A few items to keep in mind regarding the MSM version of the Pope’s visit to Cuba this week:
“Viva Christ the King! –Down with Communism!” the defiant yells “made the walls of La Cabana prison tremble,” wrote eyewitness to these firing squad massacres, Armando Valladares, who suffered 22 torture-filled years in Castro’s prisons and was later appointed by Ronald Reagan as U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission.
The La Cabana prison and killing field wasn’t far from where Pope Benedict gave his speech this week in Havana, while hosted by the killers.
After the patriot’s yell came, “FUEGO!” And the volley shattered another young patriot. By mid 1961 the defiant yells started unnerving the trigger-pullers and many shots were going wild. The coup de grace, recalls some eyewitnesses, was often delivered to a man (or boy) fully conscious, with eyes open, but convulsed in agony. In the early days of Castroite rule Che Guevara himself reveled in applying these final shots. Earlier while in Cuba’s mountains, Raul Castro specialized in gleefully blasting the skulls apart, say eye-witnesses now in exile.
Most patriots murdered in La Cabana were buried in unmarked graves not far from where Pope Benedict gave his speech this week in Havana, hosted by Raul Castro and with a huge Che Guevara image as backdrop.
"Executions?" Che Guevara exclaimed while addressing the hallowed halls of the U.N. General Assembly Dec. 9, 1964. "Certainly we execute!" he declared, to the claps and cheers of that august body. "And we will continue executing as long as it is necessary! This is a war to the death against the revolution's enemies!"
Catholic youth groups were among the most militant of the Revolution’s enemies and among the first to mount resistance to Castro and Che Guevara’s Stalinization of Cuba. The Soviets then provided Castro’s economic lifeline. So Cuban Catholics be dammed-- and jailed, and tortured, and massacred by firing squads. Nowadays tourists and remittances from the U.S. (many from U.S.-based Catholics) provide the largest lifeline to Castro’s Stalinist regime, right behind Venezuelan subsidies. So obviously a propaganda make-over was in order. And what better propaganda than a visit and blessing from the Pope himself, complete with a condemnation of the “Yankee embargo?”
You simply cannot top this kind of PR, even from Madison Avenue.
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.