14ymedio, Havana, 29 December 2017 — The Cuban professor and journalist exiled in France, Jacobo Machover, has published a letter of protest over the exhibition Le Che à Paris, dedicated to Ernesto Che Guevara, currently housed in Paris’s City Hall. The letter, which has already been signed by a score of people, describes the guerrilla as “one of the bloodiest, coldest, most cruel murderers of all the revolutions of the twentieth century.”
The text, broadcast on social networks, calls on the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, not to continue “sheltering in those premises, belonging to all Parisians, a pseudo-artistic masquerade that glorifies a murderer.” Machover appeals to Hidalgo to offer her “position of support for Cuban dissidence by means of a tribute to the Ladies in White at the Plaza de Hôtel de Ville [City Hall].”
The exhibition, organized by the Pachamama association, is dedicated to tributes around the figure of Guevara on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his death in Bolivia. Its managers have used photos and documents to present the “insatiable reader, sportsman, traveler, guerrilla, Marxist who aspires to see the emergence of the new man.”
The protest details, however, that Che “specialized in supervising the executions of about 200 Cubans, condemned to death by his own orders and those of Fidel and Raúl Castro,” during the first year after the triumph of the Revolution. Those executions were carried out “after a few ‘fabricated trials’ that lasted no more than half an hour, in their majority.”
“Those condemned, shot out of hand, were not war criminals but often simple soldiers who fought for what they thought was their duty,” he says. Among those executed were “even revolutionaries who believed in a democratic change, not a communist tyranny,” the letter says.
Machover, has worked for decades as a teacher, literary critic abd journalist and is the author of the book The Hidden Face of Che (2008). He is using his Facebook account as a means to protest the exhibition, calling it, “My Christmas gift to the City of Paris, as I promised,” and encouraging people to “spit on Che .”
“He himself attended the executions carried out in the fortress of La Cabaña in Havana, broadcast on television and by newsreels,” says the professor. “The Cubans, who feared him, called him “the butcher from La Cabaña” and speaking in the United Nations he boasted of his actions: ‘We shot, we are shooting and we will continue to shoot as long as necessary.”
The letter recalls other passages of the guerrilla’s biography that Cuban official propaganda and his admirers have tried to ignore. “Before the Revolution, he wrote: ‘I will slay my enemies …’ and defined the revolutionary as ‘an effective, violent, selective and cold killing machine’.”
Machover, who also describes the Argentine as a “sinister executioner,” accuses him of collaboration in the establishment of a dictatorial system that “transformed a once prosperous nation like Cuba into a human zoo for unconscious tourists.”
“He exercised his little medical knowledge to describe the trajectory of a shot that hit a supposed ‘traitor’ in the head,” wrote verses to “praise Fidel Castro,” and “was only a photographer of himself in a display of sickly narcissism,” the journalist responds to the description of Guevara prepared by the managers of the exhibition.
Machover denounces that among the organizers of the exhibition are several of those who “threatened some reporters with death during the visit to Paris, and to the halls of the same Mayor’s office, of the dictator Raúl Castro, in February 2016.” Groups whose “specialty consists of insulting and threatening Cuban opponents and exiles, both in their publications and in social networks.”
The letter concludes with a call to Parisians to boycott “that shameful exhibition and show your contempt towards that ‘so photogenic’ psychopath who only brought misfortunes to Cuba and the other countries where he fought.”
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