Subcomandante Marcos Pays Homage to Che Guevara and Praises Cuba
“The Rebellion That Now, Just as Before, Shakes the American Continent, Is Ours as Well”
By Ángeles Barrios Cabrera
Alternative Media Agency and Trade Editions
October 11, 2006
LOS ANGELES (AMATE): The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN in its Spanish initials), together with its leader Subcomandante Marcos, paid homage to Cuba and to guerrilla leader Ernesto “Che” Guevara on the 39th anniversary of his October 9, 1967 murder in a remote area of Bolivia.
As he spoke before members of the Other Campaign at an auditorium in the city of Tepic, the Zapatista leader declared his admiration for the Cuban Revolution. “The rebellion that now, just as before, shakes the American continent, is ours as well,” said Marcos, referring to the time in which Che led a guerrilla group in Bolivia.
The subcomandante said that in 1984, ten years before the movement made its first public appearance in the state of Chiapas, the Zapatistas built a camp that they christened with the name Che Guevara. “The Cuban station Radio Habana Cuba was one of the few that we could hear on the shortwave,” he remembered.
“Cuba was not, to the communities that would later be Zapatistas, a foreign country. It was, it is, a people that rose up, and rises up, with the dignity that only belongs to the people from below – that is to say, with decisiveness and firmness, chewing the words ‘here, no one surrenders’ between their teeth,” he emphasized. Marcos said that last year, the Zapatistas made the decision to send corn to the Caribbean island, as a gesture of solidarity and resistance to the blockade that the United States has maintained against it for more than four decades.
“By choosing Cuba, we did not just choose to recognize and salute a history and a struggle. We also chose to define the enemy of the Cuban people as the same as the enemy of the Zapatista Indian communities, of the Indian peoples of Mexico, and of the Indian peoples of all América… For us, to choose Cuba was to point out a place of pain and hope. The pain inflicted by an illegal and illegitimate blockade, by attempts at sabotage and other crimes… and the hope that shines through as its age reaches a half-century,” he explained.
The Zapatista leader paid tribute to “that solitary star of dignity that shines in the Caribbean: Cuba,” and described as an example of challenging “the most powerful empire in the history of humanity.”
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