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quarta-feira, 28 de maio de 2014

Ditadura cubana: os que a apoiam sao cumplices, mesmo Premio Nobel - Enrique Krauze sobre Gabo

Todo aquele que apoia uma ditadura desprezível como a dos Castro em Cuba deve ser denunciado, mesmo sendo um grande escritor como Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Seres tão desprezíveis quanto a ditadura.

Paulo Roberto de Almeida 

García Márquez’s Blind Spot
The New York Times, MAY 28, 2014

MEXICO CITY — The recent funeral in Mexico for Latin America’s great novelist, Gabriel García Márquez, was an astonishing display. For hours, under falling rain, tens of thousands filed past the urn that held the ashes of the most famous, widely read and beloved of contemporary Latin American writers.
In the Palacio de Bellas Artes, there was continual music, ranging from Bartok’s “Romanian Folk Dances” to the folk music of the novelist’s native Colombia. Outside the building, a swarm of 380,000 yellow butterflies, made of paper and imported from Colombia, swayed in the wind. The streets resounded with cheering and singing. An old man carried a sign that read, “Gabo, I will see you in heaven.” A child told a reporter, “I’ve come to see the king of Macondo.”
García Márquez, who died on April 17, truly was “the king of Macondo,” the imaginary Colombian village (based on his own native town of Aracataca) where most of “One Hundred Years of Solitude” unfolds. The Nobel Prize for Literature was bestowed on him in 1982. His novels have been met with enthusiastic appreciation around the world.
His prose is so flexible and wide-ranging that it seems to contain all the words in the dictionary. An extraordinarily powerful storyteller, he painted his fictions in tropical colors — and in a style of Olympian dispassion fused with social commitment. The poetic overtones of his words and his way of creating characters welded fantasy and reality so effortlessly and totally together that the reader is continually shifted into accepting new versions of the world.
But for me and many other Latin-Americans, his undeniable literary achievement has been overshadowed by a moral failing: his long, intimate friendship with Fidel Castro and (far more important) his unflinching acceptance of the worst abuses of the Cuban regime.
Gabo, as he was affectionately known, once wrote that “all dictators ... are victims” — which he may have really believed. It’s a sentiment one finds throughout “The Autumn of the Patriarch,” published in 1975, the year he began to firmly establish a personal link (which he had long desired) with Castro.
In three famous dispatches (a journalistic series entitled “Cuba From Head to Tail”), García Márquez wrote of the “almost telepathic communication” he saw between Castro and the Cuban people and asserted “he has survived intact from the insidious and ferocious corrosion of the daily application of power” and “set up a whole system of defense against the cult of personality.” He called Fidel “a genius reporter” whose “immense spoken reports,” made the Cuban people “one of the best informed in the world about its own reality.” Soon after this, however, when Alan Riding of The New York Times asked him why he didn’t move to Cuba, García Márquez replied: “It would be very difficult to ... adapt myself to the conditions. I’d miss too many things. I couldn’t live with the lack of information.”
When he finally did get a house in Cuba, García Márquez began to share culinary adventures with Castro. Fidel’s Cuban master chef named a lobster dish “Langosta a lo Macondo” in honor of Gabo, its great enthusiast. When questioned about his closeness to Castro, García Márquez responded that, for him, friendship was a supreme value. That may well have been so, but there was certainly a hierarchy to his friendships — with Fidel at the top.
In 1989, while García Márquez was living in his Cuban home, the murky trial of Gen. Arnaldo Ochoa and the brothers Tony and Patricio de la Guardia took place, resulting in death sentences for General Ochoa and Col. Tony de la Guardia, charged with drug trafficking and betraying the revolution. There was much opposition to the death sentence for General Ochoa, a hero of the Cuban victory in Angola over the invading army of the South African apartheid regime, and Colonel de la Guardia was a close personal friend of García Márquez. The colonel’s daughter Ileana, implored García Márquez to intercede with Castro to spare the life of her father. But he did nothing, and Ileana reported that he had even secretly attended a part of the trial, screened behind “a large mirror” in the company of Fidel and his brother Raúl.
In March 2003, Fidel suddenly ordered a massive show trial of 78 dissidents, sentencing them to between 12 and 27 years in prison, some for crimes as minor as “possessing a Sony tape recorder.” Shortly after, he had three men executed for trying to flee to the United States in a small boat. At a book fair in Bogotá, Colombia, Susan Sontag confronted García Márquez and, after first praising him as a writer, said that it was unpardonable for him to have said nothing against the Cuban regime’s actions. García Márquez’s public response to this and his justification in saying nothing restated one of his old arguments for his personal relation to Castro: “I cannot calculate the number of prisoners, dissidents and conspirators that I have helped, in absolute silence, to be freed from jail or emigrate from Cuba over at least 20 years.”
But if he actually did so, then why “in absolute silence”? He must have considered the imprisonments unjust. Instead of continuing to support a regime that committed such injustices, wouldn’t it have been far more valuable to issue a public denunciation and so help shut down Cuba’s political prisons?
García Márquez was no ivory-tower writer. He was proud of his own journalistic profession and supported an institution teaching journalism in Colombia. Reportage, he said, “can be better than life ... equal to a story or a novel with one unique difference — sacred and inviolable — that the novel and the short story allow for unlimited fantasy, while journalistic reporting must be true down to the most minimal comma.”
And yet how can such a moralistic declaration about verifiable information be squared with his own silence about events in Cuba, despite having privileged access to the truth?
García Márquez’s magnificent prose and richly traced characters will be remembered long after any questions about his loyalties in life. But it would have been a poetic act of justice if — in the autumn of his life and at the zenith of his literary glory — he had chosen to distance himself from Fidel Castro and had lent his prestige to the movement for a democratic transition in Cuba.
He chose not to. Perhaps it was something he could not imagine doing, too miraculous a change for even the creator of so many literary wonders to entertain. Thus we are left with the sad picture of his fascination with power and dictatorship, a record unworthy of his immense literary achievement.

Enrique Krauze is a historian, the editor of the literary magazine Letras Libres and the author of “Redeemers: Ideas and Power in Latin America.” This article was translated by Hank Heifetz from the Spanish.

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