Humberto Fontova

Whew! Good thing he wasn’t a Tea-partier caught on camera saying he wants to vote for Benito Mussolini and clone Augusto Pinochet!

Instead he was a union protestor in Madison Wisconsin caught on camera saying he wants to vote for Fidel Castro and clone Che Guevara.

Whew! Good thing he wasn’t Ted Nugent calling Joe Mc Carthy his rock-roll “bandmate!”

Instead it was Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine (who honors Che Guevara as his “fifth band member”) in Madison denouncing Gov. Scott Walker as “the Mubarak of the Midwest!”

So naturally there’s no kerfuffle from the MSM or Democratic Party. As I recall the (utterly bogus as it turned out) use of the “N” word by Tea-partiers back in March created quite a kerfuffle.

A much larger, violent and protracted kerfuffle erupted in Cuba by the union members cursed by fate to live under the gentlemen hailed by some high-profile Madison protestors. Don't look for this on NPR or The History Channel, much less in your college textbooks, but among the first, the most militant, and the most widespread opposition groups to the Stalinism Che Guevara and Fidel Castro imposed on Cuba came from Cuban labor organizations.

And who can blame them? Here's a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) report on Cuba circa 1957: "One feature of the Cuban social structure is a large middle class," it starts. "Cuban workers are more unionized (proportional to the population) than U.S. workers. The average wage for an 8-hour day in Cuba in 1957 is higher than for workers in Belgium, Denmark, France and Germany. Cuban labor receives 66.6 per cent of gross national income. In the U.S. the figure is 70 per cent, in Switzerland 64 per cent. 44 per cent of Cubans are covered by Social legislation, a higher percentage than in the U.S."

In 1958, Cuba had a higher per capita income than Austria or Japan and Cuban industrial workers earned had the eighth-highest wages in the world. In the 1950s, Cuban stevedores earned more per hour than their counterparts in New Orleans and San Francisco.

Then in a TV speech on June 26, 1961, when Che Guevara was Cuba's "Minister of Industries," he proclaimed: "The Cuban workers have to adjust to a collectivist social order--and by no means can they go on strike!"

And why should they? After all, at Soviet gunpoint, all of Cuba’s unions had become departments of the Stalinist regime, hence owned “by the people”—hence “public.”


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 www.hfontova.com.



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