En muchos lugares, los campesinos se alimentan con las raíces de los árboles, y nadie tiene dinero para levantar las cosechas

«El Pueblo», de La Habana, publica el siguiente telegrama de Casablanca:

«El pasaje llegado de Canarias relata la tremenda miseria que existe en aquel archipiélago. Los campesinos, en muchos lugares se alimentan con raíces de los árboles. Las autoridades franquistas se han llevado todo el oro que poseían los particulares y la mayoría de los depósitos de los Bancos, valiéndose de subscripciones simuladas. El plátano, principal fruto de exportación, casi no vale nada en los mercados consumidores, en donde los arribos superan al consumo, no obstante ser pequeños los envíos.

Los naturales de las islas están consternados. Los oficiales franquistas han asesinado a cientos de personas. Suman cientos también los desaparecidos sin causa justificada.

Las islas Canarias fueron siempre asiento de una población tranquila y laboriosa. A viva fuerza se han llevado para España alrededor de 20.000 hombres, habiendo perecido más del 60 por 100 en los campos de batalla de la Península.

Las Asociaciones agrícolas pidieron a Franco, para levantar las cosechas, siete millones de pesetas de las que se había llevado, y les fueron negadas en tono despótico y burlón».

En América se ha comenzado a recaudar fondos para aliviar la horrible situación de los canarios, y varias casas comerciales inglesas de Santa Cruz de Tenerife y Las Palmas han iniciado el establecimiento de cocinas económicas para alimentar a los hambrientos.


La Libertad. . Diario republicano independiente 25 de julio de 1937. Página 2.




Bertrand Russell


(First published in 1961)



Liberty or Death?


Patrick Henry, an American patriot who rose to eminence during the War of Independence, is now chiefly remembered for his exclamation: ‘Give me Liberty, or give me Death.’ In the mouths of fanatical anti-Communists, this has become a slogan purporting to mean that a world without human beings would be preferable to a Communist world. As Patrick Henry meant it, however, it had a quite different significance. He was advocating a just cause, and, owing to British hostility, the cause could not triumph without the loss of American lives. Consequently, his death might promote liberty. In such circumstances, it is right and proper that his slogan should be approved.

When, however, this same slogan is used to justify a nuclear war, the situation is very different. We do not know what would be the outcome of a nuclear war. It might be the end of the human species. It might be the survival of a few scattered bands of anarchic plunderers in a world that had lost aII social cohesion. It might, in the most favourable circumstances imaginable, result in very tight governmental despotisms with rigid rationing of all the necessaries of life. Herman Kahn, who is concerned to justify nuclear war in certain circumstances, admits that, at the best, it would result in what he calls ‘disaster socialism’ (p. 438). The one thing in which it (could not possibly result is ordered liberty such as Patrick Henry wanted and his modern admirers pretend to want. 1

To die for a cause is noble if the cause is good and your death promotes it. If it is practically certain that your death will not promote it, your action shows merely fanaticism. It is particularly obvious in the case of those who say explicitly that they would prefer the extinction of our species to a Communist victory, or, alternatively, to an anti-Communist victory. Assuming Communism to be as bad as its worst enemies assert, it would nevertheless be possible for improvement to occur in subsequent generations. Assuming anti-Communism to be as bad as the most excessive Stalinists think it, the same argument applies. There have been many dreadful tyrannies in past history, but, in time, they have been reformed or swept away. While men continue to exist, improvement is possible; but neither Communism nor anti-Communism can be built upon a world of corpses.

Those who talk about the ‘free world’ and are the most active in promoting hatred of Communism show, in a number of ways, that they are not quite sincere in their professed policy. The British Government has lately gone out of its way to show friendship to Portugal, although Portugal is engaged in a brutal suppression of the non-white population of Angola. Spain, under Franco, has nearly, if not quite, as little liberty as Russia under Khrushchev, yet the West befriends Spain in every possible way. The Anglo-French Suez expedition was not much less wicked in intention than the Russian suppression of the Hungarian rebellion, though it did infinitely less harm because it was unsuccessful. In Cuba, Guatemala, and British Guiana, Western Powers have displayed their determination to thwart the wishes of the inhabitants, provided this was possible and was necessary in order to keep them in the Western campo Membership of the Communist Party has recently been made criminal in the United States, except in the case of those who can prove that they did not know Communism to be subversive. All thesc are crimes against liberty. And the more tense the situation becomes, the more such crimes will be thought justified in the cause of liberty.

There is in the West much more regimentation and much more misleading propaganda by the Establishment than is generally known. Nor is it admitted that all such restrictions diminish the difference between East and West, and make the claim of the West to be called ‘The Free World’ derisory.

Consider, for example, the question of American bases in Britain. How many people know that within each of them there is a hard kernel consisting of the airmen who can respond to an alert and are so highly trained that they can be in the air within a minute or two? This kernel is kcpt entirely isolated from the rest of the camp, which is not admitted to it. It has its own mess, dormitories, libraries, cinemas, etc., and there are armed guards to prevent other Americans in the base camp from having access to it. Every month or two, everybody in it, including the Commander, is flown back to America and replaced by a new group. The men in this inner kernel are allowed almost no contact with the other Americans in the base camp and no contact whatever with any of the inhabitants of the neighbourhood.

It seems clear that the whole purpose is to keep the British ignorant and to preserve, among the personncl of the kernel, that purely mechanical response to orders and propaganda, for which the whole of their training is designed. Moreover, orders to this group do not come from the Commandant, but direct from Washington. To suppose that at a crisis the British Government can have any control over the orders sent from Washington is pure fantasy. It is obvious that at any moment orders might be sent from Washington which would lead to reprisals by the Soviet forces and to the extermination of the population of Britain within an hour.

An extraordinarily interesting case which illustrates the power of the Establishment, at any rate in America, is that of Claude Eatherly, who gave the signal for the dropping of the bomb at Hiroshima. His case also illustrates that in the modern world it often happens that only by breaking the law can a man escape from committing atrocious crimes. He was not told what the bomb would do and was utterly horrified when he discovered the consequences of his acto He devoted himself throughout many years to various kinds of civil disobedience with a view to calling attention to the atrocity of nuclear weapons and to expiating the sense of guilt which, if he did not act, would weigh him down. The Authorities decided that he was to be considered mad, and a board of remarkably conformist psychiatrists endorsed that official view. Eatherly was repentant and certified; Truman was unrepentant and uncertified. I have seen a number of Eatherly’s statements explaining his motives. These statements are entirely sane. But such is the power of mendacious publicity that almost everyone, including myself, believed that he had become a lunatic.

Quite recently, as a result of publicity about Eatherly’s case, the Attorney General in Washington intervened, and Eatherly, who had been locked up in the maximum security ward for half a year, was transferred to a section of the hospital where he enjoyed unusual privileges and had been told that he would be released without any fresh hearing in the near future. He was not released, but for the moment has escaped.

Consider, again, the sort of thing that happens in an investigation by the House Committee on un-American Activities. If some middle-aged man, whom this Committee happens to dislike, comes before it, something of the following kind is apt to occur:2


‘Thirty years ago, when you were a student, did you know any Communists?’

Answer: ‘Yes.’

Question: ‘Will you give their names?’

Answer : ‘No.’

The unfortunate man who is being interrogated is then liable to be sent to gaol for contempt of Congress unless, on reflection, he decides to win the respect of the Committee by giving his friends away or, better still, by inventing false accusations against his friends. This procedure also is supposed to be justified in the sacred name of liberty.

I do not mean what I have been saying as a defence or the USSR. The USSR, especially in Hungary and Eastern Germany, has shown a horrifying contempt of, and cruelty towards, those whom it has been oppressing. And it has been no more free from hypocrisy than the West: the Government of Eastern Germany, restored solely by Russian military power, is called ‘The German Democratic Republic”. But the fact that the East has been guilty of crimes does not prove the innocence of the West. Self-righteousness is prevalent on both sides, and on both sides is equally odious.

One of the dreadful things about nuclear weapons is that, if they are employed on a large scale, they will do immense harm, not only to the belligerents, but also to neutrals. The neutrals have, therefore, the elementary right of self-preservation in trying to prevent a nuclear war. Whatever right a country may have to preserve its own form of government in the face of foreign opposition, it cannot, with any justice, claim the right to exterminate many millions in countries which wish to keep out of the quarrel. How can it be maintained that, because many of us dislike Communism, we have a right to inflict death on innumerable inhabitants of India and Africa who wish only to be let alone? Can it be maintained that this is democracy? Would not democracy demand that uncommitted nations should not be involved without their own consent? ,

Consider, for example, the problem of Berlin. I observe with dismay that both the United States and the USSR have expressed their readiness for nuclear war rather than submit to a solution which they dislike. Such pronounce­ments, involving unimaginable horror for the whole world, are intolerable, and only seem justifiable as a result of mutual melodrama. The wickedness of the Kremlin or of Wall Street, as the case may be, is a fundamental dogma with fanatics on both sides, which blinds them to their common interest. In negotiations between East and West, both sides, if they were sane, would not regard each other as the enemy, but would view the H-bomb as the common enemy of both. Both East and West have a common interest, which is to escape the common destruction threatened by modern weapons. Both sides are blinded to this common interest by mutual hatred. In negotiations there is no genuine wish on either side to reach agreement, but only to avoid any semblance of a diplomatic victory by the other side.

Behind this mutual enmity, there lie certain human passions, of which the chief are pride, suspicion, fear and love of power. Negotiators consider that they have reason to feel pride when they resist even reasonable concessions, and in this they are usually supported by the public opinion of their own country. Suspicion-which is by no means groundless while the present temper remains unchanged on both sides-makes each side view what the other side says as probably containing some trap enticing our innocent negotiators by the diabolical cunning of the other side. Fear-which, again, is by no means irrational under present circumstances-has the effect which fear often has, of producing irrational reactions which increase the danger that is feared. This is a common phenomenon in private life, well known to psychiatrists. In a state of terror, most people do not think sanely but react in an instinctively animal manner. I once had a donkey which was kept in an outhouse. The outhouse caught fire, and it required the utmost efforts of several strong men to drag the donkey to safety. Left to itself, it would have been immobilized by terror and would have been burnt to death. The situation of the Great Powers in the present day is closely similar. This applies especially to the question of disarmament. Each side is terrified of lhe nuclear weapons of the other side, and seeks safety by increasing its own nuclear armaments. The other side naturally responds by a new increase on its side. In consequence, all the steps taken to diminish the nuclear peril, increase it.

Love of power is, perhaps, an even stronger motive than fear in enticing nations to pursue irrational policies. Although individual boastfulness is considered to be bad manners, national boastfulness is admired-at any rate, by the compatriots of those who practise it. Throughout history, great nations have been led to disaster by unwillingness to admit that their power had limits. World conquest has been a will-o’ -the-wisp by which one nation after another has been led to its downfall. Hitler’s Germany is the most recent example. Going backwards in time, we find many other examples, of which Napoleon, Genghis Khan, and Attila are the most noteworthy. Those who regard Genesis as authentic history may take Cain as the first example: he may well have thought that, with Abel out of the way, he could rule over coming generations. When Khrushchev threatens to obliterate the West, and when Dulles said, ‘We might win the hot war’, I am reminded of past examples of a similar folly.

And it is an utter folly, even from the narrowest point of view of self-interest. To spread ruin, misery and death throughout one’s own country as well as that of the enemy is the act of madmen. If East and West could cease their enmity, they could devote their scientific skill to their own welfare, to living without the burden of fear that only their own silliness has caused. For it is in the hearts of men that the evil lies. The vast instruments of terror that have been built up are external monuments to our own evil passions. Nothing in the non-human world affords any ground for existing hostilities. The trouble lies in the minds often, and it is in enlightening the minds ofmen that the cure must be sought.

There are those who say: ‘War is part of human nature, and human nature cannot be changed. If war means the end of man, we must sigh and submit.’ This is always said by those whose sigh is hypocritical. It is undeniable that there are men and nations to whom violence is attractive, but it is not the case that anything in human nature makes it impossible to restrain such men and nations. Individuals who have a taste for homicide are restrained by the criminal law, and most of us do not find life intolerable because we are not allowed to commit murders. The same is true of nations, however disinclined war-mongers may be to admit it. Sweden has never been at war since 1814. None of the Swedes that I have known has shown any sign of suffering from thwarted instinct for lack of war. There are many forms of peaceful competition which are not to be deplored, and, in these, men’s combative instincts can find full satisfaction. Political contests in a civilized country often raise just the kind of issues that would lead to war if they were between different nations. Democratic politicians grow accustomed to the limitations imposed by law. The same would be true in international affairs if there were political machinery for settling disputes and if men had become accustomed to respecting it. Not long ago, private disputes were often settled by duels, and those who upheld duelling maintained that its abolition would be contrary to human nature. They forgot, as present upholders of war forget, that what is called ‘human nature’ is, in the main, Ihe-The result of custom and tradition and education, and, in civilized men, only a very tiny fraction is due to primitive instinct. If the world could live for a few generations without war, war would come to seem as absurd as duelling has come to seem to us. No doubt there would still be some homicidal maniacs, but they would no longer be heads of Governments.


1 It is somewhat ironic that those who are most apt to quote Patrick Henry on Liberty or Death regard anybody who appeals to the First or Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, both of which were carried mainly by the efforts of Patrick Henry, as ipso facto a traitor.

2 There is an impression that this sort of thing ceased with the death of Senator McCarthy. This is not the case. The latest instance known to me occurred on April 4, 1961, when Pete Seeger, a folk singer, was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment for just such an offence.




Nº 1258


Hablando en la Causa número 198 de 1936 del registro de la Auditoria de Las Palmas.

Que se ha instruido de dicho procedimiento que devuelvo evacuando el trámite del articulo 656 del Codigo de Justicia Militar y formula el siguiente dictamen:

PRIMERO: Que el procesado paisano JOSE PEREZ SOSA, en los últimos días del mes próximo pasado y con ocasión de hallarse en una escuela del pueblo de Galdar dijo “ que el General Franco era el culpable de toda la sangre que se está derramando y que el General Queipo de Llano era un borracho y un sinvergüenza”.

El hecho relacionado es constitutivo de un delito de injurias al Ejército previsto y penado por el articulo 258 del Código de Justicia Militar.

SEGUNDO: Es responsable en concepto de autor por participación directa el procesado.

TERCERO: No existen circunstancias modificativas de la responsabilidad criminal.

CUARTO: Procede citar para el acto de la celebración del Consejo de Guerra, a los testigos Juan Quesada Martin y Miguel Medina Medina paisanos como asimismo a los testigos que se encuentren presentes en la Plaza, debiéndose practicar el reconocimiento por dos Médicos que dictaminen/la edad del procesado.

QUINTO: Procede imponer al procesado la pena de prisión correccional y accesorias legales correspondientes.

SEXTO: Le será de abono al procesado el total de prisión preventiva sufrida.

SEPTIMO.- No ha lugar a exijir responsabilidades civiles.

OCTAVO: Todo conforme a los citados preceptos legales y demás de general aplicación, así como el Bando de la Junta de Defensa Nacional de veintiocho de Julio último.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife 20 de Septiembre de 1936.


LM Fuset

[Firma rubricada]

* * * * * * * * * *

JOSÉ PÉREZ SOSA sería condenado a la pena de SEIS AÑOS DE PRISIÓN MENOR, por el Consejo de Guerra celebrado el 24 de septiembre de 1936 en el Salón de Actos del Regimiento de Infantería Gran Canaria 39.

La Causa 198/1936 de la Auditoría de Guerra de Las Palmas, está archivada bajo la signatura o clave 12889-413-9.


Soneto publicado el miércoles 23 de septiembre de 1936, en la página 3 de número 8640 de Gaceta de Tenerife.



 ¡Cómo vibró gozosa el alma mía,

por intensa emoción electrizada,

ante el relampaguear de tu mirada,

tan airado gesto y altivez bravía,

 cuando viste el abismo en que se hundía,

del arroyo en el cieno desangrada,

triste, deshecha, débil, ultrajada,

la España de Lepanto y de Pavía!

 El sol inextinguible de la gloria

en su puro fulgor tu frente baña,

haciendo perdurable tu memoria.

 Nadie superará tu heroica hazaña:

para asombrar al mundo con su historia,

¡grandiosa surge ya la nueva España!


Santa Cruz de Tenerife, 21 septiembre de 1936

* * * * *

Bernardo Chevilly Hernández (¿1868 o 1871? – 26/09/1940), en 1940 fue encausado por el Tribunal Regional de Responsabilidades Políticas (Rollo 38, Expediente 17, Carpeta 20).

Resultaría absuelto de la acusación de haber sido masón grado 30, con el nombre simbólico Víctor Hugo, en la logia Añaza 270, de la cual había alegado que había sido irradiado.

Previamente, en 1937, había superado el expediente de depuración a que había sido sometido como funcionario del Cabildo.


La capacidad falsaria de la prensa tinerfeña está acreditada documentalmente.

Leyendo el número del diario católico Gaceta de Tenerife editado el martes 21 de julio de 1936, me he topado con esta primera plana.

A todo lo ancho de la página:


El señor Azaña ha sido detenido en Santander

cuando se disponía a pasar al Extranjero

El General Núñez de Prado detenido, al huir ha sido fusilado.

El General Mola ha tomado el Ministerio de Gobernación y el teniente coronel Muñoz Grande se dispone a tomar el Palacio de Comunicaciones

 Debajo de estos titulares, vienen unas «noticias» con estos epígrafes:









 En el centro de esta primera plana, a dos columnas, figura una fotografía de archivo, con este pie:

El General Franco, caudillo del movimiento nacional, acompañado de los Coroneles Cáceres y Peral. Alrededor de Franco se agrupan todas las fuerzas de la Nación y todos los ciudadanos españoles que ansían salvar el honor de España.

A renglón seguido, debajo de este pie de foto, viene en grandes caracteres, este titular:


Debajo, este texto:

El general Franco ha enviado al siguiente circular:

“A todas las Divisiones de España: Málaga, Almería, Bilbao, Canarias, África y a los barcos y Bases de la Marina Española y fuerzas de la Guardia Civil y Asalto:

Al tomar en Tetuán mando este glorioso y patriótico Ejército, envio a las guarniciones leales para con su Patria el más entusiasta de los saludos.

España se ha salvado. Podeis enorgulleceros de ser españoles, pues ya no caben en nuestro solar los traidores.

Andalucía, Valencia, Burgos, Valladolid, Canarias y Baleares con sus guarniciones y fuerzas de orden público están estrechamente unidas a nosotros. La gloriosa Marina Española con sus Bases, con todo entusiasmo se unió al movimiento.

solo queda en la capital de España un gobierno aterrado pidiendo auxilio a las masas revolucionarias y lanzando sus aviones a bombardear poblaciones indefensas, habiendo causado víctimas inocentes de mujeres y niños; ni una sola de militares; desmanes estos que no quedarán sin enérgico castigo.

Si algunos por ignorancia se mantienen alejados del movimiento salvador, poco tiempo les queda para entrar en el camino de la Patria. Elegid bien el momento y podréis aliviar la ausencia anterior. Al final exigiremos cuentas estrechas de las conductas dudosas o traidoras y expulsaremos de las filas del Ejército e Institutos armados a cuantos no sientan a España y hagan armas contra los buenos españoles.

Fé ciega.

No dudar nunca.

Firme energía sin vacilaciones, pues la Patria lo exige.

El abrazo más fuerte y el más grande. ¡¡¡Viva España!!!

General Franco.

 Esta primera página es rematada con una foto de archivo, aún más vieja que la anterior, en cuyo interior se lee que esta datada, de forma manuscrita, en 1926-27, con este pie:

El valiente e inteligentísimo General Goded (X), Comandante de Baleares, uno de los principales dirigentes del movimiento militar salvador de España.

Ya debía saberse que Manuel Goded Llopis, había sido apresado, tras fracasar en su intento de tomar Barcelona, donde los facciosos habían sido derrotados por la C.N.T. y la decisiva participación de las fuerzas leales de la Guardia Civil mandadas por el Coronel Escobar.

Manuel Goded Llopis fue sometido a consejo de guerra, condenado a muerte y fusilado el 12 de agosto de 1936, junto con otros militares facciosos, en el castillo de Montjuich.

A todas estas, el General Franco, que ya la premonitoria Gaceta de Tenerife había proclamado caudillo del movimiento nacional, ni siquiera era miembro de la autodenominada Junta de Defensa Nacional, erigida en Burgos, presidida por el anciano general Miguel Cabanellas.

Precisamente, Franco sería nombrado para ser Vocal de tal Junta, en el número 4 del Boletín Oficial de la Junta de Defensa Nacional de España, editado en Burgos el 4 de agosto de 1936, mediante Decreto núm. 25, del siguiente tenor:

Como Presidente de la Junta de Defensa Nacional y de acuerdo con ésta

Vengo en nombrar al Excmo Sr. General de División, Jefe del Ejército de Marruecos y del Sur de España, D. Francisco Franco Bahamonde.

Dado en Burgos a tres de agosto de mil novecientos treinta y seis.= MIGUEL CABANELLAS.

No estuvo solo Gaceta de Tenerife en la tarea de contar mentiras.

El vespertino LA TARDE publicaría, a dos columnas, en la portada del número del lunes 19 de octubre de 1936, esta noticia:

En Barcelona ha fallecido el catedrático don Blas Pérez González. Nuestro ilustre paisano fué asesinado por los marxistas en la montaña de Montjuich

Es bien sabido que el conspicuo palmero Blas Pérez González, no solo no fue asesinado en Barcelona, sino que escapó, y fue incorporado a la Asesoría Jurídica del Cuartel General del Caudillo por la gracia de Dios. Y luego sería ministro de la gobernación entre 1942 y 1957.

Verba volant, scripta manent.