Humberto Fontova

At a ceremony in Havana last week, UNESCO (U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) honored Che Guevara by enshrining his writings in its hallowed “Memory of the World Register.” The ceremony included several members of Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s family.

“UNESCO’s work is part of our support for freedom of expression as an inalienable human right set down in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” declares the UN’s mission statement.

But not far from where this UNESCO/Guevara ceremony took place Cubans were being starved and beaten in pestiferous torture chambers for the crime of quoting the UN Declaration of Human Rights in public.

“UNESCO is known as the intellectual agency of the United Nations while “Protecting freedom of expression: an essential condition for democracy, development and human dignity,” reads the UN charter.

But not far from where this UNESCO/Guevara ceremony took place, the regime being honored by UNESCO burned hundreds of books and documents in a ceremony only slightly less spectacular than the one hosted by Joseph Goebbels in Berlin’s Opera Square in 1933. The bonfire was accompanied by the beating and jailing of the owners and purveyors of these works. The Castroite bonfire was fueled by such works as Orwell’s Animal Farm, the works of Martin Luther King, and the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

“I plead with Fidel Castro and his government to immediately take their hands off (Cuba’s) independent librarians” pleaded none other than Ray Bradbury at the time. “And to release all those librarians in prison, and to send them back into Cuban culture to inform the people.”

Instead of heeding Bradbury, for the crime of stocking some of the world’s bestselling books, (along with the UN Declaration of Human Rights) the Stalinist regime honored by UNESCO condemned the Cuban librarians to prison terms similar to the one a South African judge handed Nelson Mandela for planting bombs in public places. “As to the disposition of the books, magazines and pamphlets they are to be destroyed by means of incineration because they lack usefulness,” ruled the Castroite “judge.”

Just last week, the UN honored Nelson Mandela with an “International Nelson Mandela Day.” The longest suffering political prisoners in modern history (all Cubans jailed and tortured by the regime honored by the UN last week) have never received so much as a nod or wink from the United Nations.


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.