WASHINGTON – Oct. 9 marked a half-century since the execution of communist killing machine Ernest “Che” Guevara.
And the Irish government is honoring the occasion by plastering the Cuban revolutionary’s face on a postage stamp.
50 years ago… The corpse of Che Guevara. pic.twitter.com/X2oYmu333N
— Zsuzsanna (@2x2sometimes5) October 9, 2017
The An Post, the equivalent of the United States’ Postal Service, is using the famous portrait of Guevara that was created by Dublin artist Jim Fitzpatrick to highlight Guevara’s Irish heritage.
The stamp also pays homage to Guevara with an envelope that has a quote from Ernest Guevara Lynch, Guevara’s father, who was a civil engineer of Irish descent, which reads “in my son’s veins flow the blood of Irish rebels.”
The Irish government has a history of revering Guevara.
Last month, the Irish Embassy in Washington apologized after a portrait of Guevara was featured in an exhibit at Miami International Airport portraying the most famous Irish people in Latin America.
Some Americans celebrate Guevara. Images of the communist revolutionary are commercialized on T-shirts that portray him as a hero and martyr for civil rights.
Che Guevara lived and died for the liberation of the working class. He was executed by CIA agents fifty years ago today in Bolivia. pic.twitter.com/gPJZsxvOwD
— Crimes of the US (@CrimesofUS) October 9, 2017
— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) October 9, 2017
“Let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by feelings of love.” 50 years ago today, they murdered Che Guevara pic.twitter.com/60XgXejNte
— fatima bhutto (@fbhutto) October 8, 2017
Yet, Guevara is deplored by the exile Cuban community whose members hold him responsible for the execution of hundreds of prisoners after Fidel Castro overturned the Batista government in January 1959.
Guevara joined Castro’s revolutionary Cuban army in 1956 as a top commander and Castro’s personal physician.
He helped Castro topple the regime in Havana in 1959. As Castro’s right-hand man in the new regime, Guevara ordered the execution of hundreds of people while in charge of the notorious La Cabaña prison in Havana.
The London Telegraph’s Nigel Jones wrote that the celebration of “squalid killer and totalitarian tyrant” Guevara is a “reflection of the warped moral mirror of our time.”
“As boss of the notorious La Cabaña prison in Havana, he supervised the detention, interrogation, summary trials and execution of hundreds of ‘class enemies,’” Jones pointed out. “There have been some 16,000 such executions since the Castro brothers, Guevara and their merry men swept into Havana in January 1959.
“About 100,000 Cubans who have fallen foul of the regime have been jailed. Two million others have succeeded in escaping Castro’s socialist paradise, while an estimated 30,000 have died in the attempt,” he wrote.
Under the Castro regime, police began rounding up gay men and other men and routinely sent them to prison without charges or a trial by the state.
The regime in 1965 had prison work camps known as Military Units to Aid Production (UMAP) into which it deposited homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses and other “undesirable” elements.
According to declassified German intelligence files, Guevara also recruited Nazi SS members to train troops during the Cuban missile crisis.
Castro, according to Carlos Eire, professor of history and religious studies at Yale University, “turned Cuba into a colony of the Soviet Union and nearly caused a nuclear holocaust.”
“He sponsored terrorism wherever he could and allied himself with many of the worst dictators on earth.” Eire wrote in a Washington Post column. “He was responsible for so many thousands of executions and disappearances in Cuba that a precise number is hard to reckon. He brooked no dissent and built concentration camps and prisons at an unprecedented rate, filling them to capacity, incarcerating a higher percentage of his own people than most other modern dictators, including Stalin.”