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SACKS: Bill De Blasio Reminded Us Of Che Guevara’s Unjust Vilification

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Few figures in history are as over-criticized and over-praised as Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara. Democratic presidential candidate Bill de Blasio is being crucified for telling Miami union workers “hasta la victoria siempre” (or “until victory always”), a phrase linked to Guevara. But conservatives and anti-Castro Cubans overstate both the repression of Castro’s regime and Guevara’s role.

After the revolution, tribunals tried officials who were responsible for widespread torture and the killing of as many as 20,000 Cubans during the Batista dictatorship. Passions ran high, and Cubans wanted justice. Guevara’s critics have long focused on his five months as commander of the La Cabaña Fortress prison, where he was one of those who reviewed appeals from those convicted. In the first half of 1959, 600 were executed in Cuba. Between 55 and 105 of them were executed at the fortress under Guevara. Author Jon Lee Anderson noted:

I have yet to find a single credible source pointing to a case where Che executed ‘an innocent’. Those persons executed by Guevara or on his orders were condemned for the usual crimes punishable by death at times of war or in its aftermath … rape, torture or murder … my research........

© The Daily Caller