October 9, 2009 will mark the 42th anniversary of the execution of Ernesto "Che" Guevara. Che's execution was carried out by Felix Rodriguez, an agent of the CIA. Che Guevara is often characterized as a psychopath and a murderer by his detractors. The irony is that this only amounts to name-calling because Che was never tried in a court of law for any crime whatsoever. However, it is well documented that Che was summarily executed by Rodriguez, who pocketed Che's wristwatch as a souvernir. This was a psychopathic, murderous and criminal act sponsored by the CIA whose specialty then (now strickly prohibited of course?) was extra-judicial killings and the making of heroes and legends.
Che Guevara and Fidel Castro led a revolution that brought sovereignty to the island of Cuba. Cuba had been made a cesspool by American gangsters and gangster corporations like the American Sugar Co. The Americans would go to Cuba to sow their wild oats in the clubs, bordelos and casinos. Enterprises catering to their every hedonistic need were thriving. And isn't that true for practically every Caribbean and Latin American country nowadays? Some in the so-called "developed" world vacation there expressly to indulge their base urges.
Why would some Americans believe that self-respecting people of another country would be tolerant of this sort of treatment? If the situation was reversed, how would they feel about a daughter, mother or son being caught up in the skin trade that thrives in particular areas of Mexico, Brazil and the Caribbean? I wonder why the "family values" advocates like Pat Robertson, who called for the Assassination of Hugo Chavez, can't support that same need for "family values" outside the US? Is that indicative of the complicity of the American establishment in the criminality of some elements of the U.S. government?
In Cuba, everyone can have an education, health care, housing and food -- these very basic human rights guard against the need to resort to desperate measures for survival.
In the land of the "free", there are a record 2.2 million people incarcerated (Blacks and Latinos comprise a disproportionately higher percentage of the prison population), the infant mortality rate is higher than in Cuba. Cuba is after all a third world country suffering from 40+ years of an onerous embargo. In America 16% of the population have no health insurance and the income gap has increased to an all time high under Bush. Of course, all these disparities are greater in minority communities.
The Americans supported the despotic strongman dictator, Batista. Batista was the U.S.'s man -- in an oft repeated alliance with dictatorships that is the hallmark of U.S. foreign policy in Latin America and the World. Witness the same relationships with the authoritarian governments of Saddam Hussein, the Shah of Iran, King Fahd, the Duvaliers of Haiti, the Saudi Arabian kingdom, Pinochet...etc.
- In Africa the 60's was an era of struggle for liberation as the nations of this continent battled colonialism and exploitation directed by world imperialist powers. Inspired by the example of the Cuban Revolution's fight against US imperialism many rebelled.
The developed nations mostly directed by the US, supported and financed all those corrupt dictators who served their interests.
At seeing their interests in jeopardy the imperialist nations put their repressive mechanisms in action. At this time by orders of the CIA, Socialists, Communists, and progressive people were assassinated; even simple nationalist were eliminated.
At the end of '64, to battle injustice, colonialism and exploitation El Comandante Che Guevarra joins, as an advisor, liberation forces in what is now known as the Congo. -- El Che in Africa
Cubans also supported South African Blacks during apartheid when the state of Israel (the U.S.'s stalwart ally -- for want of a better word) was arming the racist government of Pretoria. Arms that were used to intimidate and kill people like Nelson Mandela of the African National Congress (ANC) who opposed the apartheid government.
- ...in 1976, Israel invited the South African prime minister, John Vorster - a former Nazi sympathiser and a commander of the fascist Ossewabrandwag that sided with Hitler - to make a state visit...
Vorster's visit laid the ground for a collaboration that transformed the Israel-South Africa axis into a leading weapons developer and a force in the international arms trade. Liel [Alon], who headed the Israeli foreign ministry's South Africa desk in the 80s, says that the Israeli security establishment came to believe that the Jewish state may not have survived without the relationship with the Afrikaners.
"We created the South African arms industry," says Liel. "They assisted us to develop all kinds of technology because they had a lot of money. When we were developing things together we usually gave the know-how and they gave the money. After 1976, there was a love affair between the security establishments of the two countries and their armies.
"We were involved in Angola as consultants to the [South African] army. You had Israeli officers there cooperating with the army. The link was very intimate."
-- Brothers in arms - Israel's secret pact with Pretoria
by Chris McGreal, the Guardian
It is a naive person who believes that the U.S. administration was unaware of this activity by Israel. Israel often acts as the U.S.'s gunrunner as they did to kick off the September 30th, 2001 coup in Haiti against the democratic government of Aristide. The San Francisco Chronicle1 detailed the shipment of some 2,000 Israeli-made Uzi submachine guns and Galil assault rifles, which arrived a month before the coup. The guns were used to slaughter the defenseless Haitian poor.
On his way to becoming a legend, Che and Cuban troops volunteered and turned back the invasion of Angola by South Africa and Zaire. Thousands of Cubans willingly died fighting for the freedom of Africa. How many freedom fighters did the U.S., Europe and Asia send? The freedom lovers in the U.S. government kept their troops home, but thankfully the American people (The Black Caucus was the source of the Comprehensive Antiapartheid Act of 1986 that transformed U.S. policy toward South Africa) and people all over the world supported sanctions against the apartheid government of South Africa and were responsible for dismantling apartheid to some degree, though much work remains to be done in that arena.
To the people of Latin America and increasingly of the Caribbean the phrase "VIVA LA REVOLUCION" has concrete meaning. In Castro's Cuba the Creole language of Haiti is a second language. Haitians find refuge there, while in most countries of the Caribbean and of course in the U.S. they are incarcerated at facilities like Krome Detention center and other INS Federal Detention Centers. The author Edwidge Danticat details the death of her frail 81 year old Uncle Joseph at Krome in her new book "Brother, I'm Dying.
The NAACP, the Conference of Catholic Bishops, politicians and most of the major newspapers (including the New York Times, New York Daily News, the Washington Post, among others) have urged the Obama administration to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haitian, but to date Obama has refused.
In South America, Hugo Chavez has espoused his fidelity to the pursuit of Che's dream. Che's ambition was to see a free and sovereign Latin America and this dream is progressing nicely, thank you. As we see in Castro's Cuba, Chavez's Venezuela, Evo Morales' Bolivia, Michelle Bachelet's Chile and Ecuador's Rafael Correa.
Che was a Socialist, a Revolutionary and a Freedom Fighter...
his legacy lives on.
- “Let me say, at the risk of seeming ridiculous, that the true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love.”
- “Many will call me an adventurer - and that I am, only one of a different sort: one of those who risks his skin to prove his platitudes."
"The amount of poverty and suffering required for the emergence of a Rockefeller, and the amount of depravity that the accumulation of a fortune of such magnitude entails, are left out of the picture, and it is not always possible to make the people in general see this."
"There are no boundaries in this struggle to the death. We cannot be indifferent to what happens anywhere in the world, for a victory by any country over imperialism is our victory; just as any country's defeat is a defeat for all of us."
"Where a government has come into power through some form of popular vote, fraudulent or not, and maintains at least an appearance of constitutional legality, the guerrilla outbreak cannot be promoted, since the possibilities of peaceful struggle have not yet been exhausted.”
--Ernesto 'Che' Guevara
1Haiti's Richest Families Financed Coup That Toppled Aristide
See Page A6 | San Francisco Chronicle | October 22, 1991