Humberto Fontova
You just knew Che Guevara would show up as an icon of the union demonstrators in Chicago. Why? Well, let’s consider the factors in this demonstration by union-educators who were mostly educated by other union-educators.

*Che Guevara outlawed trade unions. Then-- at Soviet gun-point-- he herded all recalcitrant Cuban union-members into forced-labor camps and sent their rebellious union-leaders to the firing squad.

* The union members clamoring for more union privileges in Chicago while wearing t-shirts hailing this murderous Stalinist union-buster and hailing him as a “role model” are mostly products of America’s public schools-- and keen to continue the glowing tradition abundantly evident in their own education.

Don't look for this in the MSM, on The History Channel, much less in Chicago schoolbooks, but among the first, the most militant, and the most widespread opposition groups to the Stalinism Soviet satraps Che Guevara and Fidel Castro imposed on Cuba came from Cuba’s pre-Castro labor unions.

And who can blame them? Here's a report from the International Labor Organization 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. At the time Cubans owned more cars per-capita than half of Europeans and THREE TIMES as many per- capita as Japanese citizens.

Then came Castroism. In a TV speech on June 26, 1961, when Soviet satrap Che Guevara reigned as 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.”

Thousands of Cuba’s outraged laborers took up arms against Castroite Stalinism. The MRP (Movimiento Revolucionario del Pueblo) was among these Cuban resistance groups of mostly laborers. But don’t take it from me. Here’s how the FBI and CIA described them: “Heavily weighted labor membership, with socialistic leanings. Aimed for Castro overthrow from within; advocated nationalization of economy, agrarian reform, utopian social reforms.”

Cuba’s enraged campesinos also rose in arms by the thousands when Soviet satraps Castro and Che started stealing their land to build Soviet Kolkhozes. Alarmed by the insurgency, Castro and Che sent a special emissary named Flavio Bravo to Khrushchev. “We are on a crusade against kulaks like you were in 1930,” pleaded this veteran Cuban Communist party member.

In short order, Soviet agricultural and military “advisors,” still flush from their success against their own campesinos in the Ukrainian Holocaust were rushed to Cuba, and the slaughter commenced.

This anti-Stalinist rebellion, involving ten times the number of rebels, ten times the number of casualties, and lasting twice as long as the puerile skirmish against Batista, found no reporter anywhere near Cuba's hills. The Cuban farmers and laborers’ desperate, bloody and lonely rebellion against their enslavement spread to the towns and cities and lasted from late 1959 to 1966. Castro himself admitted that his Soviet led troops, militia, cops and torturers were up against 179 different "bands of bandits" as they labeled these freedom-fighting Cuban rednecks and working men.

Tens of thousands of Communist troops, scores of Soviet advisors, and squadrons of Soviet tanks, helicopters and flame-throwers finally extinguished the lonely Cuban freedom-fight. Elsewhere they call this "an insurgency," and reporters flock in to “embed” and report.

In 1962 the Kennedy-Khrushchev swindle that "solved" the Missile Crisis — not only starved these Cuban freedom-fighters of the measly aid they'd been getting from Cuban-exile freebooters (who were rounded up for violating U.S. neutrality laws) — it also sanctioned almost 50,000 Soviet troops in Cuba. Elsewhere they call this "foreign occupation," and liberals wail in anguish.

This ferocious guerrilla war, waged 90 miles from America's shores, might have taken place on the planet Pluto for all you'll read about it in the MSM and all you'll learn about it from The History Channel or Chicago schoolbooks. To get an idea of the odds faced by those rural rebels and laborers, the desperation of their battle and the damage they wrought, you might revisit Tony Montana during the last 15 minutes of "Scarface."

After crushing the betrayed freedom-fighters, Soviet satraps Castro and Che converted Cuba into a Soviet colony, slum and sewer that drove out 20 per cent of Cuba’s population at great cost to life and total coast to possessions--this from a vibrant nation formerly swamped with immigrants.

But I’m betting Chicago’s school kids learn that Castro’s Cuba combines the wonders of the Emerald City with Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory.


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.