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Bay of Pigs 60th Anniversary Part III—Humiliating Che Guevara and John Kerry

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
Sven Hoppe/dpa via AP

"This is the history of a failure," (Oddly frank opening lines of Che Guevara’s Congo Dairies.)

“Those Cuban-CIA men (Bay of Pigs vets) were as tough, dedicated and impetuous a group of soldiers as I’ve ever had the honor of commanding.” (Legendary anti-communist mercenary “Mad Mike” Hoare, commander of the “Wild Geese,” in his book Congo Mercenary.)


“I stood above Che Guevara, my boots near his head, just as Che had once stood over my dear friend and fellow 2506 Brigade member, Nestor Pino. "We're going to kill you all," Che said to Pino.” Now, the situation was reversed. Che Guevara lay at my feet. He looked like a piece of trash. I said, "Che Guevara, I want to talk to you." (Former President of the Bay of Pigs Veterans Assoc. Felix Rodriguez, recalling Che Guevara’s capture in Bolivia, where he played a key role.)

“Senator (John Kerry) your committee’s slander against me was in every g*dd*mmed newspaper after your committee’s last closed hearing! Saying I solicited drug money for the Contras. THAT, senator Kerry, is a D*MNED LIE!...and it difficult for me to answer questions from a man (you, the chairman of the committee) I do not RESPECT!” (Felix Rodriguez testifying for Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics, and International Operations hearings chaired by Senator John Kerry in 1986. These evolved into the Iran-Contra hearings.)    

After being ransomed back by the guilt-stricken JFK after his Bay of Pigs betrayal, many of these Cuban freedom-fighters were itching to get back into the fight (but with ammo and air cover this time). The CIA obliged and sent a group of them with ex-marine Rip Robertson to the Congo in ‘64 where Castro (with tongue tucked deeply in his cheek) had sent Che Guevara to foment a “war of liberation,” training and commanding the alternately Chinese-and Soviet-backed “Simbas” of Laurent Kabila, who were murdering, raping and munching (many were cannibals) their way through the defenseless Europeans still left in the recently abandoned Belgian colony. 


Together Mad Mike, Rip and the Cubans made short work of Che and Kabila’s Simbas. Guevara himself barely escaped by hightailing it with his tail tucked firmly between his legs across Lake Tanganyika into Tanzania, with the Cuba-CIA men in hot pursuit. 

Too bad Hollywood never picked up on this exploit for one of their many glorifications of Che--worse still that Monty Python’s Flying Circus didn’t pick it up. I’ll even start the script for them:  “In 1965, while planning a military campaign in the Congo against crack mercenaries commanded by a professional soldier who helped defeat Rommel in North Africa, Che confidently allied himself with “soldiers” who used chicken feathers for helmets and stood in the open waving at attacking aircraft because a muganga (witch doctor) had assured them that the magic water he sprinkled over them would make .50 caliber bullets bounce harmlessly off their bodies. Six months later, Che fled Africa, narrowly escaping with his life and with his tail tucked tightly between his legs.”

Two years later, during his Bolivian “guerrilla” campaign, Che split his forces, whereupon they got hopelessly lost and bumbled around, half-starved, half-clothed and half-shod, without any contact with each other for six months before being wiped out. They didn’t even have World War II vintage walkie-talkies to communicate and seemed incapable of applying a compass reading to a map. They spent much of the time walking in circles and were usually within a mile of each other. During this blundering, they often engaged in ferocious firefights against each other.


“You hate to laugh at anything associated with Che, who murdered so many,” says Felix Rodriguez, the Cuban- American CIA officer who played a key role in tracking Guevara down in Bolivia. “But when it comes to Che as ‘guerrilla,’ you simply can’t help but guffaw.”

Say what you want about Senator John Kerry, nobody ever called him lazy. He landed in Congress and immediately rolled up his sleeves and spat on his hands. The Nicaraguan people must end up like the Cuban and Vietnamese! Toward this end the man was tireless.

The most vital stanza of Daniel Ortega's Sandinista anthem (Latin American leftists catch and extra breath and sing it with all the fervor we use for 'Ban-ner WA-A-VE!') bashes the U.S. as "El E-NE-MIGO de la HU-MA-NI -DAD!) (the enemy of humanity!) The line was probably lifted from a Che Guevara speech. Naturally the authors of such an anthem stole the heart of many Democrats, including the Majority leader, future Speaker of the House, future Secretary of State and whatever high-‘falutin/cockamamie title Joe Biden recently gave John Kerry.

Even as a freshman Senator Kerry was determined. Castro and Ortega must prevail, he fumed! Soon he was chairing "The Senate Subcommittee on Narcotics, Terrorism and International Operations" quickly dubbed "The Kerry Committee" by his media cronies and soulmates. Soon it was boasting, "77 instances where the Reagan Administration misled Congress about its policies in Central America!"(I hold here in my hands!) 


Lest we forget, it was here that the famous "Iran-Contra investigation" actually started. Soon the lurid accusations spawned an "Iran-Contra Committee "of its own and Kerry pressed ahead with his. 

The Democratic crusade to throttle the Nicaraguan freedom-fight was now under full steam. One Cuba wasn't enough for these people. They were The Best and Brightest of a new generation. They'd picked up the torch from Camelot. The honor demanded that they pledge themselves to creating another tropical Gulag and slaughterhouse on our doorstep. If Latin freedom fighters battled desperately in the field against a Soviet-supplied enemy-- if these freedom-fighters had their backs against the wall-- if any looked northward through sweat-stung eyes and blood-drenched bandages for an ally--if hundreds were dying in freedom' cause with gritted teeth in a desperate and uneven struggle against a Communist common enemy--then these freedom-fighters MUST be stabbed in back! The legacy of Camelot DEMANDED it! 

Towards that noble goal John Kerry committed himself body and soul. Soon his Committee was leaking lurid details of a nefarious CIA/Contra drug smuggling plot with a Cuban-American named Felix Rodriguez as the bagman and Vice President George Bush as a silent partner. The commie-crackpot Christic Institute and Institute For Policy Studies served as the Kerry Committee's advisors. The latter had arranged his earlier Nicaragua fan trip. 


The Kerry Committee finally subpoenaed future Pres. of the Bay of Pigs Veterans Assoc. Felix Rodriguez himself. Miami area lawyers, knowing Rodriguez' honorable reputation, tripped over themselves clamoring to represent him pro-bono during the Kerry Committee hearings. "I don't want any lawyers!" Felix responded. "If I need a lawyer to help me explain why I've been defending this country for the past 27 years--then I'm in the wrong country! I want my testimony in front of the American people!" 

More alarmingly (to Democrats) Rodriguez refused what weasel types call "immunity." 

Rodriguez didn't miss a beat --naming dates and witnesses, citing documents--he proceeded to demolish every accusation the Kerry Committee made against him. 

"I have nothing to hide," Rodriguez said repeatedly. "I'm not ashamed of anything I've done. I've battled communism since I was 17. I help the Contras, the Salvadoran government. I do so as a volunteer, legally and openly. And if you're sincere, senator," he finished up. "You'll put out a statement to the press about what I said here today. I insist that the American people know about my testimony!" 

No such statement ever issued from Kerry's Committee. So two months later Rodriguez called a press conference in Miami to tell his side. 

A full year after leaking the slanders against Rodriguez and after the treacherous, lying swine who made them failed three polygraph tests, The Kerry Committee finally saw fit to allow Rodriguez' year-long request for an open hearing. They scheduled him as the fifth witness at 5 in the afternoon when the Senate chamber was devoid of reporters and TV cameras. In the near-empty room, Kerry finally mumbled a half-hearted apology. 


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