Friday, October 19, 2007

Venezuelans Shatter Glass Monument to "Che" Guevara

It Had Been Inaugurated 10 Days Earlier


For a man who lived in a glass house all his adult life, throwing stones at the innocent until one finally rebounded on him, what could be more appropriate than a monument which invites the re-enactment of his final hour? This is precisely what happened to the glass monument to "Che" Guevara which Hugo Chávez caused to be erected in the state of Mérida, at the highest point in the Venezuelan Andes. The 8 feet (2.4 meter) glass monument, dedicated on October 8 to mark the 40th anniversary of Guevara's death, was shattered by six gunshots 10 days later, on the morning of Oct. 19. The local mayor blamed the act on "outsiders," by which we suppose he means persons living outside his municipality, not "outsiders" in the sense of mercenaries like Guevara himself.

The Páramo Patriotic Front, an anti-Communist clandestine movement, took credit for the monument's destruction. A communiqué left at the scene proclaimed: "We don't want a monument to 'Che' Guevara, who is not an example for our children to emulate: he was Minister of Industry in Cuba and finished off all Cuban industries; he was chancellor and isolated Cuba from the rest of the world; he was chief of the Cuban National Bank and bankrupted the country. So, Jorge Rodríguez [the Venezuelan vice-president who inaugurated the monument] let your sons be like 'Che' and Chávez's too; but as for our children, we don't want them to be anything like 'Che.'"

The monument was erected at the highest elevation in Venezuela, Pico Aguila (Eagle Peak), the name of which was changed earlier this year by the local legislature to "El Collado del Cóndor" (Hill of the Condor), since the eagle (bald or not) has fallen out of favor among the chavistas. The guest of "honor" at the inauguration ceremony had been Cuba's ambassador to Venezuela, Germán Sánchez Otero, who declared that "'Che' belongs today to all Venezuelans, because he was undoubtedly the most outstanding Bolivarian of the 20th century, and, with Fidel, he was the initiator of the Bolivarian and Martinian Revolution which is now being heroically fought on this Continent."

Venezuelans, apparently, don't want to have anything to do with this peculiar "Bolivarian-Martinian" Revolution which negates the life and work of Simón Bolívar and José Martí.


POSTSCRIPT:

I reproduced the communiqué from the Páramo Patriotic Front as printed yesterday in the Venezuelan newspaper El Universal. In the unattributed version quoted in the Comments, the final clause of the anathema of Guevara reads "and he was a cold-blooded murderer." Now the indictment sounds right and is complete. The author, who obviously has a good grasp of Cuban history and Guevara's role in it, would surely not have failed to mention the real basis of "Che's" fame and consummation of his career as an internationalist terrorist.

In omitting that clause from the published communiqué, El Universal may have recoursed to self-censorship, but, more likely, it was the local authorities in Mérida, fearful of reprisals, who did not dare release the full version of the communiqué.

I should not be surprised if Mérida's 8-foot monument were to be rebuilt as an 80 feet or even an 800-feet one. Chávez's idea to build "stations of the cross" to "Che" wherever he set foot in Venezuela, or whizzed by on his motorcycle, reminds me of Idi Amin's monument to Adolph Hitler in Uganda, which, since Germany (and much less Hitler) came nowhere near Uganda in World War II, he was obliged to place at a site traversed by some German troops in World War I.

Chávez's monument to "Che" shares something else with Idi Amin's monument to Hitler: it will be just as ephemeral no matter how many times he erects it.

Expect the next one, by the way, to have a 24-hour "honor" guard.

10 comments:

Mamey said...

The communique did not include anything about the murders Che committed before and after 1 January 1959.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

mamey:

An interesting point. Nowadays, apparently, it's considered more onerous to destroy a country's economy than to decimate its population. But let them hate "Che" for any reason at all (there are many) so long as they hate him.

Vana said...

Good for them, now on to destroy the ones in Havana

Charlie Bravo said...

I also noticed that the authors of the proclame didn't mention the crimes of Guevara, just his general failure as a human being, but as Mr. T. I think that as long as they hate Guevara and destroy those so called monuments, something is achieved. It will start a wild fire of people destroying such memorials all over Venenueza which hopefully will expand to Bolivia, Argentina and other places, arriving -my prediction- in the last place to Cuba.

Fantomas said...

Que alegria me da cuando posteas noticias Manuel, digo para variar de las criticas y los ataques

mira como fantomas te va a ayudar con este noticion del monumento del che

El regreso del Che
TalCual

El Gobierno aseguró hoy que reparará el monumento al Che Guevara inaugurado la semana pasada y tiroteado la víspera, a la vez que desafió: "Nos toca volver a colocar la estela, a ver quien resiste más, quien se va más rápido" del país. Así lo declaró el vicetitular del Minpopoculdeshum (Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Cultura y para el Desarrollo Humano), Iván Padilla, quién calificó de "fascista" al autodenominado "Comando Patriótico del Páramo" que se atribuyó los disparos contra la estela de vidrio templado inaugurada hace diez días en el Pico El Águila (4.007 metros) en el estado Mérida para conmemorar los 40 años de la muerte del Che.

El grupo, de cuya existencia no se tiene referencia, "es parte de una canalla que tiene su asiento en el Pentágono" y de las "mafias cubanas y venezolanas autoexiliadas en Miami (EE.UU.)", agregó Padilla en declaraciones reproducidas por la agencia estatal ABN. Padilla sostuvo que así se intenta "refrenar esta revolución que avanza de manera segura y firme hacia el socialismo". Reveló que no solamente se restaurará el monumento sino que, además, existe un proyecto que contempla colocar otros "en los diferentes puntos de Venezuela y América del Sur por donde pasó el ´Che´ durante el periplo que realizó en su juventud, siendo aún estudiante de medicina".

El Pico El Águila fue una de las zonas visitadas por el posterior líder guerrillero junto a su amigo Alberto Granado, durante el viaje que ambos realizaron por Suramérica en 1952. En los restos del monumento se encontró un volante cuyo texto señala: "No queremos ningún monumento del Che, no es ejemplo para nuestros hijos; ministro de Industria (y acabó con la industria cubana); canciller (y aisló a Cuba del resto del mundo); director del Banco de Cuba (y quebró la isla); un asesino a sangre fría". "Seguramente el ejemplo para los hijos de ellos (los integrantes del grupo) es Mickey Mouse, (...) y personajes vacíos y huecos que no tienen nada que ver con el ser humano", añadió el viceministro y opinó que el Che "fue un ejemplo de entrega, de humildad, de abnegación, de solidaridad y de humanidad". El Cuerpo de Investigaciones Científicas, Penales y Criminalísticas (CICPC) investiga el caso, según reveló el alcalde de la zona, Jesús María Espinoza.

Buscan responsables del derribo del monumento al Che en Mérida
TalCual

El alcalde del municipio Miranda del estado Mérida, Jesús María Espinoza, señaló que se están adelantando las investigaciones para determinar los responsables de actos vandálicos en contra de la estela conmemorativa a Ernesto Che Guevara, inaugurada en el alto páramo, el 8 de octubre pasado.

Los hechos se registraron el miércoles pasado, en horas de la noche, informó el Espinoza hoy al establecer un breve contacto telefónico con La Noticia, de Venezolana de Televisión (VTV).
El alcalde indicó que ya tienen algunas notas informativas sobre los posibles responsables de los hechos.

“Los andinos, y especialmente el gentilicio paramero, rechazamos estos hechos. Esto es nuestro y tenemos que defenderlo y no podemos tolerar que personas ajenas a nuestros municipio paramero se dediquen a dañarnos lo que con tanta alegría y entusiasmo develaron ese día el vicepresidente de la República, Jorge Rodríguez, y el embajador de Cuba en Venezuela, Germán Sánchez Otero”, expresó.

Añadió que diversos organismos de seguridad están dedicados a las investigaciones que se están efectuando “y en lo que tengamos más información al respecto estaremos en contacto”.

Jorge Rodríguez develó junto con el embajador Sánchez Otero una estela en tributo a Ernesto Che Guevara, en el pico El Águila, carretera Trasandina, estado Mérida, el 8 de octubre pasado.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

fantomas:

Thank-you for your valuable contribution. I wish that your comments were always as apropos but the pull of "The Madhouse" is more than you can usually resist.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Charlie:

I reproduced the communiqué from the Páramo Patriotic Front as printed yesterday in the Venezuelan newspaper El Universal. In the unattributed version quoted in the Comments, the final clause of the anathema of Guevara reads "and he was a cold-blooded murderer." Now the indictment sounds right and is complete. The author, who obviously has a good grasp of Cuban history and Guevara's role in it, would surely not have failed to mention the real basis of "Che's" fame and consummation of his career as an internationalist terrorist.

In omitting that clause from the published communiqué, El Universal may have recoursed to self-censorship, but, more likely, it was the local authorities in Mérida, fearful of reprisals, who did not dare release the full version of the communiqué.

I should not be surprised if Mérida's 8-foot monument were to be rebuilt as an 80 feet or even an 800-feet one. Chávez's idea to build "stations of the cross" to "Che" wherever he set foot in Venezuela, or whizzed by on his motorcycle, reminds me of Idi Amin's monument to Adolph Hitler in Uganda, which, since Germany (and much less Hitler) came nowhere near Uganda in World War II, he was obliged to place at a site transversed by some German troops in World War I.

Chávez's monument to "Che" shares something else with Idi Amin's monument to Hitler: it will be just as ephemeral no matter how many times he erects it.

Expect the next one, by the way, to have a 24-hour "honor" guard.

Fantomas said...

24 7 honor guard is the only solution

it is coming

plus they will install video camaras all over and may even close the sorroundings

todo esto por instruciones de fidel un verdadero experto en la maldad

apunta Manny

Is the Madhouse empty?

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Anonymous said...

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