Bad Handwriting in La Joven Cuba (11)

For Tatu, for The deaths I never had.

I deferred my comments to my return. Your article contains inaccuracies; you can’t attribute your obvious indignation to a list appearing on a website (which you don’t cite, such that I can give my own opinion). To begin with the dead that you never had, you never had 20,000 dead under the Batista dictatorship, this figure given by Miguel Ángel Quevedo, director of Bohemia, who took advantage of the suspension of press censorship to throw out a number in order to galvanize public opinion. The funny thing is that after the insurrectionary  triumph, the number kept being repeated, at least to the point when I heard it in the 80s, it was still, if not official, informally so.

When you refer to the enemies of Cuba or anti-Cuban sites, you should say the enemies of the Cuban government or antigovernment sites, Cuba is much more than a political term.

The executions of the first months of 1959, of course, have to be viewed critically. Cuba had abolished the death penalty in 1940, and although the Revolution is the source of law, the trials were conducted in a very questionable manner. I can remember the trial of the Batista pilots, absolved with respect to their responsibility in the bombing of civilian objectives, and how Fidel Castro did not agree with the decision of this court and again indicted the pilots, which led to their being convicted into the suicide of Comandante Rebelde Félix Pena, who served as president of the court at the first trial. I have a friend whose father was executed in Santiago de Cuba in that era and the proof of innocence that he tried present was not considered.

The support of the people for the executions was by simple acclamation, enraged as they were by the discourse of an orator who knew what the masses wanted. Deciding the life and death of a human being requires more than applause. World public opinion, enthralled until that moment with the new heroes, reacted against the executions.

Everything would be much easier if there was access to the official information regarding the executions, complete names, reasons etc. It should be declassified because these papers are more than 50 years old, but no. It requires a letter with an accredited signature explaining the purposes of such research.

And I disagree with the statement you make at the end of the post. The majority of young Cubans know their history very badly and are not to blame. Have you seen the thickness of the history textbooks?

Greetings to all participants. Until next week.

July 21 2011

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