Humberto Fontova

While the MSM reports on Fidel Castro’s 84th birthday, Townhall will report on some of the tens of thousands of his countrymen who cannot celebrate birthdays. Seems only fitting.

Upon arriving in Havana, Jan. of 1959, after an utterly BOGUS guerrilla war, (The New York Times had breathlessly reported of “thousands dead in single battles!" The official tally compiled by the U.S embassy after two years of “ferocious civil war!" was 184 dead on BOTH sides, half New Orleans' annual murder tally)--at any rate, upon entering the Cuban capitol, the gallant Che Guevara (beaming and strutting over his appointment –Hot Damn!--as Castro’s chief hangman!) immediately recognized the moat around Havana's La Cabana fortress as a handy-dandy execution pit. At Babi-Yar, Hitler's SS had to dig one. Here Che Guevara and Fidel Castro had one ready-made and so they put their firing squads to work in triple-shifts.

"Viva Cuba Libre! Viva Cristo Rey! Abajo Comunismo!" Before the bullets ripped their bodies apart “the defiant yells of the bound and staked martyrs would make the walls of La Cabana prison tremble," wrote eyewitness to the slaughter, Armando Valladares.

So by mid 1961 the mere binding and blindfolding of Castro and Che's enemies wasn't enough. The Left’s premier poster-boys began ordering their gagging too. The shaken firing-squads demanded it. The defiant yells by the hundreds of men and boys they were murdering had badly spooked the trigger-pullers, you see.

So now, as the Castroite henchmen yanked the martyrs and heroes from the cells, bent their arms back, and bound their hands, two more Communist guards came into play. One grabbed the struggling victim's hair and jerked his head back, trying to steady him. The other taped his mouth shut.

Rigoberto Hernandez was 17 when Che Guevara’s henchmen dragged him from his cell in Havana’s La Cabana prison and execution-pit, jerked his head back to gag him, and started dragging him to the stake. Little "Rigo" pleaded his innocence to the very bloody end. But his pleas were garbled and difficult to understand. His struggles while being gagged and bound to the stake were also awkward. The boy had been a janitor in a Havana high school and was mentally retarded. His single mother had pleaded his case with hysterical sobs. She had begged, beseeched and finally proven to his "prosecutors" that it was a case of mistaken identity. Her only son, a boy in such a condition, couldn't possibly have been "a CIA agent planting bombs."

Humberto Fontova

Humberto Fontova holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Tulane University and is the author of four books including his latest, The Longest Romance; The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro. For more information and for video clips of his Television and college speaking appearances please visit