No one would disagree with the notion that Ché Guevara is an icon to the political left and the poster boy for wannabe Marxist “revolutionaries.” Leftists proudly don their Ché shirts and parade in public, willfully ignorant of the death and destruction the man truly represented. To them, Ché chic has nothing to do with reality and everything to do with making a political statement, regardless of how nescient that statement may be. Ché is all about the politics of the left and the politics of Marxism, sans all that nasty blood and death.
Therefore, I was surprised to come across an article in the Galway Independent where far left Labour Councillor Billy Cameron decried the politicization of his pet project, the Ché Guevara monument in Galway:
Cllr questions politics behind Guevara opposition
Labour Councillor Billy Cameron has asked if fellow Galway City Councillors thought they were voting for “an egg and spoon race” when they unanimously voted to honour Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, and called for Cuban-Americans to “butt out” of Irish affairs.
Galway City Mayor Hildegarde Naughton and Fianna Fáil Cllr Ollie Crowe last week stated that they did not know a monument would be part of the motion to honour the Argentine revolutionary, who helped bring Fidel Castro to power in Cuba in the 1950s.
The councillors’ statements came following a letter from US Republican Congresswoman, Ms Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, to An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, asking him to intervene and stop the monument going ahead.
However, Cllr Cameron, who originally proposed the motion, this week questioned what the councillors thought they were supporting.
“What did they think we were going to have – an egg and spoon race for Che Guevara? There’s a lot of politics involved,” said Cllr Cameron.
Cllr Cameron also rejected the right of Cuban-Americans such as Yale Professor Carlos Eire, and Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen, to become involved in Irish affairs.
“I won’t be taking lectures from Cuban-Americans, who have their own agenda. I’m looking for a balanced debate. You won’t get balance from Cuban-Americans, or the Cuban-American lobby,” said Cllr Cameron.
“We live in an independent country. We fought long and hard for our independence, we’re not under the jurisdiction of the United States, and they should just butt out of Irish affairs, the Cuban-Americans,” he added.
Cllr Cameron said that if people wanted to educate themselves on Che Guevara, they should read the work of historians such as Manuel Barcia, of the University of Leeds.
“He’s a Cuban, he’s a historian, and he deals with the history. Balanced,” said Cllr Cameron.
I have some news for Councillor Cameron: Your Ché monument is politicized because your purpose for building it is to make a political statement.
And I have some more news for Billy: You can “reject” the right of Cuban Americans to voice their disapproval of your vile, insulting, and insensitive monument, but you cannot silence us. Cuban Americans left Cuba so they could maintain their right to speak out against injustice. Unlike the power your good friend Fidel Castro has over Cubans on the island, you cannot silence Cuban Americans with beatings, prison cells, and murder.
In my humble opinion, Mr. Cameron, you have two very simple options available to solve your problem with Cuban Americans: You can either stop promoting a mass murderer and stop supporting a dictatorial regime in Cuba, or you can cover both your ears with your hands and yell “la la la la la la la la.” If you choose the latter, I suggest you prepare yourself for long protracted symphony of la la las because Cuban Americans and Cuban Exiles are a persistent and tenacious bunch. If you don’t believe us, just ask Fidel.