In a video posted at The Blaze Wednesday, Fred Mason, President of the AFL-CIO in Maryland and the District of Columbia, called former Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) and Communist guerilla Che Guevara heroes.
“Without a person like Cynthia McKinney, there would not have been a Barack Obama,” he said while speaking at Baltimore’s Union Baptist Church in late August.
“And I was reminded of one of my heroes, Che Guevara, and his contribution to the Cuban Revolution,” he added.
According to Mason, Guevara was “an internationalist,” who “was about oppressed people everywhere.”
“Anywhere there was suffering, he spoke out against it,” Mason said.
But a 2004 article by Paul Berman at Slate.com shows the Cuban revolutionary is hardly worth idolizing:
The cult of Ernesto Che Guevara is an episode in the moral callousness of our time. Che was a totalitarian. He achieved nothing but disaster. Many of the early leaders of the Cuban Revolution favored a democratic or democratic-socialist direction for the new Cuba. But Che was a mainstay of the hardline pro-Soviet faction, and his faction won. Che presided over the Cuban Revolution’s first firing squads. He founded Cuba’s “labor camp” system—the system that was eventually employed to incarcerate gays, dissidents, and AIDS victims.
Berman quotes the man Mason sees as a hero: “Hatred as an element of struggle; unbending hatred for the enemy, which pushes a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him into an effective, violent, selective, and cold-blooded killing machine. This is what our soldiers must become …”
According to Berman, the modern day “cult of Che—the T-shirts, the bars, the posters” obscures the reality of the man.
Duane Lester writes that Guevara “was a monster on the scale of Hitler, Pol Pot and Stalin,” who loved killing. He quotes Humberto Fontova, author of Exposing the Real Che Guevara and the Useful Idiots who Idolize Him:
A Cuban prosecutor of the time who quickly defected in horror and disgust named Jose Vilasuso estimates that Che signed 400 death warrants the first few months of his command in La Cabana. A Basque priest named Iaki de Aspiazu, who was often on hand to perform confessions and last rites, says Che personally ordered 700 executions by firing squad during the period. Cuban journalist Luis Ortega, who knew Che as early as 1954, writes in his book Yo Soy El Che! that Guevara sent 1,897 men to the firing squad.
In his book Che Guevara: A Biography, Daniel James writes that Che himself admitted to ordering “several thousand” executions during the first year of the Castro regime. Felix Rodriguez, the Cuban-American CIA operative who helped track him down in Bolivia and was the last person to question him, says that Che during his final talk, admitted to “a couple thousand” executions. But he shrugged them off as all being of “imperialist spies and CIA agents.”
For Mason, however, this murderer is a hero.
Mason made his comments after Cynthia McKinney accused the United States of committing war crimes in Libya and Palestine.
“They’re bombing food warehouses, and they don’t allow food to come in,” she cried.
McKinney called America’s actions “collective punishment,” and added that it is a “war crime.”
“It’s a war crime when they do it to the people of Palestine, it’s a war crime when they do it to the people of Libya,” she added.
“I would love to see the day when we do not have to have a President of the United States who is also a war criminal. It will continue until we stop it,” McKinney said.
In June, the radical left wing former congresswoman showered praise on the dictatorial regime of Moammar Khadafi and said America should strive to be like the north African nation.
In May, she appeared on Libyan state television to show support for Khadafi after she bashed what she called the “pro-Israel lobby” in America on Iranian state television.
And this is a person Fred Mason of the AFL-CIO holds up as a “hero.”
It speaks volumes that a president of the AFL-CIO would idolize a communist murderer and a woman who thinks a brutal dictatorship is something America should strive to emulate.
If you like this article, you can follow Joe on Twitter @jnewby1956, visit his Facebook page, or click the Subscribe button to receive email updates when a new article is published.