The title refers to an old French movie but the post has to do with the current propaganda trend in central New Jersey, which implies that the viewer should take it all in, in an attitude of child-like innocence.
The continued power of Che Guevara as a symbol of hope and opposition across cultures is examined at Mason Gross Galleries.
I’ll give you some data on the “symbol of hope and opposition”: here’s a list of 216 documented victims of Che Guevara in Cuba, 1957-1959 (pdf file). Here’s another list compiled by Dr. Armando Lago for his book,
EXECUTED BY CHE IN THE SIERRA MAESTRA MOUNTAINS
EL NEGRO NAPOLES
DOS “NO-IDENTIFICADOS” EN EL 04/57
EXECUTED BY CHE IN SANTA CLARA CITY
ALEJANDRO GARCIA OLAYON
EXECUTED BY CHE AT LA CABA�A PRISON IN HAVANA
JOSE LUIS ALFARO
MARIO ARES POLO
JOSE RAMON BACALLAO
JUAN CAPOTE FIALLO
JOSE CASTA�O QUEVEDO
JUAN FELIPE CRUZ
ANTONIO DE BECHE
JOSE DIAZ CABEZAS
RAMON FERNANDEZ OJEDA
RAFAEL GARCIA MU�IZ
JOSE GONZALEZ MALAGON
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ LEYVA (father of Pepe Hernandez)
ARIEL LIMA LAGO
RAUL LOPEZ VIDAL
DR. CARLOS MUI�O
CESAR NECOLARDES ROJAS
VICTOR NECOLARDES ROJAS
DIEGO PEREZ CUESTA
DIEGO PEREZ CRELA
JESUS SOSA BLANCO
A Cuban gentleman named Pierre San Martin was also among those jailed by the gallant Che. A few years ago he recalled the horrors in an El Nuevo Herald article.
“Thirty-two of us were crammed into a cell,” he recalls. “Sixteen of us would stand while the other sixteen tried to sleep on the cold filthy floor. We took shifts that way. Actually, we considered ourselves lucky. After all, we were alive. Dozens were led from the cells to the firing squad daily. The volleys kept us awake. We felt that any one of those minutes would be our last.
“One morning the horrible sound of that rusty steel door swinging open startled us awake and Che’s guards shoved a new prisoner into our cell. His face was bruised and smeared with blood. We could only gape. He was a boy, couldn’t have been much older than 12, maybe 14.
“‘What did you do?’ We asked horrified. ‘I tried to defend my papa,’ gasped the bloodied boy. ‘I tried to keep these Communist sons of b**tches form murdering him! But they sent him to the firing squad.'”
Soon Che’s goons came back, the rusty steel door opened and they yanked the valiant boy out of the cell. “We all rushed to the cell’s window that faced the execution pit,” recalls Mr. San Martin. “We simply couldn’t believe they’d murder him! Then we spotted him, strutting around the blood-drenched execution yard with his hands on his waist and barking orders � the gallant Che Guevara.
“Here Che was, finally in his element. In battle he was a sad joke, a bumbler of epic proportions [for details see “Fidel: Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant”], but up against disarmed and bloodied boys he was a snarling tiger.
“‘Kneel Down!’ Che barked at the boy.
“‘ASSASSINS!’ We screamed from our window. ‘MURDERERS!! HOW CAN YOU MURDER A LITTLE BOY!’
“‘I said, KNEEL DOWN!’ Che barked again.
“The boy stared Che resolutely in the face. ‘If you’re going to kill me,’ he yelled. ‘you’ll have to do it while I’m standing! MEN die standing!’
“COWARDS! MURDERERS! Sons of B**TCHES!” The men yelled desperately from their cells. “LEAVE HIM ALONE!” HOW CAN …?!”
“And then we saw Che unholstering his pistol. It didn’t seem possible. But Che raised his pistol, put the barrel to the back of the boy’s neck and blasted. The shot almost decapitated the young boy.
“We erupted. We were enraged, hysterical, banging on the bars.’MURDERERS! ASSASSINS!’ His murder finished, Che finally looked up at us, pointed his pistol, and BLAM-BLAM-BLAM! emptied his clip in our direction. Several of us were wounded by his shots.”
To a man (and boy) Che’s murder victims went down in a blaze of defiance and glory. So let’s recall Che’s own plea when the wheels of justice finally turned and he was cornered in Bolivia. “Don’t Shoot!” he whimpered. “I’m Che! I’m worth more to you alive than dead!”
Don’t expect to find any of that at the Mason Gross Galleries in New Brunswick.
This is what happens to artists in present-day Cuba.