A year ago today I wrote this post in response to a comment someone had left in a post where I mentioned Che Guevara. That comment stirred a whole lot of emotions within me because it was hateful and insulting but at the same time it ignited my curiosity and led me to research because it was one of those moments when I realized that there was something I didn't know very much about but needed to know about if only to stick up for myself.
As I said then, I admire Che Guevara for the young man he was. His ideals were really something to be admired because it isn't so much about what we say but about what we do and good or bad he fought for what he believed.
In recent days there has been a situation with the Cubans in Miami and someone who is now one of our Congressmen, Mr. Sergio Vargas. Mr. Vargas is not only a politician but he also has a long standing career as a performer. He is a singer. Anyway, in one of his performances here in the Dominican Republic he was wearing a t-shirt that had the picture of Che Guevara imprinted on it.
Now, let's all bear in mind that Che Guevara is a very meaningful figure in Latin American History, and Dominican Republic despite a few recent slip-ups is atill a democratic estate where we are have the Constitutional right to express ourselves freely as long as it stays within the realm of "buenas costumbres" which is something like good manners I guess. We are not Communists, haven't been for 50 years or whatever it's been.
Cuban radio personality Enrique Santos of Radio El Zol, in his morning show El Vacilon de la Manana, called Congreesman Vargas, recorded him without his consent and proceeded to call him an "animal" on the radio for wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt in one of his concerts in the Dominican Republic.
Who does that? Let's start with the fact that leaders should be addressed with respect regardless of how you feel about them, and yes he is a singer; but effective last week he became a democratically elected Congressman. If nothing else, radio guy should have shown some manners. Not to mention that you can't possibly bitch and whine about a t-shirt that wasn't worn in Cuba, wasn't worn in a Communist rally, and hell, wasn't even worn anywhere near the city of Miami, which even if it had been is protected by the Freedom of expression clause of the US Constitution.
Mr. Vargas has filed a lawsuit against Mr. Santos. Frankly, I hope he wins. As a former journalist, a Dominican, a US Citizen, and a human being with some common sense, I don't understand how somebody could be so incredibly stupid as to go on a tirade for something like this. This is definitely not the way to get simpathy for the Cuban cause. And what's more, at the risk of sounding far bitchier than necessary and this in no way expresses my feelings on the subject BUT if you as a Cuban deserted and didn't care enough to stay in your country (or go back assuming you don't yet know it) to fight against that which you deem so awful, why should we, who are not Cuban, care?
El Nuevo Herald
El Diario Libre