Friday, 2 December 2016

CASTRO THE MYTHICAL

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                   No oppressor is good, and no oppressed is bad

Fidel, I do not want to offend you, but I am asking myself how come you let Nelson Mandela overtake you...

The apartheid regime of South Africa was maybe more cruel than the one laying to waste Cuba under the thumb of Batista and of his mafiosi yankees. Under the inspiration of the CIA (her again!), the criminals who were ransacking and pillaging South Africa took hold of Mandela and had him imprisoned. For 27 years, he suffered hell. But in jail, Mandela grew up, so much so that in the eyes of the people he became a hero as popular as you in Cuba.   

When he came out of that inferno, he could have only to snap his fingers so that the people rise up and make a stew with the oppressors. But Nelson did not chose that path. He chose to initiate a revolution light years away from yours. Animated by an inner strength that he had developed in jail, he categorically refused to fight hate with hate, lying with lying, injustice with injustice, tyranny with tyranny.  

You also, my dear Fidel, you could have done something similar. You hold up to the Yankee Empire and you became the standard of the oppressed of the world. Yet, by the pathways that you followed, you were not always a great man. You acted, sad to say, as a delinquent. It is true that you realized many good things, but the enthusiasts of Pablo Escobar say the same thing of their hero who was still a huge bandit…

Never did you admit to one sole error. Humility was not your strongest point; that is the strength of the great.  Mandela took 27 years to discover that strength, and he became great.  

You Fidel, through your courage, you won the heart of your people. You freed them from illiteracy and you offered them the best medicine in the world. You sent legions of Cuban doctors and teachers to be of help in abandoned regions of many depressed countries. But you also led wars, small ones and bigger ones, that were questionable.  One of them, it seems, would have contributed to the liberation of South Africa. Mandela must have expressed his gratitude to you for that help. Great!  

The worst still is that you abused your own people.

Under the pretext to liberate them and protect them, you took your people hostage. You brainwashed, humiliated and submitted them to silence and to hunger. The USA was boycotting you, that is true, but the rest of the planet sided with you. You could make business with the majority of the world’s countries. In spite of that, you let your people stagnate. You sent to the firing squad and let rot in your gaols thousands of Cubans. You pushed back into exile thousands of others (they were not all followers of Batista neither agents of the CIA). Thousands of your people went out to sea on makeshift boats in the hope of earning their freedom; hundreds among them ended in the belly of sharks. Those people were not all traitors to their country. They simply wanted to live. 

In your revolution project, you see, there was no place for anyone else but you. And in your great revolution which claimed to be liberating, only one thing was missing: freedom. A mere detail, of course… Should I tell you that I am not talking about the freedom of consuming which is a real madness in the capitalist world, but about the ordinary freedom which sets apart the human being from a puppet?      

My dear Fidel, as a symbol of resistance to the piggyness of the Great U.S. Octopus, I give you 10 on 10, and I place you between Martí and Bolívar. Yet, because of some movements in your head that have cause much innocent and useless pain and death, I am sorry to have to place you between Pinochet and no other one but …Batista. Sorry!   

This does not please me, I can assure you, since I respect you and I respect those among your people who sincerely love you. From the bottom of my heart, I would wish that Mandela would interfere in the case and find for you a place outside the club of all the Neros of History. I would appreciate that he would keep you far away also from the scoundrels who made attempts on your life 638 times (maybe not because you were a bad boy but rather because you did not belong to their gang...). Much work for Mandela. 

Reflecting on your life, allow me three words for those who have the desire to save the world and wish to avoid stupidities:     

1-   Either left wing or right wing, no oppressor is good. And no oppressed is bad. Oppression is always an evil, even for the best of causes. 

2-   Good or evil, every human being is greater than the most marvelous of ideologies or the most holy of religions.   

3-   Connected to a deep-rooted commitment for justice and freedom, forgiveness is, like humility, the other human force which makes a human being really great.  

                                                  ¡VIVA LA REVOLUCIÓN!
   
                                                                                                  Eloy Roy
Translated from the French by Jacques Bourdages


                                                                   

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

DRAGON




My dear Dragon, in any case, of all the dragons of the world, you are the most wonderful!  Your mother was an exquisite sausage princess who had a sulphurous affair with a police dog…From that atomic fusion, dear Dragon, you were born as the synthesis of the thesis and the antithesis. With you the conflict of the opposites is over and the eternal battle between the intelligence and the stick comes to an end.

When you entered my life in Tilcara, some thirty-five years ago, you were only a puppy given by a nice boy of the village to my son Edu. He and I welcomed you, filled with joy, like a little star fallen from above.  

Your childhood was a non-stop running of mischievousness and laughs. With the time, you sat down and you became my secretary and confidant. After dinner, lying like a mat on the floor you would listen with patience the monologues in Spanish and in French of the incorrigible dreamer that I always have been. At times, you would look at me with bored eyes, but you would never grumble. To express your opinion, you would waggle your tail.                   

In the altar area of the church, you would begin by shaking yourself up from the fleas and to scratch yourself where you were bitten; and then, you would lie between the two cactus wooden legs of the altar. Coiled up on the red carpet, you would stoically listen to my never-ending sermons. At times, you would applaud with your ears, other times, you would simply yawn.

You were sensual. Because of your maternal ancestry, you adored all the pleasures of life: cushions, sofas, the golden armchair covered of episcopal velvet… But because of your paternal ancestry you would look for trouble and rumpus. You would roam in the streets, you would sneak everywhere, you were cheeky and roguish. At times, you were having the gracious bearing of a prince, but often you looked like a lout.   

Great seducer, you let yourself be kidnapped for weeks by a lady doctor who gave you your bath, perfumed you, dressed you with tulle and had you sleep in her bed between silk sheets. You were also for two to three months the escort of a lady teacher; you would accompany her in the mountains, on a rocky path, walking together back and forth between Tilcara and the small school of Alfarcito. If by chance I would catch you taking too much advantage of the kindness of those big-hearted people, you would turn your head away, pretending not to know me…

In the whole town of Tilcara, few were the houses where you did not feel at home, and few the solitudes you did not share. If the drums, the sikus and the cracked bell of the church had not been an unbearable torture for your ears, you would have been the first to dance at the carnival and sing in the processions. And never in your life would you have missed one of those peacefully noisy manifestations which simply required that our crooked world be changed from top to bottom. 
Anyway, I suspect that beyond your love for the dolce vita, you had a soft spot for the poor and for justice, for the cause of those who disappeared during the dictatorship, for Women Rights and for the Earth, for freedom and democracy, for the affirmation of the indigenous culture, and for a Church that would not prostitute itself with money and guns (I end here, otherwise people will think that it is self-projection…). Still, I think that you succeeded to understand before me  that the struggles between good and evil, or between the right and the left, are often very self destroying on the long run,  and that the path towards a decent future is, before all else, to be gauchos.

You would spend nights flirting with the First Canine Lady of the village on the roof of the mayor’s residence. But at sunrise, you would jump over at the nearby Sisters and weave your way in their mini chapel. The Sisters were members of your fan club, and you liked to be with them for the morning prayers. Luisa, the most kind and the eldest of the community, was your favourite. You would cling to her skirt and, between two psalms, she would gently pet you. As a good daughter of St. Francis, she would turn a blind eye to your private life and see no trace of the slightest flaw.  In the afternoon, she would go out to work to help her neighbors, while you, so as to regain your strength eroded by your nocturnal excesses, you would take a nap like an angel on her immaculate bed.      

You fought with the most terrifying mastiffs, the most snobbish and the most ill-mannered of Tilcara; they have gashed through your face with their huge teeth and have left on your body the glorious stitches of countless scars.  Those famous wars have still brought you to conquer the most sophisticated females in town. You have populated the region with many kids that carry on until now your work of civilisation.

In the parish, when ended the war of missiles, you did not join force with the old Teutonic priest who had succeeded in getting his hands on the parish and already was preparing for war so as to put the minds of the village through his Taliban theology. For not one second did you let yourself be intimidated by him. During his first mass, you were in the church as usual, rolled up under the altar table. At the moment the first words of that creep squealed in your ears, you bounced on your behind, raised a leg slowly and copiously watered the cactus wooden leg of the altar table. And then, calmly, you relaxed your ears as a sign of supreme indifference, spread out your tail like an antenna, lifted your head and went down the central aisle of the church with the dignity of a Viltipoco getting back his lost glory. Never again did you set paws in that church that you loved, and where you were one of the most assiduous faithful. Never.    

From a window in the skies, God had seen everything. Even today, He remembers that scene with pleasure, marveling at the guts you had as a Dragon and at the remarkable soundness of your discernment.

Years went by. I was in far-away China when a letter reached me from    Tilcara. In that letter were described your last moments on this Earth. One day, carrying on your back your sixteen years of life as a dog, you climbed one by one half of the narrow steps of the Escalinata (high staircase of the village which links two areas separated by a steep slope). You arrived almost a moribund at the house of Norma Maine. It is from that place that you had decided to say goodbye to the world.

Norma and her children welcomed you with emotion.  Up to your last breath, they lavished you with tenderness.  Still, your days were counted. When the moment to leave came, a mysterious sensation of cold fell over you; it swept up to your bones and your teeth were chattering.  – The Bible says that, on the point of dying, the old king David (another mischievous one loved by God) was stricken also by a terrible attack of cold. But by putting Abishag, a young good looking girl in the bed of the king, the old man bucked up and left for the hereafter without shaking. -  That highly instructive story was not known by Norma and her children; nevertheless, they reproduced it to perfection. Seeing you shaking so much, the children ran to their neighbor to borrow a young cute female dog that they hastened to place against your freezing bones. Gradually, a bit of warmth spread in your being, and calm came. You therefore were to leave this world with the same consolations than king David, that old womanizer and brave vanquisher of Goliath, the giant…      

When your time came, Norma and the children cried their eyes out. Norma went on her knees praying God that he would inspire her the best gesture that would help you to leave without pain. Unconsciously, she already had in her hands a water pitcher; without hesitation, she baptized you!

And so you died as a Catholic, my dear Dragon... Not as a Catholic of the imperial Church of the golden pointed hats and of the corporals, but as a Catholic of a large anonymous Church without walls, tender and courageous, made up of ordinary people who often do unauthorized things by the books, but usually follow their good heart and never turn their backs on the cribs and the calvaries of this world.

The three angels of the Escalinata carried your body of Dragon over Tilcara, on the flanks of the Black Mountain. They buried you in secret, at about 300 meters higher than the cross, in line with where the sun rises in the morning. It is from that place that your little soul of Dragon went on its trip on the old footpath in zigzag  - and not yet totally erased - « which links the valley to the stars»…You have returned quietly to the country where you came from.


                                                                    Eloy


 Translated from the French by Jacques Bourdages

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

 JULIEN, AUTHOR OF THE  BIBLE




For our modern sensitivity, our good Julien Vézina* is not quite the type of missionary to imitate. Anyway, he is inimitable.

In the mountains of South Honduras where the climate is very hot and where life is very rough, he is the freest man of the world. He does not sleep, eats very little and never stops. He is a man whose passion is to be with the ordinary people, to make them happy, to serve them. He plays cat-and-mouse with the children, he extracts teeth, and if no midwife is available for delivery, he is the one who plays the role of «mid-husband». No unemployment. 

When we are Julien Vézina, we enrol in the Eucharistic Crusade the babies still breast feeding and communion is given to them just like with adults. We direct the brass bands at all the patriotic celebrations and we play any musical instrument.  We use the typewriter at the speed of lightning and we create documents. For those thousands of people who have no papers and need a baptism certificate so as to have the right to exist, but don’t have one because the archives were burnt or stolen, Julien, with closed eyes, produces the so desired document without fuss, «authenticates» it by stamping it with the seal of the parish and turns it over to the new citizen, saying: «Next! » It’s free.

His catechesis is at the forefront of technology. The exterior walls of all the chapels – already whitewashed – are used as screens for the projection of films that are unique in the whole world. The material is being carried in the mountains by a caravan of seven or eight mules, including Anselma, his pet mule. Julien himself edits his films with sequences «borrowed» (to use a euphemism) from other movies of his impressive collection. He pastes them to one another according to a surrealist framework of which he only has the secret. Short scenes about Jesus and Mary are shown here and there between the adventures of Mickey Mouse and are followed by other topics as essential to salvation as the most beautiful goals of the CH of Montréal in the series of the Stanley Cup, or excerpts of the family rosary with Cardinal Léger, without omitting the Max Brothers and the apparitions of Fatima… Each time, a huge success! 

One day, in Cuba (he was missionary in the Philippines and in Cuba before ending up in Honduras), Julien is going his way wearing a white cassock when two braggarts ask him what kind of woman is he to go out with a dress on. Without a word Julien grabs them together by the neck, lifts them at full arms and knocks their heads against one another like in the best movies of the already mentioned Max brothers.

The strength of our Tarzan is legendary. The gloomiest military men and the most roguish prisoners bow in front of him out of respect. When he speaks, people listen to him, and even though the stories he invents are unbelievable, everybody believes in all he says. For example, to urge the parents to bring up their children in a good way, he does not hesitate to tell that when he was in Cuba, Fidel Castro was his altar boy. He tells them: «How many times have I warned the mother to send her son to catechism, and since she did not listen to me, well, he became the devil who is making the world tremble!».

Not only does Julien impress by his physical strength and his stories, but also by his kindness and his tenderness. Under the shell of a boxer, Julien has a child’s heart. His preferred weapon to open hearts is the candies. At all times, he has a bag of them handy, and he distributes them on his way. To the young girl who stick to him like glue, to the grandmother who looks at him as if he was God, to the policeman armed to the teeth and who struts like a peacock, and to the toughest one who hates the whole world, it takes only a candy to become great friends. Jesus said: « Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth»; this beatitude, Julien lives it out by dint of candies.  

At the time, it was forbidden to priests to celebrate more than one mass a day, except in very rare cases. Julien himself would nonetheless celebrate up to five masses a day, each one at a different place, by using the host and wine consecrated in a previous mass.  Everything goes on in an impeccable way and with an atmosphere of perfect piety, especially as, from the sign of the cross at the beginning up to the final blessing, the mass would last hardly ten minutes, hymns and homily included. No one complains.   

If you are a confrere of Julien and live under the same roof, do not be surprized when things from your bedsheets, your towels, your shorts, your shirts, your pants, your altar linen, your cassock and your surplice disappear like magic. It is the “invisible hand” of Julien that is taking away from you everything that can be useful to the poor.

From this indescribable companion, I learn that we can cheerfully open the way to salvation with Jesus’ gospel in one hand and dynamite sticks in the other hand, throwing up in the air everything that in the troubled geography of the country was an obstacle to the passage of the holy jeep of the missionary. 

I even learned from the mouth of some pious country women that it was not the pope who wrote the Bible – as claimed by ignorant people – but by Padre Julián… 

In the jail of Choluteca, the Padre Julián is not only the chaplain but also the greatest of the heroes. Today, the jail and its chaplain are awaiting hastily the official visit of the First Lady of the country.  In the hope that she will demonstrate her generosity toward that institution which wallows in misery, Julián personally organizes the reception. He carefully teaches his friends – a great number of them are known murderers – how to welcome the august visitor. From the moment that the prisoners see Doña Alejandrina enter solemnly arm in arm with Julián, a clamour reaches the heavens. But instead of «Long Live the First Lady», what bursts out from all over is «Long Live Padre Julián!” The face of the good Julián turns to a red beet. As a good catholic, Doña Alejandrina amuses herself. It seems that on that day a bundle of lempiras came out of her purse. Did this help in improving the life conditions of those unhappy prisoners? We have to ask the administration… One thing is sure: if that money had been put directly into the hands of our good Robin Hood Julián, there would not have been any question asked.    

Julien was not a “Curé d’Ars”, nor a new Moses, nor a Che Guevara, nor a Mother Teresa, neither the most up to date version of a 21st century missionary. He was only the « Padre Julián », the unique Padre Julián. And then, one day, he passed away. Even though he and I were as similar as day and night, I had much affection for him. I was really saddened by his departure. I had the feeling that a great marvel had just left us. If the delinquents and all the underprivileged whom he loved and served during his life had accompanied us during his burial, I am sure that we would have heard them crying as far as the end of the world.  

                                                                               Eloy Roy


Translated from the French by Jacques Bourdages


JULIEN VÉZINA, p.m.é 1913-1983
Missionary in The Philippines : 1941-1945  In Cuba : 1945-1956, in Honduras : 1956-196. Died in LavaL, Québec, Canada: Feb 14, 1983

             

Monday, 9 May 2016

VOTING FOR LOSERS


If I were an American, in the next presidential election I would vote for Bernie Sanders. That’s because Bernie is the freest, the most humane, the more just and the truest among all the candidates in line.
But Bernie will lose, for sure. Why? Probably because the majority of Americans - like most of the inhabitants of our planet - want nothing but money, even dirty money that trickles down with blood.  What is «more free, more humane, more just and more true» comes second for them. Moreover, they don’t give a damn!  
«The majority», I said, not everybody, since a minority will vote for Bernie.  
2000 years ago, I would have voted for Jesus, you see? ...
And so, why do I vote for losers?
The youth knows very well why. The youth feels that Old Sanders’ ideas are vital for democracy, for social justice and for the peace in the world. The youth is aware that the future of the humankind is going exactly in this direction. So the youth votes for Sanders.
Jesus lost for a time. He got thrashed incredibly (no surprise!). What he sowed, still, has sprouted, grown, ripened somewhere.
Those who lose in searching for justice and brotherhood will be sooner or later the real winners, even though before arriving there they have to be crushed a thousand times.
Bernie will lose, but because of the waves that he is raising, Hillary is redirecting her boat. Now she is siding with the ordinary people more than with Wall Street and the Washington clique. This is a very big step forward. When she wins the election (if ever she wins), the victory will be hers, of course, but, who will be able to say that Bernie has really lost?

                                                                                    Eloy Roy

Translated from the French by Jacques Bourdages


                     A new consciousness is arising.  

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

THE WORN AWAY GREAT BOAT

              
                                                          Green Yatra         

The Great Boat, it’s the Earth. It is the Common Good, the material and cultural basic goods. In other words, they are the goods which allow men and women of the planet to have everywhere the same chances. Those goods are: the Earth, the air, the water, the dignity, the respect, justice, freedom, education, health, housing, work, security, peace and beauty.  

But the Great Boat is being worn away from all sides. By whom? By those who have axes, saws, hammers, nail. They are well known. They are in governments and in all the sectors of society. I may be one of them. With the planks that we are chopping out of the Great Boat, we are throwing together yachts or launches. And then we bugger off!  

Sin is obsolete, for sure, but let us have a good look at the picture above. If that obsolete thing exists, that’s its face. 
                                                                                      Eloy

Translated from the French by J. Bourdages


Thursday, 7 April 2016

JOSEPH

                                                                                          Photo: Genée Jerome
Seeing beyond all appearances
Joseph, holding a hammer, is the man who helps Jesus to discover the treasures that are hidden within each tree. He teaches him to see here and there, beyond all appearances, beams for the framework of a house,  a table, a door, a seat, a loom, a cradle, a coffin; kitchen utensils, bowls for eating, buckets for the well, tools for working the soil, crutches for the infirm, clogs for the poor, a barrel for the wine…
Jesus learns from Joseph that the tree is aware that it will be sacrificed so that its brothers and sisters may enjoy a more humane life; that brings it a great joy. And even though it suffers by that, the tree is proud to know that from its body is drawn the cross on which very often are nailed throughout the world the men and the women in love with justice and freedom.    
Joseph learns from Jesus how to chop a tree with respect and recognition like we bite into a piece of fruit…He shows him how to carve, to sculpt with love, to plane its pieces, to smooth them down, to butt them together and joint them so that the tree keeps on living under other forms and beyond itself, by humbly serving its brothers and sisters who are, like it, made of sun and soil. 
It is thanks to Joseph that Jesus learns to have some backbone and some vision. It is due to Joseph that he learns to see in every human being a masterpiece of Creation, a child of light, a son and a daughter of God. It is from Joseph that, beneath an exterior of weakness or misery, he learns that the human being is inhabited by the splendors of the «Kingdom of God», and that through our death, the Resurrection is already making its way.
Of course, Mary sees how Joseph, through his craft as a carpenter, is the great master who puts into Jesus’ hands the basic materials of what will become the Good News for the whole of Creation. She is filled with wonder while signing “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord!”
                                          Eloy Roy


Translated from the French by Jacques Bourdages

Thursday, 24 March 2016

THE CRUCIFIED-RISEN ONE

Pic from Internet

I, humanity, the whole world, we are fatally wounded. We are broken, tormented by death. But we are growing constantly towards something greater.
The Crucified One, he is the mirror of our reality made of violence, sin and death. He is an obscure image that still does not succeed in extinguishing the obstinate fire which is burning under our ruins.      
The Crucified One is Risen!  He tells me about the long march of nothingness towards being, the long road of the night towards the light. He tells me about the long journey of death towards life, of nonsense towards meaning.  He shows me the not very glorious stage that we have attained, but already he lets me catch a glimpse of what we are becoming. He tells me that all that chaos will lead to Beauty.
That End attracts me. It attracts everything. It attracts the whole of the universe. I feel that it is inscribed in the DNA of the world.
The Crucified-Risen One tells me about the great childbirth of the Universe. Above all, he tells me that at the source of that giant adventure, there is a great Heart that is beating.
                                                                    Eloy Roy

Translated from the French by Jacques Bourdages