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Black History Month -- and the Black Heroes it Ignores By: Humberto Fontova
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, March 13, 2006

February, known lately as "Black History Month," has come and gone while the mainstream media  showcased  quite a cast of  worthies for us.

Malcolm X didn't mince words. "I'm not an American!" he sputtered, "America is a nightmare! America practices slavery! The white man is the common enemy!" Naturally, Time Magazine heralded him during Black History Month.   

Harry Belafonte lays it on the line, "Bush is the greatest tyrant in the world--the greatest terrorist in the world!"  To commemorate Black History Month, Viacom's TV Land network conducted a reverential one hour chat with Belafonte.

Father of the Black Panthers, Stokley Carmichael was quite explicit: "black people should shoot the hell out of all the white people!"  Carmichael got his kudos and high-fives from National Public Radio.

The unenlightened might consider Nelson Mandela an ingrate when a week after President Bush awarded him America's highest governmental award, The Presidential Medal of Freedom, he bellowed: "If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America!" As you might guess, during Black History Month, hosannas to  Mandela were all over the place.

From The History Channel to CNN to A&E's Biography, all of these worthy gentlemen and many more from Danny Glover to Louis Farakhan to P Diddy  received reverential treatment during Black History Month. Their ample "contributions" to Civil Rights were all catalogued, their speeches quoted, their "courage," hailed.

No mention by any of the networks of the following however: "Nelson Mandela participated in planning acts of sabotage and inciting violence, so that he could no longer fulfill the criteria for the classification of political prisoners." That's from Amnesty International, not exactly an outpost of the racist White Wing Conspiracy. 

In addition, "The preparation, manufacture and use of explosives, including 210,000 hand grenades, 48,000 anti-personnel mines, 1,500 time devices, 144 tons of ammonium nitrate, 21.6 tons of aluminum powder and a ton of black powder. 193 counts of terrorism committed between 1961 and 1963," is what got Saint Mandela jugged in the first place.     

Among other choice Nelson Mandela-ism's, "The cause of Communism is the greatest cause in the history of mankind!" (1961.) "There's one place where Fidel Castro stands out head and shoulders above the rest--that is in his love for human rights and liberty!"  Saint Mandela promulgated that gem as Castro awarded him Cuba's prestigious "Playa Giron Award" in 1984. "Playa Giron," by the way, is Cuban for "The Bay of Pigs," which makes the ironies all the more nauseating.

Don't look for this in the MSM, but the second in command who hit that heroic beachhead to free Cuba from Castroism was a black Cuban (and today a proud U.S. citizen and retired Major General of the U.S. Amy) named Erneido Oliva. He was completely abandoned by the Best and Brightest who dumped him and his men on that beachhead with only light arms and no air cover. Oliva's men were outnumbered 30 to one by Castro's Soviet led and supplied troops, who had swarms of Soviet T-34 Tanks and jets overhead.  

On the third day of unrelenting battle Oliva's men were virtually out of  ammo for their carbines and the battlefield horrors were taking their toll. Crazed by hunger and thirst, they'd been  shooting and reloading without sleep for three days. Many were hallucinating. By then they knew damn well they'd been abandoned.

That's when  Castro’s Soviet Howitzers opened up, huge 122 mm rounds, four batteries’ worth. They pounded 2,000 rounds into Oliva's men over a four-hour period. "It sounded like the end of the world," one soldier said later. "Rommel’s crack Afrika Corps broke and ran under a similar bombardment," wrote Haynes Johnson in his book, The Bay of Pigs. By that time the freedom-fighters were dazed, delirious with fatigue, thirst and hunger, too deafened by the bombardment to even hear orders.

But these men were in no mood to emulate Rommel's crack Afrika Corps by retreating. Instead  they were fortified by a resolve no conquering troops could ever call upon--the burning duty to free their nation, to free their very families. They'd seen Communism point-blank: stealing, lying, jailing, poisoning minds, murdering. They'd seen the midnight raids, the drumbeat trials. They'd heard the chilling "FUEGO!" as Castro's firing squads murdered thousands of brave countrymen. More importantly, they heard the "Viva Cuba Libre!" from the bound and blindfolded patriots, right before the bullets ripped them apart.

They set their jaws and resolved to smash this murderous barbarism that was ravaging their homeland. And they went at it with a vengeance.  Their commander, Oliva, had to scream over that hellish Soviet bombardment but he made himself heard: "THERE IS NO RETREAT, CARAJO!" Oliva  stood and bellowed to his dazed, abandoned and horribly outnumbered men. "WE STAND AND FIGHT!"

And so they did--and wrote as glorious a chapter in military history and the annals of freedom as any you'd care to read.

When his betrayed, decimated, thirst-crazed, and ammo-less men were finally overwhelmed (but NOT defeated!) by Castro’s bumblers at the Bay of Pigs, Oliva snarled at his brainless eunuch of an opponent, Jose Fernandez (a Spaniard, technically), " The only reason you’re holding a gun on us right now, Fernandez, is because we ran out of ammo.”

During almost two years in Castro’s dungeons, Oliva and his men lived under a daily death sentence. Escaping that sentence would have been easy: simply sign the little confession admitting they were  mercenaries of the Yankee imperialists.

Neither Oliva nor any of his men signed the document. His hundreds of men stood solidly with their commander.  "We will die with dignity!” snapped Oliva at the furious Castroites again, and again, and again. To a Castroite such an attitude not only enrages but baffles.

"A soldier to the bone," That's former Secretary of State General Alexander Haig referring to Erneido Oliva, whom he worked with in the early 60's. "One of the most fiercely honorable men I have ever known."

Another Black hero is Eusebio Penalver, who suffered three times as long in Castro’s Gulag as Solzhenitsyn suffered in Stalin’s. He suffered  longer than Mandela suffered in South Africa's--28 years. He's the longest serving black political prisoner of the 20th century. So you might think he'd been mentioned during Black History Month at least once during the past 17 years, right?

Wrong! He was Fidel Castro's prisoner, you see. And that doesn't count.

Eusebio Penalver could have easily escaped such lengthy suffering by playing Castro’s little game, by agreeing to " rehabilitation” classes, by wearing the uniforms of common prisoners, by admitting to being a tool of the "Yankee Imperialists." Castro made the offer often.

Castro got his answer as swiftly and as clearly as the German commander who surrounded Bastogne got his. Eusebio scorned any "re-education" by his Castroite jailers. He knew it was they who desperately needed it. He refused to wear the uniform of a common criminal. He knew it was they who should don it. Through almost 30 years of hell in Castro's dungeons, Eusebio Penalver stood tall, proud and defiant.

"It sounds strange but no man in Cuba is as free as a political prisoner in rebellion,” says longtime Castro political prisoner Francisco Chappi.  "We were tortured, we were starved. But we lived in total defiance.”

"Inside of our souls we were free,” says another former Castro political prisoner (also Black and today a proud U.S. citizen) named Sergio Carrillo, a paratrooper at the Bay of Pigs in 1961 and a Catholic priest in America today.  "We refused to commit spiritual suicide,” Father Carrillo stresses.

Think about it: had the very things spouted ( with one eye on the media) for sensationalist value  by the Black buffoons hailed to high heavens by the mainstream media--the very idiocies and monkeyshines the MSN  hailed  as acts of  "courage" by these popinjays -- been spoken in Castro's jails by  Oliva, Penalver and Carrillo, they would have been freed.

Yet they REFUSED! They REFUSED to renounce the U.S.--though a U.S. administration had sold them all down the river! And they imagined they were signing their own death warrants in their defiance! They REFUSED!

If  these men don't qualify as American heroes then the term is utterly without meaning. Yet they're  ignored (if not actually scorned) by the Mainstream media during Black History Month.

In a way, though, it's actually fitting. These men have never played the race card. They don't consider themselves "Black Americans." They proudly call themselves "Americans," period.

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Humberto Fontova is the author of Exposing the Real Che Guevara and the Useful Idiots Who Idolize Him. Visit www.hfontova.com

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