It’s Political…

Leonel Rugama was 20 years old.

Of friends, he preferred chess players.

Of chess players, those who lose because of the girl happening by.

Of those that pass by, the one who remains.

Of those who stay, the one who has yet to come.

Of heroes, he preferred those who don’t say they are dying for their mother country.

Of countries, the one born of his death.

The times are always changing, but I have felt a quickening in the last couple of weeks. Moving in to what Alvin Toffler once referred to as “Future Shock”, the boundaries of the world and the current event horizon are in upheaval.
To address this, I have ventured forth bringing disparate elements together, from the past, and what is current… to bring this period into focus… (IMPOV)
So with that said, may I present: It’s Political…
Bright Blessings,
On The Menu:

Honoré Daumier – Bio

Bob Marley & The Wailers – Get Up, Stand Up

Dan Rather Slams Press Coverage Of War And Corporate News

Links: Does This Rise To Criminal Neglect By The Current Administration?

Vandana Shiva: Why We Face Both Food and Water Crises

I’m Voting Republican!

Poet Of The Revolution: Leonel Rugama

A Poem about Leonel Rugama

Pieces Of A Biography: Leonel Rugama

Art:Honoré Daumier
Born in Marseille on February 26, 1808, Honoré Daumier showed in his youth an irresistible inclination towards the artistic profession, which his father vainly tried to check by placing him first with a huissier and subsequently with a bookseller. Having mastered the techniques of lithography, Daumier started his artistic career by producing plates for music publishers, and illustrations for advertisements; followed by anonymous work for publishers, in which he followed the style of Charlet and displayed considerable enthusiasm for the Napoleonic legend.
When, during the reign of Louis Philippe, Charles Philipon launched the comic journal, La Caricature, Daumier joined its staff, which included such powerful artists as Devéria, Raffet and Grandville, and started upon his pictorial campaign of scathing satire upon the foibles of the bourgeoisie, the corruption of the law and the incompetence of a blundering government. His caricature of the king as Gargantua led to Daumier’s imprisonment for six months at Ste Pelagic in 1832. Soon after, the publication of La Caricature was discontinued, but Philipon provided a new field for Daumier’s activity when he founded the Le Charivari.
Daumier produced his social caricatures for Le Charivari, in which he holds bourgeois society up to ridicule in the figure of Robert Macaire, hero of a popular melodrama. In another series, L’histoire ancienne, he took aim at a pseudo-classicism which held the art of the period in fetters. In 1848 Daumier embarked again on his political campaign, still in the service of Le Charivari, which he left in 1860 and rejoined in 1864.
In spite of his prodigious activity in the field of caricature — the list of Daumier’s lithographed plates compiled in 1904 numbers no fewer than 3,958 — he also painted. Except for the searching truthfulness of his vision and the powerful directness of his brushwork, it would be difficult to recognize the creator of Robert Macaire, of Les Bas bleus, Les Bohémiens de Paris, and the Masques, in the paintings of Christ and His Apostles (Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam), or in his Good Samaritan, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, Christ Mocked, or even in the sketches in the Ionides Collection at South Kensington.
But as a painter, Daumier, one of the pioneers of naturalism, did not meet with success until a year before his death in 1878, when M. Durand Ruel collected his works for exhibition at his galleries and demonstrated the range of the talent of the man who has been called the “Michelangelo of caricature”. At the time of the exhibition, Daumier was blind and living in a cottage at Valmondois, which Corot placed at his disposal. It was there that he died on February 10, 1879.

Bob Marley & The Wailers – Get Up, Stand Up

Dan Rather Slams Press Coverage Of War And Corporate News


Links:Does This Rise To Criminal Neglect By The Current Administration?
This IMNSHO is criminal. Line them up against the wall. (the administration of course)
The Accusations…

The Stats…


Vandana Shiva: Why We Face Both Food and Water Crises
By Maria Armoudian and Ankine Aghassian, AlterNet. Posted May 15, 2008.
Policy-makers are finally grappling with the growing global food and water crises that are upon us. While they grope for answers, Vandana Shiva reminds them that it was their wild economic schemes that created these crises in the first place.
The globalized economic structure is simply incompatible with the basic physics of the planet and the principles of democratic governance, she says. And until we align the economic system with those of the ecological system, the problems will only get worse. While many of Shiva’s books address some aspect of this fundamental problem, one title captures it most succinctly, Earth Democracy, Justice, Sustainability and Peace.
Shiva is a physicist, author, director of the Research Foundation on Science, Technology and Ecology and the founder of Navdanya.
AlterNet: Much of your writing and speaking has focused on our economic structure’s incompatibility with the ecological functioning of the earth. Talk about that incompatibility.
Vandana Shiva: One aspect of the inconsistency is between the principles of Gaia, the principles of soil, the ecology, renewability, how the atmosphere cleans itself and the laws of the global marketplace. The global marketplace is driven by the World Bank and the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the illogic of so-called “free trade,” which is totally not free. [The result of this incompatibility] is the current food crisis: The more agriculture is “liberalized,” the greater the food scarcity, the higher the food prices and the more people will go hungry.
Never has there been this rate of escalation in food prices worldwide as we witness now with the global integration of the food economies under the coercive and bullying force of the WTO.
AlterNet: You have said, in the past, that these activities are done in the name of improving human welfare. But instead, poverty and dispossession have increased. Where do we see this the most?
VS: We see the worst dispossession in the countries of the South — tragically — those countries that could feed themselves. India, for example, was food self-sufficient. We were able to feed our people with a universal distribution system, affordable food for all, and agriculture policies that put food first. Small farmers could make a living.
But a decade and a half of globalization’s perverse rules have led to 200,000 farmers committing suicide because they can’t make a living anymore — all their money goes to make profit for Monsanto or Cargill. Meanwhile, with the economy’s so-called growth, people are starving. Per capita entitlement to food has dropped in a decade and half from 177 kg to 152 kg per year.
This contradicts the false propaganda being spread about the reason prices are rising. They say it is because Indians are getting richer and Indians are eating more. Well, some Indians are getting richer, but they’re not eating more. There’s a limit to how much you can eat. And the handful of billionaires buys a few more private jet planes and builds a few more private mansions. [But in reality], the average Indian is eating less. The average child has a bigger chance today of dying of hunger. The Cargill’s of the world have a stranglehold of the world’s economy; they’re harvesting super-profits while people die of hunger.
AlterNet: You talk about India being worse off, but many economists — including those on the political left — say that places like China and India are, overall, actually improving. But you say that is not true.
VS: It’s not true. India, under the perverse growth of globalization, has beaten out Africa in the number of hungry people. While we have 9.2 percent growth measured by GNP and GDP, 50 percent of our children have very severe malnutrition. Fifty percent of deaths for children under five are due to lack of food. That’s about a million kids per year.
AlterNet: That is a considerable change that I don’t think the world is seeing.
VS: That’s because the media orchestrates every analysis and interpretation. They would like this crisis to look like a success of globalization, and they would like to offer more globalization as a solution. In fact, the World Bank has said there should be more liberalized trade. Before the WTO was formed, we had protests with 500,000 farmers on the streets of Bangalore in 1993 to say that this is a recipe for starvation, for destroying agriculture, self-reliance and food security. And the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs — before the WTO was born — had a press conference to say that globalization will make food affordable for all.
They forget that food ultimately is not produced in the speculation and commodity exchanges controlled by Cargill in Chicago. It is produced by hard working women and men working with the soil and sun. And if you destroy the capacity of the people to work the land and the capacity of soil to produce, you’re going to have hunger. The tragedy is that the hunger of today and the rise of food [prices] is the result of globalization policies, and it is being implemented on a global scale. Unless we bring local food sovereignty and “food democracy” back into the picture, we will not have a solution to this.
AlterNet: You’re talking about basic ecological principles here. But there are two other aspects about food shortages that are being discussed. One of them is that among some societies, such as China, the diet is changing, which contributes to food shortage. Reportedly, after being exposed to western diets, they are eating more meat which requires an enormous amount of grain — normally fed to people — to instead be fed to cattle. Do you see this as part of the problem?
VS: Well, I can definitely say that is not true for India. Vegetarian India will stay vegetarian India — rich or poor, integrated globally or not integrated globally. And the Chinese have always eaten meat. The difference is that now they are integrated into the global production system: It is factory farming that feeds grain to chicken and pigs and cows.
No indigenous culture — not China or India — has fed grain to animals. Animals have fed on what humans could not eat. Global agribusiness, which makes huge money out of the feed industry, is creating this pressure while destroying what I would call the “real free economy” — the free-range cattle, the free range chicken — and replacing it with prison factories for animals. In fact, in my interpretation, even the Avian flu is being used to violently shut down small economies, the free economies of Asian peasants, and turning them into Tyson and Cargill factory farming systems.
AlterNet: What about the role of climate change in this global food crisis?
VS: Climate change and agricultural food crises do have a connection. In fact, my next book is precisely about this connection. Industrial farming — driven by agribusiness in order to sell more chemicals, pesticides, and costly seeds to farmers — is heavily responsible for emissions of greenhouse gases such as methane from factory farms nitrogen oxide from chemically fertilized soil and fossil fuels from mechanized farming systems.
Further, the long distance trade is responsible for adding food miles, which adds more carbon emissions. Taken together, more than 25 percent of climate instability is being caused by unsustainable farming that [simultaneously] displaces small peasants, creates poverty and bad food. So, tomorrow we could solve 25 percent of the planet’s climate instability if we returned to ecological agriculture as the earth wants
it, farming according to 10,000 years of wisdom that evolved from the third world.
Research that we are undertaking now shows a 200 percent higher level of carbon return and 10 times higher level of moisture retention. So if increased drought is one consequence of climate change, what you need is sorted organic matter, not more chemical fertilizers. We have two issues pertaining to climate change: We need to get rid of emissions from agriculture and long-distance transport.
This means ecological farming, localization of the food system and only importing what can’t be grown locally — not forcing imports as the U.S has done on India. It has forced us to buy wheat, give up our mustard and coconut oil and to live on soya. These trade factors are “forcings” that are causing more damage to our climate and destroying our food culture, nutrition and access to food.
Finally, biodiverse systems actually produce more food. It is an illusion that because there’s a food crisis, we must have [genetically modified food] spread around the world. First, genetically-engineered crops don’t produce more food. And secondly, they make the soil more vulnerable to climate change. They are herbicide resistant and toxin traps. That is not a yield increase.
AlterNet: So the genetic altering of food ultimately exacerbates the already difficult circumstances with food shortages.
VS: Absolutely. I think any recipe today offered in agriculture should be measured against the test of whether it will enhance the food production capacity of the poor and if it will reduce the pressure on the planet.
AlterNet: Let’s also incorporate another concept that you feature in your writing — “biopiracy.”
VS: Biopiracy is the strange phenomenon whereby the richest and biggest of corporations steal genetic resources and traditional knowledge from poor little women and peasants who have shared it for free for over a millennium. The first case I had to fight was against the United States government with W.R. Grace, which became infamous in the film A Civil Action, when it polluted the groundwater outside of Boston.
They stole Neem, which is a tree that gives us [natural] pest and fungal control through its oil. The USDA along with Grace claim to have invented Neem. Of course, my grandmother and my mother used it. Then, I popularized it after Bopal with a campaign called “No more Bopal. Plant a Neem.” When I saw this patent, I had to fight it. We fought for 11 years, and eventually the biggest governmental powers and one of the biggest chemical companies were beaten out by a coalition of civic society groups and movements.
Another case of biopiracy is the famous Basmati rice that comes from my valley. A company in Texas claims to have invented it. The third case was Monsanto, which claimed to have invented an ancient wheat variety, which is very low in gluten. The problem with biopiracy is not simply that they’re taking genetic material and knowledge for free, but that they are claiming an exclusive right to it and then demanding royalty, claim and fame from the very communities and societies [from which they have taken it], communities that have had this biodiversity and this knowledge for years.
AlterNet: Speaking of Monsanto, you have done considerable research on this company and published a report, “Peddling Life Sciences or Death Sciences.”
VS: If I had to rank criminality of corporations, Monsanto will easily walk away with the highest award. Monsanto has taken over the control of world’s seed supply. It has bought up every small seed company in India, Brazil and the United States and become the biggest seed corporation. But its entire model of functioning is through corruption. They corrupted the United States decision-making such that U.S. citizens no longer have a right to know what they are eating, whether milk has bovine growth hormone in it or if soybeans and corn are genetically engineered. They are spreading this corruption worldwide.
I am fighting them through three cases in our supreme court. And we’ve managed to hold them at the level of Bt cotton. They have not yet managed to invade into our food economy with genetically modified food crop. But the worst thing Monsanto is doing is buying Delta and Pine Land, a company that has the patent for terminator technology that designs seeds to be sterilized. It is genetically engineering life for life’s extinction.
AlterNet: We should also talk about water scarcity. There are major water wars occurring and considerable concern about the future of water. Do you think that water scarcity is being created largely by the phenomenon of privatization or is it resulting from climate change and other such phenomena?
VS: Water scarcity [is] being created by non-sustainable systems of production for both food and textile. Every industrial activity has huge water demands. Industrial agriculture requires ten times more water to produce the same amount of food than ecological farming does. And the “green revolution” was not so green because it created demand for large dams and mining of groundwater.
Industrial agriculture has depleted water resources. In addition, as water has become polluted and depleted, a handful of industry saw water as a way of making super-profits by privatizing it. They are privatizing it in two ways. The first is through buying up entire civic, municipal distribution. The big players in this are Bechtel, Suez and Vivendi.
And interestingly, wherever they go, they face protests. Bechtel was thrown out of Bolivia. Suez wanted to take Delhi’s water supply, but we had a movement for water democracy and did not allow them to take over. But there’s a second kind of privatization, which is more insidious — and that is the plastic water bottle. Coca-Cola and Pepsi are leading in this privatization. But in India where Coca-Cola was stealing water, I worked with a small group of village women, and they shut their plant down. Across India, these giant corporations are taking between 1.5 to 2 million liters of water a day and leaving behind a water famine.
AlterNet: Given what is happening as a result of climate change, would we still face a water crisis without these practices?
VS: We would not be facing water problems if people have been allowed to have their economies, to practice sustainability and to live their lives. Every step in the water crisis is due to greed. As the water becomes increasingly scarce, the corporations who control the water become richer. It is the same with food. As food becomes scarce, the corporations controlling food become richer. That is the paradox of the global economy. Growth shows up in the profits of corporations while in the real world, the resources from which they make their profits, shrink.
AlterNet: You have also suggested that these same economic principles are incompatible with the sustenance of democratic governance.
VS: There are many levels at which a market economy called corporate globalization has to kill democracy in order to survive. Take the birth of World Trade Organization (WTO), an undemocratic institution. There are no negotiations on the rules it imposes. These rules are created undemocratically. Then, every time these rules are implemented, there are protests. Normally in democracy, if the will of people say change this policy, governments change. Unfortunately, governance today is run by corporations not the people. Every step of deepening the market economy is a depletion of democracy. Our very governments have been stolen from us, and we have to use democracy to counter these rules, this paradigm, and the absolute destruction [it causes].
AlterNet: Describe your alternative vision that could replace what we currently have.
VS: I try to articulate an alternative vision in terms of a democracy. Global market economy makes the first citizen the corporation. The rest of us are slaves, second class citizens. Secondly, it cre
ates an identity for the human species as consumers in a global supermarket. We are no longer creators and producers. We are just consumers of goods that corporations bring to us from the place where they can manufacture them — at the highest cost to the environment and workers.
What we need is a reclaiming of who we are as human beings. We are first and foremost citizens of this beautiful planet. Our first duty is to protect this planet. And out of that flows the rights to the earth, air, water and food that the earth gives us. Those gifts are common resources, not commodities, private property or intellectual property. They are the commons of the earth and all of us have equal access to it. Nobody can interfere in the access of a person to their share of water, land and air. That interference is a violation of the rules of Gaia and the rules of democracy.
But the polluting industry has privatized even the air by first putting their pollutants into it and then by the carbon trade. They’re basically are saying that because we polluted the atmosphere, we own it. So we can pollute as much as we want and then buy up clean credits from someone else who is not polluting. The commons and the recovery of commons is vital to earth democracy. It’s at the heart of sustainability of the earth and democratic functioning of society.
AlterNet: Do property rights fit into this vision of the commons?
VS: Most private property rights have been carved out of the shared resources of the earth. In India we say “land belongs to creation.” We can use it and have “use rights,” but that is different from ownership and tradable rights. It is British colonialism that created private property in land the way it is now practiced.
Now, the World Bank is trying to create private property in land among indigenous communities. Water was never property either, but today, they are trying to change that. Seeds were meant to be shared and distributed, not treated as property. Intellectual property rights are as recent as the World Trade Organization and need to be eliminated because they are inconsistent with life [principles]. A world of the future governed by intellectual property rights over seed in Monsanto’s hands is a future where biodiversity will be destroyed, farmers will be wiped out and there will be no food worth eating.
AlterNet: You’ve also been involved in the “slow food” movement and organic farming.
VS: I was just elected Vice President of Slow Food [International], and I chair an international commission on the future of food, a commission started by the region of Tuscany in Italy. I convinced the [founder], Carlo Petrini, to recognize that food does not begin in the kitchen or in the chef’s hands. It begins in the farmers’ fields. One of the contributions that I and my colleagues have made in the seed-saving and organic farming movements is the recognition that biodiversity, organic farming and small-scale agriculture produces more food. It is a myth created by industrial agriculture and agribusiness that monocultures and chemical farming produce more food. They use more energy and chemicals, and do not produce more nutrition per acre. In fact, they use ten times more energy inputs than they produce as food. So with the food crisis, it is vital that we move to efficient food systems that also give us better quality food.
AlterNet: How would we carry your vision and language into actual political and farming structure?
VS: In countries like India, it’s not a case of vision being translated into practice. It’s defending a practice that’s being destroyed by a perverse vision. For us, it is defending the rights of small peasants. That’s where lot of my energy goes. An India of the villages was Gandhi’s dream and is my dream. But I do not see India surviving if her villages and her food capacity are wiped out. In the Northern countries like the United States farmers have already been uprooted. We need more farms producing more locally-grown foods. This country that can subsidize biofuel and chemicals should instead subsidize the return of small farmers to the land. This would solve much of the unemployment problem too.

I’m Voting Republican!


Poet Of The Revolution: Leonel Rugama

His name was never written

on the old walls of the school john.

When he left the classroom for good

nobody noticed he was gone.

The sirens of the world kept silent,

never detecting his blood on fire.

His fiery intensity

became more and more unbearable,

until the shadow of the mountains

embraced the sound of his footsteps.

That virgin land nurtured him with its mystery.

Each breeze cleansed his ideal

and left him like a child, naked and white

trembling, newly bathed.

The whole world was deaf, and where

the battle began to be born

no one listened.

El “Che”
“Ni un tanque

ni una bomba de hidrógeno

ni todas las bolitas del mundo”

lucha en todas partes

y en todas partes

florecen las higueras

del río bajan montones de guerrilleros

en Higueras del Río dicen que lo mataron

“CHE” comandante

nosotros somos el camino

y vos el caminante.

The Earth Is A Satellite Of The Moon
Apollo 2 cost more than Apollo 1

Apollo 1 cost plenty.
Apollo 3 cost more than Apollo 2

Apollo 2 cost more than Apollo 1

Apollo 1 cost plenty.
Apollo 4 cost more than Apollo 3

Apollo 3 cost more than Apollo 2

Apollo 2 cost more than Apollo 1

Apollo 1 cost plenty.
Apollo 8 cost a fortune, but no one minded

because the astronauts were Protestant

they read the Bible from the moon

astounding and delighting every Christian

and on their return Pope Paul VI gave them his blessing.
Apollo 9 cost more than all these put together

including Apollo 1 which cost plenty.
The great-grandparents of the people of Acahualinca were less

hungry than the grandparents.

The great-grandparents died of hunger.

The grandparents of the people of Acahualinca were less

hungry than the parents.

The grandparents died of hunger.

The parents of the people of Acahualinca were less

hungry than the children of the people there.

The parents died of hunger.
The people of Acahualinca are less hungry than the children

of the people there.

The children of the people of Acahualinca, because of hunger,

are not born

they hunger to be born, only to die of hunger.

Blessed are the poor for they shall inherit the moon.

“Había un nica de Niquinohomo

que no era ni político

ni soldado”

luchó en Las Segovias

y una vez que le escribió a Froylán Turcios

le decía que si los yanquis

por ironía del destino

le mataban a todos su guerrilleros

en el corazón de ellos

encontraría el tesoro más grande de patriotismo

y que eso humillaría a la gallina

que en forma de águila

ostenta el escudo de los norteamericanos

y más adelante le decía

que por su parte al verse solo (cosa que no creía)

se pondría en el centro de cien quintales de dinamita

que tenía en su botín de guerra

y que con su propia mano daría fuego

y que dijeran a cuatrocientos kilómetros a la redonda:

Take out all the skeletons

(Fragment of “Como los santos”)
To all the skeletons that may die

in Los Cauces (in The River Bottoms)

in Miralagos

in the Valle Maldito (in the Damned Valley)

in Acahualinca

in La Fortaleza (in the Fortress)

in El Fanguito (in The Little Mud)

in the Calles del Pecado (in the Streets of Sin)

in La Zona (in The Zone)

in La Perla (in The Pearl)

in the neighborhood of Altavista

in the neighborhood of Lopez Mateos

in La Salinera (in The Salt Mine)

in Cabo Haitiano (in Haitian Cape)

in La Fossette

all of them bringing their kids

kids who aren´t born because of hunger

and who are hungry to be born

only to die of hunger

Let all the women come

the greengrocer with the big buttocks

and the asthmatic old lady with the basket

the black woman selling “vigoron”

the one in hat selling “baho”

the one selling iced “chicha”

and the one selling barley

the one selling orange juice

and the one who washes clothes with her whitish hands because of soap

the ones serving “ponche” at the fiesta

and the ones selling spotted rooster and roast meat

the ones selling innards

and the greasy “nacatamaleras”

the maids

the ones carrying “picheles”

the procuresses

with their bitches

and that gorgeous girl who sells bread and butter

and the young girl

who is just blossoming with breasts

and the one selling cakes

and all the kids who sell “guineos”


and tangerines

at one peso

per bag

Also, let the pickpockets

the cantina chicks

and the whores

and the old whores with big tits

and the brand new whores come

Call the spiritualists

and the mediums

and the evil-possessed ones

and the ones chased by gnomes

and by the evil spirits

and the witches

and the bewitched

and the ones selling filters

and the ones buying filters.

Now that you are all here

that you are all together in here

together and listening to me

now I want to talk to you all

or in other words

now that I am speaking to you

I want to start a conversation

and I want you to have a conversation

with all the ones that did not come

and that you speak loud to them when you be alone with them

and that you talk to them on the streets

in the houses

on the buses

in the movie theaters

in the parks

in the churches

in the billiard halls

in all weeded yards

in the neighborhoods without electricity

and from every edge of the fences

which are falling down

and from the river banks

sitting on the pavement

standing tight at the doors

and gazing through the windows

and, finally,


and that you speak quietly

when you are not alone with them

or in other words when there´s a rich man near

or when a rich man´s guard is around.
I wanted to tell you

that now I am living in the catacombs

and that I have decided to kill the hunger that is killing us

when you talk about this

say it hard

when one of those who spreads the hunger be absent

or “one of their ears ” be

or one of their guards be.
Everybody shut up

and keep listening to what I am saying

in the catacombs

late in the evening when there´s less work

I paint on the walls

on the catacomb walls

the images of the saints

the saints who have died killing the hunger

and in the morning I imitate the saints.

Now I want to tell you about the saints. […]

A Poem about Leonel Rugama…
R.I.P. Leonel L Rugama
One afternoon Leonel recommended

– to improve my vitality, strength — that I exercise

going on to say that by this he did not mean

“spiritual exercises.”

We talked also about the girls

who passed on their way from work or school

about others that went into and came out of a certain

shoe store

about another on the corner selling fried pork

then he read me a poem about a young girl

who had died in Vietnam.

Today, another afternoon,

I see on the front page of a daily

the photo of his body riddled by the G.N.

and recall how José Coronel Urtecho

once said to me,

“Poets? They’re good for nothing.”

R.I.P. Leonel L Rugama
Una tarde Leonel me recomendó

– para la flacura — hacer ejercicios

aclarándome que no se trataba de

“ejercicios espirituales”

Hablamos acerca de las muchachas

que iban o venían del trabajo o del colegio

de las que entraban o salían de una tienda

de zapatos

de otra que pasaba vendiendo chancho

también me leyó un poema sobre una guerrillera


Ahora — otra tarde que veo su cuerpo acribillado

por la G.N. en la foto de un diario

recuerdo que José Coronel Urtecho

una vez me dijo: “Los poetas no sirven para nada.”

– Francisco Santos

Pieces Of A Biography: Leonel Rugama
Leonel Rugama is Nicaragua’s most famous guerrilla poet. His poems in praise of liberation appeared as graffiti on walls in Nicaragua during his life and after his tragically early death at the age of 20. He was killed holding off an entire battalion of Army regulars, refusing to surrender.
From this Blog: Sherman’s Centroamerica Travel Journal “Leonel Rugama Rugama was a university student studying (and writing) poetry when he joined the Sandinistas in the 60s. He was eventually became the bodyguard for the Sandinista “architect,” Carlos Fonseca. In January 1970, Rugama and Fonseca were caught in a trap set by the National Guard. They were both chased into an abandoned building in Managua. Outside, the Guardia had about 300 soldiers with a couple of (American) helicopters providing support. Rugama single handedly held off an attack while Fonseca slipped into the sewer system and escaped to safety. The commander of the Guardia reportedly yelled “Surrender Sandinista.”
Rugama replied with words that will probably outlive his beautiful poetry. He said “Surrender your mother!”
The Guardia then stormed the building and shot him. A lot, I would presume.

Bob Marley- One Love


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