The Tale of the Little Newspaper Vendor

To the National and International Press:

3 September 1997.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Attached is a communique explaining what we are going to do in Mexico City. Over here, we are continuing the preparations. We will go even though, after the State of the Nation address, it is quite clear to us where the indigenous problem fits into the government's agenda. Is there anyone truly listening up there?

Health, and may the homeland now be ours as well.

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
The Sup, preparing his little flag.
Mexico, September of 1997.

Section "The Counting Postscript of Stories and of the Dead". (for when the sea awakes).


I. The Tale of the Little Seamstress

"Once upon a time, there was a little seamstress who sewed a lot and sewed very well on his sewing machine. The machines in his neighborhood laughed at him, and shouted "Fairy", "only old women are seamstresses", etcetera. So then the little seamstress sewed the mouths shut of everyone who made fun of him, and now we don't know how the story ended because no one could tell it. The end".


II. The Tale of the Little Newspaper Vendor

"Once upon a time, there was a little newspaper vendor who was very, very poor, and only could sell old newspapers because he didn't have enough money to obtain new ones. The people didn't buy his newspapers, because they were all so old, and the people wanted new newspapers. So the little newspaper vendor didn't sell anything, and every day he accumulated more and more old newspapers. So then what the little newspaper vendor did was put up a paper recycling plant and he became a millionaire, bought out all the newspaper enterprises and the news agencies, prohibited the publication of current news, and thus obliged the people to read only the news of the past. In the papers which went out on sale today, for example, one could read that the Zapatistas were about to arrive in Mexico City and that there they would meet with the Villistas. The date can't quite be made out, but it seems to say either '1914' or '1997'. The End."

P.S.- FOR THE CCN OF THE FAC-MLN. That argument of "we are the organization with the most prisoners, the most dead, and most repression against us" was already thrown in our face by the PRD three years ago. It would be better for you to learn to add and, above all, to subtract. Indigenous Mexico has many schools in which to learn to the deadly mathematics of repression and oblivion. There, they teach that the legitimacy of an organization is not obtained with the number of dead, but with honest and consequent practices, those which allow the dead to live.

While you learn the arithmetic, add into the total that which some of your leaders receive from Ruiz Ferro, the trips to the United States and Europe which, dressed as "Zapatistas", two of the signers (one of whom didn't even put their name correctly) of the letter of "clarification" enjoyed during all this time, and add all of the support which they have spared to the rebel indigenous peoples, with the argument of the "reformism of the FZLN". If after totalling it all up, you still believe that it is not "clear opportunism", then you can use the term "political realism", which, yes, is the same thing, but doesn't sound quite as bad.

Anyway, you are now going to find real Zapatistas even in the soup. Your monopoly on the radical left is over. What's coming is coming, and then what follows will follow. As someone said whose name I can't remember, "let the bases decide".

The little letter of follow-up reinforcement by the Dynamic Duo of Miron and Botey is useless, and we are not losing any sleep over it. We are not worried by their threats, their "annoyance", and their governmental calls to "prudence".

In any case, we are going to Mexico City, now not only without the "support" of the leadership of the FAC-MLN. Now we are going in spite of it and, of course, in spite of the government. The end.

The Sup reading, in the late-edition newspapers, the letter that Villa writes to Zapata on January 8th, 1916.

[Translated by Joshua Paulson]

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