–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.
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.
Live Long and Prosper....