Humberto Fontova
In the movie Robert Redford production The Motorcycle Diaries Mexican-born actor Gael Garcia Bernal reveled in the role of Ernesto Guevara “I cannot remember when I didn't know about Che," he sighed during an interview in 2004. "Che has so much to do with your ideals as a young man. His mythification, Che the icon, is not three-dimensional. To have the T-shirt doesn’t mean much. With the film, we wanted to bring that character closer to ourselves."

Now, in the movie “No” Bernal is playing the role of Rene Saavedra, a Chilean PR man mounting a press campaign against Chilean President Augusto Pinochet during a 1988 referendum. The movie’s title “No” refers to how the Bernal character wants Chileans to vote regarding Pinochet’s continuation as Chilean President.

“This made me realize the profound pain caused by the (Pinochet) dictatorship and it hit me hard," he told The Associated Press this week in Santiago Chile. "The director wanted to make a movie about the history of what went on in 1988, as well as an introspection and reflection on democracy."

While prepping for his role as Che in The Motorcycle Diaries Bernal admits to often visiting Cuba for coaching by the Stalinist regime’s KGB-founded propaganda ministry. The regime co- founded by Che Guevara has banned voting under penalty of firing squad and prison for half a century.

After 14 years in power Pinochet allowed a vote that ousted him. After 53 years the regime co- founded by Che Guevara stills outlaws it.

But we search in utter vain for any expression of “pain” felt by Bernal on behalf of Cubans, or any “reflection” by him (on the extinction of) Cuban democracy for a period OVER THREE TIMES as long as its absence in Chile.

But why pick on Gael Garcia Bernal?

Back in 2006 Fidel Castro got sick and seemed on his deathbed shortly before Augusto Pinochet passed away. So both names were much in the news. This provided a controlled setting, a veritable laboratory, for testing media bias.

The terms "human rights abuses," along with "murders and tortures" appeared consistently in the articles on one Latin American leader, while being almost completely absent from stories about the other.

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