To: Rene' Villlanueva
From: Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
We have learned here that you are sick. In these lands, when one has a relative (because you are a relative to all of us, the zapatistas) who is sick, it is the custom to foist every possible (and impossible, as well) remedy upon him in order to cure him. Since being sick is something common and frequent in these mountains, prescriptions come and go on all sides, abounding in syrups, tea, potions, pills, vapors and - horror! - injections (Lucha, big sister to all of us, has a varied and effective medicinal repertoire that would make the pharmaceutical monopolies tremble ñ you are welcome, Lucha, but don't forget to cough up when you patent all that).
As you are our brother, we cannot give you just anything. Even less if that "thing" is an injection, that sophisticated instrument of torture which - despite the fact that we are entering the third millennium - has not been prohibited by any world organization in existence. Here, for example, Olivio has proposed that a slogan for the march of zapatista women this March 8 should be: "Chocolates yes, injections no!" I told him it didn't rhyme, and he answered me that injections itself doesn't rhyme with anything, and, on the other hand, "chocolates" rhymes with "juguetes" [toys] (Olivio is going to try to convince the Sea to use his slogan in the zapatistas' march).
No, senor, we cannot give injections. Certainly not chocolates either. Not just because Olivio has already wolfed them down, but also because they would most certainly arrive made into atole. And so we have consulted in our special medical book which is called "Remedies and Recuentos," and we found something that, although it will not cure you, is certain not to make you worse (which is, during these times of "modern medicine," already an advantage): an embrace! All of us are sending you an embrace. It can be applied as often as you like, but do not abuse it, because it can lead to addiction, and there are few embraces like the one we are sending you.
Sale then. Do not ignore it, take the medicine without making a face, and you will get better, because your and Beatriz' absence in "Correo Ilustrado" has caused that section's "ratings" to bottom out (I confess, I did a verrrrrry scientific survey).
Vale. Salud and don't forget that embraces should be like gazes: wide and clear.
>From the Mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos. Mexico, February of 2000.
Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN ________________________ Translated by irlandesa