In an update to our Dead Ché Day post, we mentioned Humberto Fontova, a man who shares our warm (as in, “Roast in Hell, guy”) regard for Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, or Ché, as his legions of t-shirt-clad fans know him.
In a rollicking column at Townhall.com, Fontova eviscerates the Castroite/media myth as replayed in Steven Soderbergh’s dreary act of agitprop, which had Ché going down guns blazing, like Custer in any of the classic Westerns that modern directors secretly crib from, like teenage boys clandestinely nipping from Dad’s liquor cabinet. Even better from our viewpoint, Fontova identifies the guns that Castro was carrying — loaded, actually; he hadn’t engaged the Bolivians himself — on the occasion of his capture.
Fontova does something completely unfair, but totally unsurprising from the guy who literally wrote the book on Ché Guevara: he quotes the eyewitnesses to Ché’s actual capture, Cuban and Bolivian alike. This meat is on the second page of the article and might be missed (this link gives you both pages):
In fact: on his second to last day alive, Che Guevara ordered his guerrilla charges to give no quarter, to fight to the last breath and to the last bullet. “Che drummed it into us,” recalls Cuban guerrilla Dariel Alarcon, who indeed fought to his last bullet in Bolivia, escaped back to Cuba, defected, and today lives in Paris. “Never surrender,” Che always stressed. “Never, never!” He drilled it into us almost every day of the guerrilla campaign. “A Cuban revolutionary cannot surrender!” Che thundered. “Save your last bullet for yourself!”
With his men doing exactly that, Che, with a trifling flesh leg-wound (though Soderbergh’s movie depicts Che’s leg wound as ghastlier than Burt Reynolds’ in Deliverance), snuck away from the firefight, crawled towards the Bolivian soldiers doing the firing—then as soon as his he spotted two of them at a distance, stood and yelled: “Dont Shoot! Im Che! Im worth more to you alive than dead!
“Learning of Che’s whimpering capture with fully loaded weapons after his sissified escape from the firefight started Alarcon’s long road to total disillusionment with Castroism.
His captor’s official Bolivian army records that they took from Ernesto “Che” Guevara: a fully-loaded PPK 9mm pistol. And the damaged carbine was an M-1—NOT the M-2 Che records in his own diaries as carrying. The damaged M-1 carbine probably belonged to the hapless guerrilla charge, Willi, who Che dragged along—also to his doom.
Now, Fontova is no lover of Castroismo and its local Lucifer and his various subordinate demonlings, but he comes by this distaste honestly: he dwelt there and was ruled by this corrupt and capricious system. So he speaks from both personal authority and documented sources, as opposed to the long-standing Hollywood tradition of pulling it out of your fourth point of contact.
And then, he goes on to document Ché’s sniveling, groveling, ingratiating conduct during his brief stint as a captive — comparing him to a particularly loathsome creature of early 60s American TV. By all means, RTWT!