Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Che on the Silver Screen

By Humberto Fontova

Almost all who actually interacted with Ernesto Guevara (and are now free to express their views without fear of firing squads or torture chambers) know that the The Big Question regarding Ernesto, the most genuinely fascinating aspect of his life, is: how did such a dreadful bore, sadist and epic idiot attain such iconic status?

“I'm here in Cuba's hills thirsting for blood,” Che wrote his abandoned wife in 1957. “Dear Papa, today I discovered I really like killing,” he wrote shortly afterwards. Alas, this killing very rarely involved combat, it comes from the close-range murder of bound and blindfolded men and boys.

“When you saw the beaming look on Che's face as the victims were tied to the stake and blasted apart,” said a former political prisoner to this writer, “you knew there was something seriously, seriously wrong with Che Guevara.” In fact the one genuine accomplishment in Che Guevara's life was the mass-murder of defenseless men and boys. Under his own gun dozens died. Under his orders thousands crumpled. At everything else Che Guevara failed abysmally, even comically.

He's lauded as a rebel and free-spirit yet he denounced the very "spirit of rebellion" as "reprehensible!" -- and he boasted that under his watch "individualism must disappear!" This was no idle boast either. Che Guevara co-founded a regime that jailed more of its subjects than Stalin's and murdered more people in its first three years than Hitler's in its first six. In 1959, with the help of KGB agents, the man celebrated by the beautiful people at Cannes helped found, train and indoctrinate Cuba's secret police. "Always interrogate your prisoners at night," Che ordered his goons. "A man's resistance is always lower at night." Today the world's largest Che mural adorns Cuba's Ministry of the Interior, the headquarters for Cuba's STASI and KGB trained secret police.

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