Humberto Fontova

A painting of Che Guevara subtitled “Revolucion!” by a Mexican–American artist was on display for over three months at the International Airport in Reno, Nevada, USA. On May 9th it was taken down by airport officials as originally scheduled. Complaints by outraged airport patrons had nothing to do with this removal.

“The painting of Ernesto "Che" Guevara will remain on display through May 9 with the other nearly 100 items in the employee art exhibit,” was how airport spokesman Brian Kulpin answered the complaints.”

Ernesto “Che” Guevara scorned Mexicans as “a rabble of illiterate Indians,” jailed artists at a higher rate than Stalin, co-founded the terrorist movement that pulled off among the first and deadliest airplane hijackings in the Western Hemisphere, and craved to nuke the USA.

In November 1958 Cubana Airlines Flight 495 from Miami to Varadero was hijacked at gunpoint by terrorists belonging to Castro and Che’s July 26th Movement. The plane crashed in Cuba killing 14 passengers. Che’s glowing face greeted thousands of passengers boarding their flights at Reno-Tahoe Airport. How very thoughtful of airport officials!

Actually, in the interest of historical accuracy, I should clarify that Che Guevara’s anti-American blood-lust could have been slaked only by nuking the American patrons of this American airport born before 1962. So he mostly craved to nuke the parents and grandparents of the Americans who patronize, run and fund Reno-Tahoe International Airport. This obviously includes those who awarded 1st place in the airport’s Employee Art contest to the Che Guevara iconography on prominent display for over three months.

Earlier this month an American of Cuban heritage who lives in Nevada was the first to complain about the painting, but as usual, to no avail. “Artistic freedom” trumped him to a pulp, as explained by airport officials, and further rationalized by Linda Curcio, chairwoman of the University of Nevada history department.

“Linda Curcio said she was not surprised that a Cuban American such as Paz would be concerned about an image of Guevara,” explained the AP story.

"For him, (Guevara) means the Castro regime," she said.

“Guevara's military tactics (italics mine) led to the deaths of thousands during revolutions in Cuba, Bolivia and other South American nations. But his beliefs on communism and Latin America’s stance in the world appealed to anti-establishment college students in the 1960s, and his iconic image has been portrayed on posters, T-shirts and murals since his death, Curcio said.”

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