" Cuban Mothers......... "
Por Humberto Fontova
Their hands bound tightly behind them and prodded by bayonets, the 75 men stumbled through the field in the dark. They could barely see each other--it was 3:30 A.M with no moon. Most of the men cursed. Some prayed. After walking 100 yards through the damp grass they were poked and shoved into a rough line near a large vehicle. The place was a field outside the city of Santiago, Cuba. The date was January 12, 1959.
Suddenly a line of army trucks snapped on their lights and the vehicle behind the men shone in the beams. It was a bulldozer. The beams also showed it had dug a ditch fifty yards long and 6 feet deep, with a fresh mound of dirt behind it. Five men broke from the group and ran, but were quickly recaptured, bludgeoned with gun butts, and dragged back into line. Most of the men glared resolutely ahead.
A group of women near the trucks were convulsed in sobs, yelling, pleading, wiping tears with their skirts. Many clutched rosaries. Bearded soldiers taunted them and jabbed them with rifle butts, keeping them huddled together.
"Cuban mothers," Cuba's spanking new leader Fidel Castro had spoken into a phalanx of microphones the day before, "let me assure you that I will solve all Cuba's problems without spilling a drop of blood. Cuban mothers, let me assure you, because of me, you will never have to cry."
Five more bearded soldiers stood in front of the trucks, nervously fidgeting machine guns. Their drunken commander stood off to the left, swaying, his head turning from the direction of the bulldozer and line of captives back to his machine-gunners, then back..... Finally he nodded and raised his arm....
"VIVA- CUBA- LIBRE !" The yell came from near the bulldozer, from the bound men glaring into the lights. The women erupted in anguished screams. The startled commander jerked his head, snarled something and stamped his feet.
"VIVA CUBA LIBRE!" Other's picked it up. A chorus was starting from the entire line....even from the women..."VIVA CUBA.....!
"FUEGO!" The enraged Castroite drunkard dropped his arm and the machine guns opened up--BLA-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-M!!--drowning the yells from the condemned men with an ear-shattering burst that emptied 5 clips. Seventy-five bodies jerked violently and tumbled into the ditch.
With the bodies still heaving and twitching and the blood pooling at the bottom of the ditch, the Bulldozer rumbled to a start, clanked into position and started pushing the earth over them. Two of the women fainted. Others broke through the cordon of soldiers and ran hysterically towards mangled bodies in the ditch....a brief glimpse, perhaps, before the dirt covered their husbands and sons forever, none of whom had received a trial.
On that very day the UK Observer ran the following headline: "Mr Castro's bearded, youthful figure has become a symbol of Latin America's rejection of brutality and lying .....every sign is that he will reject personal rule and violence."
By the time of his delirious, deafening, foot-stomping receptions at Harvard Law School and the National Press Club ( most of whose members oppose capital punishment) three months later in April of '59, Mr Castro's firing squads had slaughtered 568 men --and boys, some as young as 15.
By the time Norman Mailer (another opponent of capital punishment) was calling him "the greatest hero to appear in the America's!" his hero's firing squads had piled up 4000 corpses. By 1975 when George Mc Govern (another opponent of capital punishment) was calling him. "very shy and sensitive, a man I regard as a friend" the bullet- riddled bodies of 16,000 Cubans lay in unmarked graves.
This tally doesn't come from some "crackpot Cuban-exile" scandal sheet. This comes from The Black Book of Communism, written by French scholars, published by Harvard University Press, and called "definitive" by reviewers from the New York Times to the London Times.
Combine this bloodbath with mass jailings that topped Stalin's rate, add the ghastly deaths of 40-60,000 desperate Cubans in the Florida straits--all this to convert a nation with net immigration and a higher standard of living than half of Europe in 1958 to the most hideous pesthole in the hemisphere--add last April's crackdown that sent 80 oppositionists to Castro's Gulag for life and three inoffensive black youths to the firing squad--add 45 years of this stomach-churning repression and what do you get?
Well, you get last month's edition of The Nation, where Arthur Miller (long-time foe of capital punishment) describes the agent of this 45 year reign of horrors as "exciting, a person who could probably have had a career on the screen....and one who'd undoubtedly win an election in his country."
"Castro is the most HONEST and courageous politician I've ever met! VIVA FIDEL!!" That's a beaming Jesse Jackson ( who wrote an entire book against capital punishment) arm in arm with his chum on a visit to Havana in '97.
Castrophilia is a religion, folks. There's no other explanation.
Cuban mothers' tears could overflow the Pacific by now. The blood of Cuban martyrs and heroes has gushed in cataracts. After four decades at the hands of "Mr Castro" Cuba has suffered a personalized rule to shame a Stalin or Mao. His Gulag has incarcerated over half a million people. He gassed to death hundreds of African villagers. Between firing squads, mass-jailings, drownings, tiger-sharks and a stampede into exile, half the nation's families have been broken, split, shattered.
A 45 year torrent of the most outrageous lies ever uttered by mortal man have issued from "Mr Castro's" microphones , without the slightest rebuttal--without the mildest hint of a snicker or raised eyebrow from the same journalistic Torquemadas who wouldn't let Nixon or Reagan finish a sentence without erupting in cynical snorts.
I searched the UK Observer (now the UK Guardian) in vain for a retraction. Though I noticed they no longer address him as "Mr Castro." I found this gem in last week's edition of the Guardian: "In April President (italics mine) Castro provoked international criticism in his most brutal crackdown on opposition since the early years of the revolution in the 1950s." News flash to Guardian editorial board: in 1962 one of every 17 Cubans was a political prisoner. Through the sixties and seventies "President" Castro incarcerated the highest number of political prisoners on earth! The crackdown has been consistent for 45 years, in case you hadn't heard.
And this from the same edition: "Young Cubans have failed to immerse themselves in the revolutionary ideals to the same extent as those born before 1959 and President (italics mine again)Castro's triumph over the former rightwing dictator (italics mine) Fulgencio Batista.
"Castro's elusiveness is always charming," Let's hand it to Oliver Stone on this one. At least he admits it. In Stone's courageous, eye-opening, hard-hitting film, "Comandante," he asks the tough questions. After relentless grilling we learn, for instance, not only that Fidel likes Sophia Loren movies but also that he favors Nike sneakers! But hey, at least the film wasn't named "Mr President!"
"Beer is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy," wrote Ben Franklin.
No, Ben. It's proof that God wants to keep us semi-sane when listening to leftists!!
Humberto Fontova is author of the newly released "The Hellpig Hunt," described by Publisher's Weekly as "Powerful and compelling....fascinating and fun!"
You may reach Mr. Fontova by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.