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Bishop Samuel Ruiz
Tim Brown, who is very well informed about Central America, gives us these details about Bishop Samuel Ruiz. I present them without hearing the other side, which impartial reporting would demand. Those of us who have been involved in Latin American affairs are swamped with all kinds of stories. I recorded that, in my conversation with Jesús Galíndez, I thought his stories about the attempts of Trujillo agents to assassinate him were mad fantasies. It turned out that they were true, but my assessment might have been correct. Tim says:
On Bishop Ruiz. I am personally not familiar with either Ruiz's actions or his politics. But there is substantial evidence he is less than simonpure. About two weeks ago in Mexico, during discussions with a Mexican former Marxist-Leninist revolutionary on the connections between Mexico, Cuba and the Sandinistas, we were discussing an event that took place in 1974 in Nicaragua during the Sandinista revolution. A Sandinista action team occupied the home of "Chema" Castillo during a reception and captured several members of Somoza's cabinet and Somoza's sister. They were released in return for the release of a number of Sandinista's then in jail, including Carlos Fonseca Amador, their main leader. The commander of the Sandinista action team was Eduardo Contreras, a Nicaraguan-Mexican whose family owns the Coca Cola plant in Tampico, Mexico and has homes both there and in Lomas de Chapultepec in Mexico City. His nom de guerre was Comandante Marcos [although during the Chema Castillo operation he was called Comandante Cero, the first of than name within the FSLN. Eden Pastora was the third. Plutarco Hernandez - who also does a chapter in my book - the second].
Since Sub-Comandante Marcos is also from Tampico [his real name is Rafael Guillen], he served as a Sandinista field commander for several years under the nom de guerre El Mejicano, and many of the arms for the Zapatistas came from the Sandinistas [Ferman Cienfuegos of the Salvadoran FMLN says they also sent the Zapatistas some guns], I surmised that Guillen had taken the name Sub-Comandante Marcos in honor of his Tampiqueno revolutionary predecessor.
My informant laughed and said, in effect "good try!" But the real reason is because Bishop Ruiz's revolutionary pseudonym is Comandante Marcos because he is the real leader of the EZLN. Understand, this informant was himself a top Marxist-Leninist revolutionary for almost all his life, as was his father before him. He is also from Tampico and knows the Guillen family. I have been able both to document with contemporary documents, and corroborate with numerous other informants dozens of other startling things this informant has told me about things like who really paid Castro's expenses in Mexico, etc, he is not to be dismissed lightly.
This tracks pretty well with Bertrand de la Grange's book on the EZLN "Marcos -El Genial Impostura" [Miami; Nuevo Siglo, 1998. de la Grange claims that the first contacts between the EZLN [then known as the FLN] and the Cubans took place in Tampico in 1967 [p.131], that Bishop Ruiz sent a priest, a Father Javier Vargas, to Nicaragua in 1979 to a course on how to organize revolutionary activities [p.270], that the EZLN itself confirmed that its arms came from Nicaragua and El Salvador [p.271], etc.Two other very well wired leftist Mexicans also told me much the same story during an earlier visit.
My footnote: Tim says "simonpure". WAISers are very learned, but anyone who can explain this expression will be proclaimed a SuperWAISer. Answer: It comes from Simon Pure, a Quaker in Susanna Centlivre's play A Bold Stroke for a Wife (1718) who must prove his identity against an imposter's claims. Susanna was an English woman who wrote some ingenious and popular plays. She married Joseph Centlivre, Queen Anne´s chief cook. Not a typical French cook, if he weighed only 100 pounds.
Sorry, you all flunked. I know some of you will rush to President Casper demanding that I be fired, but that won't change your grade. He wants to please you, but I'm emeritus, so he can't touch me.
Ronald Hilton - 11/8/99