The last place on God’s green earth–the ABSOLUTE last place–that you’d expect to find a viewpoint on Cuba other than “Castro/Che good, U.S. bad” would be a college newspaper, especially that of a liberal Massachusetts college.
So I hope you’ll excuse my utter shock when I discovered this morning not one, but two–TWO–Massachusetts college newspapers presenting the truth about Cuba.
First, from the Harvard (yes, THAT Harvard) Crimson, a piece on Andy Garcia, who visited campus to screen The Lost City:
Critics have blasted the film for presenting a misleading view of pre-revolutionary Cuba.
After the screening, Garcia told The Crimson that those critics were misinformed.
â€œWhen you make a movie about a political open wound, people will come at you with a political agenda,â€ Garcia said. â€œIf a French filmmaker had made this movie, you would not have heard the same things. But I am a Cuban exile.â€
Richard A. Serna â€™10, vice president of the Latino Menâ€™s Collective, which helped organize the event with the Harvard Cuban American Undergraduate Student Association (CAUSA), said Garcia brought a different perspective to the debate over Cuba.
â€œGarcia is someone who is trying to tell a story that hasnâ€™t been told,â€ he said.
Indeed he is. Next, from the University of Massachusetts’ Daily Collegian, we get an editorial–by a student, Ben Duffy, whose name suggests he is not of Cuban descent–titled Guevara: fiend, not folk hero:
The future T-shirt icon oversaw La CabaÃ±a fortress, a true house of horrors where opponents of the reigning Castro regime were executed. JosÃ© Vilasuso, a lawyer at the fortress, prepared indictments for people who were summarily convicted on little or no evidence. “The statements of the investigating officer constituted irrefutable proof of wrongdoing,” Vilasuso said. “The defense lawyer simply admitted the accusations and requested the generosity of the government in order to reduce the sentence…[Che] reprimanded in private more than one colleague; in public, he chastised us all: ‘Don’t delay these trials. This is a revolution, the proofs are secondary… They are a gang of criminals and murderers. Besides, remember that there is an Appeals Tribunal.'” Yes, there was appealing authority. His name was Che Guevara.
Vilasuso continues: “Nevertheless, in La CabaÃ±a, until June of 1959, about 600 prisoners were executed, plus an indefinite number of prison sentences.”
So Che executed hundreds of people, and he’s the hero. Felix Rodriguez executed Che, and he’s the villain. Whose face belongs on a T-shirt?