As I sit here, knowing that I lay days from death, I can’t help but look back and think about my life and all the adventures that it carried. As a young man, I entered college with the love and support of my friends and family, and hoped desperately that my name would end up in the history books as a great hero to the people to Argentina. By those standards, I have certainly failed in my life, but I look back on the realities of the situation, and I feel that I must judge myself less harshly. I joined the struggle against the junta by making propaganda (I was always opinionated, after all) and I discovered a strong talent for inspiring others through my artwork and through my words.
While I rarely had to fire a weapon, I felt that I was helping the struggle because I was living in terrible conditions and bonding with those laying down their lives to try and defeat the military junta. However, I am starting to see just how fortunate I was and how easy I had it compared to the others around me; the people who knew that their sons and daughters were disappeared, the people that were brutally tortured, and so on. I’m beginning to think that this relative lack of difficulty in my life contributed to my ability to forget the struggle.
After the return to democracy, I ended up using my skills in the restaurant business, out of all things, to help rich men make a profit and to help myself create a stable life; a life I craved because of the pain that I felt when I couldn’t keep in touch with my family, especially with my little brother Pablo. When I returned home, my mother made me promise that I would never do that to her again, and I guess I kept that promise, because I’ve done nothing exciting in a long time. Unfortunately, I sat and watched as years went by while those who committed crimes against humanity went largely unpunished, except by a fucking Spanish court.
However, I have never lost the ideals that drove me to join the struggle and I can say that I’ve done my past to pass them onto the next generation of Rodriguez’s and I hope that the lessons continue as we try to move on from this terrible tragedy. My life has been one full of adventures and I no longer hope that history holds me in a book and instead my sons can describe me with respect and that I helped the movement that forced terrible people out of power in my country.