Remembering an Executioner


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Forty-three years ago this week, Ernesto “Che” Guevara got a major dose of his own medicine. Without trial, he was declared a murderer, stood up against a wall and shot. Historically speaking, justice has rarely been better served. There was never an occasion better suited to the expression: “What goes around comes around.”

“When you saw the beaming look on Che’s face as the victims were tied to the stake and blasted apart by the firing squad,” said former Cuban political prisoner Roberto Martin-Perez, “you saw there was something seriously, seriously wrong with Che Guevara.” As commander of the La Cabana execution yard, Che often shattered the skull of the condemned man (or boy) by firing the coup de grace himself. When other duties tore him away from his beloved execution yard, he consoled himself by viewing the slaughter from afar. Che’s second-story office in Havana’s La Cabana prison had a section of wall torn out so he could watch his darling firing-squads at work.

Even as a youth, Ernesto Guevara’s writings revealed a serious mental illness. “My nostrils dilate while savoring the acrid odor of gunpowder and blood. Crazy with fury I will stain my rifle red while slaughtering any vencido that falls in my hands!” This passage is from Ernesto Guevara’s famous Motorcycle Diaries, though Robert Redford somehow overlooked it while directing his heart-warming film on Guevara.

The Spanish word vencido, by the way, translates into “defeated” or “surrendered.” And indeed, the “acrid odor of gunpowder and blood” very rarely reached Guevara’s nostrils from anything other than captured prisoners — often defenseless men and boys at close-range. Carlos Machado was 15 years old in 1963 when the bullets from the firing squad shattered his body. His twin brother and father collapsed beside him from the same volley. All had resisted Castro and Che’s theft of their humble family farm; all refused blindfolds and all died sneering at their Communist murderers like thousands of their valiant countrymen. Viva Cuba Libre! Viva Cristo Rey! Abajo Comunismo! “The defiant yells would make the walls of La Cabana prison tremble,” wrote eyewitness to the slaughter, Armando Valladares.

As history shows, 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 were slaughtered. Murder was Che’s one true talent. At everything else, he failed abysmally.

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  • proxywar

    “Don’t shoot!” I’m Che!” I’m worth more to you alive than dead!”

    I've read else where this quote is at best apocryphal.

    • AKinfidel

      "I've read else where this quote is at best apocryphal."

      Talk about "apocryphal"

  • poptoy

    and may he rot in hell.

  • donna_marie

    You should check out history.com's daily "This Day in History". I get it every day and a couple of days ago was actually the anniversary of ole' Che's execution. According to it, Che was a great guy and revered by many because he was a revolutionary. However, some do not like him because it is said that he ordered the deaths of "hundreds" in Cuban prisons. It did not include any of the above. It kind of makes me sick and that is why so many imbeciles are running around with Che shirts on.

  • Ret. Marine

    Could not have happened to a better candidate. Now when do we start the process for the hate America, the liars and cover-ups of the current media types and the academia. Che was nothing but a good start to what must be done to right this sinking ship of State. A case of more being needed and less patients for those involved. We are just 50 years to late for the second revolution. Which almost coincides with the presumption of the ideology of hate, the current idiots calling themselves progressive/regressive, of what, surly not that of America.

  • Cuban Refugee

    There are some who subscribe to the notion that Castro sanctioned Che's demise in Bolivia because the Argentinian was becoming too popular. He has since certainly built a myth around this miserable coward whose name is repeated and glorified by tiny robots in Cuba's schools who chant by rote, "I want to be like Che!" The useful idiots all over the world who wear the visage of a cold-blooded murderer on their chests have no clue that their rebellious sartorial style says more about their naivete than about a diabolical failed revolutionary who, Zelig-like, was in the right place at the right time.

  • Spider

    Only the American media, Hollywood and the academia could turn this sadist and epic idiot into a folk hero. He was rumored to be so dumb he couldn't eveen read a map. He was no brave warrior either. Amyone he shot was tied to a chair. I can only hope the sick leftists in this country who idolize this POS would meet the same fate as he.

  • http://netzero.com Steve Chavez

    I was at Borders yesterday here at Uptown Albuquerque and there was a section of books at the end which said "Rafael Recommends" and they were ALL COMMUNIST BOOKS! They had a book on the Communist Manifesto and several on Che, Fidel, and Marx. Below the books were flash cards that were inserted into a file with public comments. One below a Che book said "Children, this was a great man!" All the comments on every book were glowing of Communism.

    Well, while chatting and have a drink, I wrote my own: "Children, hundreds of thousands of people have escaped from Cuba on inner-tubes, and in shark-infested waters, while not ONE person has escaped TO Cuba. Why do you think that is? Che was a murderer!"

    On another praising Castro: "Children, google Alcatraz. It's an island prison. Can you now tell me the difference between Alcatraz and Cuba?"

    I will return this afternoon to see if my comments are still displayed!

    • Cuban Refugee

      Bravo, Steve! In lieu of hopping on the next plane to New Mexico, I ask you to write a card from Cuban Refugee when you visit Borders this afternoon. You know what to write — the words are inscribed on all the hearts of those who fled Castro's tyranny — we speak with one voice. Thank you for being a light of truth in the avalanche of communist propaganda that is raining on our children's heads.

    • Cuban Refugee

      Bravo, Steve! In lieu of hopping on the next plane to New Mexico, I ask you to write a card from Cuban Refugee when you visit Borders this afternoon. You know what to write — the words are inscribed on all the hearts of those who fled Castro's tyranny — we speak with one voice. Thank you for being a light of truth in the avalanche of communist propaganda that is raining on our children's heads.

    • MICKEY

      Good job Steve!

  • HOPLOPHILE61

    Amazing how long it takes for some people to reexamine their beliefs. Forty three years ago I had this murdering scumbag's leering poster on the wall of my dorm bedroom as an undergraduate sophmore.

  • Seek

    The next time someone tells you that only "the Left" has revered Che, try this loving encomium from Mr. Libertarian, Murray Rothbard. And make sure your Ron Paul-supporting Old Right friend sees it:

    "Che is dead, and we all mourn him. Why? How is it that so many libertarians mourn this man?…What made Che such an heroic figure for our time is that he, more than any man of our epoch or even of our century, was the living embodiment of the principle of Revolution. More than any man since the lovable but entirely ineffectual nineteenth-century Russian anarchist, Mikhail Bakunin, Che earned the title of 'professional revolutionary.'"

    — Murray Rothbard,
    "Ernesto Che Guevara, RIP" (1967)

  • Armando

    While attending the National School of Architecure as a student in Mexico City, there was a large poster of guevarra, as was expected. But one day someone wrote underneath it, "Pinche Che" which would translate as "Rotten Che." Apparently there were still some level-headed students who looked beyond all the adulation heaped upon one of the most evil and cowardly person of the Twentieth Century.

    • http://www.myspace.com/freddawes1776/ Fred Dawes

      one or two hispanic who can see facts means nothing most hispanics in mexico and here would join che to murder American kids ( read white kids ) By the way pinche can mean many things not only rotten. and that school is also part of the Mexico city military.

  • M Rob

    Che's epic stupidity is eclipsed by the stupidity of Liberals and Hollywood.

    • Seek

      One small-budget movie of a few years ago, "The Motorcycle Diaries," does not an entire industry conspiracy make. By the way, Andy Garcia, a superb Cuban-born Hollywood actor/director, in 2005 came out with a movie called "The Lost City" that was none too flattering toward Castro. So who's out of touch, now?

      • Sandy Beach

        "The Lost City" had a budget of $9.6M, and was produced and distributed by a small independent company. "Che" had a budget of $70M, and much larger distribution. "Che" was the darling of the critics while "The Lost city" was completely ignored by them. It's also noteworthy to point out that Soderbergh's tribute film is conspicuously devoid of the famous firing squads and other butchery; gee… you'd have thought that this four hour + movie might have found time to include a few executions over lunch, a favorite pastime of this monster. It's quite clear which film Hollywierd got behind. And until boneheads like Johnny Depp and Carlos Santana quit wearing Che T-shirts, you'll have no credibility with such feeble responses. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading Fontova's book a couple of years ago when it came out. It should be required reading in our schools today.

        • Seek

          Perhaps you should check your facts.

          The total production budget for "Che" (actually, there were two separate "Che" movies, a la Tarantino's "Kill Bill," Vols. I and II) was $58 million, not $70 million. More importantly, it was made without American money — it came entirely from foreign sources! Whether Stephen Soderburgh sought Hollywood money is less important than the fact that he didn't get any. That, of course, is entirely distinct from Walter Salles' "The Motorcycle Diaries."

          I personally despise the legacy of Che Guevara. We are in no disagreement there. He was a distinct Latin-American sociopath crossed with The Holy Cause (Marxism-Leninism), and an extreme version of both. But the idea that "Hollyweird" has blood on its hands is absurd. It's only a movie…out of thousands.

  • trickyblain

    She won't use it because she would need verifcation that Boxer was at Revolution Day and said what you claim she did. Searches of the Chron archives and Lexis-Nexis are coming up empty. Can you give us a link to your source?

  • aspacia

    Che was indeed a murdering psychopath, albeit this article should have mentioned the fact that he also was a physician.

    • PepeRoni

      Who cares?

      And if Hitler were a vet, would you be upset at that fact being missing from his biography?

    • Gary from Jersey

      Che said he went to medical school in Argentina. The school, as reported by Mr. Fontova, said it has no record of him being there.

      • aspacia

        I am not expert, but am fairly sure he was an MD.

    • Bogdan the Aussie

      So were MENGELE and Ariber Heim…

      • aspacia

        True enough.

  • http://www.myspace.com/freddawes1776/ Fred Dawes

    Most if not all hispanic kids think that Che was a Freedom fighter and love his race; is that telling you something about what is coming for you?

    That Little monkey CHE Is in hell and that is a good thing and may the others follow him soon.

  • http://www.hfontova.com Humberto

    Aspacia,
    thanks for the comment but I'm afraid you've swallowed part of the Che legend. He was not a physician.
    http://books.google.com/books?id=Fdyxvw-xJIgC&amp

    • aspacia

      Excellent, but please note many references support that he was a physician.

  • iking

    and those leftist will say again, for the nth time, that his execution was a breach of justice and a human rights abuse. stupid mongrels.

  • Jim Johnson

    Che's ancestry was Basque. There were groups of Basks who were terrorists against Spain.
    Like Stalin many a person will join the most murderous groups they can find to live out their raging fantasies. Had Che lived in the Basque area he would have joined the terrorists. He was at a loss until he ran into Fidel's revolution.
    So what about the Che T shirt wearers? Are they of similar internal discontent or just uninformed about Che's anti social disposition? Good to pick up a clue from watching "The day the Earth Stood Still". The movie exposes the internal mood of the writers. It also exposes the internal mood of the Che lovers. If the Che lovers are not badly informed about Che then are they Evil?

    • aspacia

      My ancestry is Basque, and they still are terrorists, albeit, I am not. LOL, typical U.S. patriot whose patrilineal ancestors have been in the U.S since 1560 or so, on a land grant from the King of Spain

  • antileft

    Mr Fontova, brilliant article, as always! It is easy for anyone to experience the ultimate pleasure to kill innocent men, over whom you have attained supreme power, which brings us to an inescapable domain of sexual perversions and satanic obsessions, for the lack of a better word, the same spiritual qualities that have characterized dictators of this ´valley of shadows´ the world over through the time immemorial. Che, Tito, Stalin, Beria, Mobutu, Bokassa, Idi, Fidel, Bundy, and ,unfortunately, the more to come, it is all the same… It is always tragic and beyond comprehension why these sadists arise and are consequently given free reign to indulge their inclinations…Briefly, the day this bearded ´Dracul´ was shot was a great day for humanity, pure and simple !

  • Ofelia Franco

    Mr. Fontova,

    Fantastic work/posting, as always. My family and I are very proud to have met you in the Chicago area a few years ago. It was great to read this informative article that you posted on Che. I will print copies and give them to the "useful iddiots" that I see wearing a t-shirt with his face on it. It is so nice to see you continuing your work to Free Cuba and to provide the information that that the world needs to know. May God Bless you!

    Ofelia Franco

  • wesley69

    One could see how the American Left from its SDS, 1970 honored this cutthroat. Now, these same people surround Obama as advisors or Czars. Che is still their hero as are Lenin, Stalin and Mao. Their current bible is Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals and they are using it to transform this country. If they succeed, they will do like Che, line the opposition up against the wall and blow us all away.

    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Thomas Jefferson

  • badaboo

    Well some people wear swastikas . Unfortunately in a free society , abberants have their day , and the the imbeciles line up . I doubt if the Che shirts are anything more than a fashion statement . Wesley , you really need to get some zanax .
    Funny , it turns out , that the real screw balls who wind up actually blowing people up are guys like the Oklahoma Bomber , the Atalnta Baptist Church bombers , not to mention right wing neo-nazi shootouts etc .
    Besides , I dont recall the left in any large or small way endorsing , approving , or anything close , the SDS .
    Perhaps you forgot just a few days ago the thwarted attack by another screwball , inspired by none other than Glenn Beck and David Horowitz .
    If you're gonna generalize and broadbrush people …the door swings both ways . BTW , I suggest you do a little research and see who else is reading Rules for Radicals .

  • HanniBarca

    Badaboo some news for you: religious church bombing bigots are tribal collectivists thus leftists- just like Nazis who are also leftists(hint Nazi =National Socialists) not to mention McVeigh who was also connected to a neo nazi white supremacist group. No free market economy, constitutional republicans represented by any of these miscreants.