"Che Guevara was a sadistic butcher who murdered and tortured innocent people. It is disturbing that U.S. taxpayer dollars are being used to fund an exhibition that glorifies an individual who hated the United States, our commitment to democratic principles, and the values of individual freedom that we so deeply cherish,” said Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott in a letter to National Endowment for the Arts Chairwoman Mary Anne Carter this week, citing a passage in Exposing the Real Ché Guevara by Humberto Fontova.
“They also note that Guevara was known to have been opposed to gay rights and even forced gay people into labor camps,” The Washington Examiner states, quoting from the senators’ letter.
In brief: seems that the NEA issued a grant to San Antonio’s McNay Art Museum for an exhibit titled "Pop América 1965-1975," which included a version of the famous Che Guevara propaganda pic we’re so familiar with from T-shirts, posters, etc.
Given that the featured Che pic (though snapped by a KGB stringer named Alberto Gutierrez and originally publicized by a worldwide KGB campaign) is widely cited as among the most reproduced portraits in the world, it obviously belonged in an art exhibit so titled. No argument there, even by Senators Rubio and Scott.
The essential issue wasn’t the American taxpayer subsidizing a (morally neutral, though KGB-created) pic of a mass-murdering Stalinist terrorist who raved that:
“The U.S. is the great enemy of mankind!” (Che Guevara, 1961.)
“Against those hyenas there is no option but extermination!” (Che Guevara, 1961.)
“We must keep our hatred (against the U.S.) alive and fan it to paroxysm!” (Che Guevara, 1965.)
“If the nuclear missiles had remained (in Cuba) we would have fired them against the heart of the U.S. including New York City. The victory of socialism is well worth millions of Atomic victims.” (Che Guevara, 1962.)
Never mind the above indiscretions. Taxpayer subsidies for the author of such ravings probably falls within the boundaries of constitutionally protected “freedom of expression.” But here’s the kicker: When the art exhibition moved to Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University it was described as demonstrating “'bold contributions' to 'social protest, justice movements and debates about freedom.”
“Justice and freedom” captioning Che Guevara’s pic? Here’s where GOP Senators Rubio and Scott sought clarifications and offered some of their own:
“A contextualization of the works in question would have provided an important opportunity for education and reflection,” continues the letter, “and yet a factual history of Ché Guevara’s bloody legacy [is] not included in the program.…Lastly, we urge you to ensure that individuals responsible for war crimes or crimes against humanity are not featured in any NEA funded exhibits without clearly and unambiguously highlighting their heinous crimes and memorializing their victims.”
In brief, if the U.S. taxpayer is forced to advertise a cowardly, mass-murdering warmonger who regarded them as “hyenas fit only for extermination!” Who regarded their country as “the great enemy of mankind!” and whose lifelong craving was to incinerate them in a nuclear holocaust—if the U.S. taxpayer is forced to fund an ad for this fellow, well let’s at least have a little truth in advertisement. Kinda like what those TV commercials for drugs have at the end.
But you called him “cowardly,” Humberto, some amigos note. Why? I mean, sure he was a mass-murderer and all. But wasn’t he also a brave and proficient guerrilla? After all, that’s what we saw in Steven Soderbergh’s and Del Toro’s movie about him?
HAH! Glad you asked, and especially near this, the 52nd anniversary of his whacking (Oct. 9, 1967.)
In fact, on his second to last day alive and under hot pursuit by Green Beret-trained Bolivian soldiers, Che Guevara ordered his guerrilla charges to give no quarter, to fight to the last breath and to the last bullet. “Che drummed it into us,” recalls Cuban guerrilla Dariel Alarcon, who indeed fought to his last bullet in Bolivia, escaped back to Cuba, defected, and today lives in Paris. “Never surrender,” Che always stressed. “Never, never!” He drilled it into us almost every day of the guerrilla campaign. “A Cuban revolutionary cannot surrender!” Che thundered. “Save your last bullet for yourself!”
With his men doing exactly that, Che snuck away from the firefight, crawled towards the Bolivian soldiers doing the firing—then as soon as he spotted two of them at a distance, stood and yelled: "Don't Shoot! I'm Che! I'm worth more to you alive than dead!"
Learning of Che’s whimpering capture with fully loaded weapons after his sissified escape from the firefight started Alarcon’s long road to total disillusionment with Castroism.
His captor’s official Bolivian army records that they took from Ernesto “Che” Guevara: a fully-loaded PPK 9mm pistol. But it was only after his (obviously voluntary) capture that Che segued into full Eddie-Haskell-Greeting-June-Cleaver-Mode. "What's your name, young man?!" Che quickly asked one of his captors. "Why what a lovely name for a Bolivian soldier!"
“So what will they do with me?" Che, obviously desperate to ingratiate himself, also asked Bolivian Captain Gary Prado. "I don't suppose you will kill me. I'm surely more valuable alive....And you Captain Prado!" Che commended his captor. "You are a very special person! ...I have been talking to some of your men. They think very highly of you, captain!..Now, could you please find out what they plan to do with me?"
From that stage on, Che Guevara’s fully-documented Eddie Haskell-isms only get more uproarious (or nauseating.)
On the other hand, Stephen Soderbergh’s movie “Che” shows Guevara steely-eyed and snarling with defiance during his capture. Why, according to Soderbergh, only seconds before his capture, Che’s very M-2 carbine had been blasted from his hands and rendered useless by a CIA-Fascist machine gun burst!
Then the bravely grimacing Guevara jerks out his pistol and blasts his very last bullets at the approaching hordes of CIA-Fascist soldiers!
Fine, but just where did Soderbergh and Benicio Del Toro (who starred as Che and co-produced the movie) obtain this version of Che’s capture? Well, the notoriously skeptical towards U.S. businessmen (see Erin Brockovich) director Steven Soderbergh transcribed this sterling account of Che’s capture exactly as penned by Fidel Castro, who apparently cannot tell a lie according to Hollywood, and whose regime essentially co-produced Soderbergh’s movie.