Che Guevara RIP
By: Humberto Fontova
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, October 15, 2007
October 9, 2007, marked the 40th anniversary of Che Guevara's death. The predictable outlets are gushing forth with the predictable tributes. From Reuters to the AP and from the Los Angeles Times to MSNBC, you will search these "news stories" in vain for any mention of the fully documented details of Che's capture and death. The sources for these "gallant crusaders for the truth" (as Columbia School of Journalism heralds its graduates) were--as usual--the propaganda ministers of a Stalinist regime.
"Don't Shoot! I'm Che! I'm worth to you more alive than dead!" This sniveling shout was heard by the (2) Bolivian soldiers when they confronted Che and his guerrilla charge Willi. Che immediately dropped his fully loaded weapons and started his whimpering.(That's two Bolivian soldiers against two armed guerrillas, by the way.) The Bolivian commanders duly documented these details in the official reports of their anti-guerrilla campaign. These records, the MSM -- from Madrid to Manila and from Buenos Aires to New York, --treat in the same manner that Dracula treated a cross-- nay, in the manner the ACLU treats a cross.
Unsurprisingly, The New York Times had a correspondent in the Cuban city of Santa Clara for the teary commemoration at Che's mausoleum this week, where Raul Castro presided and a solemn message from Fidel was read. Castro referred to his regime's chief executioner as, "a flower that was plucked from his stem prematurely."
Nary a hint from these intrepid, investigative news agencies that Fidel Castro was himself the main agent of that "plucking."
And nary a mention, amidst all the adulation, of the one genuine accomplishment in Che Guevara's life: the mass-murder of defenseless men and boys. At everything else Che Guevara failed abysmally, even comically.
So allow me to spoil the party. Upon arriving in Havana Jan of 1959 after an utterly bogus guerrilla war, (The New York Times breathlessly reported of "thousands dead in single battles!" The official tally compiled by the U.S embassy after two years of ferocious "civil war" was 184 dead on BOTH sides, half New Orleans' annual murder tally)--at any rate, upon entering the Cuban capitol, the gallant Che Guevara immediately recognized the moat around Havana's La Cabana fortress as a handy-dandy execution pit. At Babi-Yar Hitler's SS had to dig one. Here Che Guevara had one ready made.
By mid 1961 the binding and blindfolding of Castro and Che's enemies wasn't enough. Now they started mandating gagging too. The shaken firing squads demanded it. The defiant yells by the men and boys they murdered had badly spooked them, you see.
So now as they yanked the martyrs and heroes from the cells, bent their arms back, and bound their hands, two more guards came into play. One grabbed the struggling victim's hair and jerk his head back, trying to steady him. The other taped his mouth shut.
In 1961 a 20 year-old boy named Tony Chao Flores took his place at the execution stake, but he hobbled to it on crutches.
Two years earlier Tony had been an Anti-Batista rebel. But soon he recognized Cuba's stealth Stalinization and turned his M-1 carbine on those Soviet proxies.
A ferocious guerrilla war certainly raged in Cuba. But it's not the one you read about in the New York Times, college textbooks, biographies of Fidel and Che or see in History Channel Documentaries on Cuba. And you sure wont see it in the two Che biopics starring Benicio Del Toro as Che and directed by Oscar winning director Steven Soderbergh due out next year.
This war raged from 1960-66 and was waged by ten times the number of guerrillas who "fought" Batista. Soviet anti-insurgency as practiced from Hungary to Afghanistan to Chechnya crushed Cuba's (genuine) guerrillas mercilessly. Che Guevara was second in Command of the Cuban regime and had an advisory role in this sickening slaughter of desperate freedom- fighters.
Employing interrogation techniques lovingly imparted by their East German STASI and Russian KGB, mentors, Cuba's security forces finally pinpointed Tony's hideout. As always, the Russian-trained Castroites came in overwhelming force and heavily armed with Soviet weapons. As always their foe was suicidally valiant, horribly outnumbered and utterly devoid of allies. Invariably, this characterized the armed exploits of a regime still revered as a "valiant underdog" by millions of imbeciles worldwide.
Castro and Che's troops finally closed on Tony and captured him after a ferocious firefight where Tony took 17 bullets from their Czech machine guns, mostly in his legs.
As reverential and studious Stalinists, the Castroites desperately wanted Tony alive for a show trial, the better to terrorize and cow their subjects.
The Reds took Tony to a hospital and doctors patched him up--not completely now, just enough to keep him alive until his trial. Shortly he was dumped in La Cabana's dungeons and fed just enough to keep him alive. A month later they went through the farce of a trial and the verdict--naturally--was death by firing squad.
On the way to the stake at the old Spanish fort turned to a prison and execution ground by Che Guevara, Tony was forced to hobble down some cobblestone stairs Again Tony pelted his captors with dreadful curses and stinging abuse, ''Russian lackeys!" Tony yelled again as they dragged him off. "Idiots!"
Tony's insults hit home and stung. Finally a furious guard lost it. "CABRON!" (you B**tard!) He yanked Tony's crutch away while another gallant Commie-- WHUMP!-- kicked the crippled freedom-fighter powerfully from behind. Tony tumbled down the long row of steps and finally lay on the cobblestones at the bottom, writhing and grimacing. One of Tony's bullet- riddled legs had been amputated at the hospital, the other was gangrened and covered in pus. The Castroite guards cackled as they moved in to gag Tony with their tape.
Tony watched them approach while balling his good hand into a fist. Then as the first Red reached him --BASH!! right across his eyes. "AYEEH!" the Castroite staggered back while rubbing his face.
"You!...YOU!.....his gallant partner rushed towards Tony who was getting a good grip on his crutch with his other hand. BASH!!--Tony smashed the Red with his wooden crutch. "CABRON!" The enraged Castroites yelped for help against their helpless (as always) enemy.
"I'll never understand how Tony survived that beating," says eye-witness Hiram Gonzalez who watched from his window on death-row, screaming in helpless rage at the Communist guards. The crippled Tony was almost killed in the kicking, punching, gun-bashing melee but finally his captors stood off, panting and rubbing their scrapes and bruises. They'd managed to tape the battered boys mouth, but Tony pushed the guards away before they bound his hands. Their commander nodded, motioning for them to back off.
Now Tony started crawling towards the splintered and blood-spattered execution stake about fifty yards away, pushing and dragging himself with his hands as his stump of a leg left a trail of blood on the grass. As he neared the stake he'd stop and start pounding himself in the chest. His executioners seemed perplexed. The crippled boy was trying to say something. But his message was muzzled by the gag the gallant friend of George McGovern made obligatory for his thousands of execution victims.
Tony's blazing eyes and grimace said enough. But no one could understand the boy's mumblings. Tony kept pushing himself, shutting his eyes tightly from the agony of the effort. His executioners shuffled nervously, raised their rifles, lowered them. They looked towards their commander who shrugged. Finally Tony reached up to his face and ripped off the tape that George McGovern's sparkling dinner companion required for his condemned.
The 20 year-old freedom-fighter's voice boomed out. "Shoot me RIGHT HERE!" roared Tony at his gaping executioners. His voice thundered and his head bobbed with the effort. "Right in the CHEST!" Tony yelled. "Like a MAN!" Tony stopped and ripped open his shirt, pounding his chest and grimacing as his gallant executioners gaped and shuffled. "Right HERE!" he pounded.
On his last day alive, Tony had received a letter in jail from his mother. "My dear son," she counseled. "How often I'd warned you not to get involved in these things. But I knew my pleas were vain. You always demanded your freedom, Tony, even as a little boy. So I knew you'd never stand for communism. Well, Castro and Che finally caught you. Son, I love you with all my heart. My life is now shattered and will never be the same, but the only thing left now, Tony..... is to die like a man."
"FUEGO!!" Castro's lackey yelled the command and the bullets shattered Tony's crippled body, just as he'd reached the stake, lifted himself and stared resolutely at his murderers. But Castro's firing squads usually murder a hero who is standing. The legless Tony presented an awkward target. So some of the volley went wild and missed the youngster. Time for the coup de grace.
Normally it's one .45 slug that shatters the skull. Eye-witnesses say Tony required... POW!-POW!....POW!-- three. Seems the executioner's hands were shaking pretty badly. But they finally managed. The man Time Magazine's hails among the "heroes and icons of the Century" had another notch in his gun. Another enemy dispatched--bound and gagged as usual.
Castro and Che were in their mid-thirties when they murdered Tony. According to the authoritative Black Book of Communism their firing squads riddled another 14,000 bound and gagged freedom-fighters. Many (perhaps most) of their murder victims were boys in their early twenties and late-teens. Some were even younger. Carlos Machado and his twin brother Ramon were fifteen when they spat in the face of their communist executioners and died singing their national anthem as lustily as they cursed Che Guevara's Internationale. Their dad collapsed from same volley alongside them.
Compare Carlos and Tony's death to Guevara's capture: "Don't shoot!" whimpered the arch-assassin to his captors. "I'm Che! I'm worth more to you alive than dead!"
Then ask yourselves: who's face belongs on T-shirts worn by youth who fancy themselves, rebellious, freedom-loving and brave?
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