By Néstor Kohan
Jesús Santrich, a Colombian and revolutionary militant of Our America, has been annihilated. Honor to those who deserve honor.
The gunfire and grenades that took his breath were from the Colombian army, as was the knife or razor with which they mutilated his lifeless hand. The orders came from Iván Duque, the pichoncito sponsored by \”il capo mafia\” Álvaro Uribe. Two equally Colombian genocidal lúmpenes, cornered by one of the most important popular rebellions that Colombia has experienced in recent decades.
But let no one be deceived. Let\’s talk without euphemisms. The strategy that guided this operation clearly comes from \”higher up\”: the United States and Israel, two partner states that have led the counterinsurgency war in Colombia for many years. Not from afar, but with their own military and intelligence personnel, on the very terrain of the longest social conflict in the entire continent. When you read in the reports of numerous international analysts that \”Colombia is the Israel of Latin America,\” you are not facing a literary metaphor. Each one of the Colombian insurgent commanders who was executed (from Alfonso Cano and Iván Ríos to “Mono” Jojoy, reaching Jesús Santrich), had an Israeli general and U.S. combat troops assigned behind them. The Colombian army simply supplies the troops, as happened more than half a century ago with the execution of Ernesto Che Guevara, shot in cold blood in La Higuera by Bolivian hands that pulled the trigger, but directed on the same ground by U.S. intelligence. It is an open secret. Everybody knows this. It is documented.
Was it necessary to execute a blind revolutionary militant? Were the U.S. Pentagon, the Israeli Army and the Colombian Armed Forces so afraid of a blind person who walked with a cane? Yes, they were afraid of him. And now that he’s dead … they are going to be even more afraid, because the unwavering example of this communist revolutionary will surely take on other dimensions, as happened in their time with Camilo Torres, Che Guevara and with so many other revolutionaries of Our America.
Who was Jesús Santrich? It’s difficult to define him in a few lines. First of all, a full-time revolutionary militant. But his biography doesn\’t stop there. Santrich is also one of the great Marxist thinkers of Our America. His theoretical production includes more than a dozen books (which are available on the internet), where he explores everything from the romanticism of Karl Marx to the liberating ideas of Simón Bolívar, passing through the rigorous knowledge of the history of countless Indigenous peoples, their cultures, their worldviews and also, their religions. Because unlike some so-called high-level and arrogant “materialists” (basically just ignorant people, who out of mental laziness have never bothered to try to understand the feelings and beliefs of the peoples they claim to defend), Santrich knew by heart various expressions of popular religious spirituality of the exploited and the subjugated of the continent.
Nor does his outline and his figure stop there. His insurgent backpack also carried countless books of poems, drawings, songs. In one of his most suggestive writings, he intersected the biography of Manuel Marulanda Vélez, historical leader of his organization (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People\’s Army, Second Marquetalia) with… Beethoven! Santrich immersed himself with absolute ease in the history of philosophy, literature, music and painting.
What bourgeois politician on the continent would have dared to debate with him face to face? You had to have a lot of backbone to be able to argue and refute someone like that. Neither Duque nor Uribe nor Santos could have endured half an hour of public debate, face to face, without bodyguards or gunmen or hitmen. Hence their impotence. Hence their visceral hatred. Hence the order to pursue and execute him, knowing that he was blind!
Who but a coward can be scared in front of a blind person? That\’s Duque. A coward. That is Uribe. A coward. That\’s Santos. A coward. They didn\’t have the strength to deal with his speeches, with his sarcasm, with his irony.
Yes, irony. Because Jesús Santrich cultivated humor with pleasure and enjoyment, as a good Caribbean man who boasts of such. In one of the last videos that he filmed and that circulated virally on social media, he masterfully interpreted the sax, recited a very long poem in homage to Commander Hugo Chávez (making it clear that the Bolivarian and communist insurgency would never accept Santander\’s patriotism of the ignorant village or the poisoned trap of confronting two brother peoples, like the Colombian and the Venezuelan) and topped it off with an irony that made people laugh. He said goodbye, if memory serves me: \”See you … said the blind man.\”
Jesus Santrich was laughing at himself! Any psychoanalyst would know that there is no greater gesture of mental health than being able to laugh at oneself. Has anyone ever seen Macri laugh at himself? Piñera? Bolsonaro? Uribe? Iván Duque? The president of the main Western power? The prime minister of Israel? Never! For any of those characters on a ghost train, bizarre and degenerated, humor would be interpreted as a \”sign of weakness.\”
Santrich died laughing and joking! He could laugh and joke because he was strong and solid. His fortress did not travel by helicopter gunship or a war tank. It came from the just cause he defended, from the truth of his projects inspired by Marx and Bolívar, from the nobility of his ideals for which he was willing to die. Any of his enemies in his situation would have soiled his pants out of fear.
The mocking laughter, the happy irony, the unshakeable humanism. Of such wood are made people who are not tied to the pettiness of the market, to the mediocrities of bureaucracy, to the money in their bank accounts and their dirty businesses.
The United States, using local pawns, decided to finish him off. May the heroic Cuban Revolution and Bolivarian Venezuela soak their beards! The elderly \”Keynesian\” and \”populist\” Joe Biden does not come to bring \”dialogue,\” \”pluralism\” or \”good neighborliness.\” He comes to try to save, by slapping, an Empire in intensive care. Will the poison smile of Obama\’s cronies have an effect again? Their scholarships? Their \”philanthropic\” invitations to visit blue-eyed \”democracy\”? Their \”academic internships\” aimed at co-opting young people? Will they once again sell their colorful mirrors while they continue to sow and irrigate military bases on the American continent? Will popular organizations believe, again, that with the change of administration in the White House, John Lennon and Yoko Ono are magically reborn?
The merciless execution of Commander Jesús Santrich has sadly made things clear. No \”flower power” here. Imperialism still exists. Even the blind cannot be saved from the unbridled fury of the North American counterinsurgency, executed surgically by their local peons, with brown skin and blind obedience.
Despite the pandemic and social isolation, something can be heard through the plants and trees. Jesus Santrich and Camilo Torres, Fidel Castro and Marulanda, Che Guevara, surrounded by young rebels from Palestine, must go around making jokes and planning new insurgencies.
Moral example is stronger than all the weapons in the world. It cannot be annihilated. The peoples of Our America have awakened and no one will be able to silence them.
Always until victory, dear Trichi, dear comrade Jesús Santrich! Never stop playing the sax or the flute, never abandon your drawings, your poems or your jokes.
Cátedra Che Guevara, Argentina
Early morning, May 19, 2021
Translated by Greg Butterfield