Wednesday, December 3, 2014

No es más verde detrás del muro

Roberto Ampuero may have been a slow learner--Nuestros años verde olivo and Detrás del Muro: novela de mi memoria imprecisa--but it finally dawned on him that socialism sucks;
His socialist convictions led him at 17 years old to join the Communist Youth of Chile, known as la Jota. Due to his affiliation with this group, he fled the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in late 1973 for the German Democratic Republic (GDR), a country under Soviet control.
This flight to exile in East Germany is what links the two stories. Nuestros años verde olivo only narrates Ampuero’s first stay in the GDR in 1974, where he came to know Margarita Cienfuegos, the Cuban woman who would become his first wife. The greater part of the first book instead deals with his life in Cuba, where the author married in July 1974.
Finding Cuba even worse than East Germany--even though he was married to a woman whose father was a high level Castroite--he gets a divorce;
It then details how, with the end of the relationship five years later, Ampuero sought to leave the island and return to the GDR. His three stays in East Berlin — in 1974, 1979-1982, and 2012 — are instead what gives life to Detrás del Muro. Reading both, the reader is offered a complete picture of Ampuero’s transformation, from a fervent acolyte of communism to a modern-day champion of liberty.
And a successful novelist, as well as having served as Culture minister during the Sebastián Piñera administration in Chile. I admit it: I became a communist out of idealism and ignorance.

Is there any other way--other than to admit to being a sociopath?

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