29.Abr.03    Análisis y Noticias

I was 15 years old, it was 1963 and I studied at
Salesiano School in
Valparaiso, Chile, which had accepted me
conditionally after having been
expelled from Ruben Castro for being rebellious.
They called my parents
telling them that I had spit on a teacher from
the Christian Democracy who
attacked the Cuban Revolution in the classroom.
That was my first act in
support of the Caribbean island’s revolution, in
which those bearded men
forced the powerful, clean cut men of the USA to
back down, thereby
creating a symphony of bearded ones filled with
freedon loving spirit.
Today I am not pro-Cuban, but my spit is aimed at
Saramago, at Galeano and
all of those that are attacking Cuba today, who
with supposed foresight
take advantage of the fact that it is being
attacked by that power.
Later I became a Guevarist, and we formed the
Revolutionary Students’
Front at La Catolica University and I joined the
MIR with my group. We
tried to organize and struggle for change until
the military coup came.
The Cubans broke relations with Pinochet or
Pinochet broke with Cuba, I
don’t even remember which, perhaps someone will
remind me. Pinochet
launched his legions against the population
making a footnote in history
with the dubious title of the most murderous
facist since Hitler, which is
no small thing.

We asked Cuba for help and they took in exiles,
gave them a place to live,
work, education, health care and more. Some
studied medicine in Cuba and
later were able to earn a ton of money, thanks to
the quality of their
work. I once overheard one of these cursing out
Cuba in a group. I made
it clear to him that I would be ashamed to walk
around bad mouthing Cuba
given the position that I had achieved thanks to
the Cuban people. He got
angry and never spoke to me again which doesn’t
bother me in the
slightest, because at least he stopped his
comments while I was around.

I took part in the armed struggle against
Pinochet, along with many
others, and later, in 1984 it was my turn to seek
exile. I arrived in
Cuba in very poor health and they took care of me
in their hospitals.
They gave me examinations and treatments etc.
which would have been
impossible for me in any other country. They
made me as good as new, and
it is obvious to me that this has happened with
thousands of other exiles
and that the Cuban people have access to one of
the best health care
systems in the world. From this I say that in
other countries those that
speak of human rights are referring to the rights
of survivors, that is,
those that manage to hold onto life in the middle
of the capitalist system
which kills millions daily. I repeat, for
Salamago and Galeano and the
rest of the Socialdemocrats disguised as
leftists, the capitalist system
condemns millions to a death sentence daily. We
live among survivors. In
Cuba there are no survivors, there are living
beings whose lives have been
saved and who have received constant care. That
is to say; they have been
guaranteed the basic human right, the right to
life. To speak of human
rights in the midst of all the criminal
paraphernalia of capital, is to
mock the judgement of anyone with the slightest

Later they gave me a place to live, food and the
tranquility that I
needed. I lived in a popular neighborhood and I
was able to see how the
neighbors supported their revolution. They
didn’t give a hoot about
whether or not to write an article in the
newspaper, which most of them
could have done, but rather whether their
children had healthcare, food
and education.
The U.S. blockade has always sought to aggravate
the economic conditions
and force the people to protest. As this had not
succeeded, the U.S.
charge d’affaires came to fan the flames that
hadn’t caught. One day that
charge d’affaires incited a mobilization of
people who protested because,
according to the Yanquis, the Cuban government
didn’t permit travel.
Various individuals installed themselves in front
of the premises and
began to demonstrate. Passing busses stopped
and people got off en
masse. Anyone might think that it was in order
to join the demonstration,
but no. The population threw themselves against
the gusanos most
decidedly, without having to be called. People
came out of the nearby
houses and buildings to confront those that had
been paid by the yanquis.
Others were stirred up by the lie that there was
no authorization to leave
when it was the Northamerican government that had
cut back on permits.
The magnitude of the multitude was such that it
outnumbered the others who
had to escape inside the yanqui business office,
but the wretch on duty
had locked them out and they had to break windows
to get away. Thousands
met at the location and the authorities had to
post guards to protect
those U.S. agents and the people that they had

It was obvious to me that the reaction of the
population was spontaneous.
I was there, I didn’t have to read about in any
bourgeois paper or attend
any intellectual ceremonies like those Galeano
attends on his strolls
through the island, or like others who swallow
the news as it’s dished
up…. Especially those that read El Pais and
other newspapers that call
themselves progressive.

I decided to study in the University and I
graduated in law. I registered
in the Union Nacional de Juristas de Cuba and I
worked in the Poder
Popular Centro Habana in the area of population
and housing. There I had
to deal every day with hundreds of people who
reclaimed their homes,
perhaps because of the death of a parent in order
to settle the estate, or
for whatever reason. The need was enormous since
much of the population
did not join in the auto-construction project,
but preferred to continue
living in convenience apartments in the old
houses in downtown Havana. My
instructions were to find solutions to help all
those people that didn’t
want to join the new construction projects, to
try to make sure that the
conditions were better or to see that the
distribution or adjudication of
those rooms was just. The discussions were
daily… with shouts and
complaints as it was an extremely difficult area.
Many older people, in
order not to be alone roomed with people who
weren’t exactly saints, and
when they died, those people asserted their right
to the space. It was
necessary to study the question because sometimes
the old person’s
daughter might show up to claim the space. You
can imagine, but with
patience and good humor the public officials
managed to solve problem
after problem. Sometimes they had to be circus
jugglers as in the case of
the case of a six-foot tall subject shouting and
scaring everybody, but
they never shouted back or took an authoritarian
attitude. That was
unequivocably prohibited, and the public
officials were conscious of the
fact that they had to serve the population. You
can believe me or not,
but I never heard a word against the revolution.
I heard many complaints
and shouts, but I would later see those same
people participating in
activities, since they knew that they were
assured food, (although there
were restrictions), they were assured that their
children could go to
school, and that they would be cared for in any
health emergency or need.
What critics there were were in the minority and
generally they were
involved in some deal or “el bisne”, as they
called it. There was
corruption in different places, but it never
managed to distract from the
interests of the population. Those critics stayed
glued to the television
or radio from the gusanos in Miami, believing the
tale that they would
live much better escaping to the U.S.A.. A farce,
but today’s intellectual
critics say nothing about that.

In the end, I came to see the revolution with its
daily problems and it is
apparent to me that there exists a most rigorous
attachment to the
law…the law, which is so defended by democrats
everywhere. They speak
of legality, which they themselves don’t obey,
but they repress the
people, steal their health and education and now
the water. Soon it will
be prohibited to breathe without purchasing a
special mask in order to be
authorized to do it.

I was invited to give classes in Brazil and I
went, participating in land
and building occupations. I organized two study
trips to Cuba in which
dozens of Brazilians could see the revolution
with their own eyes. It was
clear that this was not to support the revolution
but rather to get to
know it. We visited neighborhoods, workplaces,
that is, not the things
that tourists do who go to rest and visit beaches
and buy things.
The problem of the circulation of the dollar,
prostitution and other
questions present problems that need to be
confronted in the same way as
the problems of housing and population. Cuba is
not a fantasy island. It
is a place filled with human beings with problems
just like others, and
with a blockade. To idealize it as a paradigm is
for dogmatics and
contributes nothing.
It is different when we talk about the socialist
phase being no longer
necessary to advance a classless society. In
that sense I am not
pro-Cuban, that is I don’t want it to be followed
as a model, even though
it is superior all others in existence. I keep a
distance from those who
use Cuba as an example to follow like a paradigm,
since that does not
contribute to an emancipatory struggle, but
becomes a comfortable way to
go around on the left attracting people with
images of Cuba or Che. Those
who proclaim Cuba as an example want to raise
themselves to the dominant
class of their countries. They forget that in
order to make a revolution
it is necessary to be filled with freedom loving
spirit. The time of
socialist countries and the socialist block has
passed, and it is not
going to come back, and we won’t let it come back
since it was a nefarious
era of world divisions, of subordination of
countries to one ideology or
another, of the attempt of freedom struggles to
establish new states
which continue accumulating capital under the
model of state capital,
popular fronts, alliances with the bourgeoisie,
and, in the end,
opportunism to transform oneselves into the
dominant bureaucracy.

Cuba is a bureaucracy, there can be no doubt,
however sensitive their
leaders, and luckily they are, and it is not
necessary to support them for
that, but rather for the right of their people to
determine their own

But, in spite of all their problems, they have
thousands, read again,
thousands of young people from different
countries studying medicine for
free there, eating the food of the Cubans, using
the Cubans’ energy,
drinking the water of the Cubans and learning
about the cultural and
educational level attained by the Cubans. There
are no less than 500
young Mapuche studying there, members of the
indigenous communities who
will return to their lands to help with survival
while the struggle of
liberty advances. Be sure that none of them will
be like that imbecile
and attack those that gave them the opportunity
to enrich themselves. My
title, with honors, has not been used to enrich
myself but rather to
continue organizing and mobilizing in alternative
law and autonomous
struggles. I have a title from the University of
Havana, which is rejected
in some places, which makes me happy since it an
ideological rejection.
They reject Cubans because they defend communism,
which I also defend,
having learned so much there in those classrooms,
those neighborhoods,
working with that population and being treated in
those hospitals.

But that was a phase, that is to say the time for
socialist states is
over. Cuba is the last of the Mohicans. Its
continuation towards
communism will only be assured by ruptures in
other countries, not by the
pathway towards other states. The spread of
self-management and popular
power are the forms for the advancement to a new
society. We would do
badly to wish to replace state politics with
other states in order to
count on friends in the United Nations. We have
seen ourselves passed
over by them whenever they want. It would be a
grave error to believe
that the refusal to pass a resolution against
Cuba is the final word. The
Cubans know this. Anyone can see that on a
world level the U.S. didn’t
need the UN to attack Iraq. Some may seek to
rebuild the legitimacy of
the UN but they are seriously mistaken. Forces
need to be concentrated in
social self-organization everywhere, in the
multiplication of focal points
of rebellion and spaces of popular power.
Distracted by electoral campaigns and the
politics of alliances with
business groups and social democrats, the left
will see the enemy triumph
all over. The resistance struggle launched by
the Zapatistas and other
global actions should deepen and not hold back as
proposed by the
Circus-Forum of Porto Alegre, which has only
served to divide and roll
back advances. The lefts believe that popular
advances will be manifested
at the ballot box and this is bad news. Instead
of joining the push
forward, they call for a return to the
institutions. What does the enemy
do? It takes advantage by striking everywhere
and reassigning their
international forces , frightened by the wave of
rebellion coming from
below. Luckily for them the fifth columnists of
ATTAC, agents camouflaged
in capital showed up in time to slow down the
struggle, at least in part,
and create a fictitious breakdown of the left
within the system with that
invention of humanitization and new popular
fronts. The very unwary of
the left fool themselves with the promotion of
social struggle and jump in
happily like ballerinas on a stage inviting the
people to the dance of
elections and to go with all that strength to
fight over spaces of power.
That left is gambling with the general
disarmament of the people. If they
see resistance advancing in all lands, they
should stop once and for all
the stupidities of elections and gather forces in
the streets, in the
occupations, in the assemblies, call for the
rejection of institutions.
Enough of appetite for power.
I don’t accept those pro-Cubans. I keep a
distance from them. I have
nothing to do with them. The defense of Cuba
does not tie me to
opportunists or reformists. To the contrary,
they need to learn from Cuba
and go out to overthrow governments. They should
learn from the
Argentineans and go out to overthrow governments.
In the end they should
learn to be rebels, which is what we learned from
that revolution, from
Che. The rest is fluff.
I am not pro-Cuban, but against Cuba count me

Professor J.*

*Profesor J is the web pen name for Jaime
Yovanovic Prieto. Jaime was
born in 1948 in Valparaiso, Chile. In 1970 he was
the spokesperson for the
MIR and in 1971 he left his home and the
University to live with 1500 poor
families in occupied lands which came to be known
as Campamento de
Pobladores Sin Casa Salvador Allende. He was
arrested after the coup and
tortured for a year resulting in multiple
fractures and the near total
loss of his hearing.After being expelled from the
country, he returned clandestinely and
joined the armed struggle until 1984 when he was
accused ofhaving participated in the
assassination of junta member General Carol
Urzua. He was expelled again after having
entered the papal nuncio with
an armed group. Exiled in Cuba, he was
vice-president of the committee
for Chilean exiles and he graduated in law from
the University of HavanaIn 1987 he withdrew from
the MIR and started Clajadep for discussion and
interchange of ideas for a horizontal democracy
based on autonomy and
popular power. He was invited to Brazil where he
taught alternative law
in various universities and institutions. The
name Profesor J came from
his Brazilian students.In 2000 he participated in
the Anti-imperialist Camp in Assisi, Italy,
where he was arrested for the Urzua case. The
Italian government refused
to extradite him to Chile and he was expelled to
Brazil. Back in Brazil
he found all doors closed to him and he began
receiving death threats.He escaped to Bolivia where
he linked up with coca workers and the
Coordination of Water of Cochabamba. There he
learned that the Chilean
military was in close contact with his coworkers,
so he went to Mozambique
where he organized discussion groups about
autonomy in outlying
neighborhoods. He also participated in
activities in South Africa.He was arrested again in 2002
at the Anti-imperialist camp and sent to
Johannesburg, where he was held in prison for two
months. South Africa
refused Chile’s petition for extradition, and he
can’t leave South Africa
for fear of being arrested again, but he has no
working papers there.He calls himself a
freethinking Marxist, anarchist, Zapatista or any other
ideological label one cares to give him. He
thinks that autonomous groups
should create their own worldview by studying and
learning from the
experiences and trends of the revolutionary camp,
and especially in their
own experience of self-management and resistance.
He adamantly refuses to
draw maps for freedom struggles since he feels
that that is the role of
each autonomy. His dream is to end the
persecution and return to Chile to teach
alternative law and continue participating in
worldwide discussions and
freedom struggles.