Torture in Cuba
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Matt Brady – Director, Foundation for in Cuba

No More Statues of Che

Posted: 07/17/2012 3:37 pm

By Matthew Brady and M. L. Brillman

The Galway City Council scuttled plans to erect a statue to Ernesto

"Che" Guevara but the very idea is repulsive to those who know about

Guevara's crimes.

The plan to build the statue was apparently spearheaded by Irish Labour

politician Billy Cameron. The Galway City Council approved an initial

proposal last year and construction was slated for late 2012 or 2013 but

never got off the ground due to widespread criticism, including public

letters from U.S. Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

The proposal itself reflects the success of the €he Guevara brand ("€"

insertion is deliberate). The Cuban is built, in part, on the

myth of a socialist heaven and Guevara's role in that myth has been

prepared, packaged and exported through books, postcards, photos,

posters, paintings, videos, t-shirts, berets, and other paraphernalia.

Indeed, unsavory characters have their admirers, but Guevara's

posthumous popularity as the global symbol of revolution has been

embraced by uninformed millions who know nothing of his murderous past.

They see what Hollywood and recent authors have portrayed — a

romanticized, one-sided account of portions of Guevara's life. They see

the young idealist from The Motorcycle Diaries. Ironically, Guevara has

become the darling of capitalist commoditization and conspicuous

consumption, the very principles he purportedly fought against including

a profound hatred for the United States. Ubiquitous t-shirts and posters

now permeate affluent college campuses, diluting his supposed populist

message of class struggle.

But the reality is Guevara oversaw and participated in thousands of

summary executions without trial during and after the apotheosis of the

Cuban Revolution. Nearly every Cuban living in Cuba or exile knows about

La Cabaña — where Guevara created, as one Cuban said, "an assembly line

of torture, murder and assassination" during the Cuban Revolution. While

Guevara's evil deeds are widely known in Cuba and Miami, awareness

outside Cuba of Guevara's actions is only now coming to light — see the

Cuba Archive ( and a book titled The Real Che

Guevara and the Useful Idiots Who Idolize Him by Humberto Fontova.

Returning to the issue of Galway, one must ask — could the City Council

find no better candidate? Guevara's lineage to the Lynch clan in Galway

is murky. There is no source or report that has conclusively settled

Guevara's Irish ancestry on his mother's side, father's side, both, or

if they were from Galway or from Cork.

Galway should ultimately be applauded for rejecting the whims of a few

old Irish Lefties, but this should be the last attempt to glorify

Guevara anywhere in the world because doing so is disrespectful to his

victims and offensive to humanity. If Galway still seeks a piece of

granite iconography, its leaders could honor Nobel Peace laureate Aung

San Suu Kyi who was in Ireland last month for an award and a concert

called "Electric Burma" at which Irish musicians Bono, Bob Geldof and

Damien performed. Now that would have been worth a trip to Ireland.

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