Humberto Fontova

That silence you hear issues from the media/celebrity axis regarding the massive protests in Venezuela where hip college kids are being beaten, tear-gassed and shot down in a manner to shame anything done by Mayor Daley’s police in 1968 or the Ohio National Guard in 1970. Six Venezuelan youths are confirmed dead and hundreds have been injured and/or arrested.

Forget looking in the mainstream media for the nitty-gritty of this communist repression. The Venezuelan regime —under the (literal!) and expert tutelage of their Cuban colonial overlords--is easily censoring the sheeplike mainstream media. The truth is getting out through social media. Please don’t miss these dramatic videos.

But these are Communist police and National Guardsmen doing the beating, gassing and shooting, you see. Hence the silence. Worse still, these Venezuelan storm-troopers are “practiced at the art of repression” thanks to hands-on training by the best in the business: Castro’s police.

There is no place in the media-celebrity narrative on Latin American police repression for this sort of thing. Pinochet? Somoza? Batista?—sure! These Latin American dictators thrived on repressing young hipsters. But they were all “right-wingers.” So it was only natural. A good word regarding any of those regimes by a rocker celebrity would have lead to instant and permanent blacklisting.

On the other hand, a good word regarding the Castro regime serves almost as password into the uppermost reaches of celebrity-rocker status, especially it’s “thinking” echelons (as such things are measured among rockers.)

The notion of Castro’s Cuba as stiflingly Stalinist nation never quite caught on among ‘the enlightened.” Instead the island often inspires hazy visions of a vast commune, rock-fest or Occupy site, studded with free health clinics and with Wavy Gravy handing out love-beads at the entrance. The regime was founded by beatniks, after all. In 1960 Jean Paul Sartre hailed Cuba’s Stalinist rulers as “les Enfants au Pouvoir” (the children in power). A few months earlier Fidel Castro spoke at Harvard the same bill as beat poet Allen Ginsberg. And ever since then, long-haired Che Guevara has reigned worldwide as top icon of youthful rebellion.

“They saw in him (Fidel Castro,)” writes Camelot court scribe Arthur Schlesinger Jr. “the hipster who in the era of the Organization Man had joyfully defied the system.”

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