Yale professor suggests Galway build Cromwell statue next to Che Guevara memorial
Carlos Eire tells Irish councillors they are akin to Holocaust deniers by honoring Che
An award winning author and Yale professor has written an open letter to the Irish nation begging them not to erect a statue to Che Guevara in Galway.
Professor Carlos Eire, author of ‘Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy’ which won the National Book Award in 2003, originally submitted his letter to the Irish Times.
The paper opted not to print it but it has subsequently appeared in the Galway Advertiser and on the National Review website.
The professor, of Irish and Cuban extraction, is vehemently opposed to the plans by Galway city council to honor Guevara’s links with Ireland with the planned statue.
In his letter he wrote: “As a victim of Che Guevara’s atrocities, as a historian, and as a Cuban of Irish descent, I am deeply disturbed by the fact that the city of Galway is planning to erect a monument to Ernesto Che Guevara.
“I don’t mind one bit if those behind this monstrous project want to believe lies - that’s their right in a truly free society - but it would be wrong to allow their abysmal ignorance or willful blindness to stand unchallenged.
“Those who think highly of Che may be surprised to hear it, but they have way too much in common with Holocaust deniers.
“Che was my neighbor in Havana, and I actually saw him in the flesh several times. He lived in an opulent mansion just a few blocks from my very small house, and also ran the prison of La Cabaña, where some of my relatives ended up being tortured and murdered.
“Their crime? Voicing an opinion different from Che’s. Or, in the case of my uncle, simply having a son who voiced an opinion contrary to Che’s.
“The awful truth about Ernesto Che Guevara is that he was a violent thug with despotic tendencies. Che’s admirers prefer to think of him as a righteous warrior, and often cite certain books that portray him as a saint.
“I hate to break the news to them: Some books are full of lies. Fortunately, others are not, like the memoir Cuba 1959, La Galera de la Muerte, written by Javier Arzuaga, the priest who accompanied all of Che’s victims to the firing squad during the first nine months of the so-called Revolution.
“Read it and weep, please, all of you who love Che.”
Professor Eire also makes an impassioned plea on behalf of his countrymen to the decision makers in Galway.
He added: “We Cubans are the only people on earth who knew the real Che - as opposed to the icon stamped on all sorts of merchandise - but there are many in the world who tune us out, discredit our testimony, and would love to gag us. Somehow, the lie is preferable.
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Barry - You muddle the point. In any event, be careful, more thoughtful and reflective in what you wish for. You may just get it.