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David Horowitz

David Horowitz’s Archives: I, Rigoberta Menchú, liar

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Posted on November 10 2010 6:45 am
David Horowitz is the editor-in-chief of NewsReal Blog and FrontPage Magazine. He is the President and CEO of the David Horowitz Freedom Center. His most recent book is Reforming Our Universities

The most famous incident in Menchú’s book is the occupation of the Spanish embassy in Guatemala City in January 1980. Vicente Menchú was the peasant spokesman for the group. The group in fact was led not by Mayan peasants but by the Robin Garcia Revolutionary Student Front. Vicente Menchú was appointed spokesman. A witness, cited by David Stoll, later described how Vicente was primed for his role:

“They would tell Don Vicente, ‘Say, “The people united will never be defeated,”‘ and Don Vicente would say, ‘The people united will never be defeated.’ They would tell Don Vicente, ‘Raise your left hand when you say it,’ and he would raise his left hand.”

When they set out on the trip, the Uspantan peasants who accompanied the student revolutionaries to the Spanish embassy had no idea where they were going or what the purpose of the trip was. Stoll interviewed a survivor whose husband died in the incident. She told him that the journey originated in a wedding party at the Catholic church in Uspantan. Two days after the ceremony, the wedding party moved on. “The señores said they were going to the coast, but they arrived at the capital.” Once there, the student revolutionaries proceeded with their plan to occupy the embassy and take hostages, with the unsuspecting Mayans ensnared. Vicente Menchú was appointed their spokesman. Although the cause of the tragedy that ensued is in dispute, Stoll presents persuasive evidence that a Molotov cocktail brought by the students ignited and set the embassy on fire. At least 39 people, including Vicente Menchú, were killed.

Nobel laureate Rigoberta Menchú has been exposed by this research as a Communist agent working for terrorists who were ultimately responsible for the death of her own family. So rigid is Menchú’s party loyalty to the Castroists that she refused to denounce the Sandinista dictatorship’s genocidal attempt to eliminate the Miskito Indians, despite billing herself as a champion of indigenous peoples. She even broke with her own translator, Elisabeth Burgos-Debray, over the issue (Burgos-Debray, along with other prominent French leftists, had protested the attacks on the Miskitos).

Rigoberta’s response to this exposure of her lies has been, on the one hand, to refuse comment, and on the other to add another lie — denying that she had anything to do with the book that made her famous. Stoll listened to two hours of the tapes she made for Burgos-Debray (which provided the text for the book) and has testified that they are identical to the (false) version of the facts as recorded in the book itself.

The fictional story of Rigoberta Menchú is a piece of Communist propaganda designed to incite hatred of Europeans and Westerners and the societies they have built, and to build support for Communist and terrorist organizations at war with the democracies of the West. It has become the single most influential social treatise among American college students. Over 15,000 theses have been written on Rigoberta Menchú the world over — all accepting her lies as gospel. The Nobel Peace Prize committee has made Rigoberta an international figure and spokeswoman for “social justice and peace.”

In an editorial responding to these revelations, the Los Angeles Times typically glosses over the enormity of what Menchú, the Guatemalan terrorists, the French left, the international community of “human rights” leftists, the Nobel committee fellow-travelers and the tenured radicals who dominate the American academic community have wrought. The Times does recognize that something has gone amiss: “After the initial lies, the international apparatus of human rights activism, journalism and academia pitched in to exaggerate the dire condition of the peasants when a simple recounting of the truth would have been enough.”

But would it? If it had been enough, then Menchú’s lies would have been unnecessary. The fact is that there was no social ground for the armed insurrection that these Castroists tried to force, any more than there was for Guevara’s suicidal effort in Bolivia years before. Ultimately, the source of the violence and ensuing misery that Rigoberta Menchú describes in her destructive little book is the left itself. Too bad it hasn’t the decency to acknowledge this, and to leave the third world alone.

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