Che Guevara Was an A-hole!
By MICHAEL LUCAS
Friday, June 01, 2007
In his autobiographical novel "Antes que Anochezca," known in English as
"Before Night Falls," Reinaldo Arenas chronicled the inhumanity with
which he and his fellow gay Cubans were treated in Fidel Castro's
communist society. The book appeared in 1992, just one year before the
film "Fresa y Chocolate (Strawberry and Chocolate)" was shown in Cuba,
where it won first prize at the Havana Film Festival.
Though that film demonstrated it was no longer impossible in Cuba to
depict a homosexual in a movie, it did not end the oppression of gays in
that country. Furthermore, it remains impossible even today to determine
the extent of the on-going anti-gay persecution there. To back up this
statement, I quote from a Human Rights Watch report on Cuba:
"Refusing to recognize human rights monitoring as a legitimate activity,
the government denies legal status to local human rights groups.
Individuals who belong to these groups face systematic harassment, with
the government putting up obstacles to impede them from documenting
human rights conditions. In addition, international human rights groups
such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are barred from
sending fact-finding missions to Cuba. It remains one of the few
countries in the world to deny the International Committee of the Red
Cross access to its prisons."
In other words, if you want to learn the truth about how people are
being treated in Cuba, you can't, because Fidel and his henchmen won't
let you. That isn't a good sign from a government with such a poor
record on gay rights. Castro himself once said: "We would never come to
believe that a homosexual could embody the conditions and requirements
of conduct that would enable us to consider him a true revolutionary, a
true communist militant. A deviation of that nature clashes with the
concept we have of what a militant communist must be." So three cheers
for militant communists. Oh, and one more thing: Castro once denounced
"faggots"—in Spanish he said "maricones,"—as "agents of imperialism."
IT BUGS ME WHEN gay tourists visit Cuba with romantic delusions about
what the country truly is, and then they return wearing T-shirts with
the image of Che Guevara as photographed by Alberto Korda.
First, if you travel to Cuba, you must wonder whether the citizens you
meet are at liberty to tell you the true story of how gays are treated
there today—do the citizens even know what becomes of political
prisoners. You definitely can't chat with them about the upcoming
elections, because no elections are planned.
Certain straight Cuban boys may have figured out that they can earn a
dinner and a pair of blue-jeans from a gay tourist, but the gay tourists
should think about the fact that the young men who are actually gay and
out are off rotting in a jail someplace—that is, if they haven't been
As for gays—or anybody interested in human dignity—wearing or exhibiting
iconic images of Che Guevara, I have to wonder how ignorant such people
are of the real Che. The real Che Guevara was not Gael García-Bernal
looking hunky and glamorous in the film version of "The Motorcycle
Diaries." In real life, Che Guevara executed an untold number of gay men
in Cuban prisons he helped establish. He took sadistic pleasure from
shooting people with his own gun. The Cuban Revolution was heavy on the
machismo. Che Guevara was among those who believed gay Cubans to be
included in "the scum of society" for the mere fact of being gay. Of
course, "the scum" had to be eliminated.
Guevara's hostility toward gays was not his only defect. Weeks after the
Cuban Missile Crisis, he gave an interview to the British newspaper
"Daily Worker." He said that had the missiles been under Cuban control,
they would have been fired against major U.S. cities.
I HAVE BEEN to Cuba. What I saw there was disturbingly reminiscent of my
childhood in the communist USSR. Don't believe people such as Michael
Moore who, in his upcoming documentary "Sicko," can't find any better
examples of functional health care systems than the one in Cuba. Trust
me; I know what goes on under communism, I know how horrible it is. When
I was in Cuba, it struck me how unhealthy the people looked—lots of
skinny, exhausted looking men and women with bad skin and terrible teeth.
Then, from the point of view of socializing, I was at a hot house gay
party that was just pathetic. Good luck finding a playmate who, after
taking you to his dwelling place, doesn't expect a pair of jeans and
some American dollars. And don't even think about inviting any Cubans to
your hotel room—Fidel doesn't allow that, and the law is strictly enforced.
IF YOUR WANT TO TRAVEL south of the border, why not go to Mexico City or
Buenos Aires, where civil unions for gays are recognized? You should
not, in my opinion, be a Michael Moore, traveling to Cuba, seeing what
the communist government wants you to see, but nothing more. Why would
you travel there to enhance the unjustified romanticisation of communist
Cuba by Michael Moore and other misguided tourists?
One last thing; if you have a Che Guevara T-shirt, either throw it away,
or print "Che Guevara Sucks!" on it. To read more about my trip to Cuba
in the archives on my blog, you may go here:
Michael Lucas is the president and CEO of LucasEntertainment.com. You
can read more about his thoughts and his XXX movies at LucasBlog.com