The Job of Maidservant

Translated by Marvin Najarro

As of late human rights defenders call us domestic helpers, to lessen the blow, but call a spade a spade: we are maidservants, our function is to serve.

From there on, we can break down the gamut of abuses experienced for those of us who work in domestic service and maintenance. No matter the country, the reality of the servants is the same everywhere. We are not going to feign innocence, and to point an accusing finger at the United States as the cause of all our ills. In India, there are castes, in Latin America, the colonized minds, and so we got every country and continent, each with its own evils.

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Con la Revolución del Niño Arañero

No se puede pensar en la Venezuela del presente sin que  su progreso vaya de la mano con el Niño Arañero. Partiendo de ahí, la Revolución del pueblo venezolano es Bolivariana y Chavista.   Es la Revolución de los arrabales y las hondonadas, del llano y de los cerros olvidados a los que Chávez nombró y visibilizó. A los que el Niño Arañero dignificó. Es pues, la Revolución de un paria por los parias, si llamamos a las cosas por su nombre.

Tan profunda y fecunda ha sido que ha resistido los ataques constantes de una oligarquía nauseabunda que busca cortar de tajo las flores de la primavera. Vea usted qué ingratitud, quiere arrancar de raíz las arboledas  y convertir a Venezuela en tierra infértil.  Esos son sus intentos y no está sola, tiene el apoyo de la oligarquía mundial y de entes como la OEA y patrocinada con  millones de dólares estadounidenses.

El ataque es feroz, no son amagues, quieren la vid, la sangre, las entrañas de un país floreciente de amor y solidaridad. Quieren sus bosques, sus ríos, sus niños, su petróleo, su poesía, quieren su música y sus utopías. ¿Para qué? Para disecarlos, para detener el tiempo, para pulverizar hasta la última sonrisa y arrancarles la piel a tirones a los que se atrevan a defender lo que por justicia es propio.

Y nosotros, latinoamericanos, humanistas del mundo, debemos estar con el pueblo venezolano. Debemos estar del lado de la justicia, de la identidad, de la Memoria Histórica y la dignidad. Defender la lozanía de la primavera, porque eso es Venezuela, una primavera que tiene la esencia y el carisma de un niño vendedor de dulces de papaya, que se atrevió a soñar en grande, por los suyos, por los pueblos del mundo: por la unificación y por la alegría.

Y porque amor con amor se paga yo estoy con Venezuela.

Ilka Oliva Corado.  13 de abril de 2017, Estados Unidos.

 

IN VENEZUELA, ¡THEY SHALL NOT PASS!

Translated by Cuba-Network in Defense of Humanity

Ilka Oliva Corado, Guatemalan writer

WITH THE REVOLUTION OF EL NIÑO ARAÑERO

You cannot think on the Venezuela of the present without holding hands with El Niño Arañero. This is why the Revolution of the Venezuelan people is Bolivarian and Chavista. It is the Revolution of the suburbs and the hollows, of the plain and of the forgotten hills and Chávez made them visible and dignified.

It has been so profound and fruitful that has been able to resist the constant attacks of a nauseating oligarchy that seeks to cut down the flowers of spring. How much ingratitude, they want pull out the roots of the groves and turn Venezuela into an infertile land. Those are their attempts and they are not alone, they have the support of the world oligarchy and entities like the OAS and sponsored with millions of US dollars.

The attack is ferocious; they want the life, the blood, the entrails of a country blossoming with love and solidarity. They want their forests, their rivers, their children, their oil, their poetry, they want their music and their utopias. For what? to dissect them, to stop the time, to pulverize them until the last smile and to tear out the skin to those who dare to defend what is right.

And we, Latin Americans, world humanists, must support the Venezuelan people. We must be on the side of justice, identity, historical memory and dignity. To defend the freshness of spring, because that is Venezuela, a spring that has the essence and charisma of a child vendor of papaya sweets, who dared to dream big, for his and the people of the world: for the Unification and joy. Because you pay love with lover I am with Venezuela.

Our fight against femicide in Latin America

Translated by Marvin Najarro

April 8 marked one month since the femicide of 41 Guatemalan girls whom the state of Guatemala raped and burned alive. And also, on April 8 appeared the body of Micaela Garcia, an Argentine girl member of the Evita Movement, who had disappeared a few days ago. Twenty one years old Micaela, was a student of Physical Education, and was very concerned about the outcasts, the black ones, those that classism detests. She was raped and murdered by a serial rapist who was released by a judge because, according to him, all he sufferred was “natural perversity.”

In the same country, just a few months ago, in October 2016, Lucia Perez, 16, was drugged and murdered. The forensics discovered that she had been raped by the vagina and by the anus, not only with the penis, but also with a stick introduced in her sexual organs, stick that bore her body. She died of unbearable pain. The death of Lucia angered the Argentine people, who called for a march, the #NiUnaMenos, to which the whole continent joined.

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The essential dignity of the Ecuadorian people

Translated by Marvin Najarro

In these moments of joy and celebration in Latin America for the triumph of Alianza País, it is necessary to remember that everything in contemporary history began with the illusion of The Niño Arañero, the seller of papaya sweets in the streets of his native Venezuela; I summarize his origin because we are made of Historical Memory and identity. Children like Chávez are born one every five hundred years and they pass through the earth to mark the peoples’ history.

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Hiding the Truth Makes Us Accomplices

Translated y Marvin Najarro

Many of us would rather live in our bubble and close our eyes to reality, remain passive, turn away and remain silent. This in relation to government corruption, and the ineffectiveness of a failed state, to systematic violence and impunity. Influence peddling and manipulation by the media. We prefer to stay at the margins in the face of injustice, because it is more comfortable not to get involved, because getting involved demands respect for oneself and for others, and above all: honesty, responsibility and integrity.

And we are not prepared to risk our skin for others, we did not learn of solidarity and of collectivity. We naively believe that it will never touch us, that it only happens to others: to those who are up to no good.

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Virgen de la Asunción Safe Home: A Tragedy that Doesn’t Penetrate

Translated by Marvin Najarro

 
Since the day of the fire at the Virgen de la Asunción Safe Home, on March 8, a lot of water has ran under the bridge, and with it also a great deal of disinformation, media outlets that seek to capture the reader’s attention with the most chilling headlines, and sensationalist notes, depict the lives and dignity of the victims and their families as worthless. Forget ethics and humanism. “They were there because they were involved in crime,” so say some of them, while another emphasizes that: “this was a portrait of dysfunctional families,” referring to the parents who upon learning about the fire, arrived as they could at the children house. Articles, reports, and detailed accounts from the point of view of class, and affluence.

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The migrant women in transit

Translated by Marvin Najarro

They leave their homes: in villages, towns, cantons, hamlets, shantytowns … with no direction in mind, like dry leaves blown by the wind, dead souls, slandered, beaten, abused, rejected and stigmatized.

Little is known about them; they are invisible, the state and society marginalizes them, they are the victims of classism and racism, and their honor stained by the patriarchal system. Their country forces them to abandonment and to migrate.

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Tatoj

Translated by Marvin Najarro

The last time I saw him, my Tatoj said to me: “Prieto, I’m going to die,” cold and straightforward as it is natural in me, unruffled, I answered him: “Tatoj, don’t scare the hell out of yourself, we’re all going to die.” Almost a month after that conversation my Tatoj died, the news found us in a distant land, in the diaspora, thousands of kilometers from Guatemala, just 5 days ago.

I am the daughter who since her teenage years cuddled and caressed him less; I am the most hurt daughter, the only impassioned one. However of his four offsprings I am the one who enjoyed him the most, and it happened in my first years of childhood; that relationship gave deep and strong roots to my life.

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And What About Mexico’s Deportations?

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Translated by Marvin Najarro

The recent raids of undocumented immigrants in the United States have ignited the interest of the media, but not because they care about the human rights of undocumented immigrants or the denunciation of abuse, they do it because it is like hotcakes and fresh news that can be used for a myriad of objectives. But this exploitation does not only come from the media, it also comes from artists, filmmakers, poets, social communicators, community leaders and lawyers specializing in immigration, ¿the purpose?, to take advantage of the undocumented terrible ordeal.

Because if Latin American undocumented immigrants were really important, more interest would be devoted to Mexico’s deportations not only of Central Americans, but also Caribbean and Africans. Why the silence in the face of it? Why the silence in the face of the Dominican Republic’s immigration policy towards Haitian immigrants?

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The double standard of U.S. Protests

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Translated by Marvin Najarro

Since Trump took office as U.S president, we have seen how the crowds have taken to the streets, and that’s good. However, we can not be naive and believe that all this is about dignity and discontent with Trump’s policies, and that this society awoke overnight and became aware of human values. Because in the United States, even for demonstrator who call for social justice, equality and humanity, there are still third-class citizens.

This chaotic scenario would have been avoided if at least for the last 20 years, U.S society had resisted Bill Clinton, Bush and Obama. Because both of them as well as Hillary Clinton are like Trump, the difference is that Trump is egotistical and loves to show off his power as a Caucasian with a macho mentality. There is nothing new in his policies; it’s just that he’s saying it out loud.

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Trump’s wall against Latin America

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Translated by Marvin Najarro

Without going that far, the wall which Trump intends to build, will not stop the forced immigration of Latin Americans because it is due to US foreign policy and its interference in Latin America. First and foremost. The constant harassment and intrusion on the internal affairs of other countries that it regards as its own. The ruthless plunder on lands that has always violated at will.

If we specifically refer to the migration of Central Americans and Mexicans to the United States, and we go a little deeper in the history of the last 50 years in the region, we will see in detail the role played by the Operation Condor and the imposed dictatorships that gave way to the creation of neoliberal governments obedient to the U.S.

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The good Obama leaves office

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Translated by Marvin Najarro

Quite a few people believed that just for being black, Obama would represent a significant change in the domestic and foreign policy of the United States, but the Good Samaritan turned out to be a good for nothing black. A black attuned to the system and as Ku Klux Klan as Hillary Clinton herself and Trump.

There is no point of comparison, neither as a human being nor as a politician between him and Martin Luther King or Malcolm X, yet the good Obama as a good an opportunist as he is, uses them in his speeches, the way he also did with the 50th anniversary of the marches in Selma, Alabama, to appear in the picture as part of a historical memory he does not have. Because under his nose the white policemen murdered blacks, like someone who kills stray dogs. The good Obama set out to build a monument to Martin Luther King to honor him, yet each day he spends as president he makes decisions that would embarrass him.

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The force of the storm

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Translated by Marvin Najarro

We grow up with the path marked by stereotypes, customs, culture, religion and the patriarchal system which damages us all.

Prejudices that tell us you can do this but not this. This is wrong, because what they might say, because our gender, physical appearance, ideology, skin color, age, social status, nationality and ethnicity.

And we keep growing up conditioned and immersed in fears, overwhelmed by ghosts that become a hellhole that slowly devour us, and we never manage to fully evolve as human beings because we bring with us all the limitations that were imposed during our childhood and adolescence.

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There is no Cuba without Fidel because Fidel is Cuba

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Translated by Marvin Najarro

The Cuban Revolution is one of the emblematic feats of humanity, with humility and bravery as incomparable attributes.

To say Cuba is to say consciousness, historical memory, that is, identity, loyalty and solidarity. Fecundity.

For 58 years, the obvious question in the collective imagination, manipulated by the media, has always been, what will Cuba be without Fidel? Will the Revolution Fail? The answer lies in the wild sea, in the mountains, the hamlets, the esplanade, at the root of the trees: Cuba without Fidel is Cuba with Fidel, because Fidel is Cuba, Cuba is Fidel. As Cuba is also each of those who made the Revolution possible.

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The worst of evils

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Translated by Marvin Najarro

We have little humanity left, if at any time we had it. A planet in danger screams for help, we turn a blind eye and go to sleep like a log while everything around us is extinguishing by our indifference as self-centered mediocres.

We are the deterioration of a destructive, selfish, opportunistic and boastful species. We are the worst of evils. Every day we wake up with more species in danger of extinction, with the fauna and flora in agony, with the rainforests about to become deserts. With the streets of our neighborhood littered with garbage. We on our part, with a harder skin, more insensitive than the day before.

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Syria: the dignity of a country           

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Translated by Marvin Najarro

One of the monumental farces of world media coverage, in recent decades, has been the pervasive invention of a polarized war in Syria. One of so many lies, like that of a dictatorship in Venezuela with Chavez and Maduro, or Cuba with Fidel and Raúl. Like that of the dictator Gadhafi in Libya. Like the one who backed the US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. Like the one that hid the genocide in Rwanda.

The same media coverage that still continues to call Salvador Allende a dictator. The same one that disgraces the memory of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. That truculent, unethical, sellout journalism which continues tarnishing the name of the 13 Roses -of Rosa Luxemburg and the militiamen of the Republic. The same one that to date continues to deny the genocide in Guatemala and which supported the dictatorships imposed by the United States in Latin America, devastated by the Condor Plan.

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Does Latin American Progressivism Agonize?

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Translated by Marvin Najarro

It is a frequent question that is repeated over and over again by corporate media, as part of the media manipulation with which the amorphous masses are anesthetized. Fallacies which at the present time are the armed wing of post dictatorship driven neoliberalism, as a modality of old-fashioned capitalism. At the head a fraudulent journalism, of those who sell themselves out with the urgency to lie. They are seconded by those who with their silence conceal, from the comfort of embezzlement, the benefit of abuse, classism, racism and exclusion.

With the amount of treacherous blows it has received this past year, progressivism should be erased from the map, but it is just like the disappeared of dictatorships, and the martyrs of Latin American history: Historical Memory, loyalty, consciousness and resistance. It is like the Native Peoples: immortality.

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For us the undocumented time has come (2)

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Translated by Marvin Najarro

In the first part of this article I tried to point out the reasons for the Latin Americans forced migrations to the United States, in which free trade agreements and the constant reimplementations of the Condor Plan with its regional agendas have much to do. But what happens to the migrants who manage to cross the borders of death and arrive in this country, what awaits them?

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Fidel and the offsprings of the Revolution 

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Translated by Marvin Najarro

In this article I will refer to the children of the Cuban Revolution. To the childhood and youth that were born in a sovereign Cuba, that have enjoyed the benefits of the Revolution.

It is impossible not to express admiration before so many expressions of the people’s love for Fidel; in any street, square, corner, there were the Cubans bidding farewell to him, for a while, because his ashes will go to rest in a graveyard, but his ideals will remain in the deep and sincere eyes of the kids who raised their faces and with excitement shouted out, I am Fidel!

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I am Fidel! I am Fidel! I am Fidel!

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Translated by Marvin Najarro

Where is Fidel?  Daniel Ortega asked in the Jose Marti Memorial of the Revolution Square in Havana, in tribute to Fidel, and the Cuban people, exalted, grateful and loving, in unison answered: I am Fidel! I am Fidel! I am Fidel! At that moment, Cuba vibrated again, as in 1st. January 1959. The world listened to the Cuban people, the winds and the seas echoed the reciprocal love between the Cuban Revolution Leader and his people.

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