Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Che Guevara at the Bay of Pigs

I read a very interesting article about Che Guevara and his exploits at the Bay of Pigs. The article was written by Humberto Fontova who is the author of four books including 'Exposing the Real Che Guevara and the Useful Idiots Who idolize Him' and 'Fidel; Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant' (those who are interested may want to visit www.hfontova.com). I mention this for two reasons. First because I am going to relate some of this story to you and I want to cite my primary source; and second, because Mr. Fontova has some very strong feelings on the subject and some readers may want to take that into consideration. As for me, well, after reading the article I spent a little time in my “research mode” and was able to independently verify enough of the story that I believe it and want to share it with you. 

–Oh, I hear you asking why I want to share it? Because history is far more interesting than fiction, always, and this is a very good example of how the truth can give you a much better picture for how and why things happen. That’s why, silly.

Freedom Fighters
This story takes place in Cuba during the Bay of Pigs (something we Americans generally don’t like to remember). Castro hailed The Bay of Pigs as their crowning glory: “Imperialism’s First Defeat!” Of course, the true bare facts are that, while the Freedom Fighters were defeated (because at the height of the battle, the promised assistance from the U.S. never materialized), they inflicted casualties on the Communist soldiers at a sustained rate of 20 to 1 (that is until the ammunition ran out). In my part of the country that means the Freedom Fighters were (excuse my French) “Kicking Ass”.

In spite of what some in Hollywood would have us believe, Che Guevara did not arrive until after the fighting had ended. He had been leading several thousand troops defending the West Coast of Cuba against three rowboats off the coast of western Cuba (350 miles from the true invasion site) loaded with time-release roman candles, bottle rockets, mirrors and a tape recording of battle which had been sent by the CIA as a diversion.

When he did arrive on the scene he proceeded to taunt the captured Freedom Fighters by telling them the firing squad would be too good for them and they would all be slowly hanged. Che was a sadist of the first order. Here is what Manel Menendez, a Freedom Fighter who had parachuted into the battle and was captured with the others after firing his last bullet, told Humberto Fontova: "We'd all run out of ammo and been captured and herded into an enclosure," he recalls. "And so who finally shows up--it’s Che Guevara himself! He approached us strutting and sneering as usual. He strutted up and looked around with that famous sneer of his. Then he started snickering. Many of us were wounded, but one of our guys faced him down and said, "Well I guess you'll send us all to the paredón (firing squad) now, right, Che?"

"No!" Che snapped. "No paredón. We're gonna hang all of you—and slowly! The firing squad's too good for you."

"I was standing close to Che at the time," recalls Señor Menendez, "and got a close-up of his face when he was talking. It was plain from the way his eyes lit up that the man was sick, mentally ill, a bona-fide sadist……So look, don't even ask me what I think when I see him on a T-shirt, or when I see him presented as some kinda military genius!"

Now comes part of the story which surprised me and is really the heart of why I wanted to share it with you, Shortly after the visit described by Mr. Menendez, Che took a bullet, which pierced his chin and exited above his temple, just missing his brain. The scar is visible in all post-April '61 pictures of the gallant Che (the picture we see on posters and T-shirts was shot a year earlier).

This wound was reported as a wound received in the battle, but that is not what happened.

The bullet came from Che’s own pistol when he either dropped it or accidentally hit the trigger while taunting the prisoners, blustering and waving it under his own chin.

Yes, history is always far more interesting than fiction and in this case it gives you a much better understanding of someone that was no hero or miltary genius. He was a sadist, a general that got duped, and a man whose battle scars were self-inflicted.

-Cuba libre!

Live Long and Prosper....

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