Sunday, May 15, 2011

Accompanied the mysterious guerrilla Che

On August 31, 1967, at the confluence of the Rio Grande Masicurí, Bolivia, a platoon of soldiers hiding in the weeds waiting for a group of Cuban guerrillas crossing the stream. Are 17.20, takes ten hours of waiting, it burns the heat, mosquitoes are eaten in their beaks. Through a farmer has set a trap to the firing of revolutionary fighters who were preparing to cross a river.

The group named Joaquin crossed in single file, the water came up half a body, in some sections to the chin. Suddenly, the water emerges from the beautiful body of a thin woman, short sleeve attached to the body, a tuft of hair on the face. It is an unreal image for that group of soldiers who seek to Che Guevara in the Bolivian jungle.

It's her, yes, they talk guerrilla newspapers, the only woman who was part of the revolutionary journey. The captain gave the order Vargas Salinas shooting and the shooting starts, machine guns spitting lead on these bodies, on the water, are like bowling in the bowling alley. A bullet through the body of Tania, who grabs his chest, a heart level and falls on the water.

The torrent you drag your body, with the backpack, it also has its secrets, many secrets of a woman who had three names, three identities, which was a dreamer, master of disguise, artist lies, guerrilla spy. A woman whose life is full of myths and legends that the prestigious Bolivian historian Gustavo Rodríguez Ostria clearing is proposed.

Three years has led to this recognized expert in guerrilla Che Guevara write Tamara, Laura, Tania. A mystery in the guerrilla Che (edited by RBA), a book based on multiple interviews with stars of those years, reports of the Stasi, the Bolivian Army, the CIA. Ambitious reconstruction, extensively documented, dismantle myths and legends, and do not hesitate to knock theses held by authors such as John Lee Anderson, Paco Taibo II or Friedl Zapata.

Without going any further, the very scene of the death of the guerrilla has been told differently. The Cuban revolution built a myth, that of the female version of Che, the hardened guerrillas who tried to shoot his machine gun as shots began to ring on the river Masicurí. Ostria Rodriguez denies it: "Do not fire a single shot," says Bolivian author by telephone from Santiago de Chile where he is conducting a research for her next book.

"In the guerrillas were fighting if you had a gun. She has gun. He is assigned tasks that do not expose the dangers of the guerrillas." Ostria Rodriguez, author of a dozen books, exdecano of the Universidad Mayor de San Simon and exviceministro Higher Education, Science and Technology, dismantles the legend of the alleged relationship between Guevara and Tania.

"It was the mistress of Che. Just lived a month in the guerrillas." Was between March and April 1967. And their relationship, in fact, was marked by the criticisms of the Commander on the abandonment of Tania's intelligence functions to join the guerrillas. Building a relationship between two myths as well like it was difficult to ignore temptation.

Not so, according to the historian says. "There was a reason about ethics: Guevara knew she was the companion of Ulysses Estrada. Among the revolutionaries had codes about women colleagues. Che had been exposed too, moral leadership would have eaten." The legendary guerrilla Tamara Bunke was born on November 19, 1937 in Buenos Aires.

Daughter of a German and a Russian, both communist father returned home in July 1952, where as at 15 he joined the Free German Youth (JLA). Belonged to the dreaded Stasi, the secret service almighty Communist Germany, and after working in the Cuban legation in Berlin, the Secret Service suddenly left to see first hand the socialist experience of the island.

Rodriguez Ostria, after analyzing safety reports East Germany, dismantled the argument, adopted by writers like the Uruguayan Jose Friedl Zapata, who traveled to Havana as a spy for the GDR. Yes he was a spy, but for the Cuban regime. Their full integration into Cuban society the revolution and took her to the point of being devoted to peace, with the approval of Ernesto Che Guevara.

There was transformed into Laura Gutierrez Bauer, a discreet and conservative women whose mission was to infiltrate everything we could in Bolivian society. The fulfillment of the mission even led him to marry a Bolivian engineer to nationality, which required him from Havana. And that the love of his life was on the island, his "bold", Ulises Estrada.

"He had to surrender his body for his ideas," says Bolivian historian, "but was not a Mata Hari." It was a sleeper. So, I had another mission to integrate and wait for some kind of order to take action. The boring life of the Bolivian capital of the circles in which they had started to move her.

When Che Guevara decided to land in the Andean country with guerrilla forces, Laura sees the opportunity of a lifetime, becoming what you always wanted to be, Tania, hardened guerrillas. "A woman who lived the struggle between Laura Gutierrez should represent, Tamara Tania was and who wants to be." Rodriguez Ostria is particularly satisfied with the information obtained through interviews with Paco, the lone survivor of the ambush that killed Tania, and the interview with the officer Barbery, number 2 of the squad that killed him.

Tania holds that in fact exercised the greatest work of nurses and uniforms that guerrilla. Che did not want women on the front line. But Tania was determined to be gunned down and died there, crossing a river. It was the only woman among debarbudos revolutionary army. Inevitably, he became a myth.

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