Pope Francis gave mass under a mural of Che Guevara in Cuba’s Revolution Square.Photo: AP
“Dear Mom and Dad,
I’ve just received the news that I’ll be executed by firing squad in the morning. I assure you, dear parents, that I’ve never felt such spiritual tranquility as I do now. I feel content knowing that very shortly I’ll be with God, waiting and praying for you, my parents. I realize this news is painful for you, but please have faith in the Eternal Life. I want you all to rise above this and know that God, in his infinite mercy, has given me the grace to reconcile with Him… Hugs and kisses, not tears, for everyone. Goodbye, my family. Have faith in God.
“Apunten!" ("Aim!") yelled the unnerved firing squad leader the following morning April 18, 1961 …
“-- Viva Cristo Rey!” ("Long love Christ the King!)" suddenly yelled Alberto Tapia shortly interrupting the murder process and greatly unnerving the murderers.
“Fuego!!!” ("Fire!") finally yelled the furious executioner.
A deafening blast and Soviet bullets ripped apart the head and torso of yet another young Cuban martyr. Albert Tapia was barely 21 years old, typical age for most of Castro and Che’s murder victims.
The defiant yells ("Viva Cristo Rey!" "Viva Cuba Libre!" "Abajo Comunismo!") 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.
Given their valiant defiance even during their last seconds alive, by mid-1961 the mere binding and blindfolding of Castro and Che’s young murder victims wasn’t enough. The fine folks who hosted Pope Francis’ in Cuba this week then began ordering that the Catholic youths also be gagged. The shaken firing-squads demanded it. The yells were badly unnerving the trigger-pullers, you see.
As the fine folks who hosted Pope Francis in Cuba this week yanked the young Catholic heroes from their cells, bent their arms back, and bound their hands, two more Communist guards came into play. One grabbed the struggling victim’s hair and jerked his head back, trying to steady him. The other taped his mouth shut.
Raul Castro (who hosted the Pope at yesterday’s mass) and Che Guevara (whose visage formed the backdrop for the mass) were the most notorious executioners during the early years of the Cuban Revolution. The orders, of course, all issued from Fidel Castro, with whom Pope Francis went out of his way to visit and smilingly hob-nob after the mass.
“I am not Christ or a philanthropist,” wrote Che Guevara in a letter to his mother. “I am all the contrary of a Christ -- In fact, if Christ himself stood in my way, I, like Nietzsche, would not hesitate to squish him like a worm.”
As mentioned: an enormous image of Che Guevara formed the backdrop to Pope Francis’s mass in Havana yesterday.
Pope Francis and Fidel Castro had a half-hour meeting in Havana on Sunday at the former Cuban leader's home. The Vatican described the meeting at Castro's residence as informal and familial, with an exchange of books and discussion about big issues facing humanity, including Francis' recent encyclical on the environment and the global economic system.
Picture: Alex Castro/AIN
Castro’s KGB and STASI-tutored regime prepared for the Pope’s visit carefully. Any unsightly protests would obviously mar the occasion, especially for a regime long-accustomed to preening in front of the international media mirror. So Cuban dissidents (especially Catholic ones) were rounded up, often brutally, as captured in this video.
"The facts and figures are irrefutable. No one will any longer be able to claim ignorance or uncertainty about the criminal nature of Communism," wrote the New York Times (no less!) about "The Black Book of Communism."
This study found that Castro and Guevara’s firing squads murdered upwards of 16,000 Cubans, the equivalent, given the U.S. population, of almost one million executions. Some more perspective: the UN (the same United Nations that proudly features Cuba on its Human Rights Council, by the way) charged former Serbian dictator Slodoban Milosevic with “genocide” for ordering 8000 executions.
And far from any of the repentance the Catholic Church supposedly requires for forgiveness, the Castro brothers have always doubled- and even tripled-down on their gloating for those thousands of murders, historically denouncing the young victims as “CIA mercenaries” and “terrorists.”
None of this has prevented the Castro regime from receiving the most papal visits recently of any Latin America nation, equaling the number of papal visits to Brazil, with a population of 200 million, 130 million of them declared Catholics. In contrast, Cuba has a population of 11 million, only a tiny fraction of which are practicing Catholics. Someone’s got some serious “‘splainin'” to do for this papal fetish of constantly visiting Stalinist Cuba and chumming around with her Stalinist rulers.
Interestingly, more Popes (three) have recently visited Cuba -- a nation with many more crypto-voodooists than Catholics -- than have visited Mexico (with 97 million Catholics). Hello? And as Joan Rivers used to ask: “Can we talk?” (about this glaring and –for many—disgusting incongruity.)
For many of us, the Papal motivation for visiting Cuba seems no different from Beyonce’s, Conan O’Brien’s, Jack Nicholson’s, Oliver Stone’s, Sean Penn’s, etc. The Popes get plenty of press and get to poke Uncle Sam in the eye. In this respect, they seem no different from all those loud-mouthed, Castro-hugging celebrity popinjays.