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.”

"Radical college students may have had posters in a dorm room or worn a beret like (Guevara)," Curcio said. "He was connected to the idea of useful revolt and revolution. For (the artist) it may not be about Cuba. It may be about (Guevara) and student revolt in the U.S."

Leave it to a history department chairman to recite the Castro-concocted talking points on Che Guevara almost flawlessly.

For any University of Nevada students who read Townhall, here’s some talking points for any question and answer sessions after your next lecture by professor Linda Curcio:

“In fact, professor Curcio, according to the U.S. embassy, the total military casualties on both sides of the anti-Batista skirmishing in Cuba from 1956-59 actually ran to 152. New Orleans has an annual murder rate double that. The famous “Battle of Santa Clara” where Che Guevara earned his eternal martial fame claimed five casualties total on both sides.

“In fact, professor Curcio, those “thousands of casualties” at the hands of the Castro brothers and Che Guevara were in no way related to military action. Instead, utterly defenseless men, boys and (and even some women ) were bound and gagged and dragged in front of firing squads.”

“In fact, professor Curcio, since you’re fluent in Spanish, here’s an excerpt from Che Guevara’s very diaries: “My nostrils dilate while savoring the acrid odor of gunpowder and blood. Crazy with fury I will stain my rifle red while slaughtering any vencido that falls in my hands! The Spanish word vencido, as you know professor Curcio, translates into “defeated” or “surrendered.”

“One day before his death in Bolivia, Che Guevara for the first time in his life finally faced something properly describable as combat. He snuck away from the firefight and surrendered with a full clip in his pistol, while whimpering to his captors: "Don't shoot! I'm Che! I’m worth more to you alive than dead! In the interest of quality education here at University of Nevada, Professor Curcio, we implore you to assign Humberto Fontova’s book as required reading for all history classes.

At any rate, Reno-Tahoe airport passengers must have been comforted to know that an airport employee felt the same affection for the hemisphere’s Godfather of airplane hijackings that Leonardo da Vinci felt for Mona Lisa and Andy Warhol for Marilyn Monroe.

And needless to add, if an American of African heritage had complained about a picture of, say, former KKK chieftan David Duke (who killed nobody and hijacked no planes) in the same place it would be ceremoniously taken down and perhaps ceremoniously hurled in a dumpster or burned. Artistic freedom be double-damned.

Then whoever put it up would run the gauntlet of media inquisitions, groveling apologies at every stop. And he’d still probably lose his job.

But then African-Americans vote Democratic at roughly the same rate as Cuban-Americans vote Republican. So none of the usual liberal bugaboos and shibboleths enforcing “sensitivity” in speech and writing apply to this latter minority, for they disparage the Democratic Plantation in word and deed and are thus lepers in MSM eyes.

“The U.S. is the great enemy of mankind!” raved the terrorist who prominently garnished the wall in the airport of Reno, Nevada, USA. “Against those hyenas (Americans) there is no option but extermination! The imperialist enemy (Americans) must feel like a hunted animal wherever he moves. Thus we’ll destroy him! We must keep our hatred (against the U.S.) alive and fan it to paroxysm! If the nuclear missiles had remained (in Cuba) we would have fired them against the heart of the U.S. including New York City. “

Che's hate-obsession was actually the U.S. Most of the Cubans he murdered, he murdered because he thought they were affiliated with the U.S. ("U.S.--Backed" Batista, the CIA, etc.) In fact probably 99 1/2 per cent of the men (and boys, and some women) his regime murdered had no affiliation with Batista whatsoever and the vast majority had fought the Batista regime—but alas, as non-communists.

But as usual, most of the people Che Guevara craved to incinerate viewed this Reno Airport issue-- as they viewed the Mercedes issue and the Ozzie Guillen issue-- as a quaint and silly obsession of hyper-sensitive, loudmouthed and even ungrateful Cuban-Americans.

Maybe former Brazilian President (and friend of Che Guevara) Janio Quadros was on to something when in 1961 he snickered to a confidant that “those Americans are much like women. They have a masochistic streak. The more you slap them around, the more you get out of them.”

(Every quote and historical item above is fully-documented here and here.)

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