Latin American Marxist writers

Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky gorojovsky at
Sun May 14 20:46:00 MDT 2000

En relación a Re: Latin American Marxist writers,
el 14 May 00, a las 11:22, Sam Pawlett dijo:

> Chris Brady wrote:
> >
> > Most nortes who have the wherewithal to visit Argentina or Chile are
> > not likely to connect with the masses either physically or
> > politically.
> This is unfair. In a political context, being a foreigner ...
> requires great care and sensitivity .... The local army-police-esquadrone
> nexis is all to happy to make
> examples of foreigners, for it is the foreigners they say who bring
> "subversive" ideas into their country. I always wanted to say "the
> masses here aren't rebelling because of ideas! Many of them are
> illiterate. Open your fuckin eyes!)

This is true in general, but not wholly. I agree with Sam in that he
points out an important issue when you are in a Latin American
country AND you are interested in engaging with common people and
their (our) struggles. But when I read this by Chris, I thought in the general,
average American who comes to Latin America. And, on the other hand, it is not easy
for local policemen to manage an issue where an American ambassador or consular
service can get involved. American citizens in Latin
America, even Leftist American Citizens, are still citizens of the Empire.


> Needless to say, many native people ... certainly have an excellent point
> in saying that the best thing foreigners can do is work against
> capitalism&imperialism in their own country.

Which does not imply to reject foreign people who want to come to our
meetings. Internationalism is not always easy. Particularly if

>   Most visitors from El Norte to Latin America are working class.

and, in the eyes of a Latin American poor or worker, these visitors
look like bosses, and at most can CHOOSE to live with them. The verb
"to choose" is the clue to the difference. But where I do not agree
is here:

 Most like
> to put down tourists staying at the expensive international hotels
> unaware that the FX they bring in is important to the local
> economy.

The FX they bring in is important to the local economy IN CUBA ONLY.
Elsewhere, it is important for the multinational corporations, it
uses our land as a springboard and returns home to the North. Sorry,
Sam, but this is what happens. And I know it is true that

Some travellers are very aware of the political realities,

and that

 Even in the
> remotest regions you will find,say, a Swiss couple drinking beer with
> the local campesinos. And it is the Swiss couple ,just by being
> present, that will often stop the local gendarmies from turning their
> guns on the  people.

But do you know what happens after they leave? This is also a display
of power, an absolutely unintended display of power, an expression of
the objective distance that exists between those excellent Swiss and
the peasants. And, on the other hand, there would be a lot to say
against that kind of Leftish tourism that goes and lives with the
peasants, not with human people as such but with "the peasants".
Julio FB has written something on this sometime (do you remember,
Julio, on the "young little lama shepherd playing his sad tunes on a
quena forever"?)

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at

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