April 15, 2021

At what point were the revolutions broken? | Culture

At what point were the revolutions broken? | Culture

Two journalists, the Spanish Joaquín Estefanía, attached to the director of EL PAÍS, and the Chilean Patricio Fernández, who was the one who launched the already powerful Chilean magazine The Clinic, born to make a political and satirical chronicle of the dictator's stay imprisoned in a hospital in London, they have dared with some of the twentieth century's broken illusions. And they have told their conclusions at the International Book Fair (FIL).

Their presenters, Consuelo Sáizar and Carlos Puig, Mexican professor and communicator, in the case of Estefanía, and David Rieff, American essayist and journalist, in the one of Fernández, delved into the melancholic character with which the future is now seen in the world truncated of both adventures.

In Mexico, moreover, that 68 that looked like roses and beaches under the cobblestones, is dyed by the terrible blood of Tlatelolco, where President Ordaz's policemen shot and killed students who were celebrating then that spring that took place in Paris, in Prague, in Washington and all over the world. In Spain was still the dictatorship, which until then seemed like perpetual winter.

Revolutions, Estefania, alludes to a generation that rises against the system, but to put over the liberal democracy of then, again, the ideals of freedom, fraternity and equality of the French Revolution. De Gaulle left that revolt, and then came an inverse revolution; France fell into the hands of an even more rancid right, and in the case of Prague, which was another symbol of the time, things worsened: there could no longer be flowers on Russian tanks. "But 68," says Estefanía, who entered the University on that date (born in 1951), "changed life, it was not a mirage." That revolution was followed by others, "against the neoliberal process," which included indignant people against the system. But in the twentieth century (and in the twenty-first century) those revolutions that were made in the spring found their end in the respective summers. They were outbursts of protest (including Spanish 2014) that, as told in the Italian film The best youth, they try again to change the order without changing the system.

"The revolutions are beautiful and terrible," Estefania said, and in the case of the European women we have lived, they end up at the station where young people and the elderly are close to vacation. In 68 the first generation of Europeans who had not lived a war arose. They were the grandparents of the outraged. "What did these learn from their grandparents? That the Revolution ends in summer? "

And what happened to the permanent Revolution of our lives, the one that has been in Cuba using that name for more than sixty years? It's over, it does not exist anymore, says Pato Fernández. This journalist, born one year after the May Revolution, has made a detailed journalistic journey about the most recent epochs of what for him is the disillusion of the Revolution, and he has expressed it in a book, Cuba. Journey to the end of the Revolution, Debate publishes first in America and will soon appear in Spain. It is truly a journey, which includes, in the end, the major metaphor of the border in which symbolically ends the process that unleashed unanimity during the sixties of the twentieth century: the death (and, above all, the burial) of Fidel Castro.

That metaphor is narrated with a radically journalistic eye, with facts that also show the increasingly skeptical character of Cubans before their own lost illusions. The ashes of Fidel (and the Revolution) make a painful trip throughout Cuba to meet the remains of Che Guevara. One of the interlocutors that Pato Fernández has in this journey that looks like what happens in Guantanamera, Gutiérrez Alea's famous film tells the journalist that what is probably in the meeting between these two Cuban revolutionary souls is silence.

That Cuban history is not alone in this book "written by a journalist of what is needed," said David Rieff; "There is also the history of communist utopianism of the last seventy years, which are more or less those of the Revolution." It is the communist regime, the American essayist believes, the one that replaces the Revolution. "It was a system that was based on enthusiasm, on belief. And few believe in Cuba that it is already a Revolution. With her, the contemporaries of Pato Fernández dreamed in Chile. "There was a coup to prevent us from being Cuba; Cuba was the other, what it did not have to be. And I went since 1992 to see what that was. " Cuba was not just a place, but an idea, and both faced each other as a journalist. "That dream had suddenly disappeared," he said, and the last chapter of that process was, for him, the Obama-Castro meeting, "that came when, in that revolutionary religion, the last bishops and the pope were about to die " He observed that there was not the cruelty that Pinochet practiced in Chile, but that in Chile one could speak more freely than in Cuba; proved that with the openings "he changed the face of the people; until Trump arrives and the process stops. "

At this moment, after the long burial of Fidel's ashes, it can already be said, says the author of Cuba. Journey to the end of the Revolution, "No one believes" in the pigeon that landed on Castro's shoulder when he came down from Sierra Maestra.

"What will be next?" Fernandez asked. That Revolution ended that for many is no longer a word. And the revolutionary trail of 68 continues to hibernate in the summers of the parents.


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