Monday, May 4, 2015

Nos debes

Granma reports that a Castro never forgets to remind;

Raúl in heroic Algeria

Cuban President Raúl Castro is making an official three-day visit to this North African country, his third since assuming the Presidency. His first stop in Algiers, yesterday May 3, was at the Martyrs’ Memorial Cemetery, to honor those who died in the country’s independence struggle.
In his 1973 book, Persona Non Grata: A Memoir of Disenchantment with the Cuban Revolution, Jorge Edwards explained the connection. In December 1970, he'd just been dispatched, by President Salvador Allende, to Cuba to re-open the Chilean embassy there. At 2:00 AM on the day of his arrival he finds himself face to face with Fidel Castro, who tells him that sooner or later Chile will have to fight the Yankees. Just like the Vietnamese were then doing in Southeast Asia.
Suddenly, in one of the outbursts so typical of him, Fidel assured me that we should not hesitate to ask his aid if we had any problem of armed intervention. After all, he said, his aid to the Algerians had been decisive in their war of liberation. He had sent them a ship with guns and soldiers! He added the following phrase, as we clinked our glasses (now filled with the white wine that had at last appeared on the table): "We may not be  very good at producing, but we're great at fighting!" [our bold]
Edwards also says (in a footnote) that when the Chilean people overthrew Allende three years later, Castro encouraged the leader of Peru, Velasco Alvarado, to take the opportunity to attack Chile and recover lands lost to that country during the Pacific War of the 19th century. Castro offered not only Cuban military advisers, but support from the Soviet Union.

Velasco, however, was gravely ill and didn't take the bait. Shortly thereafter, Castro decided to adventure in Angola instead. Fighting, it's what Cuba does best.

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