children became Cubans in their zealotry against Spanish zealots. They sent them to Spain to make them forget Cuba, but their children came back cursing Spain. When the revolution broke out all the young Cubans who could left Spain, where they had spent most of their active years, to go fight against Spain in Cuba, where they had lived only the early years of childhood. This is the rebellion of nature; it is the sacred abhorrence of injustice; the divine anger of goodness.

If the Spanish at some time opresssed us, it was their children who helped to liberate us. It was in Cuba, also, that the Spanish character, purified and refined in that crucible, reached its greatest expression, not only in our glorious Martí, son of an asturiano and an isleña, but in millions of other Cubans, even Cubans born in Spain herself, who found in Cuba not just a refuge but a home and repaid their adopted country with their honest labor and industry.

For the last time: any Cuban who undertakes a bigotted campaign against the mother country does not know or does not care to know that what we are, for good much more than for ill, is the children of Spain:

"La raza is the greater homeland and ought by right to command from all the countries she engendered the same tribute owed a mother by her children." — José Martí

24 comments:

Vana said...

Manuel
I too have read how the USA wanted to buy Cuba and keep it a slave island, also they wanted to starve us Cubans, so we would die off, and they could have their free of slavery country, as the abolitionists wanted, while keeping slavery alive in Cuba, it was a sad day when I read those words, I felt betrayed by this the country I also love, and realized that truly there is no love towards us here.
With the cry Remember the Main, William Randolph Hearst, aroused the people of this country to want war with Spain, so they could meddle in our almost won war, and take it for themselves,also take the glory away from us, when in school I first read the missnamed Spanish American war, I became quite angry, for this was our war, and where were the Cubans named there? NOWHERE! in the words of Marti
Y Cuba debe ser libre de España y de los Estados Unidos.
We had to sell our very souls with the Platt Ammendment, or the USA NEVER would have left Cuba to us, when my Grandmother was born in 1901 it was the American flag that flew above the Morro, a very sad sight indeed, for us Cubans celebrate our independance on May 20th 1902 the day we liberated ourselves from the USA, and not from Spain

KillCastro said...

To this day when things get the darkest in a Spaniards life they will exclaim “We lost Cuba, so how bad can this be"
Another item of PROFOUND importance is that Spain indeed LOVED Cuba, and Cubans as any other grown child wanted to spread its wings. This hurt Spain more on the emotional level than anything else. When it was clear that the USA was going to take over Cuba after the Spanish-American war ( which as you well point out was a war fought 99.9 % BY Cubans having the USA cavalry arrive just in time to partake on the spoils ) The Spaniards offered the USA Puerto Rico AND the Philippines in exchagange of granting Cuba its total freedom. No one was fighting against Spain in either of those countries so Spain rather loose 3 countries than see Cuba become part of the USA.

And therein lays a little known fact that the historically challenged members of BUCLE miss. Spain is still infatuated with Cuba. There is no other country , in fact there are provinces in Spain that are not as typically SPANIARD as Cuba was and that love persists . It has a FUCK to do with KaSStro it has to do with the land and its people and the fact that a great majority of Cubans have Spanish blood in them. Case in point. The Cuban Picassos. I for one have a surname that is one of only 5,112 100% Spanish surnames and can be found in the Archivo de la Real Chancillería de Valladolid as an Hidalgo name.
No other place outside Spain has as many descendants of this historical fact.
There is deep important Spanish history all over Cuba, history that could very well be in Valladolid but it just happens to be in Cuba. El Morro was an architectural marvel that figured prominently in Spanish architectural history, so was Trinidad which broke traditional organic city design and was from the ground up planned as a city INCLUDING sewage systems that to this day still work. There are Spanish saints buried in Cuba . In fact a small but VERY dear part of Spanish history IS in Cuba !

So regardless of who is in power Spain does NOT forget Cuba. The much maligned Melia chain could make a LOT more money in opening hotels in the USA but they have no.t They rather loose money by having 17hotels in Cuba. Now, the simpleton assholes who look at this as an exploitative (EXPLOTANDO?!) move on the part of Spain , just MISS the whole point and that point would be clear if they had the courage to go and see first hand how the chain helps the average Cuban day in and day out. The other side of this is that a Boycott against Spain is VERY convenient for those in North Cuba because ask a Cuban , any Cuban in the street if they were to choose an allegiance with which country they would side the USA or Spain. 99 out of 100 will say Spain! The USA can NOT have that and much less the NORTH cubans so the agenda is passed to the North Cubans to promulgate a mud slinging campaign against Spain on whatever grounds they choose to trump up. Like the whoele and hysterically line of bullshit regarding SIBONEY! GOD the unequaled stupidity!

That there ARE Spaniards going to Cuba on sex vacations to score with 13 year old girls YES ! Now, before pointing fingers or making accusations it would behoove these "patriots" to find out who owns MOST of the condominiums at Marina Hemingway and how do you get Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Maseratis and Mercedes cars with Florida plates , parked in the parking lot of Marina Hemingway. Is anyone looking into THIS? Anyone boycotting the Cost guards who look the other way while these multimillionaires still have Cuba as their sex playground?

NO, why? cause it reflects poorly on the USA vejentorios who are ALSO fucking 13 year old girls in Cuba and well we have to HIDE that cause that is part of the “trapo sucio” allegiance.
So FUCK any boycotts or trash campaigns against Spain, look in your own backyard and clean THAT first. In the meantime, you will get away with NOTHING that can not be refuted with the facts that the USA is a zillion times more guilty of collusion with KaSStro that Spain ever will.

!Ya No Mas! said...

Buckle up: it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

!Ya No Mas! said...

History to us is our lives,our reality and our struggle ,unfortunately ,people like SIBONEY are so tranquilized he will never be able to distinguish whats right whats wrong. we need to learn our mistakes and not lament it. History is history.I would imagine the Native Americans still hoping Whites are going to get out of America some time ...Hahahaha a little sense of humor,folks Talk about your propaganda.

tocororo_frikki said...

asere tellechea te la comiste con la cancioncita de siboney..jajajaja
cada vez que me acuerdo se me salen los mojones de tanto reirme !

el problema de muchos (y digo muchos y me quedo corto)cubanos que tienen en la mente a españa como un enemigo conquistador de la era colonial o sea una obsesion aprendida de los libros de historia y de los maestros cumunistas que siempre los recordare pintando a españa como un regimen rabioso,sanguinario y malevolo.
la educacion cumunista se encuentra activada en sus mentes de cagalitrosos recalcitrantes.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

killcastro:

You are very right. For Spain, Cuba was the one love that just cannot be given up, even if one knows that is the right and just thing to do. Better to make oneself ridiculous, or even become savage and intractible toward the object of one's love, than admit the possibility of separation. Better to inspire even hate in the beloved than leave an emotional void where love once flourished. Hence Spain's blind and unbending position towards Cuban independence, as summarized by Canovas del Castillo: to fight to the last soldier and the last peseta to keep Cuba Spanish. This was foolish and unnecessary because, of course, Cuba will always be Spanish. The political connection between Spain and Cuba was severed in 1898, but not the historical or emotional ties; nor could separation erase everything good and aspiring which that love built over 400 years and beyond.

Charlie Bravo said...

Mas se perdio en la guerra de Cuba, it's the national expression when you shrug shoulders in Spain.
As KillCastro says, many people cannot even grasp the inanity of trying to severe ties with Spain for a few reasons:
1- blood -more than six million Cubans today are proven to have at least one Cuban grandparent, making them elective for Spanish citizenship. By the same token, unless it's your father or mother the one which holds full fledge American citizenship you cannot come legally to the States, and then you still have a long way in front of you in order to obtain a green card, let alone citizenship. I have never heard in Cuba the expression of "se tomo la cocacola del olvido" regarding any Cuban exile in Spain, I've heard it with regards to those Cubans who come to the States and blindly buy into the bullshit of the American prohibitions to help, comfort, and assist their own.
2- gratitude -Cubans are very grateful, and they do not forget who offers them a job, who smuggle medication for them, who helps them escape and of course they do not forget who put the hurdle of the wet foot dry foot in front of them, who tells them that their uncle by marriage is not their family anymore, and that they cannot sent money to a child left behind in Cuba because they would be helping castro.
Now, sex tourism...
That's a really good point, KC.
I didn't know that those English speaking slobs that I PERSONALLY saw in Cuba were Spaniards.
Neither I knew that there are regions in Spain where German seems to be openly spoken.
Nor I ever knew that those frog faced Mexicans in pursue of the Cuban pussy (and boy they have to pay, because not even La India Maria will go to bed with them in Mexico) were carrying a Spanish passport in their pocket.
In every country with tourism there are prostitutes, young and old. And johns come in all races and nationalities.
I used to live in Miami Beach, and I saw all sort of prostitutes, of all ages, races, apparent religions, and orientations. Should I say that I didn't see them any different to prostitutes I've seen in the many places of the world I have visited or from the ones who roam the tourist areas in Cuba?
Now, remember that many people say that kasstro impossed prostitution on Cuban women. Well, that assertion is totally offensive to all Cuban women living in Cuba who are not prostitutes, who reject prostitution, and who will never become prostitutes.
It's assinine to think that prostitution is the only way of getting fed in Cuba. And it's offensive, very offensive, when people think that prostitution is rampant in the island and that virtually every woman is a whore.
So, who knows what country is next in this buckled campaign. The debacle of the bucles, my God. I can see them getting ready to charge against Canada, Italy, Germany, France, Portugal, Britain, and everyother country.
I don't hold my breath for them to point out that there are in fact American citizens having an orgy at this time in the Marina Hemingway.
I don't foresee a campaign not allowing the Coast Guard to disembark in Miami due to their rol in returning Cubans to Cuba.
I don't see anything happening against the Dry Foot Wet Foot, because our hyphenated politicos will not like that.
And much less, I won't see any movement asking the Eschefans to help Porno Para Ricardo out of Cuba or to support them in any form way or shape. No, they are not clean cut enough.
Or maybe I am giving ideas to the campaign creators.... I don't count on that.
I don't see any campaign either on the States that are doing business with kasstro, the Florida cattlemen who are always ready for a photo-op with Ramon El Jamon Castro and I don't see any boycott to the American farming industry which provides everybody here with turkey, pork, chicken, and beef.
No, that will not happen.
Instead we have a boycott to Spain. What can I tell you, pure gold!

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Vana:

You make an excellent observation which I don't believe I have ever heard before but which is a palpable and undeniable truth: the traditional Cuban Independence day, May 20th, commemorates not our independence from Spain, which had transpired three years earlier behind our backs, but, rather, our independence from the United States, whose flags were lowered on that day from public buildings in Cuba and whose soldiers boarded their ships for home (though not for good, alas).

Charlie Bravo said...

Manuel, Vana's explaination was what I heard from my family in Cuba, specially from my grandmother, who had grown up in the United States....

Fantomas said...

Fantomas 2 cents domingo 3, 2007

La razon por la cual me meti en la campaña de España es la de denunciar las politicas españolas actuales hacia Cuba.-
lo importante es denunciar el chantage español actual y la complicidad de estos con la dictadura. El contexto historico me lo paso por los huevos. Me importa un bledo. Vergonzoso el show de Moratinos y zapatero aceptarles a Alarcon y a Roque la premisa de que en cuba no hay prisioneros politicos ni de conciencia. Los presos estan presos porque son terroristas segun la habana ...
palabras del regimen. Eso ya no lo cree ni un niño de 5 años en europa
nadie le importa realmente Cuba, solo a nosotros los cubanos. Es tan cierto como eso. Lo de la Espanna de Zapatero ha sido triste, por la complicidad, por los intereses mas bajos, esos que tanto critican los que dicen llamarse socialistas.

Triste.
Comentario por Cubana 03.06.07 @ 17:20
Lo del PSOE es vergonzoso. Al menos Aznar criticó al dictador en más de una ocasión.
Comentario por Antonino 03.06.07 @ 04:38
El Mora y ZP son un par de imbéciles. Ya Condo les haló las orejotas.
Comentario por AntiZP 03.06.07 @ 03:43

CorgiGuy said...

Manuel

Is the siboney a child of spain, he being a babalu i think he is more aligned with chango.

And Mr BUCLE, i think you are giving him to much credit, he is not concerned about history or other facts. BUCLE's background is marketing, his so called campaigns are all about creating noise a BUZZ, so he can bring the attention to himself.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

fantomas:

How can anyone possibly disregard history when evaluating the bilateral relations of any two countries?

Fantomas said...

manuel concentrate in changing la historia actual ( la que nos afecta HOY) ...lo otro lo tocamos luego..

Also I dont like to engage in public with fellow bloggers..

la discordia yo la discuto a puertas cerradas y alli resolvemos la diferencias

mi cabilla esta lista siempre para los talibanes caribeños.

para los que luchan contra castro como yo siempre tendran un AMIGO en fantomas

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

fantomas:

History is not static but subject to the interpretation and re-evaluation of successive generations.

What never changes but intensifies with time is the visceral hatred that informs BUCL's campaign against the Spanish people.

If your group had specifically targetted Zapatero's Socialist government and stated that its goal was to free both Spaniards and Cubans from it, I would, of course, have supported you. But Val & Henry did not do that. On the contrary, they aimed their stickers at the Spanish nation and people. That is wrong and unacceptable.

Their illiterate slogan: "España: Explotando [a los] cubanos for 500 años" is such a monumental affront to history and the truth that it could not go unchallenged by those of us who have some knowledge of history and respect for the truth.

Do you consult with Val & Henry before posting here? Perhaps you should because you are not doing them any favors by reiterating their position.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

corgiguy:

With his expertise in marketting and advertising, it really is remarkable that Henry has so bungled his own idea. It started with the ridiculous acronym which he chose for his group: BUCL, pronounced BUCKLE, which in English means to surrender under pressure. That's about the worst name for any organization which anyone ever intentionally devised. From there things only got worse. The logo for BUCL featured a Vietnamese, not a Cuban flag (we would have thought that Henry could at least get that right). The horrible slogan which I have just discussed in my previous comment. And, then, the campaign itself, the self-described "Campaign For Cuban Independence From Spain," which ignores the fact that Cubans defeated Spain in 1898 and have no need to wage any further "campaigns" against her. Next came the introduction by Val of The Black Legend, his Siboneys ancestors and all other kinds of extraneous garbage into this debate. I could go on, but all of this has already been described in detail in numerous posts. In fact, I believe we have given more attention (and certainly more importance) to BUCL's deeds than have its silent blogging partners, who accept Val and Henry's enormities with a resignation worthy of a religious order.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

The one satisfying thing about the BUCL Campaign is that it has afforded us the opportunity to teach Val & Henry some Cuban history. They certainly spend hours here reading and re-reading what I write, so it is possible (if unlikely) that they absorbed some of it. Let us hope.

Perhaps I should also furnish them with a Reading List. That's putting the cart before the horse as far as BUCL's "Campaign Against Spain" is concerned, but still it may help them to avoid such mistakes in the future.

Tomás Estrada-Palma said...

You know Val is actually my cousin. It hurts a bit when people question a person's motives or their family. Naturally I have a slanted view since we're talking family here. So maybe your right and maybe you are wrong. But I know we're a much scarier group when we act together. One person thinking he is acting with pride in his accomplishments is taken for being arrogant in his actions by others.

However, I believe you ALL have good intentions. You ALL have your own way of fighting this fight. And you ALL are very effective and we are winning even though we don't have a scoreboard to verify this in real time. We are still winning.

Remember, a vital aspect of any fight is to absolutely demoralize your enemy. We should NEVER give the Castro boys reason to cheer. So please give cousin Val a break at least until Castro and his brother are gone. Besides, if you think Val is rough wait till you meet my brother Pat.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Tomás:

No one has questioned here Val's motives or family. I presume that his motives are honorable as is his family. I think that both Val & Henry mean to do the right thing, but their acumen falls short of their intentions.

In the past, I have praised both Val & Henry when their actions merited it. I may actually collect all that scattered praise and reproduce it here to prove to you and others that there is nothing personal in my criticism of their actions vis-a-vis BUCL.

I believe that they have been misled by two factors: their refusal to learn Cuban history (and I think you might be able to help Val on that score) and their unquestioning obeisance to all things American.

Spewing hatred against Spain has nothing to do with fighting for Cuban freedom. Martí and other Cuban patriots of the 19th century realized this, but Val & Henry obviously do not. I hope that you do.

As for "giving Val a break," I hope he gives Spain a break and truth a break and then there will be no need for me to give him a break.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

P.S.: Are all of Val's cousins bloggers? This may explain a great deal. Does your brother Pat blog also?

Vana said...

I too have heard this from my mother, about May 20th, but also from hitting every book I can get my hands on about Cuba's history, it's my passion and my obsession. One half of my heart is the warm part, where my children, my husband, yes even my pets reside, ah but the other half, the other half is red hot, it has a Cuban flag across it, and a very beautiful Island, La Perla de las Antillas, for which I mourn.
Did I say red hot I meant white hot!

Fantomas said...

Do you consult with Val & Henry before posting here? Perhaps you should because you are not doing them any favors by reiterating their position.

you make me laugh , man

Fantomas always work alone ....

I consult no one , not even God... I am one that offers free consultations all the time to quien quiera escuchar

Vana said...

Charlie
I have heard( was told) that if you are Cuban and sign a contract with the estefans, there is a clause in it that says you cannot travel to Cuba, or the contract is void, they did it to Albita, and when she went to Cuba they kicked her out, I don't believe Gorki would sign with them, even if he is desperate, and we all know he is.
Besides we damn well know they are too busy singing with the likes of Santana, their friend, to help any Cubans

Charlie Bravo said...

Besides whatever their contract says, if one signs, one is legally bound Vana to fulfill -totally- all which was agreed and signed. That doesn't make them less of what they are, but one needs to honor one's contracts. I don't know if Albita had a major reason or cause to go to Cuba which could make her seek for a legal exemption -life and death of a relative for example.
The likes of the Eschefans FEAR one outspoken guy like Gorki, because, while fulfilling the letter of a contract, a person like him can show up with the words SLAVE OF THE ESTEFANS painted on his face if they piss him off. That'd be very punk rock, don't you think? Prince did that, remember, he performed in a video with the word SLAVE painted across his face.
The music of the Estefans doesn't have any edge, and Gorki's music is all about jagged edges.
No, he would not sign with the Estefans, but have they offered to help him out? I simply doubt it!
Jay Martinez -Fantomas contact- offered to help him, and we should not mention anything else, so he can really help them out!

Vana said...

Oh yes Charlie they do fear a guy like Gorki, that is why they will never help him, when have you heard of the eschefans helping any one in the Island, I never have. and they never will.
The reason I told the story of Albita, is because you gotta be a pretty terrible person to be Cuban, and yet not allow anyone to travel there, they help the paper embargo, Charlie, and want nothing to do with the people in the Island.