I wonder if the highly educated and critical thinker Cubans, who today paid homage to the 40th anniversary of Che Guevara’s death, have had the chance to read this simple but important book: Exposing the Real Che Guevara.
The author, Humberto Fontova, was in my favorite radio show the other day telling a few not so well known facts about this hero and martyr of the Cuban revolution. Things like his persecution of gays, long-haired rock and roll fans, and religious people; his fantasy of destroying New York City with nuclear missiles; how he promoted book burning and signed death warrants for authors who disagreed with him, and so on.
He also described a few anecdotal examples of Che’s great compassion, like the time when he shot a six months pregnant woman in the stomach just because her family opposed him.
He also mentioned that one of Che’s most famous statements was that “a revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate.”
Now I also came across this interesting article about another Che book, in which the the author describes:
“The cigar-chomping Guevara went on to become head of the Cuban central bank where he famously signed banknotes with his nickname Che. But his first job after the rebels marched in triumph into Havana in 1959 was running a “purifying commission” and supervising executions at Havana’s La Cabana prison. “He would climb on top of a wall . . . and lie on his back smoking a Havana cigar while watching the executions,” the author quotes Dariel Alarcon Ramirez, one of Guevara’s former comrades in arms, as saying.It was intended as a gesture of moral support for the men in the firing squad, says Machover. “For these men who had never seen Che before, it was something really important. It gave them courage.”
He also talks about how all these fake miths about Che started:
“Machover blames French intellectuals such as Régis Debray, who became an acolyte of Guevara and professor of philosophy at Havana’s university in the 1960s, for the canonisation of this far from saintly figure.
“The legend forged around Che is first and foremost a French creation that became international with time,” says Machover. Jean-Paul Sartre, the existentialist author who visited Havana with Simone de Beauvoir in 1960, also played a role, describing Guevara as “the most complete man of his epoch”.
So maybe that’s it. Cubans are reaping what Che sow: lies and human misery.