jueves, julio 06, 2006

School of the Americas

This is not a post about the institution where the United States of America forms the most heartless and ruthless Latin American military and para-military thugs.

This is a post about José Rivera's play that explores the last hours of Ernesto Guevara. The article tells us that Rivera does that while addressing a modern day issue, that of the war in Iraq.

Towards the very end of the article José Rivera tells us that his daughter was victim of harassment by a teacher who called Che a terrorist. This is just to show you how messed up things are in the USA where a murderous president like George W. Bush shelters a cold blooded assasin like Luis Posadas Carriles but a rather ignorant teacher feels that he has the right to openly attack an student while demonizing an individual that died fighting people who though it was their rights to rape and rob every country in the so called Third World.

Maybe that teacher should take into consideration that the White House has been terrorizing the civilian population of Afghanistan and Iraq for almost five years, and that George W. Bush and his henchmen have their hands splattered with the blood of innocent people who they murdered only to get more oil profits.

I would like to tell Claudia Parsons that Che is hero to millions, and devil to a few gusanos (right wing Cubans) and their US ideological puppets.

Kudos to José Rivera for his brave portrayal of Che.

Here you have the article:

Che Guevara's last night alive relived on NY stage

By Claudia Parsons

Wed Jul 5, 2:18 PM ET

After writing "The Motorcycle Diaries" screenplay, Jose Rivera felt he had more to say about Ernesto "Che" Guevara, so he wrote a play he says shows the Latin American revolutionary would have had plenty to say about the war in Iraq.

"When you're in a situation where you're killing people and no one really knows why, the times require someone to ask those questions," Rivera said in an interview in New York, where his new play, "School of the Americas," opens on Thursday.

"Che was always asking those questions and criticizing U.S. imperialistic impulses all over the world," he said.

Rivera, a Puerto Rican raised in New York, said some of the dialogue speaks directly to the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

"The things that Che says in the play are things that people feel around the world. Che said in the 1960s the greatest enemy of mankind is the United States, and there would be people who say that today," he said.

The play is the story of Guevara's last night before his death in Bolivia, where he spent the final year of his life trying to foment a communist uprising. The Argentine guerrilla, a key figure in Cuba's revolution, was captured by government troops and held in a village schoolhouse while the Bolivian and U.S. governments decided his fate.

A schoolteacher named Julia Cortes insisted on being allowed to visit him and befriended him.

Rivera said he came across her story while doing research for "The Motorcycle Diaries," the 2004 film about the young Guevara's transformative journey through Latin America with a friend. Cortes, now in her 70s, was interviewed for a Swiss documentary Rivera came across.

"I was very taken with her presence. She talked about meeting Che and what they talked about, and I had this feeling that it really changed her life," Rivera said. "I started to imagine this story of Che's last friendship."


Rivera said he imagined the conversations in the play that range in subject from Guevara's marriage and children, to his mother's influence, his ideals and philosophy, as well as some doubts about the path he took in his final years.

"In several interviews Julia talks about the kinds of things they talked about but it's all very sketchy," Rivera said, adding that since writing the play he had spoken to Cortes, tracked down in Bolivia by a relative of Patricia Velasquez, the Venezuelan actress who plays Cortes.

"Patricia was able to have a phone conversation with her and they arranged for Julia to go to a cyber-cafe and we had a cyber conversation over the Internet with the whole cast."

"No one knows but her really what happened in that room," Rivera added.

Rivera, who was nominated for an Oscar for "The Motorcycle Diaries," was 13 when Guevara was killed in 1967 and he remembers it well. "He was a big hero with my family."

"That was the time period when Martin Luther King was killed and Bobby Kennedy was killed and Malcolm X was killed, so it seemed to be part of the times that all our heroes were being killed one by one," Rivera said.

He said Guevara was as controversial a figure at that time as he is today -- "a devil" for many expatriate Cubans and critics of Fidel Castro's communist revolution; a handsome, idealistic and charismatic cult figure for "60s college kids" and many leftists, particularly in Europe.

"My daughter wore a Che T-shirt to school and she was criticized by one of the teachers saying 'He's a terrorist,' and 'Why would you glorify a terrorist?'," Rivera said, adding that he does not expect to take the new play to Miami.


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