But what about the singer's Stalinist idol Che Guevara?
Multi-Grammy winner Carlos Santana received the Major Baseball League’s “Beacon of Change Award,” this Sunday during its annual “Civil Rights Game” in Atlanta. On his T-shirts, the Mexican-born Carlos Santana honors a Stalinist who abolished all civil rights in Cuba, craved to abolish them worldwide, belittled Mexicans as “a rabble of illiterate Indians,” and craved to nuke Santana’s adopted country -- the one that showered him with multiple honors and millions of dollars. Let us not forget what Che Guevara once wrote to Sam Russell of The London Daily Worker, Nov. 1962: “If the missiles had remained in Cuba we would have fired them at the heart of the U.S.”
Georgia’s new law that requires many American employers to check if their employees are breaking American laws was denounced by Santana as “Un-American.” “People of Arizona, and people of Atlanta, Georgia,” exclaimed Santana as the stadium crowd (initially) clapped in the Mexican immigrant’s acclamation, “you should be ashamed of yourselves!"
At a post-game press conference this guitarist, who at the 2005 Oscars proudly performed the soundscore for Che Guevara’s “Motorcycle Diaries” while proudly wearing a Che shirt, elaborated that: "this law [Arizona’ and Georgia’s] is not correct. This is about fear. It's a cruel law.”
But no “cruel laws” apparently issued from the Communist whom Carlos Santana celebrates in song and attire, who co-founded a regime that jailed more of its subjects than Stalin's and murdered more people in its first three years than Hitler's in its first six. In 1959, with the help of KGB agents, Carlos Santana’s T-shirt icon helped found, train and indoctrinate Cuba's secret police. "Always interrogate your prisoners at night," Che ordered his goons. "A man's resistance is always lower at night." The world's largest image of Santana’s T-shirt hero adorns Cuba's Ministry of the Interior, the headquarters for Cuba's STASI and KGB-trained secret police. Nothing could be more fitting.
The man who inspired Santana’s sizzling guitar work on that Oscar night imposed and enforced laws against “Latinos,” laws that were lifted word for word from those created by Stalin’s secret police chief Lavrenti Beria during The Great Terror. Che Guevara also cheekily signed his correspondence, “Stalin II.”
So, where are the cruel laws, Mr Santana?
Why they’re in Georgia and Arizona, of course.
So, who should be “ashamed” for their “insensitivity” to Latinos' suffering?
Why it’s Georgians and Arizonans, of course.
“Che Guevara is all about love and compassion, man,” Santana said of his Oscar night fashion-statement during a personal run-in with Babalu Blogger Henry Gomez a few years back.
“Where do you even begin with this type of hippy-dippy, space-cadet drivel?” says Henry, who in fact tried briefly and vainly.
During the mid 60s the crime of a “rocker” lifestyle (long hair, jeans fondness for “Yankee-Imperialist” rock music) or effeminate behavior got thousands of youths yanked off Cuba’s streets and parks by Castro’s police and herded into prison camps at Soviet bayonet-point. “Work Will Make Men Out of You” read the sign above the camp’s gate, right next to machine gunners posted on the watchtowers. The entrance to Auschwitz’s, on the other hand, read: “Work Will Set You Free." The initials for Castro’s camps were UMAP, not GULAG, but the conditions were similar.
A more recent rocker-victim of Castroite repression told Mexico’s Proceso magazine that, “in Cuba freedom is nonexistent. The regime demands submission. It persecutes all hippies, homosexuals, poets and free thinkers. It employs total repression against them.”
This “roquero” divulged the truth only because he’d managed to escape the nation-prison whose co-founder and emblem Carlos Santana venerates. That escapees name is Canek Sanchez Guevara-- Ernesto "Che" Guevara’s very grandson. The regime co-founded by his grandfather jailed and tortured Canek for the crime of trying to play some rock music unsanctioned by the Stalinist authorities. Carlos Santana might profit from a “jam session” with fellow guitarist Canek Guevara.
Last year during a benefit concert for the Dolores Huerta Foundation, which provides support for undocumented farm workers, Santana elaborated on his brainy worldview: "There could be peace in this world during our lifetime, you only need to change how you think. God created a world of love so we could all have a place.”
Yet his T-shirt icon helped bring the world closer to nuclear Armageddon than anyone in history, horrifying even his Soviet patrons. For instance, Santana’s idol once declared: “We reject any peaceful approach" and “Violence is inevitable. To establish Socialism rivers of blood must flow. The victory of socialism is well worth millions of atomic victims.”
And regarding Santana’s “world of love” we again find discrepancies with his T-shirt icon:
“Hatred is the central element of our struggle,” raved this icon of flower-children. “Hatred so violent that it propels a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him violent and cold- blooded killing machine…My nostrils dilate while savoring the acrid odor of gunpowder and blood. Crazy with fury I will stain my rifle red while slaughtering any surrendered enemy that falls in my hands.”
This last portion of Che Guevara’s reverie to peace and love comes—not from plagiarizing the Beatles or the Youngbloods—but straight from his very Motorcycle Diaries. This passage somehow went unmentioned during both the movie and the Oscar ceremony hailing these diaries.
If Laura Ingraham’s admonition to “Shut up and sing” needs a poster-boy this month, multi-Grammy winner Carlos Santana tossed in the biggest hat.