La Ni?a Del Escambray

Yesterday morning my wife went to a little shop down the street from our home looking for a birthday card for a good friend of ours. The place is a head shop, but they have some unique gifts and some pretty cool cards for all occasions.

As she was eyeing through the card rack, one of those that spin on an axis, she turned the thing to get to the next bunch of cards and was stunned at what she saw. Right there in front of her, just blocks from our home in a little shop that she has always liked, in Miami no less, was a postcard with the image of Che Guevara.

My wife didnt lose it. She calmly walked through the store and began picking up items to “purchase.” Once she figured she had enough stuff, she calmly walked over to the register, layed the items on the counter and asked:

“Where do you guys keep the Hitler postcards?”

The store clerk was completely taken aback. “The Hitler what?” he asked.

“The Nazi stuff. Where do you keep it?” She gave the room another once over. “And are the Stalin cards next to the Hitler stuff?”

The clerk then told her that they didnt carry any Nazi stuff. Or any Stalin stuff. “We dont carry that kind of merchandise,” he stated.

“Well,” my wife said. “I figured you guys would carry the Hitler and Stalin stuff being as you are already carrying mass murderer merchandise. I mean, if youre gonna do something, might as well go all the way.”

The clerk looked perplexed. My wife pointed to the Che cards and said “Dont you know who Che Guevara is?”

“Some Argentinian guy,” replied the clerk.

I feel bad for the clerk because this is where he got a impromtu history lesson and then, at the end of that lesson my wife looked down at all the merchandise she had picked up throughout the store – hundreds of dollars of stuff – and said “You know, it’s a shame. I really really like this store. You guys always have nice gifts and great cards. And I come here all the time. But I just cant stomach buying anything from you anymore.”

Then she turned around and walked out of the store.

*

I don’t know what bothers me more, the fact that there’s Che merchandise being sold, or the fact that it’s being sold as a novelty without even an iota of understanding or knowledge about the man and his ruthlessness. And most of this merchandise being bought and worn and used by a bunch of silver spooned college kids with either an axe to grind or looking to be the cool guy or gal in a Che tshirt.

Humberto Fontova has a new write up all these kids need to read.

78 thoughts on “La Ni?a Del Escambray”

  1. Ignorance is bliss, I suppose. I recently took my son to the warp tour concert in South Florida. Low and behold, one of the vendors was selling a huge flag of the pig che. I was born in South Florida and am well aware of the atrocities committed by fidel’s (the devil) communist government and che. Thank God we live in a country were we can express freedom of expression even though it is based on ignorance. If the cuban people had such freedoms many of them would not have faced el paradon (the firing squad) for such freedom. I’ll teach my children… just make sure ignorance does not become an epidemic…

  2. the story is actually kinda funny, i like the way your wife handled it.. but i have to ask: how do YOU know what a head shop is?!?!?(wink wink nudge nudge) i never forget once i was in one and just wasnt thinking and asked “how much is that bong?” and the girl just looked at me and said “you mean the water pipe”… but she said it in this totally disinterested tone.. i dont know it was funny if you were there…

  3. Remember when I bought the Che postcards in NYC and threw their “BLOOD MONEY” in the floor and left the ripped postcards on the counter? (Coliseum Books, 42nd Street midway between Sixth and Fifth Avenues in NYC)
    The sandalistas have successfully infiltrated the bookselers and all cultural establishments. It’s our duty to give them a taste of our convictions. Kudos to your wife

  4. Pie, Mass-Murdering Communist Morons, Castro

    Well Worth Your Time There are two hilarious posts up at Babalublog. First, Val Prieto’s wife Maggie gives a clueless…

  5. killcastro,
    I agree 99% with you (the 1% disagreement is the cussing) But beside that you are dead on. The Cuban-American entertainers are no different than the convenient politicians who want something from Cuban-Americans. The entertainers want your money and that comes first. Before those who want to defend them start their comments, these entertainers should not use their ethnicity to their gain and then throw it out when it may get uncomfortable. Thet are like the politicians that say whatever will tickle the Cuban ears in order for the November vote. I too look forward to the day of reckoning when Cuab is free and people ask those who had a platform “why didn’t you do anything to help” and the answer will be?
    You can fill in the blank without thinking.I recently posted a comment asking what we Cubans were willing to sacrifice for a free Cuba. It hurts that there was no response. Are we just as guilty?

  6. rno – I haven’t been able to find a book specifically about her, but the following book has a pretty detailed account of anti-castro insurgency through the years, and may provide some more information:

    Unvanquished : Cuba’s resistance to Fidel Castro / Enrique Encinosa.

    I don’t know where you are, but the Miami-Dade library system owns at least one copy.

  7. Ignorancia brutal y mortal!

    I have personally known for years some very educated, rational, smart and rather nice people (most of them liberals and democrats because of my work) that never had a question about Cuba or why I came here. When confronted either by chance or by design (MINE) with our history they go blank.

    If I feel mean and I have the time, I push on to tell them about the storm that is gathering right at the borders of this God blessed country… you can see those little water pearls show on their foreheads fast… and the blessing of ignorance is shot!

    There is morbid joy in it I know, but hell, I earned it!

  8. Where are Your Hitler Postcards?

    Val Prieto over at Babalu Blog relates the charming tale of hius wife giving some hipster dingbat a nice thwak on the head with a “clue-by-four”… “Where do you guys

  9. Why do you keep calling him che? His name was ernie….The next time you see someone display his photo ask them who he is/was. The answers are sobering. Generally speaking, they don’t know his name and I am surprised that the clerk knew he was from Argentina, I usually get “Some Cuban guy…”

  10. That was a great approach to protesting the ubiquitous image of che(ck-mated) one seems to find all over the place – I may use the same M.O. if I run into the same situation. The left likes to use “embarassment” and “political correctness” as part of their control tools – why not give them a dose of their own medicine?

    And why not postcards and t-shirts with the images of La Ni?a Del Escambray, and Alejandro del Valle of Playa Giron; or “El Escopetero” of the Escambray?

    Dead-che postcards/shirts are good too. I know those are already out there. Suggest to your leftist friends (is that an oxymoron??) to che(ck) them out and buy one “for political balance’s sake, amigo.”

    Here’s a little “guerrilla” suggestion: Make toilet paper rolls with che(ckmated)’s image – preferably his rigor mortis look; substitute these for the regular rolls in public bathrooms – including those in certain bookstores and so-called “institutions of higher learning.”

    For more on the Escambray and the anti-kaSStro resistance, see
    http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/escambray.htm

  11. Alberto, I really like the toilet paper suggestion. I can imagine the look on their faces, sitting there alone with that image. Sublimely subversive.

  12. Bravo, Maggie, Bravo!!!
    Well done!
    Wish I had been there to photograph it all. Maybe next May, if that store is still selling the offensive merchandise, we can do –and photograph– a re-enactment?
    Julio

  13. You’re wife sounds like a great lady.
    By the way a previous commenter said his name was really Ernie (I assume Ernesto). Calling the killer Ernie would kill the romanticism I would think.
    Good post.

  14. I like the way you’re wife handled it.

    Good for her.

    There is a huge difference between what she did and buying then cards and then ripping them up. That’s right *down* there with burning art, burning books and burning CDs…

    Whether we like what it expresses or not, it is a medium of expression.

  15. Good for you Maggie! You calmly stood up for what’s right AND you gave a valuable history lesson at the same time. We need lots more of that in this world.

    A medium of expression is by far the BEST thing something like that can be called.

  16. George writes:

    “Hilda, we can always count on you winning The Inane Comment of the Day award.”

    And George it’s nice to see you are consistent in your inability to have an open mind and respect for other people’s opinions.

  17. Hilda, did it occur to you that buying a Che postcard and ripping it up is not about “their” freedom of expression.

    It’s about MINE

  18. I’m convinced that you’re never going to teach these morons anything about history. The best way to raise their consciousness is through their wallets like your wife did. Tell her I said, “Tu vete, nina” (You go, girl)

  19. Val writes:

    “Brilliantly put, Eleggua.”

    So Val…you have no problem with people “expressing themselves” by burning books? Burning art? Burning or crushing CDs or albums?

    Do you think that is “brilliant”?

  20. barba blanca – I’ll tell you why we get all pissy about a che card. The same reason Jews get upset with swastikas, or African Americans get upset at the site of a burning cross, it’a a hate crime. Since you obviously cannot feel any emphathy for Cuban Americans try this on for size. You are an African American who witnessed your grandfather being hung by the KKK next to a burning cross. Imagine walking into a store and seeing merchandise bearing said image. Think about it.

  21. Eleggua writes:

    “Hilda, did it occur to you that buying a Che postcard and ripping it up is not about “their” freedom of expression.

    It’s about MINE”

    Pssst…see that thing flying up over your head and out the door? Yeah…that would be the point you completely missed.

    Val’s wife handled it beautifully, IMO. She expressed her discontent, attempted to impart information to someone who admitted they didn’t know and showed her displeasure with dignity and effectively – by not buying that merchandise and indicating she would stop patronizing the store -telling them why she won’t be doing so.

    You, Eleggua, however, rewarded the offending establishment by giving them your hard-earned money. Yeah boy, you sure showed them!

  22. Hilda, I wouldn’t buy Guevara postcards to rip them up. Waste of money. I liked what Val’s wife did a lot.

    What I was pointing out that “freedom of expression” works for both: You and Me.

    And everyone has a different way of doing it.

    But I tell you something: To rip up a photo of a mass murderer who killed friends and relatives of mine, doesn’t really compare to the “burning of art”.

    And yes Hilda, Che Guevara was a mass murderer. He created the Cuban GULag. And he told a British reporter after the Cuban Missile Crisis that the nukes would have been fired if they were under Cuban control.

    I don’t think I have much respect for his postcards.

  23. Or, to put it into perspective, Hilda:

    Che Guevara killed more innocent people in cold blood than Bin Laden. How do you feel about photos of Bin Laden?

    Work of art?

  24. Hey, wait a minute

    Che’s cool, right? Riiiight.

    My wife pointed to the Che cards and said “Dont you know who Che Guevara is?”

    For all your revolutionary needs.

    Heh. Che Mart. Lots of nice merchandise. Cheap.

  25. Hilda, I did not give you The Inane Comment of the Day award for nothing. Read your Webster’s:

    Main Entry: inan?i?ty
    Pronunciation: i-‘na-n&-tE
    Function: noun
    Inflected Form(s): plural -ties
    1 : the quality or state of being inane : as a : lack of substance : EMPTINESS b : vapid, pointless, or fatuous character : SHALLOWNESS
    2 : something that is inane completely

    I have tremendous respect for the opinions of others. But every time you post a comment in response to a post, it’s 90 degrees off the topic. Nobody here said a damn thing praising book burning or flag burning or any such topic.

    I’ll have you know that I am against a flag burning amendment because I do consider it protected speech. Some of my fellow conservatives get angry at me when I say it, but if you ban that type of speech, you then have the power to ban all of it.

    If I own a book, and I want to burn it, it is my ABSOLUTE right to do so. If you get offended, it is your ABSOLUTE right to criticize me. That is what the founding fathers intended.

    You shed a lot of crocodile tears about somebody tearing up a che card. But if he owned it, it is his ABSOLUTE RIGHT to do so because it is his property, as long as his actions are within the law and do not harm anybody else.

    You would have us NOT rip or tear up something because you deem it a “medium of expression”? And who the fuck are you to determine what is or isn’t “expression”? Now you sound like those plastic over-indulgent pseudo-intellectual know-it-all socialist artists who would have us believe that a dog turd with sprinkles on it on a piece of canvas with squiggly lines in blue and green and red is “ART”.

    GMAFB.

    I think all of us, for therapeutic purposes, should go out, buy a che card or book, and then place it in a Weber Kettle or gas grill and BURN THE LIVING SHIT out of it (obey your local fire ordinances, though). That way we can all see che as he is right now, in hell.

    (And, we can get a glimpse of what fidel will look like soon, too! A bonus!)

  26. And Hilda, as for your shock (shock!) that che is comparable to the Nazis, I would suggest you do something that maybe you haven’t done since the fifth grade: READ A BOOK! You may learn something about the Cuban revolution and what che did. My great grandmother had stroke watching one of che’s marvelous televised executions. So please, read up on the subject before you make an ass of yourself again.

  27. George,
    Do forgive me if I sound like an ignoramus, but just WHAT is GMAFB?
    Inquiring minds… want to know!
    Julio

  28. Hilda: Ustedes una Rusa? At what point does a POSTCARD become ART? I know ART and that ain’t it. Ernie’s photo is ART like Warhols Marilyn is ART; art with small case letters. Ernie is a POP CULTURAL ICON, like DEVO and any number of other fads that are present in the fabric of everyday life. To make the claim that ernie’s photo is ART is farcial at best.

  29. Thank you, George and Robert. I am a *much* enlightened person right now, thanks to the two of you!
    Julio

  30. With all due respect to Senor Fontova, and he’s due quite a bit, what these college brats are in dire need of isn’t a history lesson.

    They need to have their trust funds closed, followed by a sound spanking and a trip to their rooms. About a decade or two in there ought to do the trick.

  31. When I lived in and out of Mexico City from 1999 – 2003, I would see huge manifestations protesting everything from tuition to US imperialism. I remember in particular one afternoon in 2003 when the local communists organized a big march down the main drag. There were all these posters and banners of Che. I thought it so ridiculous that people claiming to want to improve their lives would pick an icon from one of the most failed revolutions of all time, the Cuban Communist, and parade it around. Was it a warning to not ever let them into power? Was it some sort of herding device, keeping the ignorant sheep in line? I went into the march and in my most friendly way talked one of the mnarchers out of small banner, as a reminder of just how ignorant and vile people can be, when they ignore history.
    I agree on the Che: shut the rat bastard down at every opportunity. What I would buy would be a CIA photo of Che’s head held in the hands of one the lucky SOBs who got to actually kill him.

  32. So Val…you have no problem with people “expressing themselves” by burning books? Burning art? Burning or crushing CDs or albums?

    I’m not Val Prieto, but…

    If someone wants to buy something and then torch it, it’s their right to do so.

    If someone wants to break into a store, and burn everything in it without paying for a single burned item, no, that’s not okay, actually, it’s criminal.

    The two are totally different, and an adult should be able to understand that.

    So why get all pissy about an icon of the 20th century?

    Probably for the same reason Jews would be really furious if someone sold a shirt with Hitler doing the Nazi salute with the words “Sieg Heil” emblazoned on it.

  33. Good post !!!

    I?ve been travellling a lot for Europe, due to my work, and I am very surprised at seeing a lot of Che Guevara T-shirts selling every where … also people wearing them what would you say to these people face to face ????

  34. Hilda,

    I have to say I also agree with Moneo 100% on the inanity of your comments.

    First there’s this:

    There is a huge difference between what she did and buying then cards and then ripping them up. That’s right *down* there with burning art, burning books and burning CDs…

    Whether we like what it expresses or not, it is a medium of expression.

    If I want to purchase all the Che Guevara cards in that store and tear them up or burn them, IN PROTEST, then I will do just that. It is my right to express my discontent, just as it is yours to express yours.

    Then there’s:

    “Brilliantly put, Eleggua.”

    So Val…you have no problem with people “expressing themselves” by burning books? Burning art? Burning or crushing CDs or albums?

    Do you think that is “brilliant”?

    This is a ridiculously absurd attempt at building a strawman for the sake of argument. What part about Eleggua’s right to freedom of expression did you not understand?

    You know, I am getting quite tired of your hijacking the comments with your negativity. Your “Yeah but” style of commenting is like having to endure finger nails on a blackboard.

    Do you live your life so negative all the time? Dont you ever have anything positive to say without a condition?

  35. Another thing I love about trashing images of Earnesto:
    The most popular photo was taken by a crony of Castro. It is the one that has Earnesto looking brave and bold and has been used literally hundreds of millions of times. The photographer has never received one penny from the use of this photo, which if he had lived in a civil society that protects property rights, would have been worth many many millions of dollars over the years. And the icing on the cake is that the old weasel photographer, still supporting Castro, is whining about it.

  36. I think all has been said, but it seems some people will never understand.

    Che Guevara seems to be a unique case. I think even Uncle Ho went out of fashion and Pol Pot didn’t make it in the first place.

    Why Che? Because people have decided that Che is a myth, an idol of the left, an idol of the “oppressed” and what have you.

    And those people have been willing to turn two blind eyes to the fact that Che was, in fact, a vile oppressor, murderer and lunatic. If Che had had his will, those people would not exist today. But it won’t matter.

    It’s the same idea that so many people have about Cuba. NO information will change that for them. No picture of Biscet’s cell. No picture of Cuban hospitals. No picture of the decrepit living conditions in Centro Habana. Nothing.

    Cubans don’t buy Che Guevara shirts in tourist shops. Ever wonder why?

    The “burning books and Cds” whine is particularily hilarious. Do you know, Hilda, that reading the wrong book, listening to the wrong music in Cuba would earn you a trip to Che’s holiday camps? Do you know how many people in Cuba have been humiliated, tortured and killed by Che and his ilk for wanting nothing more than freedom of expression?

    But again, no arguments will convince these folks. A postcard was abused. The horror!

  37. Oh oh, Eleggua. Now we’ll undoubtedly have to hear Hilda equate our tearing and burning o postcards in protest to the actions of the great oppressor of the island.

    wait for it…it’s coming…

  38. LOL and we didn’t even harm a single postcard yet… (what about puppies, kittens, baby ducks???) we just stated that we could if we owned one.

    Oh well just walk into a leftist reunion with a Che T-Shirt and watch how much respect they will show to this “piece of art”.

    The Bolivia 1967 photo, that is…

  39. Regarding Kathleen actually admitting to the fact that she is comparing Che’s atrocities to that of the Nazis: It’s just too ridiculous to acknowledge. Despues, don’t ask yourselves in shopck and awe why your version of “la causa” isn’t taken seriously by so many.

    As for all the others who maintain that a postcard with Che Guevara’s image isn’t a medium of expression – fine. Just be sure to make plenty of breathing holes in the sand before you bury your head down in there.

    And if you (the collective you) think I’m going to get into a “what is and isn’t art” debate with *this bunch* – ain’t gonna happen!

    Val writes:
    “You know, I am getting quite tired of your hijacking the comments with your negativity. Your “Yeah but” style of commenting is like having to endure finger nails on a blackboard.”

    Val, I’m sorry you don’t like my *style* pero, mira, this is your game – your ball, your bat – if you want me to stop posting, kick me out PUBLICLY. Block my ability to post – you’ve got the power. I’m a big girl, I can handle it.

    But, *you’ll* need to deal with the knowledge you kicked someone out for expressing a different opinion than yours. However *if* you do, you’ll have to recognize your own intolerance and hypocrisy.

    Val also writes:
    “Dont you ever have anything positive to say without a condition?”

    Sure – remember the coconut ice cream thing? It all depends on the nature of the topic. But if you only want abject agreement and adoration – sorry, but, as the great Bob Dylan (I can only imagine what y’all think of him!) wrote: “It ain’t me babe, no, no, no, it ain’t me babe”.

  40. Hilda,

    The MT Blacklist preparation H has been applied to your hemorroidal IP address. Cause there’s just so much whiny bitchitude I can take while not being in a kennel.

    Have a nice life.

  41. Rule Number 1: Never ask for a spanking, you’ll probably get one.

    But yes, I will, like Kathleen, compare Che with a Nazi. And the only thing that might be said against it is that he personally killed less people than the Nazis (well Cuba is smaller).

    But he had the same totalitarian mind, the same ruthlessness, the same inclination to kill everyone who would not agree with him.

    His communist ideology actually killed more people than the Nazis. He would have gladly nuked the Yankee imperialists if the Soviets had given him a chance (Hell the Soviets thought Fidel and Che were nuts, go figure.)

    Oh, and in case whiny Hilda still reads this: Here’s “freedom of expression 101” for you.

    If I prevent you from making Che Guevara postcards, I’m infriging on your freedom of expression.
    If you prevent me from destroying a Che Guevara postcard I own, you are infringing on mine.

    Got it?

    Oh btw does anyone know where to find high quality photos of Cagastro’s stumbling? I’m thinking of a T-Shirt… heh

  42. Eleggua,

    We will not be hearing from Hilda anymore – at least until she gets to another computer with a different IP – because I didnt just ban herfrom commenting, I banned her from even entering the site.

    And I will state here, IN PUBLIC, that it was not because of her differing opinions, I wipe my ass with them. She was banned because of her incessant snideness.

  43. Hilda, you think comparing the Cuban horror to the Holocaust is ridiculous? The fact that you would come onto a Cuban exile blog with such a total lack of understanding of Cuban history and suffering, shows just what an ignorant insensitive miserable person you are. Do the math, the number of Cubans murdered, exiled, and interred in concentration camps, out of a population of only about six million. As a Jew, I have no other name for this horror except Holocaust. Shame on you for attempting to trivialize the suffering of millions.

  44. kathleen
    im glad you said what you said about being jewish/ holocaust/ using it in terms of cuba.. i wanted to ask something in regards to that, because i had a friend who is juban and she gets all bent out of shape anytime someone uses the term holocaust.. she felt it “diminished” the seriousness of what happened, and despite being cuban she said it just does not compare.. quick bio: her grand father got chased from poland to spain, poland late 1930’s was not the best place to be, franco and the spanish civil was got them out of spain and to cuba, and then cuba late 50’s we know the story.. anyways, despite all that, she never liked the term used in the “cuba” question.. anywyas you answered it when you said you thought it applied.. do you know others (jewish) who agree (or disagree) and how they thought it compares?? thanks

  45. To ebnelson, if he’s still reading this thread:
    Cuban photographer Korda is now just like che, stone dead and unable to use his hands, or his voice, so neither one does *any* whining.
    Korda’s relatives in Havana do, or did, at some point, and fidelucho “rewarded” them by evicting them from their dwelling, ostensibly because they had built some addition to it without official permission.
    I don’t know where the Kordas live nowadays, but I wouldn’t be surprised if at least some of them are in Hialeah or Miami.
    God knows they wouldn’t have much to cheer about in Cuba –where the totalitarian regime (surprise, surprise, surprise!) still keeps all the royalties of the image (and its multiple derivations) that we commonly see in t-shirts, banners, etc. etc.
    Maybe those of us in exile should emulate a practice that goes back to New Orleans during the American Civil War and place ernesto’s visage at the bottom of…a tibor!
    Val, wouldn’t that be a great item to have for sale at the next CubaNostalgia?
    And wouldn’t that be a *great* name for a theme restaurant: El tibor del che!
    Macanudo, pibe!
    Julio

  46. Daniel, I understand your Jubans feelings. Most Jewish people the same way because of the sheer numbers and the historical uniqueness of the Jewish destruction, but not all. I get a lot a flack for this, but most people really don?t know what has happened in Cuba. When they find out, they usually agree with my use of the word. If you look it up, this is the definition.
    Holocaust- A great or complete devastation or destruction. Obviously, it is also the name the genocide of European Jews during WWII.

    As I stated above, there is no other word that I know of to describe what has happened to Cubans. Contrary to the usual opinion I think to not use this word is to diminish it’s meaning. I hope this answers your question.

  47. “Su m?s reciente tatuaje del “Che” qued? plasmado en el brazo derecho del turista italiano Mauro Adreini, de 35 a?os, quien durante la sesi?n afirm? que so?aba con el momento desde hace a?os y consider? “espectacular” el trabajo.

    “En Italia la figura del “Che” es un s?mbolo muy importante que se lleva en camisetas y banderas. Para los italianos representa un s?mbolo de la libertad”, explic? el turista.”

    What can you say? (Bangs head against wall)

    http://www.cubanet.org/CNews/y05/ago05/12o11.htm

  48. Eleggua, s?mbolo de la libertad? Hasta la victoria siempre? God help us, the world is insane. Ditto with the head banging.

  49. Taking Julio’s idea several tangents further, what about che toilet paper, or che paper targets for gun shows, or che lining paper for bird cages, or che dog wiwi pads.

    Guys, the marketing possibilities are endless…

  50. Because of its association with Hitler’s extermination of European Jewry, and because the Cuban experience has been horrible enough and does not require us to increase that horror by association, I prefer, personally, not to use the word “holocaust” to denote Castro’s slaughter of his people. There is another word which means exactly the same thing as “holocaust,” but which is not associated in the public consciousness with the specific suffering of one people: that word is the equally horrific sounding “hecatomb.”

    As a historical sidebar, let me point out that Valeriano “Butcher” Weyler, captain general of Cuba during our War of Independence (1895-98), established the first concentration camps in the world. He forced the inhabitants of the Cuban countryside into barricaded towns encircled by barbed wire (the first time that this 1880s invention had been used to corral humans), and did not allow the prisoners, mostly the wives, children and elderly relations of the rebels, any communication with the outside world. No provisions were allowed in the camps nor was medical assistance of any kind provided. In fact, the Spanish did not even allow the rotting corpses to be buried. More than 300,000 Cubans out of a population of 2 million died of starvation or disease in those camps. At the end of the war, the Red Cross tended for the few survivors and photographed them. These photographs are identical in every respect to those which were taken by the liberators of the Nazi camps.

    The Spanish prime minister who approved this policy of extermination, Canovas del Castillo, was assassinated by an Italian anarchist who was furnished with money and advice by the great Puerto Rican patriot Ramon Emeterio Betances. Weyler himself, who carried out the genocidal policy, was created Marques de Tenerife and died in 1931 at age 97. And, yes, Weyler was of German extraction, so the “honor” of conceiving this idea stays with the German people.

  51. To Julio C. Zangroniz, thanks for the update on the photographer. The last I heard of him was an interview on NPR here in the states. As he explained it, the photograph he took making earnesto look heroic and forward thinking was never copyrighted and that no one owns the royalty rights to the image. Perhaps since then Castro went whining into some World Court and took possesion of the photos. As to the photographer, he was sounding very happy and pleased to still be the official photographer of the ‘revolution’ after so many years.
    That Castro may have finally turned on him and his family, well, that is what despots do, no?
    I hope they are not suffering too much, and that some of them have escaped to liberty.

  52. ANDERSONVILLE, GA. CIVIL WAR
    Throughout history we can cite atrocities, such as the fact that more than 15,000 Union soldiers died in the stockade built at Andersonville, GA. during the Civil War.

    However, today the Cubans are suffering similar cruelties as they did under Spanish rule but at the hands of a Cuban, because now the whole island has become a prison, and on it are several hundred of smaller prisons to confine those who would speak of FREEDOM. No matter how the young are brainwashed in Castro’s schools, the yearning for freedom dwells in many of their hearts, because it is a call that cannot be denied and cannot be quelled.

    The courage of those who dissent, knowing that what they face is as horrendous as the conditions at Andersonville, is amazing. The spirit of Washington and Adams and Jefferson, and Bunker Hill is still alive, the courage that those who resisted by joining the Underground in France, Denmark, Norway, Holland and other countries lives in Cuba today too. In one respect though, Castro is indeed a genius as Jack Nicholson said, a genius at Evil, and his system of spies and repression seems even more harsh and enforced than the hated SS, the NKVD, OGPU of Germany and the USSR.

    The lesson in History of Cuba under the Spanish, by the way, is certainly informative. Just think how many people have died under such tyranny the world over, today, during our own lifetime; it is amazing that WE still tolerate it. Idi Amin, for example, lived out his full life in luxury when he should have executed for his atrocities, the same as fidelito should. That he will most likely die in peace is a travesty of justice and upon the souls of those he caused to die since 1965.

  53. MAT- I agree with you about the use of the word. I did not know of the word hecatomb. You’re the second person who’s brought it to my attention. CB emailed me earlier. Forty six years is a long time to suffer the worlds apathy in the face of such evil atrocity. I think attaching a name to it makes it a tangible truth that will help silence the deniers. It’s not for me to decide which word should be used. I’m so sick of people like Hilda who treat it as some fun mind game. Go play with those right wing Cubans, get them worked up, such great fun! It’s amoral and disgusting.

  54. Well, imagine working at a school and having students wearing their Che T-shirt while one’s teaching. Talk about wanting to just blow up!
    I have thought about going to the principal and ask her what would happen if I came with a T-shirt supporting a famous assassin.

  55. A.Gonz?lez: Don’t involve the principal in this matter. If she isn’t Cuban, she just won’t get it. Instead, fail the little “Che” wannabes. If they want to emulate “Che,” then it is well that they should get used to failure while they are still young.

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