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miércoles, 25 de julio de 2012

Fidel took off his glasses and there began the Moncada barracks disaster

Fidel Castro..
(En Inglés y Español)

It was then that Gustavo noted that Fidel -- during the almost kamikaze-like commando operation -- was wearing glasses. Fidel detested for anyone to see him wearing glasses in public, and upon entering the city, he took off that sign of weakness and put them away in one of his uniform's pockets. (…)
Upon reaching the entry to the Moncada barracks lit by only two lights, the driver of the first car stopped, got off, and yelled to the two sentries: "Open way for the general!" The guards, who were confused, opened the gate and stood at attention. Two of the attackers ran towards them and easily disarmed them.

When the first car entered the barracks, Fidel drove his car forward. However, because of the lack of light and the fact that he was not wearing his glasses, his car went up a curb onto
the sidewalk and crashed very violently and noisily into one of the posts at the entry. The disastrous attack had just begun, but neither Fidel Castro nor the other attackers knew that yet.

This anecdote from July 26, 1953, was told by Guillermo Cabrera Infante in 1984, who heard this from Gustavo Arcos who rode in the car with Fidel during the attack.
I don't understand why people are amazed that he has disappeared since he became sick; for him, the sick are weak. Nevertheless, he embraces a sickly Hugo Chavez. Could it be for the black gold? That seminal liquid petroleum?
Today we know that the attackers were released in 1955, two years after the assault. Some believe they were released because of a promise that Fidel's mother made to the Virgin of Cobre in Santiago de Cuba. Many of us believe it happened because of the family ties the Castros had with general Fulgencio Batista, who had imprisoned them, but who was also the godfather of Raul Castro, baptizing him in 1938 according to a photo that appeared in the Avance Crillo newspaper on August 12, 1960. One day we will learn the truth, or perhaps not.

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(Versión original en castellano publicado hace un año, 26 de julio 2011)


Fidel se quitó los lentes y comenzó el fracaso del cuartel Moncada

Fue entonces que Gustavo notó que Fidel -la operación comando casi de kamikaze- llevaba espejuelos. Ya Fidel Castro detestaba que lo vieran con gafas en público y al entrar en la ciudad se quitó ese signo de debilidad y lo guardó en un bolsillo de su uniforme (…)
Al llegar al portón del cuartel Moncada, todavía entre dos luces, el chofer del primer auto lo detuvo, se bajó y gritó a los dos centinelas: “¡Paso al general!” Los guardias, confundidos, abrieron la portada y se cuadraron. Dos de los asaltantes corrieron hacia ellos y los desarmaron fácilmente.
Cuando el primer auto entró al cuartel Fidel Castro avanzó el suyo. Pero por la escasa luz o porque no llevaba lentes, su auto se montó en la acera y golpeó contra uno de los mojones a la entrada con fuerza y mayor ruido. Acababa de comenzar el fracaso del asalto pero ni Fidel Castro ni los otros asaltantes lo sabían todavía.

Esta anécdota del 26 de julio de 1953, la cuenta Guillermo Cabrera Infante en 1984, se la hizo Gustavo Arcos que iba en el coche con Fidel Castro durante el asalto.
No entiendo porqué la gente se asombra de que esté desaparecido desde que se enfermó, para él los enfermos son débiles. No obstante, acoge en su seno a Hugo Chávez enfermo. ¿Será por el oro negro, el líquido seminal del petróleo?

Hoy sabemos que los asaltantes fueron liberados dos años después del asalto, 1955. Unos creen que fue por la promesa que hizo la madre de Fidel a la Virgen del Cobre, en Santiago de Cuba; otros creemos que se debió al vínculo familiar de los Castro con el general Fulgencio Batista quien los había encarcelado, era el padrino de Raúl Castro, a quien bautizó en 1938, según una foto que aparece en el periódico Avance Criollo del 12 de agosto de 1960. Un día sabremos la verdad, o quizás no.







Comentarios en inglés y castellano de este post

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4 comments to A coward’s greatest fear


asombra
Batista, who was of mixed race and came from a very poor background, was always conscious of being looked down upon, and in his second period as president this was exacerbated by the illegitimacy of his position. He always wanted desperately to be accepted, to be popular, to be liked, and his inferiority issues made him increasingly weaker and less resolute. He could have easily eliminated Castro in the aftermath of the Moncada bloodbath; nobody would have been surprised if he had. But he chose to play the magnanimous leader card, not realizing he was cutting his own throat (he was no genius, certainly). Also, the intercession on Castro's behalf by the Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba, a "prince of the Church" whose high social status would have impressed, if not cowed, Batista, surely played a part in Batista's "magnanimity."

asombra
There was a joke that circulated in Cuba in the 50's. Batista makes an official visit to some fancy art exhibition in Havana, and one of his aides tries to coach him as to what to say about the paintings, like "Qué cara! Qué gesto!" Batista, however, winds up blurting out "Qué carajo es esto?" Sorry, but it would be lost in translation. Those who know Spanish will get the idea easily enough.

antonio2009
This account is not how Gustavo Arcos told it to me in a questionnaire in July 1996
http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/moncada/Arcos-1996.pdf
and transcribed telephone interviews on May 6, 1997
http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/moncada/Arcos.pdf
and June 17, 1997
http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/moncada/Arcos-junio-97.pdf
Guillermo Cabrera Infante is a renown fiction writer, not a trained historian.


Clearing the Browser Tabs – A Very Special SmittyPalooza Thursday Edition
[...] our President has?Maybe Lance would be happier if he died while eating a barbequed bear.Tuesday was the 58th anniversary of one of the most cowardly acts in Cuban history. I’d pay money to see a big-name Hollywood production of this great moment [...]



Comentarios en castellano  (hechos en la webs de Zoe Valdez que colgó un link de mi página)....


  1. Un manto negro pespunteado de cuervos infernales tocados por la buena suerte lo han custodiado hasta el dia de hoy.
  2. Y pensar que por eso, por ese primer gran fracaso històrico –que sin embargo se celebra todavìa hoy como una fecha nacional–, Gustavo Arcos tuvo que pagar tantos años con la bronca y el rencor de Fidel, cuando el fracaso se debiò pura y exclusivamente al mal càlculo y planeamiento de Fidel Castro Ruz.
  3. Cualquier dia, en su demencia, culpa a los yankees de su fracaso por no haber inventado el GPS!
    Fuera de Cuba supe de la perdida de Castro I cuando el asalto al cuartel Moncada.
  4. Nunca le perdono a Gustavo que hizo publico todo esto,lo destrozo a el y la familia arcos,para el barbon como le decia Gustavo,habia que ser incondicional al estilo de ramiro valdez.
  5. Ya llegará el día en que podamos declarar el 26 de julio y tantos otros, como día de duelo nacional….

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La versión en inglés de mi post tomada del blog Babalu blog, Translation By Alberto de la Cruz, on July 27, 2011, quien se tradujo gratuitamente este post en su página hace un año, y que yo retomo para mi blog. Autor.

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