The 62 senators who voted "yea" on last week's immigration bill apparently missed all the May Day marches. Either that, or these Senators were blind to the marchers' symbols and deaf to the marchers' chants. Describing our legislative magnificoes as "out of touch," misses the point.
The mainstream media showed us something akin to a 4th of July picnic by Okies from Muskogee. Bloggers from Babalu to Michelle Malkin didn't let them get away with it. They pulled a quick end-run around the mainstream juggernaut and showed us what was really going on. Thus we saw the Mexican tricolor flapping everywhere. We saw Ernesto "Che" Guevara scowling from countless banners, t-shirts and placards, appearing as the movement's spiritual leader.
Let's take the symbols one at a time. Apparently, given all those flags, the marchers looked longingly on the Mexican government. Fine, perhaps ours should emulate it, especially its policies towards immigrants. Amnesty, ladies and gentlemen of the Senate? Instead take a cue from the government represented by that ubiquitous tri-color and indict every one of these marchers as felons.
Troops to our borders, eminent legislators? Instead send our troops to hunt the marching felons down, pistol-whip them, and rob them. Any women amongst them would get fondled or raped for good measure. THEN our troops would cart these people to the border and dump them back in their home country. The more fortunate ones would be simply fleeced and dumped in jails for weeks or months -- NOT released pending a hearing as in the U.S.
After all, this is Mexico's own policy on illegal immigrants. Ask the thousands of Guatemalans who -- nursing their hickeys and fumbling through their empty pockets -- recount getting robbed, pistol-whipped and raped by Mexican authorities as they tried to make their way through the country. And that's the lucky ones, the ones who weren't shot.
"At night, you hear the gunshots," Mexican national Virginia Sanchez was quoted in a recent AP story, "and it's the judiciales (Mexican state police) chasing the migrants."
"If you're carrying any money, they take it from you," Said Guatemalan migrant Carlos Lopez in the same story, "federal, state, local police, all of them." Lopez had been shaken down repeatedly in 15 days of traveling through Mexico. "The extortion occurs at every stop in Mexico, until migrants are left penniless and begging for food."
"If you're on a bus, they pull you off and search your pockets and if you have any money," added El Salvadoran migrant, Jose Ramos, "they keep it all and say, 'Get out of here!"
Not that the Mexican constitution mandates raping, robbery, pistol-whipping and target practice on migrants. But it does brand every illegal entrant through its borders a felon, period. And anyone who expects a Mexican police official to be hauled up for pistol-whipping a migrant (as officers Powell and Koon were hauled up for pummeling Rodney King) probably also believes Cuba has free and exquisite healthcare.
The Mexican constitution also forbids non-citizens from engaging in politics in any manner whatsoever. This applies especially to outrages like marches and demonstrations. Columnist Allan Wall, who resides in Mexico, reports that in May of 2002, eighteen Americans were unceremoniously booted out of Mexico, although they held perfectly legal Mexican visas.
The Americans' crime? Why the arrogant Gringo scoundrels participated in a May Day March in Mexico City. The demonstration was held on May 1st. Mexican immigration police -- the very ones represented by all those flags proudly waving last May Day on American soil -- rounded up and booted out the offending Americans on May 2nd.
Just last week Mexico booted out 57 desperate Cuban refugees who had landed on Yucatan shores in February (that's Cubans clamoring to enter Mexico. More damning proof of the pesthole Castro and Che made of Cuba would be impossible to imagine). As reported by Cubanet, one of these refugees, Amaury Hernandez, related an interesting datum (clandestinely) by phone:
"The Mexican authorities told us that if we each paid $500, they'd hold us for 90 days then set us free," Mr Hernandez reported.
Instead, after 90 days they were shipped back to Cuba. More ominously, back in Cuba Mr Hernandez' wife had gotten an impromptu visit by Castro's secret police shortly after Amaury's group made Mexican landfall. "Tell your husband," snickered the Castro goon, "that we'll soon have him in our hands."
The chumminess between Mexico's "public servants" and Castro's regime is an old story. In the early months of Castro's rule, Cubans who fled into the Mexican embassy (for their very lives, Che's firing squads awaited them outside) were extorted shamelessly by Mexican diplomats. Many of these gentlemen became wealthy from the racket.
Then in March of 2002, twenty one desperate Cubans sought refuge in Havana's Mexican embassy. After 43 years of liberation from rapacious capitalists, the starving Cubans were bereft of any possible booty to extort. So Mexico's Foreign Secretary of the time, Jorge Castaneda, promptly summoned Castro's police to storm into his embassy and drag out the terrified Cubans.
Castaneda, also famous as a Che Guevara Biographer and ex-Mexican Communist party member, claimed (with a straight face) that none of these Cubans had asked for political asylum. Not to be outdone by any of his Che-shirt-wearing and Mexican-flag-waving compatriots marching on May Day, Mr Castaneda penned an article for the New York Times on May 6th titled "Good Neighbor Policy." Here, the Mexican ex-diplomat who teamed up with Castro's STASI and KGB-trained police to drag out Cuban refugees from his embassy in chokeholds, took it upon himself (and was granted a platform by America's "Newspaper of Record") to lecture the U.S. on diplomatic morals.
Castaneda proposed a full amnesty for Mexico's interlopers in the U.S, this being the only policy, admonishes the former Stalinist, befitting a "Good Neighbor" worthy of the name.
Let's turn to that other favored symbol of the May Day marchers, Ernesto "Che" Guevara, also the subject of a Jorge Castaneda hagiography. First off, Che didn't think much of Mexicans. Perhaps our Senators should stifle all the pious gurgling about "hard-working migrants seeking to better their lives" and simply quote Che himself while referring to the nationality mostly waving those Che placards and banners as: "a band of illiterate Indians."
In 1956 while residing in Mexico and training with the Castro brothers for their "invasion" of Cuba, Che Guevara sneered at his hosts in those exact words. So recalls one of his military trainers, the Cuban, Miguel Sanchez. Wonder if "Chicano activists" know this? Probably not. They were too busy waving Che banners at the marches.
Che also delighted in belittling blacks. "The black is indolent and a dreamer; spending his meager wage on frivolity or drink; the European has a tradition of work and saving," that's Che himself in his celebrated Motorcycle Diaries. Can't imagine how Robert Redford left that out of his charming movie.
Sanchez recalls how Che constantly tormented the black Cuban rebel, Juan Almedia. "Almedia would get furious!" says Sanchez. "So finally I told him: look Juan, if Che keeps calling you "el negrito," turn around and call him "El Chancho" ("The Pig;" among the bourgeois debauchments most disdained by Ernesto Guevara were baths). Sanchez reveals all this in the fascinating documentary "Che: Anatomia de un Mito."
Wonder if Jesse Jackson knows this? Probably not. He was too busy bellowing "VIVA CHE!" while in Havana in 1984.
Never lacking in a sadistic sense of humor, a few years back Castro appointed Juan "el negrito" Almedia as the head of Cuba's "Commission to Perpetuate the Memory of Commander Ernesto 'Che' Guevara." This commission offers dedicated assistance to all visiting and "scholarly" Che Biographers. Yet somehow, none of the resulting Che biographies (Castaneda's in particular) relate any of Che's insults to Juan Almeida.
In his diaries, Che also referred to Bolivian villagers as "animalitos" (little animals). Wonder if Evo Morales has read them? Probably not. He's too busy ribbon-cutting Che monuments in every Bolivian village.
Funnier still, the last immigrant march involved Che-shirt wearing migrants playing hookie from work. So let's look at their idol's view on the matter.
When Che became Cuba's Minister of Industries in 1961 (and promptly wrecked Cuba's Industries), among the most serious "crimes against revolutionary morals" was "laziness." "In a collectivist society, where man works for society," Che explained in Cuba's official newspaper Revolucion, "loafing must be considered a crime, just like robbery! Our struggle against loafers, absenteeism and parasitism has reached tremendous proportions!"
As evidenced by the tens of thousands crammed into Cuba's prison camps at the time, Che himself christened the first and most notorious of them at Guanacahibes, Cuba's version of Siberia, but featuring broiling heat rather than cold. These camps were crammed to suffocation when Che discovered that -- hold on to your Che-shirts Carlos Santana and Johnny Depp. Hold on to your Che beret Madonna -- people prefer working for wages rather than for free.
"Che is not only an intellectual -- but the most complete human being of our time," hailed a smitten Jean Paul Sartre in 1961. Yet Che's towering intellect was completely confounded by this astounding revelation. Alas, his "new man" was going to take a little doing. The result was hundreds of thousands of Cubans crammed into concentration camps and an economy formerly stronger than half of Europe's nations, crumpled into a smoldering ash heap.
The Soviets ended up pumping the equivalent of 8 Marshall Plans into Cuba. One $9 billion Marshall Plan sent by the U.S. to a war-ravaged continent of 300 million, promptly lifted it. Eight of these sent by the Soviets to a nation of 6.5 million whose citizens formerly earned more than Taiwan's, Japan's and Spain's, resulted in Cuba's living standard repelling Haitians even 40 years later. This defies -- not just the laws of economics -- but the laws of physics. Maybe Jack Nicholson's right, maybe Castro's some kind of "genius" after all.
In the mid 1930's Stalin issued a decree "against individuals who refuse to participate in collective effort and leading an antisocial and parasitic life" (i.e. people who resist slavery.) Siberia's GULAG was soon flooded with victims. Che must have taken note. He emulated the procedure perfectly and the barbed wire, machine gun towers and guard dogs at Guanacahibes took care of the resulting flood of Cuban "individualists" and "antisocial miscreants," as their criminal charges read.
"Individualism must disappear" thundered this idol of "do-your-own-thing" Bohemians in a 1961 speech in Havana. Interestingly, the cheeky Ernesto Guevara's signature on his early correspondence read: "Stalin II."
Humberto Fontova is the author of Fidel: Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant, a Conservative Book Club "Main Selection."
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