Saturday, April 18, 2015

Open letter of President of "Fernando Couto Milk Foundation"

Resultado de imagem para fundacao leite coutoHon. President Jacob Zuma
We remember him in Maputo, in the eighties, this time he spent as a political refugee in Mozambique. Frequently times we crossed the Avenida Julius Nyerere and saudávamo us with casual friendliness of neighbors. I have often fears that you should feel, in his capacity as pursued by the apartheid regime. I imagined the nightmares that crossed your nights to think about the ambush that congeminavam against him and against his fellow fighters. I do not remember, however, having seen him with bodyguards. In fact, were we, Mozambicans, which we served his bodyguard. For years, gave him more than a refuge. We offer you a house and gave him security at the expense of our own security. It is impossible that you have forgotten this generosity.
Resultado de imagem para jacob zuma 1989We do not forget. Perhaps more than any other neighboring country, Mozambique paid dearly this support we gave to the liberation of South Africa. The fragile Mozambican economy was struck. Our territory was invaded and bombed. Mozambicans died in defense of their brethren across the border. Is that for us, Mr. President, there was no border, there was no nationality. We were, each other, brothers of the same cause and when apartheid fell our party was the same one and across the border.
For centuries, Mozambican migrants, miners and peasants, worked in neighboring South Africa in conditions little distinguishable from slavery. These workers helped build the South African economy. There is no wealth of their country that does not have the contribution of those who today are martyred.
Resultado de imagem para jacob zuma 1989For all these reasons, you can not imagine what is happening in their country. You can not imagine that these same South African brothers have chosen us as hatred and persecution. It is possible that Mozambicans are persecuted in the South African streets with the same cruelty of the apartheid police pursued the freedom fighters, in and out of Mozambique. The nightmare we live in is more severe than that which visited himself as a persecuted politician. Because you were the victim of a choice of an ideal that embraced. But those who today are persecuted in their country are only guilty of being of another nationality. Their only crime is being Mozambicans. His only crime is not being South African.

Resultado de imagem para jacob zumaThe xenophobia which manifests itself today in South Africa is not only a barbaric and cowardly attack against the "other". It is an aggression against South Africa itself. It is an attack on the "Rainbow Nation" that South Africans proudly proclaimed there a dozen years. Some South Africans are to stain the name of their homeland. They are attacking the sense of gratitude and solidarity among nations and peoples. It is sad that his country is today's news all over the world for so inhumane reasons.
It is true that measures are being taken. But they likely to be insufficient and, above all, tend to be late. The South African rulers can argue anything but that these events took the surprise. Allowed to once again that everything is repeated. 
Resultado de imagem para jacob zumaThere has with impunity the voices disseminated hatred. That's why we joined the indignation of our fellow Mozambicans and asked him: put an immediate end to this situation that is a fire that can spread to the entire region, with feelings of revenge to be created beyond its borders. It takes hard, immediate and total measures which may include mobilization of army forces. After all, it is the South Africa that is being attacked. The President knows better than us, that police actions may contain this crime but, in the current context, it is necessary to take other preventive measures. So that never again repeated these criminal events.
Resultado de imagem para jacob zumaFor this urgent need for measures in another dimension, measures that work long term. Are urgent civic education measures, exaltation of the recent past we were so close. You need to recreate the feelings solidarity between our peoples and rescue the memory of a time of shared struggle. As artists and makers of culture and social values, we are prepared to face together with South African artists this new challenge, joining us to the numerous expressions of repudiation born in South African society. We can also reverse this pain and this shame on something that reflects the nobility and dignity of our peoples and our nations. As artists and writers we declare our readiness to support the construction of a neighborhood that is not born of geography but of a relationship that is the common soul and shared history.

Maputo, April 17, 2015
Mia Couto
President Fernando Couto Milk Foundation

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