Allow Me To Explain

Responding to slanders against Che Guevara and the Cuban Revolution

Posted in Cuba, Ernesto 'Che' Guevara, Fidel Castro, History, revolution by amte on July 11, 2009

The following is a copy of a response I wrote to a recent email I received asking how I could support Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, a “communist killer,” and the Cuban Revolution. It has been edited slightly for form.

Che was a indeed a revolutionary. That’s what enabled him to be such a great person. He fought for the liberation of humankind from exploitation and oppression.

Che didn’t kill “thousands” of people. Not even his enemies (at least those who are at all serious or have any idea what Che did during his life) claim that.

At most, he killed some people in the course of revolutionary wars. A revolution is not a tea party. It’s necessary to take up the gun to abolish the gun.

Che’s enemies also condemn him for overseeing the popular trials after the Cuban Revolution that brought the torturers, rapists and murderers of the dictatorship to justice. A revolution is not a bed of roses.

The Cuban Revolution was fought against the dictatorship of the Butcher Batista, a U.S.-sponsored monster who was responsible for the torture and deaths of tens of thousands of Cubans. It was a popular revolution that drew the support of the large majority of Cubans. After a hard fought war against the dictator’s army, Batista’s rule was finally brought down by a general strike of all workers across Cuba.

Thousands of Cubans greeting Rebel Army guerrillas as they ride victoriously into Havana.

Thousands of Cubans greeting Rebel Army guerrillas as they ride victoriously into Havana.

Here’s a video of Fidel’s arrival in Havana

Chinese Cubans celebrate the victory of the Cuban Revolution

Chinese Cubans celebrate the victory of the Cuban Revolution

Over 1 million Cubans turn out to hear Fidel Castro speak

Over 1 million Cubans turn out to hear Fidel Castro speak

You speak of Cuba as the “Pearl of the Caribbean,” but it was more commonly known as the “Whorehouse of the Caribbean.” Most of the country was owned by U.S. businesses. It was the playground of rich people from the U.S. and the Mafia. Many beaches were off limits to Black Cubans. Today they are open to all. Only 54% of the population could read (as compared to 100% now), life expectancy was only 55.8 years (as compared to 78 now), and infant mortality was 60 (as compared to 5.8 now, a number surpassing even the United States, the richest country in the world).

The Cuban Revolution ended the rule of Batista and the dominance of imperialism over Cuba. Farms and businesses owned by U.S. corporations were taken under the control of the Cubans who worked them, the houses of the rich were given to the servants that cleaned and maintained them, and everyone was given an equal opportunity to advance together.

Cuba has been harassed and attacked by the United States since the beginning of the Revolution. There have been over 600 attempts on Fidel Castro’s life. There was a military invasion of Cuba. There were threats, bombings that killed innocent people, sabotage, and more.

Even today, the U.S. continues its decades-long blockade of Cuba, despite the fact that the vast majority of the countries of the world have condemned it 17 times again in the United Nations (source).

Despite all this, the Cuban Revolution has eliminated illiteracy, homelessness and unemployment, and has brought quality education and healthcare to all.

It is because of this, and more, that the Cuban Revolution still has the support of the majority of Cubans (as can be seen in the following photos) and millions of others around the world.

Thousands of Cubans holding signs that read Long live Fidel!

Thousands of Cuban's holding signs that show their support for Fidel Castro

A picture of a banner hung by a Cuban that says Long live Fidel, 80 more years!

A picture of a banner hung by a Cuban that says "Long live Fidel, 80 more years!"

Where’s the picture of a banner that says “4 more years of Bush?” Where are the pictures of a million people coming to hear Bill Clinton speak? How about graffiti that says “Long live Lyndon Johnson?”

Those Cubans who attack the Cuban Revolution (and make up crazy stories about it like your “Che ran over a child for no reason,” “Fidel Castro eats babies,” or whatever other nonsense they can come up with) are the uninformed and the rich, mostly white Cubans who fled Cuba after the Revolution because they were afraid they’d have to work together with the rest of the population instead of continuing to live on the labor of others. The latter are commonly known in Cuba as  los gusanos (the worms).

The Cuban Revolution was by and for the toiling majority. It took the power out of the hands of the U.S. businesses and their Cubans assistants and put it in the hands of the masses.

Che fought in the Cuban Revolution and in revolutionary struggles in the Congo and Bolivia. He gave his life for the liberation of humanity. This is why he is hailed by millions upon millions of people around the world while the butcher Batista is scorned or forgotten.

If you’re really interested in the facts you should do some research. Relying on second-hand stories from people who are hostile to Che and the Cuban Revolution is no way to find out the truth.

Here is the real story of Che (it’s short and to the point).

Here is a site that shows how Cuba compares with the rest of the world in areas like poverty, literacy, healthcare, education, etc. You can see that Cuba surpasses them all.

I’d also recommend the DVD “Fidel: The Untold Story.”

14 Responses

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  1. Renegade Eye said, on July 11, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    I gladly linked to your blog.

    If the Cuban masses were free to execute people in 1959, the number would be much higher.

    Reveloution itself is often less violent than some ultra-left would think. The less violence, the stronger the revolution.

  2. El Burro said, on July 11, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    Nice blog, think I will link to this as well.

  3. owlminerva said, on August 15, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    “but it was more commonly known as the “Whorehouse of the Caribbean”

    It is ironic that after 50 years of communistic hell cuba once again is the whorehouse of the caribbeans, except that now the prostitutues are called jineteras, are an accepted social phenomenon (mothers coach their daughters in how to hook european tourists) and make a lot less money than they did even 50 years before. If they are lucky they can hoax a german into marriage and then pine away in germany. That is if they are lucky.
    After all is said and done, even being a whore is better in a capitalist system than a communist system.

  4. owlminerva said, on August 15, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    “Here is a site that shows how Cuba compares with the rest of the world in areas like poverty, literacy, healthcare, ”

    You got to be kidding. Last time i was in cuba, I coudn’t even find a damn stomach aid for my upset stomach. I couldnt find a decent plate of food anywhere. And i was there as a tourist! A bottle of bad quality cooking oil was 1 euro. People can’t afford to buy cooking oil in cuba. They only make 20 euro a month. You have to have family in the US in order to be able to survive. Cubans without family in the US, cubans without having some sort of illegal little commerce set up (for which the government can jail you for whenever they feel like it), are completely screwed. You can’t live in cuba with 20 euro a month (what is it 400 pesos?). The cuban revolution doesn’t take care of its people. Cuba is one of the hardest places to live in the world. Cubans are so desperate they would go to any other country in the world, including haiti etc if you would give them the freedom to travel wherever they felt like it.
    They do have an enormous amount of doktors in cuba. Unfortunately they are all useless (except when it comes to exchanging them for venezuelan oil) since there are no supplies in cuba at all. The aunt of my cuban ex died the other day, one year after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Unfortunately they didn’t have chemo available, so they coudn’t treat her. Cubans do know how to read. I give you that. In Cuba it is also a useless skill. As most books are forbidden in Cuba and the government tells you what to think anyway. I have never seen a place with so many highly educated people that is so poor and miserable. I guess education is sort of wasted if you don’t let people think for themselves.

  5. amte said, on August 15, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Have you been to the Dominican Republic? How about Haiti? No one has ever said that Cuba wasn’t a poor country. The point is that of all the poor countries, Cuba does the best in providing its population with health care, education, sanitation, etc.

    Of course you won’t visit a site like the Cuba Truth Project and actually try to address any of the the documented facts that prove this. Instead you rely on emotional appeals and anecdotal evidence and comparisons with life in the richest country in the world.

    If you visited the Cuba Truth Project, you’d see that (even according to sources like the CIA, UNICEF, the Encarta Encyclopedia, and the Latin Business chronicle) Cuba has lower inflation, unemployment, infant mortality, illiteracy and poverty than its neighbors. You’d see that in doctors per person, hospital beds per person and infant mortality it surpasses even the United States. You’d see that You’d see that it does all of this despite a decades long blockade from the most powerful country in world history.

    Cuban doctors are only “useless” in regards to making a profit. But Cuban doctors are trained to treat human beings (as they should be). In that regard they are top notch. Tens of thousands of volunteer Cuban doctors have treated people in dozens of countries around the world who would have otherwise never seen a doctor. To criticize this only exposes the position from which you come.

    Criticizing Cuban incomes by simply stating the amount in the abstract is dishonest. In absolute terms Cubans don’t earn much (when compared with a place like the United States). But costs are completely different in Cuba. The average gas bill in Cuba is 12 cents a month. The average electricity bill is 24 cents. The average phone bill is 28 cents. Most Cubans don’t have to pay any kind of rent, mortgage, etc. And Cubans don’t pay the same price for things as tourists. You don’t honestly expect to have your purchases subsidized by the labor of Cuban workers, do you?

    Again, Cuba is a poor country. Of this there can be no doubt. But no one is starving in Cuba (unlike every other country in Latin America). No one is homeless in Cuba (unlike every other country in Latin America). No one in Cuba is doomed from birth to live a life of suffering, with education, housing, food or any chance at survival. In Cuba there lives a spirit of solidarity and cooperation that enables the people there to confront every obstacle put in their way without handing themselves over to the will of the capitalist bloodsuckers.

    This is what revolution has made possible in Cuba, a poor, former colony with the misfortune of being located only a few miles from the biggest imperialist power in the world.

  6. amte said, on August 15, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    On the jineteras:

    – Prostitution does indeed exist in Cuba, but it is not an “accepted phenomenon.” Nor is it as prominent as it is in places like the Dominican Republic.

    There have been steps taken to rid the country of prostitution (for example, by training prostitutes for other jobs).

    Of course, no matter how the Cuban leadership reacts it is condemned by its enemies. When it banned in an attempt to limit prostitution it was attacked for supposedly establishing a sort of “tourist apartheid.” If it didn’t enact such a ban it would be attacked for promoting prostitution.

    – Prostitution will exist as long as money does. I wrote about that earlier. You can read it here: https://amte.wordpress.com/2009/07/10/on-the-question-of-prostitution/

    – Cuba is no longer known as the “Whorehouse of the Caribbean.” It’s now known for its medicine, education, solidarity with other people and heroic stand in the face of every kind of attack and assault possible.

  7. sandra said, on August 16, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    actually I did go to dominican republic and i did go to cuba, i went to a whole bunch of other very poor countries. So please don’t tell me that jinetaras are not a social accepted phenomenon. I spoke to enough mothers of jinetaras that rely on their daughters to provide income for a whole family. Don’t tell me that cuba is better of than other poor countries. Cuba is a lot worse of than a lot of other poor countries. I met many cubans that would gladly move to haiti. Don’t tell me too that it doesn’t matter what cubans make. It matters everything. As they can’t survive on 400 pesos a month (if they are lucky). You need euros in cuba in order to buy anything. true, you can buy food with pesos. Unfortunately there is not enough food in cuba to buy with pesos. And even if there was, 400 pesos will only get you through 2, 3 days. Not a whole month, and certainly not for a whole family. And besides food people also need shoes (they still have to make waiting lines of miles just to get those bad quality flip flops once every summer), clothes (they beg for american clothes as they are NO clothes in cuba besides the ones that american-cubans send their family). They don’t even have fans to get through those afwul hot summers.
    Medicine, solidarity, please. I saw it with my own eyes. Cuba is one big hell. What medicines are you talking about? There are NO meds in cuba. NONE. People die of treatable diseases. There is NO FOOD IN CUBA. Not even sugar anymore. There is a lot more food anywhere else in latin america, including haiti.
    If you want to keep promoting socialist systems, as I think you should, you cannot go around lying like this. People know about this stuff. There are people that have visited cuba without the blinding bias of a communistic mindset that closes its eyes for hunger and fear. Cuba is a miserable country. That system should not be promoted anywhere. Instead you should start thinking of how it can be changed fundamentally without becoming a pure capitalistic system so that it can start feedings its people and give them the healthcare cuba so falsely advertises to the rest of the world.
    With regard to solidarity. Cuba is too poor for solidarity. Cubans have to rat each other out for a pair of socks. Just like in the old soviet. Everybody afraid of each other and speaking their mind. It is a sorry excuse for a country. And people like you continue the lie instead of attempting to fix things so that others won’t made the same mistakes that mess up the lives of 3 generations.

  8. amte said, on August 19, 2009 at 3:18 am

    Once again you have offered nothing other than empty assertions and anecdotes (with the addition, this time, of outright lies). You haven’t addressed any of the sourced facts presented on the Cuba Truth Project or anything of substance in my post.

    Do the CIA, the UN and Latin Business Chronicle have the “blinding bias of a communistic mindset?”

    According to them:

    – Infant mortality is lower in Cuba than any other country in the Western Hemisphere.

    – The Human Poverty Index in Cuba is 4.1%, compared 42.3% in Haiti.

    – 100% of births in Cuba are attended by a doctor, compared to 24% in Haiti.

    – Unemployment in Cuba is 1.9%, compared to 17% in the Dominican Republic, 70% in Haiti and 9.5% in the United States.

    – Literacy in Cuba is 100%, compared to 82% in the Dominican Republic and 45% in Haiti.

    – Cuba is among the top five Latin American countries in protein and calorie intake.

    – Cuba is the only country in Latin America that has no malnutrition.

    On solidarity: Despite being a very poor country, Cuba has sent thousands of volunteer medical workers around the world (and offered to send thousands to New Orleans to treat victims of Hurricane Katrina who were abandoned and attacked by “their” government), treated thousands of people from around the world who couldn’t otherwise afford care in its hospitals, has taught millions of people around the world how to read without asking anything in return, and has educated thousands of people from all around the world who couldn’t otherwise get such an education in its schools.

    On emigration: The U.S. government has actively encouraged illegal immigration from Cuba for decades. Still, more people (by percentage and absolute number) immigrate to the capitalist countries in Latin America than Cuba. If people from those capitalist countries were encouraged to immigrate as Cubans are that number would swell massively.

  9. adrian alfonso said, on September 26, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    this is so retarded. First of all that picture of chinese cubans doesnt say they support fidel castro “apoyamos” means they are AGAINST. any spanish speaking person can tell you that, even though your caption says they are “for” fidel. Second, the literacy is up high but in cuba the government tells YOU what you have to read. If Cuba is so great tell me why arent cubans allowed to leave the island? to see the world like everyone else? why arent they allowed to go to Argentina and even see the birthplace of Che?? Why are tourists allowed to go into the nice hotels but cubans arent? why arent cubans even allowed to go online? why is it that almost every athlete from cuba that goes to play sports in another country just bails out and leaves?

  10. amte said, on September 26, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    You’re obviously not a Spanish speaking person.

    The sign being carried by the Chinese Cubans says “Los chinos residentes apoyamos la revolucion cubana y a su jefe Fidel Castro!” Translated into English, it means “The Chinese residents support the Cuban revolution and its leader Fidel Castro!”

    The word “apoyamos” means support.

    The Cuban government doesn’t tell anyone what to read. If you’re honest, you’ll prove that allegation or retract it. Of course, people like you are never honest.

    Your statement about travel is both true and false.

    You talk of “everyone else” seeing the world. But what is the reality?

    Most of the population of the world is poor. Few can afford to travel to other countries.

    Cubans are restricted in travel. The Cuban leadership’s rationale for this is that it is meant to prevent brain drain. They believe it would be wrong to allow Cubans who develop scientific, athletic and other professional skills through the universal education system that exists in Cuba, paid for by the labor of Cuban workers and farmers, to bank off of them in rich countries.

    I believe this is a result of both the conditions in which the Cuban Revolution has found itself (surrounded by capitalist states and miles away from an extremely hostile imperialist superpower) and the lack of complete working class control in the country.

    Of course people in the U.S. are forbidden by the government here to travel to Cuba because, as former President Jimmy Carter once admitted, “The real threat of Cuba is that they offer a model to be emulated by people who are dissatisfied with their lot or who are struggling to change things for the better.” Again, you don’t mention that.

    A few Cuban athletes have been bought by talent pimps while in other countries, but they do not represent even a tenth of the total number of Cubans who have competed internationally. Contrast that with a place like the Dominican Republic where every single baseball player strives to get a contract with a foreign baseball club to take them out of the country. Parents go as far as hanging baseball mitts on their baby’s cribs because their sole hope of a decent life depends on their becoming a professional baseball player in an imperialist country. Of course you don’t mention that, because the DR is capitalist.

    If what you say were the case, Cuba wouldn’t have one of the highest number of achievements in sports of any country in comparison with size and population.

    • Joel said, on November 3, 2009 at 10:29 pm

      I’d have to agree with amte. “Apoyamos” means to advocate or support. And congratulations on a response well-written. U.S. citizens are still subjected to Cold-war anti-communist propaganda (in a post-cold war era) which is the reason as to why they hate Ernesto.

  11. heyche said, on October 29, 2009 at 5:10 am

    viva el che: http://www.heyche.net

  12. Adil said, on November 4, 2009 at 3:44 am

    For Amte

    When you speak of the living standards of poor countries you should realize that every country can’t live like the United States does, nor do they want to. We consume so much it would mean the end of the world if all countries lived to our standards.

  13. amte said, on November 4, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Adil,

    You’re arguing for a reverse of the film of history. To be clear, that has nothing to do with communism, which represents an advance.

    “Socialism means plenty for all. We do not preach a gospel of want and scarcity, but of abundance … We do not call for limitation of births, for penurious thrift, and self-denial. We call for a great production that will supply all, and more than all the people can consume.” – Sylvia Pankhurst


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