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The proposed Che Guevara monument in Galway Photo by: National Review

Former Al Gore press secretary slams plans to honor Che Guevara

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The proposed Che Guevara monument in Galway Photo by: National Review

Another American commentator has put the boot into Irish plans to commemorate Marxist activist and South American born Cuban rebel Che Guevara.

Lawrence J. Haas, a Communications Director and Press Secretary for Vice President Al Gore, has joined the condemnation of plans to honor Guevara in the West of Ireland.

Writing on the website thecommentator.com, Haas has criticised the proposal to hold a festival commemorating Guevara in the County Clare resort of Kilkee.

He has even quoted IrishCentral in his piece which also mentions the plan to erect a statue in honor of Guevara in Galway.

“The West has long had a thing for Che Guevara, a doctrinaire Marxist and homicidal maniac of particular note,” writes Haas.

“In the more than four decades since his death, his iconic countenance has adorned tee shirts, caps, and mugs, and companies have used his face to sell their products.

“Still, the news that a town in Ireland – a land better known for shamrocks and Saint Patrick – has fallen victim to Che’s ghoulish appeal reminds us just how much historical ignorance and moral confusion plague the West, and it should prompt sober-minded people of all stripes to voice their displeasure.

“At the seaside resort of Kilkee, in the city of Galway, planning is underway for a festival in September that will celebrate the life and times of Che, whose grandmother was born in Galway and who spent time there in 1961, according to reports from IrishCentral.com and other outlets.

“Che’s eldest daughter will be the guest of honor and Galway plans to unveil a statue in his honor. The embassies of Cuba and Argentina, where Che was born, have offered financial help to build the statue.”

Haas then quotes a spokesman for the Clare event from an article on IrishCentral.

The spokesman said: “The Che Guevara image created by Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick has become as famous as the Coca Cola logo and is recognized as one of [the] enduring images of the 20th Century. We are proud to say that this image was the product of that fateful meeting between Guevara and Mr. Fitzpatrick in Kilkee.”

Haas then added: “True, Fitzpatrick has done as much as anyone to make Che a figure of enduring Western fascination. But, that’s hardly a reason for Che-worship by the good people of Kilkee or Galway or Ireland – or anywhere else.

“For those who need a refresher, Che Guevara was born in Argentina, radicalized by the poverty he witnessed during his early travels across Latin America, joined Fidel Castro’s revolutionary movement, and rose to second-in-command in the effort to topple Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista.

“He was ruthless and cold-blooded, one who glorified violence, killed and ordered others to kill without hesitation, and opted for murder even if merely suspecting that someone might oppose him.

“Che put words to action most forcefully when Castro put him in charge of La Cabana prison. There, he presided over quick trials of former Batista officials, businessmen, journalists, and others. The revolutionary tribunal ruled, the appellate court (over which Che presided) confirmed the rulings, and the executions proceeded – anywhere from a few hundred to perhaps a thousand or more.

“When not approving death sentences, Che was sending the revolution’s purported enemies to camps for years of hard labor. Labor camps evolved into concentration camps for the unfit – Catholics, dissidents, AIDS victims, and others – who were raped, beaten, mutilated, or otherwise traumatized.

“A fan of the Soviet Union, he played a key role in creating a secret police to subjugate the Cuban people and enforce the revolution.”

Haas also notes that, “Galway’s upcoming celebration has drawn a strong rebuke from House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who was born in Havana and fled Cuba when she was eight to escape the horror that Che helped to create.”

He added: “That Ros-Lehtinen probably won’t get her way says something profoundly disturbing about the West’s moral compass.”

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