“The defiant yells [“Viva Cristo Rey!”—“Viva Cuba Libre!”] from the bound and staked martyrs would make the walls of La Cabana prison tremble,” wrote eyewitness to the slaughter, Armando Valladares, who suffered 22 torture-filled years in Castro’s prisons and was later appointed by Ronald Reagan as U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission. Modern history records few U.S. diplomatic tweaks as slick, or U.S. ambassadors as effective.
Given their defiance even during their last seconds alive, by mid-1961 the mere binding and blindfolding of Castro and Che’s murder victims wasn’t enough. The Left’s premier poster-boys began ordering that the freedom-fighters be also gagged. The shaken firing-squads demanded it. The yells were badly unnerving to the trigger-pullers, you see.
Rigoberto Hernandez was 17 when Che Guevara’s henchmen dragged him from his cell, jerked his head back to gag him, and started dragging him to the stake. Little “Rigo” pleaded his innocence to the very bloody end. But his pleas were garbled and difficult to understand. His struggles while being gagged and bound to the stake were also awkward. The boy had been a janitor in a Havana high school and was mentally retarded. His single mother had pleaded his case with hysterical sobs. She had begged and finally proven to his “prosecutors” that it was a case of mistaken identity. Her only son, a boy in such a condition, couldn’t possibly have been “a CIA agent planting bombs.”
“FUEGO!” The firing squad volley shattered Rigo’s little bent body as he moaned and struggled awkwardly against his bounds, blindfold and gag. Remember the gallant Che Guevara’s instructions to his revolutionary courts: “judicial evidence is an archaic bourgeois detail.” And remember Harvard Law School’s invitation and rollicking ovation to Fidel Castro during the very midst of this appalling bloodbath. “We greeted each other as old friends,” gushed Jimmy Carter upon visiting Fidel Castro last year.
But back to Castro’s sincerity:
“And let me be very clear—VERY clear!” stressed Fidel Castro during his delirious reception by the cream of America’s media at the National Press Club on April 17, 1959. “We are not communists! And communists will never have influence in my country!”
Just a few things to keep in mind, Vatican officials, in the event of hearing Fidel Castro’s “confession,” and accepting his “contrition.”
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