This week Castro’s propaganda ministry published another portion of Che Guevara’s “diaries.” Entitled “Diaries of a Combatant,” these passages were allegedly composed by Ernesto “Che” Guevara between 1956-58, and were published “unedited.” We know this because a minister of the Stalinist regime (Che Guevara’s widow, Aleida March), vouchsafed this scoop to all foreign “news” agencies bestowed Havana Bureaus by the Cuban government.
According to Guevara’s widow, the goal of this latest release was “to show his work, his thoughts, his life, so that the Cuban people and the entire world get to know him and don’t distort things anymore,” reported CNN.
“She [Aledia March-Guevara] said she wanted readers to get to know Che Guevara just as he was,” assures the BBC.
“March told reporters the purpose of publishing the diary is to acknowledge his thoughts, life and work,” underscores the Associated Press.
“We’d have to ask if he [Che Guevara] really wanted the ‘Diary of a Combatant’ published,” said Maria del Carmen Ariet, another regime apparatchik, while leaking snippets to CNN’s Havana correspondent Shasta Darlington.
So there. The candid, courageous and revelatory nature of this Castro-regime publication is solidly documented – at least in the view of the same reporters who typically erupt in cynical snorts before any Republican finishes a sentence.
Che himself must be guffawing in his grave. He had the mainstream media’s number from day one: “Foreign reporters, preferably American,” he wrote in the first portion of these diaries titled “Episodes of the Cuban Revolutionary War” and published in 1963, “were much more valuable to us at that time  than any military victory. Much more valuable than rural recruits for our guerrilla force, were American media recruits to export our propaganda.”
Che’s future patron and handler Castro thought similarly: “We cannot for a second abandon propaganda,” Castro stressed in a letter to a revolutionary colleague in 1954. “Propaganda is vital — propaganda is the heart of all struggles.”
But with this new portion of Che’s diaries, Castro’s propaganda apparatchiks should strive for better “synergy” with their foreign auxiliaries. To wit:
“One Thousand Killed in 5 days of Fierce Street Fighting,” read a New York Times headline on Jan 4, 1959 about the “battle” of Santa Clara in central Cuba where Ernesto “Che” Guevara earned much of his enduring martial mystique. “Commander Che Guevara appealed to Batista troops for a truce to clear the streets of casualties,” continues the Times article. “Guevara turned the tide in this bloody battle and whipped a Batista force of 3,000 men.”
A year later, Che’s own diaries revealed that his forces suffered exactly one casualty during this Caribbean Stalingrad depicted by the Times. British historian Sir Hugh Thomas, author of a 1700-page tome of Cuban history who initially vied with Herbert Matthews as a Castro sycophant, claims a grand total of six casualties for this Caribbean Verdun. Your humble servant here interviewed several eye-witnesses (on both sides) to this “battle” and their consensus came to about five casualties total for this alleged Caribbean Iwo Jima.
True to New York Times-form, during this “battle,” the paper didn’t have a reporter within 300 miles of Santa Clara. Instead, it relied on trusty Cuban Castroite “correspondents.”
True to Che Guevara-form, the genuine bloodbath in Santa Clara came a week after the “battle,” when his opponents (real and imagined) were utterly defenseless. That’s when Che sent his goons to drag men and boys from their homes and set his firing squads to work in triple shifts. Nothing from the _New York Times_’ trusty correspondents on this, however. True to Communist practice, only when “Peace is Given a Chance,” when their enemies are utterly defenseless, does the bloodbath commence in earnest.
Given the new Castroite publication’s title, “Diary of a Combatant,” here are some points of interest:
“In all essentials Castro’s [and Che’s] battle for Cuba was a public relations campaign fought in New York and Washington,” wrote British historian Hugh Thomas. (Add to that, fought and won.)
After the glorious victory over Batista, some of the Castroite guerillas explained their harrowing battlefield exploits to Paul Bethel who served as U.S. press attaché in Cuba’s U.S. Embassy in 1959. “We had a helluva time, Paul!” laughed one guerrilla named William Morgan. “We used a short-wave radio to broadcast the so-called battle. We yelled fake battle commands into the mic while a few of the muchachos shot BARs and pistols into the air for the sound effects. We really whooped it up!”
Another U.S. citizen described to Bethel how he managed to duck the hail of bombs and bullets:
Che Guevara’s column shuffled right into the U.S. agricultural experimental station in Camaguey where I worked. Guevara asked manager Joe McGuire to have a man take a package to Batista’s military commander in the city. The package contained $100,000 with a note. Guevara’s men moved through the province almost within sight of uninterested Batista troops.
According to Paul Bethel, the U.S. embassy had been highly skeptical about all the battlefield bloodshed and heroics reported in the New York Times and investigated them. They ran down every reliable lead and eyewitness account of what the New York Times called a “bloody civil war with thousands dead in single battles.” They found that in the Cuban countryside, in those two years of “ferocious” battles, the total casualties on both sides actually ran to 182. New Orleans has an annual murder rate double that.