At first the troubled young Argentine took an active role in the mass murder of defenseless Cubans, shattering the skulls of the convulsed victims with a blast from his own pistol. But given the volume of these murders the task proved fatiguing and the Argentine soon appointed Cuban henchmen to better facilitate the serial bloodbath.
Not that he distanced himself from the slaughter. In fact, he took such a keen delight in the murder process that a special window was constructed in his office allowing him to watch and gloat at the orgy of bloodletting in the field below his office.
In this process the Argentine was helping his Cuban mentor establish a personal fiefdom that would prove quite enduring, to put it mildly. Alas, the (live) Argentine's usefulness to his mentor would prove nowhere near as enduring and soon his "martyrdom" was skillfully arranged.
Former CIA officers revealed to this writer how Fidel Castro himself, via the Bolivian Communist party, constantly fed the CIA info on Che's whereabouts in Bolivia. Fidel Castro's directive to the Bolivian Communists regarding Che and his merry band is also a hoot: "Not even an aspirin," instructed Cuba's Maximum Leader to his Bolivian comrades, meaning that Bolivia's Communists were not to assist Che in any way — "not even with an aspirin," if Che complained of a headache.
On his second to last day alive, Che Guevara ordered his guerrilla charges to give no quarter, to fight to the last breath and to the last bullet. With his men doing exactly that, Che, snuck away from the firefight, crawled towards the Bolivian soldiers doing the firing, then as soon as his he spotted two of them at a distance, stood and yelled: “Don’t Shoot! I’m Che! I’m worth more to you alive than dead!”
That's exactly two flunky Communist guerrillas facing two Bolivian soldiers, by the way. But then, Che’s bloodthirsty bluster (see above) always had a habit of evaporating when facing men (or boys) capable of defending themselves. His stock-in-trade was blasting their skulls apart from five feet while they were bound and gagged.
…And oh! Didn’t Che Guevara mount his steed and grab his lance as the (self-appointed) liberator of South America’s indigenous peoples from exploitation by the continents’ Europeans descendants?
Well, based on this third picture, taken by the men who captured and killed him—Che’s message seemed woefully under-appreciated by his intended “beneficiaries.” I only note one obviously European-descendend person in the picture.
His Bolivian captors ignored Che’s final plea. In fact they adopted a policy that has since become a favorite among Americans who encounter (so-called) endangered species on their property: "Shoot, shovel, and shut-up."
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 www.hfontova.com.