On George McGovern's Chum
By Humberto Fontova
Among the parade of Congresspersons who tromp to Cuba, pucker up, then bend down behind Fidel Castro's saliva-slickened heiny, George McGovern merits honors. By now his lips are raw. He's been at it since 1975. The heavy petting between Fidel Castro and George McGovern make John Kerry and John Edwards look as affectionate to each other as Bill and Hillary.
For George McGovern--a Presidential Medal of Freedom winner-- his frequent Cuban host is " very shy, sensitive, witty...I really liked," Bill Clinton awarded that medal, by the way.
I mention McGovern because he's out with a new book--a book so stupendously banal and idiotic that I mistook it for Che's--nay! for Hillary's. Democrats talk a good one about "compassion" and "care for the elderly".. blah..blah..blah, right?
Observe now their treatment of their own elderly, George McGovern for instance. Barry Goldwater, stomped (almost) as mercilessly by American voters in his day as McGovern was stomped in his, was still featured at Republican Conventions, out of respect. Yet McGovern--heck, even Mondale, even Dukakis, the former governor of the very state hosting the convention-- get nary a billing at the Democratic convention.
Maybe George McGovern thought if his book made a big enough splash he might get a spot. After all, Jimmy Carter's Nobel Peace price finally got him booked at a convention 20 years after his stomping.
If so, his hope was vain. Instead Al Sharpton got a choice spot. Such are Democratic priorities nowadays, such is their sense of loyalty to their party's elder statesman and standard bearer, a WWII hero to boot (for which I salute him.) I almost feel sorry for McGovern--until I recall his 30 year advocacy of a mass-murderer.
The Cuban Maximum Leader first hosted his American admirer in 1975. In May 1977 the bedazzled McGovern wrote a travelogue of his visit in --where else?--the New York Times. The South Dakota senator followed in the illustrious tradition of Walter Duranty and Herbert Matthews. Fidel took McGovern on an "impromptu" jeep ride into the countryside. Occasionally they stopped. "Everywhere we were surrounded by laughing children who obviously loved Fidel Castro!" wrote the rapt gentleman from South Dakota.
The tour, however, omitted a few famous Revolutionary landmarks. I'd bet La Cabana Fortress and execution range was among these. Upon arriving in Havana Jan of 1959 the gallant Che Guevara immedeatly recognized the moat around Havana's La Cabana fortress as a handy-dandy execution pit. At Babi-Yar Hitler's SS had to dig one. Here the Castroites had one ready made.
Alas, it didn't serve very handily for burial purposes, and the job of dragging out the hundreds of bullet-shattered bodies soon proved troublesome and messy.
Not to worry! Again, Castroite ingenuity came to the fore. I defer to an eye-witness here, a prisoner in Castro's dungeons for 15 years, Gustavo Carmona, "While the prisoner was bound to the wooden execution stake a heavy nylon sack was brought up to his knees. His shirt sported a black circle eight inches wide at the chest. After the volleys the sack was pulled up over the prisoner's head and tied closed to contain the blood, brain and bone fragments . Then it was dragged off. All very neat."
Who says Communists are inefficient?.... Hah! Not when involved in a labor of love. And here was a labor that stimulated and energized Fidel and Che like no other: mass murder.
By mid 1961 the binding and blindfolding of Castro and Che's enemies wasn't enough. The charming gentleman Carole King serenaded in person with "You've Got a Friend," that wacky cut-up Ted Turner calls "One Helluva Guy!" that lovable lug who Diane Sawyer envelops in her arms and smilingly smooches--this charming chap started mandating gagging for his execution victims too. His firing squads demanded it. The defiant yells by the heroes they murdered had badly spooked them, you see.
So now as they yanked the martyrs and heroes from the cells, bent their arms back, and bound their hands, in preparation for their murder by the man George McGovern describes as "very likable," two more guards came into play. One grabbed the struggling victim's hair and jerk his head back, trying to steady him. The other taped his mouth shut.
In 1961 (the year of the paredon) a 20 year-old boy named Tony Chao Flores took his place at the execution stake, but he hobbled to it on crutches. Tony was a photogenic lad, a cover-boy in fact. In January of 1959 his smiling face was featured on the very cover of Cuba's Bohemia magazine, a combination Time-Newsweek-People, let's call it. In the photo, Tony's long blond hair dangled over his tanned face, almost to his green gallego eyes. His trademark smirk showed below. The seoritas all swooned over Tony. He always had his pick.
Tony was actually a rebel at the time, wearing the uniform of Castro's own 26th of July Movement.
He'd taken them at their word. Let's face it, we're all idealists and a bit gullible at 18. (much harder to fathom are the thousands in their 30's 40's 50's and 60's, both in Cuba and the U.S., who swallowed Castro's BS by the shovelful, rolling their eyes and rubbing their tummies deliriously--then asked for seconds!)
Within days of marching into Havana, Castro's deeds began to manifest; mass-jailings, mass-robbery, firing squads. The reds grabbed all newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations. They banned elections, strikes, private-property, free-speech. Each dawn, from one end of the island to the other, Castro and Che's firing squads piled up the corpses of any who resisted. None of that "engagement," none of that "dialogue," none of that "re-conciliation" Castro's agents (on his payroll and off) constantly whimper about nowadays--none if that lovey-dovey stuff was mentioned when Castro held the hammer. Now that he's stone broke, without a Russian sugar-daddy and out of sap creditors to stiff-- well, now his U.S press agents can't shut up about "re-conciliation" and "dialogue."
Well, try your "dialogue" with the 15,000 heroes who vanished into mass graves yelling "VIVA CUBA LIBRE!" As for the rest of us, we'll quote (just this once) Thereza Heinz Kerry-- "SHOVE IT!"
Tony Chao wasn't one to whimper. Soon he became a rebel against Castro, and a formidable one, employing the same M-1 carbine he used against Batista. Sadly, the Reds had infiltrated Tony's group and captured some of his compadres in arms.
Employing interrogation techniques lovingly imparted by their East German STASI and Russian KGB, mentors, the security forces of George McGovern's bosom pal finally pinpointed Tony's hideout. As always the Russian-trained Castroites came in overwhelming force and heavily armed with Soviet weapons. As always their foe was suicidally valiant, horribly outnumbered and devoid of allies. Invariably, this characterized the armed exploits of a regime still revered as a "valiant underdog" by millions of imbeciles worldwide.
Castro and Che's goons were closing in and Tony sensed it.. "Those sons-of- b**tches ain't' NEVER taking me alive!" Tony vowed to his freedom fighters brothers.
One dawn (always at dawn, like Reno's raid) Tony saw the Reds approaching his hide-out and ran upstairs, the high ground, as it were. He grabbed his carbine, a pistol, piled up some ammo, and barricaded himself.
The shooting started and turned into a furious firefight. Tony blasted away, casings piling around him, his gun barrel sizzling. He bagged two of Che's scumbags in the deafening fusillade. But he'd taken 17 bullets from their Czech machine guns himself, mostly in his legs.
Reds have always been big on formalities and ceremony--those show trials of theirs, the better to terrorize and cow their subjects. So they wanted Tony alive. They wanted to display him as a trophy, to humiliate him before the nation, as an example of what happens to the enemies of George McGovern's charming chum.
And alive they dragged him off. Tony was bleeding badly and contorted with pain--but he wouldn't shut up. Curses shot from his mouth like bullets from those machine guns. "Cowards!" he snarled at his communist captors. "Fools!" he taunted. "Idiots! Traitors! Slaves! Eunuchs! Faggots! Sell-Outs!"
The Reds took Tony to a hospital and doctors patched him up--not completely now, just enough to keep him alive until his trial. Shortly he was dumped in La Cabana's dungeons and fed just enough to keep him alive. A month later they went through the farce of a trial and the verdict--naturally--was death by firing squad.
On the way to the stake at the old Spanish fort turned to a prison and execution ground by George Mc Govern's charming chum, Tony was forced to hobble down some cobblestone stairs Again Tony pelted his captors with dreadful curses and stinging abuse, ''Russian lackeys!" Tony yelled again as they dragged him off. "Maricones!" (Faggots!')
Finally a furious guard lost it. "CABRON!" (you B**tard!) Tony's insults stung him, you see. He yanked Tony's crutch away while another gallant Commie--WHUMP!-- kicked the crippled freedom-fighter powerfully from behind. Tony tumbled down the long row of steps and finally lay on the cobblestones at the bottom, writhing and grimacing. One of Tony's bullet- riddled legs had been amputated at the hospital, the other was gangrened and covered in pus. The Castroite guards cackled as they moved in to gag Tony with their tape, as mandated by George McGovern's frequent dinner host and oft-declared friend.
Tony watched them approach while balling his good hand into a fist. Then as the first Red reached him --BASH!! right across his eyes. "AYEEH!" the Castroite staggered back while rubbing his face.
"You!...YOU!.....his gallant partner rushed towards Tony who was getting a good grip on his crutch with his other hand. BASH!!--Tony smashed the Red scumbag in the face with his wooden crutch. "CABRON!" The enraged Castroites yelped for help against their helpless (as always) enemy.
"I'll never understand how Tony survived that beating," says eye-witness Hiram Gonzalez who watched from his window on death-row, screaming in helpless rage at the guards and pounding his fists against the bars. The crippled Tony was almost killed in the kicking, punching, gun-bashing melee but finally his captors stood off, panting and rubbing their scrapes and bruises. They'd managed to tape the battered boys mouth, but Tony pushed the guards away before they bound his hands. Their commander nodded, motioning for them to back off.
Now Tony started crawling towards the splintered and blood-spattered execution stake about fifty yards away, pushing and dragging himself with his hands as his stump of a leg left a trail of blood on the grass. As he neared the stake he'd stop and start pounding himself in the chest. His executioners seemed perplexed. The crippled boy was trying to say something. But his message was muzzled by the gag the gallant friend of George McGovern made obligatory for his thousands of execution victims.
Tony's blazing eyes and grimace said enough. But no one could understand the boy's mumblings. Tony kept pushing himself, shutting his eyes tightly from the agony of the effort. His executioners shuffled nervously, raised their rifles, lowered them. They looked towards their commander who shrugged. Finally Tony reached up to his face and ripped off the tape that George McGovern's sparkling dinner companion required for his condemned.
The 20 year-old freedom-fighter's voice boomed out. "Shoot me RIGHT HERE!" roared Tony at his gaping executioners. His voice thundered and his head bobbed with the effort. "Right in the CHEST!" Tony yelled. "Like a MAN!" Tony stopped and ripped open his shirt, pounding his chest and grimacing as his gallant executioners gaped and shuffled. "Right HERE!" he pounded.
On his last day alive, Tony had received a letter in jail from his mother. "My dear son," she counseled. "How often I'd warned you not to get involved in these things. But I knew my pleas were vain. You always demanded your freedom, Tony, even as a little boy. So I knew you'd never stand for communism. Well, Castro and Che finally caught you. Son, I love you with all my heart. My life is now shattered and will never be the same, but the only thing left now, Tony..... is to die like a man."
"FUEGO!!" Castro's lackey yelled the command and the bullets shattered Tony's crippled body, just as he'd reached the stake, lifted himself and stared resolutely at his murderers. But Castro's firing squads usually murder a hero who is standing. The legless Tony presented an awkward target. So some of the volley went wild and missed the youngster. Time for the coup de grace.
Normally it's one .45 slug that shatters the skull. Eye-witnesses say Tony required... POW!-POW!....POW!-- three. Seems the executioner's hands were shaking pretty badly. But they finally managed. George McGovern's hearty amigo and the twentieth century's premier Campus poster-boy had another notch in their gun. Another enemy dispatched--bound and gagged as usual.
Compare Tony's death to the arch-swine, arch-weasel and arch-coward Che Guevara's. "Don't shoot!" whimpered the arch-assassin to his captors. "I'm Che! I'm worth more to you alive than dead!"
Then ask yourselves: who's face belongs on T-shirts worn by youth who fancy themselves, rebellious, freedom-loving and brave?
Then fume and gag at the malignant stupidity of popular culture in our demented age.
Castro and Che were in their mid-thirties when they murdered Tony. Their firing squads riddled another 15,000 bound and gagged freedom-fighters. Many (perhaps most) were boys in their early twenties and late-teens. Some were even younger. Carlos Machado and his twin brother Ramon were fifteen when they spat in the face of their communist executioners and died singing their national anthem as lustily as they cursed Che Guevara's Internationale. Their dad collapsed from same volley, alongside them. All perished on the orders of George McGovern charming chum.
The details of Tony's execution come from the eye-witness testimony of his dungeon-mate, Hiram Gonzalez, who was finally released twenty years later. Enrique Encinosa's book, aptly named Unvanquished, gives a stirring roll-call of this heroic struggle, of this lonely and desperate fight-- a fight on America's very doorstep against the bloodiest blight to ever afflict this hemisphere, and against the regime that presented America with the greatest threat in her history. Yet they fought alone.
"We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty!" JFK Innaugural speech Jan 1961.
This week another Kennedy features as the main attraction at another Democratic convention. The candidate himself regards JFK as his idol and model. Heaven help us if we hear another Democratic innaugural speech this January.
Humberto Fontova is the author of The Hellpig Hunt, described as "Powerful and compelling!" by Publisher's Weekly as "Fascinating and Fun!" by the New Orleans Times Picauyune and as "Just what the doctor ordered!" by Ted Nugent.
You may reach Mr. Fontova by e-mail at email@example.com