Época, June 2, 2001

Translated by Assunção Medeiros

For each homicide they denounce, they were accomplices of other 49

The Brazilians that got guerrilla training in Cuba have not only become the forefront of Cuban strategy abroad, but also, obviously, supporters of Fidel Castro’s regime inside Cuba itself. Received there with honors, kept with money from the State, they had very clear functions and activities in the Fidelian power scheme, some as officers of military intelligence, others as symbols for the legitimization and figures for the propaganda of the regime, a role that many still play with cynical devotion.

As any other helper and beneficiary of a dictatorship, they have made themselves accomplices of the crimes committed by it, in the same sense and the very same proportion they accuse of partnership in the crimes of the national dictatorship any individual, here or abroad, that in any way supported the military regime or received favors from it. Morally the only difference there can be between one partnership and the other resides in the magnitude of the crimes practiced by the respective dictatorships. But this comparison is not at all favorable to those that hold today the monopoly of the right to accuse.

Brazil in the dictatorial period did not have more than two thousand political prisoners. Cuba had a hundred thousand. For each left-wing militant arrested by the DOI-Codi, by Dops, in Ilha Grande, 50 other Cubans were thrown in the political prisons of Havana, with the solicitous political and moral complicity of these Brazilians. And what about the dead? The Brazilian dictatorship made 300 victims; the Cuban 17 thousand. For each Brazilian communist killed by the military, 50 Cuban dissidents died.

The difference is not only in quantity. It affects the nature itself of the crimes. Seventeen thousand deaths in a population circa 14 times smaller than Brazil’s can already be considered genocide, the methodic and systematic obliteration of a group, of a class. Genocide with a detail a great deal more pernicious: in Cuba, since the escape of Batista, there was no internal armed resistance. The Brazilian dictatorship killed guerrillas and terrorists. Cuba, with the support of the same guerrillas and terrorists, killed unarmed citizens, peaceful persons that represented no danger at all, most of them for frivolous reasons, many times because of a simple search for a better life.

If it can be considered justifiable for them to denominate “offspring of dictatorship” anyone who collaborated with the military regime, with the same severity and fairness the ones that were beneficiaries of Cuban help must be called  “offspring of genocide”.

But 17 thousand were only the ones who died inside Cuban territory. I am not counting those that armed troops – instructed and financed by the government in Havana, co-sisters of the Brazilian guerrilla – killed in Peru, in Nicaragua, in Colombia. They are 80 thousand in total: for each communist killed in Brazil, their comrades killed more than 49 non-communists in the continent. And they continue to kill. Their sufferings, besides being well and fully compensated through indemnification, were already avenged 49 times over. With what kind of moral authority, therefore, do these people raise their accusing fingers against these “offspring of dictatorship”? Regardless of the intrinsic power of these facts and numbers, the leftist malice will try to neutralize them, alleging that they come out of the mouth of an anticommunist. But that would be to invert cause and effect. I do not think this way because I am anticommunist: I became anticommunist because I became aware of these things.

Even so, I kept these things to myself for years on end, being afraid of jeopardizing people that one day I called “comrades”. If I can be accused of anything, then it is of this craven listlessness of which I finally rid myself, but that made me tarry overlong in telling the truth.  Many, knowing all this as well as I did, still live to hide it under word games, not to protect others, but to protect themselves and the advantages they enjoy today, be it as government officials, be it as opposition leaders. This is all their morals are made of: repressed guilt, transmuted into an insatiable hunger for retaliation and compensation.

Of course that the crimes of the military dictatorship must be denounced, investigated, and punished – but not by this kind of people. Not by this scum.