“Harry Villegas, Right-Hand Man and Bodyguard to Che Guevara, Dies at 81.--Harry Villegas, best-known by his nom de guerre Pombo, was one of the last people to see Guevara alive in Bolivia in 1967…Surrounded by the U.S.-backed Bolivian army, Guevara, already wounded in a firefight, told Mr. Villegas and two other Cuban guerrillas to try to save themselves by slipping through the Bolivian cordon.” (The Washington Post Jan. 6, 2020)
'WOW!' probably gushes the typical WaPo reader. 'Che Guevara sure was brave, selfless and heroic!'
“In his memoir, Mr. Villegas wrote that Guevara could have escaped the army encirclement but was never inclined to retreat,” continues the WaPo eulogy.
'GOSH!' probably gushes the typical WaPo reader. 'Che Guevara made Davy Crockett at the Alamo look like a WUSS!'
“When he last saw Guevara, he described his commandant as exhausted, wounded and bootless — but unbowed. “There was never a single moment when Che lost control, enthusiasm or complete confidence in victory,” he wrote. “The day he was captured, he was analyzing how to get out of the zone and find another part of Bolivian territory to continue the struggle.”
'OMG!' gasps the by-now hyperventilating WaPo reader. 'Compared to Che Guevara, 101st commander Anthony Mc Auliffe whimpered like a little chump during the Battle of The Bulge!'
But here’s the problem, amigos:
For their obituary of a lifelong apparatchik of a totalitarian regime, Harry ‘Pombo” Villegas, (i.e. for their roundabout eulogy of Che Guevara) The Washington Post’s sources consist of the totalitarian regime’s KGB-founded and mentored media, along with New Yorker Magazine staff writer Jon Lee Anderson, who wrote his biography of Che Guevara while living in totalitarian Cuba and in conjunction with dictator Fidel Castro and his KGB-founded and mentored propaganda ministry.
So nary a WaPo reader gets an inkling that, in fact, according to sources living in free countries and who were actually on the scene of Che Guevara’s capture: 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—then 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!”
And speaking of shooting and dead people, nary a mention appears in the WaPo of Che Guevara’s role as Castro’s Himmler/Beria—in brief, of Che Guevara’s role of shooting people—but only after combat was long over.
Because you see, amigos: The Washington Post’s former Latin American correspondent Nick Miroff (he reports from Washington D.C. nowadays) is married to an apparatchik of the Castro regime named Camila Harnecker. She is the daughter of the founder of the Castro regime’s military intelligence (G-2) apparatus. This notorious KGB-protégé, Che Guevara-chum and Stalinist torturer was named Manuel “Barba Roja” (Red Beard) Pineiro.
In brief, the man who (had he not been offed by Castro in typical Stalinist fashion after his services expired) would have been the father–in-law of a star Washington Post reporter is the gentleman with the Z-Z-TOP type beard alongside his soulmate and fellow mass-torturer and murderer Che Guevara himself in this picture.
Significantly, at the time of its founding in 1959, Castro’s G-2 was under the close tutelage of Soviet GRU torturers who had interned with the masters themselves, Stalin and Beria.
“Barba Roja’s” wife (the WaPo reporter’s late mother-in-law) was Maria Marta Harnecker Cerda, a Chilean Communist who worked for Salvador Allende and scurried to Stalinist Cuba upon Augusto Pinochet’s (just-in-time!) liberation of Chile.
For years Manuel “Barba Roja” Pineiro served for the Castros exactly as Yezhov, Yagoda and Beria served for Stalin–as director of mass-murder and torture.
And wouldn’t you know? Like so many others in such “sensitive” positions within Stalinist regimes (Yezhov, Yagoda, Beria– indeed, like Che Guevara himself), Manuel Pineiro’s usefulness to his employers finally expired. In 1998 the infamous “Barba Roja” himself got a taste of his own medicine and was “disappeared.” For the brain-dead his Stalinist “comrades” concocted a story of a “car-accident."
A couple years ago The Washington Post ran an “in-depth” article (by none other than Nick Miroff) on an islet off the southwestern coast of Cuba called The Isle of Pines which hosted the biggest prison/torture and forced-labor complex for political prisoners in the history of the Western world. Tens of thousands of American citizens of Cuban heritage had family members tortured there by Castro’s Stalinist regime. Many had family members murdered there.
Dozens of the surviving torture victims are U.S. citizens and live in the U.S. today. Interviews (or even mention) of these people would have sure added a relevant and eye-catching “human-interest” quotient to the “in-depth” article. After all, these people (most of whom are in the phone book) qualify as the longest-suffering political prisoners in modern history, having suffered prison camps, forced labor and torture chambers for a period three times as long in Castro’s Gulag as Alexander Solzhenitsyn suffered in Stalin’s (8 years.)
Furthermore, several of these prisoners are black Cubans who suffered longer in Castro’s prisons than Nelson Mandela spent in South Africa’s (27 years.) Their inspirational stories of survival against unimaginable odds during multi-decade terms of forced-labor and torture in Castro’s Gulag all began at the Isle of Pines’ Presidio Modelo prison and torture-complex.
Over the years WaPo itself has run a veritable library-full of stories canonizing Nelson Mandela and demonizing his jailers. Alas! Except for the Cuban-American readers of the WaPo’s “in-depth” story by Nick Miroff, no reader would have guessed any of the above regarding this notorious prison torture-complex. Gosh. Wonder why?
Maybe because most of the victims were sent to Cuba’s Isle of Pines prison/torture/forced-labor complex on the orders of the man (Manuel “Barba Roja” Pineiro) who would have become father-in-law to the Washington Post’s Nick Miroff, the author of the story on the Isle of Pines, who married a one-time educational apparatchik of Cuba’s Stalinist and terror-sponsoring regime.
The Washington Post, we might point out, is a big-time complainer about “conflicts-of-interest” and big-time demander of “full disclosure” for Trump administration officials, especially regarding any possible “collusion” with unsavory foreign regimes.