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Che Guevara and Ernest Hemingway by Miguel A. Faria, MD

Following publication of his book, The Longest Romance: The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro, Humberto Fontova gave an interview to The Daily Caller that was turned into an excellent article published on September 4, 2013. The article generated considerable attention, becoming an eye-opener, a veritable exposé on the embarrassing tidbits that came to light about Ernest Hemingway’s outlandish behavior following the Cuban Revolution. Hemingway’s reputation should be permanently stained, at least among independent thinkers and conservatives. The article attracted the attention of the esteemed editor of RealClearHistory, the late Samuel Chi, who was kind enough to send me the link so I could peruse the article. Let me quote from The Daily Caller:

“While Fontova writes about influential Cuban agents in the United States and how the mainstream media continues to suck up to the Castro brothers in his new book, perhaps his most shockingly lurid anecdote is of writer Ernest Hemingway, who lived in Cuba at the time of the Cuban Revolution. Hemingway hailed Castro’s revolution as ‘very pure and beautiful,’ Fontova said. ‘He was also a guest of honor at many of Che Guevara’s firing squad massacres. Hemingway loved to watch Che’s firing squads murder hundreds of Cubans. Hemingway would watch the massacres from a picnic chair while sipping Daiquiris.’ ”

Fontova’s source is a former journalist who worked for the late Paris Review editor George Plimpton, whose boss was invited and feted along with Hemingway on one such firing squad massacre and witness to the sanguinary soiree.

This took place soon after the Cuban Revolution at the Fortaleza de la Cabana fortress that was converted into a prison (photo, below) for enemies of the revolution, where its huge masonary walls from Spanish Colonial times became the firing squad walls and the courtyard became a killing field for the vengeful revolutionists.

The following account details another chilling incident perpetrated by Che Guevara, The “Butcher of La Cabana”: “Several men who survived La Cabana prison recall a night when a 14-year-old boy was shoved into their holding cell. When asked what he did, he gasped that he had tried to defend his father from the firing squad, but was unsuccessful. Moments later, guards dragged the boy out of the cell, and Che Guevara himself ordered the boy to kneel down. The jailed men screamed “assassins!” and watched out of their cell window as Guevara took out his pistol, put the barrel to the back of the boy’s neck, and fired.” (Excerpted from Allison Aldrich, “Che Guevara: Exposing myths about a murderer,” The Collegiate Times, March 11, 2008.)

It is indeed a disturbing article but the facts therein cited are consistent with what I know to be true. Hemingway enjoyed his Mojitos and Daiquiris while rubbing elbows with revolutionaries in the island paradise that the Cuban Revolution has since turned into a wasteland. Hemingway loved Fidel Castro as well as all left-wing revolutions, and the places he frequented in Cuba are communist shrines today.

It is a travesty that an intelligent person and great author such as Hemingway fell for tyrants like the Castro brothers and their sidekick Che Guevara. But unfortunately, it is true. Hemingway fell for Fidel, hook, line, and sinker just like the Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez did over the years.

Hemingway favored the communist side in the Spanish Civil War where 500,000 people perished. He went out of his way to misreport the war and advised John Dos Passos to do the same. Hemingway advised his fellow correspondent that if Dos Passos wanted his journalistic and novelistic work promoted by the print media and the publishing establishment he had better toe the communist line! Dos Passos refused.

So while both of them were initially men of the left, Hemingway prospered, while Dos Passos stalled! Some of the other tidbits come out of Hemingway’s own mouth, or rather, his pen. In his book, The Fifth Column: And Four Stories of the Spanish Civil War, Hemingway even confesses to crimes, such as turning in former friends to the Republican (communist) secret police. In fact, it was the reality of the civil war in Spain and communist treachery that turned Dos Passos — and many others, .

During the Spanish Civil War, there was systematic assassination of fellow Republicans, men of the left, such as Dos Passos’ friend, José Robles, and numerous others, including Andres Nin, who were accused of being Trotskyites by Stalin’s NKVD goon squad in Spain and executed. Such crimes by the Loyalists (Spanish communists in power) supported by the NKVD turned Dos Passos away from socialism and communism.

Robles’ execution, probably ordered by Stalin’s NKVD General, Alexander Orlov, caused a total rift between Hemingway and Dos Passos, who had been longtime friends and fellow travelers. Hemingway condoned the assassination, as “necessary in time of war,” while Dos Passos, embittered by the death of his friend, broke away from communism and began his remarkable odyssey to the political right. Dos Passos moved to the American Republican Party and supported Barry Goldwater in the 1964 U.S. presidential election.

I have touched upon the theme of betrayal and assassination of “ideological deviationists” by communists during civil wars and revolutions in previous articles and comments. Communists use assassination and purges of fellow revolutionaries in their quest for ideological purity, following the line Vladimir I. Lenin delineated as far back as 1917.

Returning to The Daily Caller article, an astute commenter who was not at all happy with Hemingway sipping Daiquiris and being entertained by Che while watching the Cuban firing squads, wrote sardonically but with clarity:

“Hemingway like all Leftists was an endlessly self-promoting cowardly narcissistic braggart of modest talent who bullied everyone around him. It is little wonder that when his time of terminal decline was upon him he used a shotgun to avoid the pain and indignity of death. Such a person would have no interest in the suffering of others because being near the power of life and death, and not be threatened by it because of your international status, is the ultimate Leftist aphrodisiac that made him appear to be actually alive.”

He has a point!

In the meantime, let’s return to the here and now as we ponder perhaps the most important election in the last 150 years looming within a few days on the political horizon. Consider the lessons of history — e.g., what happened during the French and Russian Revolutions, not to mention the Weimar Republic where a democratic process paved the way to power for Hitler and the National Socialist Party (the Nazis) in 1933. Isn’t it worthwhile to consider what could happen in our own USA, if Trump and the freedom party, the GOP, lose the election this November? Will we “intransigent” conservatives also be judged by the new revolutionists of the Democrat Party, egged on by the likes of Robert De Niro and Kathy Griffin, in the same manner that Che Guevara and Ernest Hemingway judged others? Think about it and vote.       

Additional reading

1. One of my articles,The Astounding Case of Soviet Defection Deception, about the defection of Stalin’s master spy, Alexander Orlov, and also republished by RealClearHistory, contains a lot of information about the Spanish Civil War and Stalin’s secret police operating on the Republican (Loyalist-communist) side during the war. 

2. I wrote in more detail about the exterminated anarchists of Spain in the three-part series, “The Political Spectrum.” In particular, Part III — The Extreme Right: Anarchism describes how the communists wiped out their fellow revolutionaries on the left, regardless of whether they were socialists or anarchists, once they took control of the movement and attained power.

Written by Dr. Miguel Faria

Miguel A. Faria, M.D., is Associate Editor in Chief in socioeconomics, politics, medicine, and world affairs of Surgical Neurology International (SNI). He was appointed and served at the behest of President George W. Bush as member of the Injury Research Grant Review Committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2002-2005. His recently released book is America, Guns, and Freedom: A Journey Into Politics and the Public Health & Gun Control Movements (2019).

This article may be cited as: Faria MA. Che Guevara and Ernest Hemingway., October 30, 2020. Available from:

Copyright ©2020 Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D.

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3 thoughts on “Che Guevara and Ernest Hemingway by Miguel A. Faria, MD”

  1. There is something deep in the core of the human psyche where the Serpent’s lie appeals to us all. “You can be like Him if only you…” I think this is what is so intoxicating about Marxism, in all its varieties.

  2. Exposing the Real Che Guevara: And the Useful Idiots Who Idolize Him by Humberto Fontova reviewed by Dr. Miguel Faria, October 10, 2010 : Fontova’s book contains a lot of information that you do not find in other Che hagiographies. It corrects several mistakes made in both Jorge Castaneda’s and Jon Anderson’s authoritative biographies of Che Guevara. Fontova was able to do this because he actually traveled to Miami and elsewhere to interview people who had known Che personally and/or had served under him in various campaigns. On the other hand, Mr. Anderson traveled to Cuba and relied on the accounts given to him by Cuban communist sources as well as Che’s second wife, Aleida March.

    Not only do we learn that Che Guevara wanted to use the Russian missiles planted in Cuba against New York City, but he also planned two other major terrorist attacks in the U.S. while attending the United Nations in New York. The first attack was foiled when the Black Liberation Army was infiltrated by an FBI informant and the culprits arrested. In that attack, Che planned to blow up the Statue of Liberty, the Liberty Bell, and the Washington Monument. The FBI foiled a second terrorist plot by Cuban agents, who had targeted Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Gimbel’s, and Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal with 500 kilograms of TNT to be blown up with a dozen incendiary devices. Consider the fact that Fontova provides us with a perspective when he reminds us that in the March 2001 Madrid subway blast, which maimed and killed almost 2000 people, terrorists used only 100 kilograms of TNT. Had these attacks been successful, we would have had a 9/11-type incident nearly 40 years before 2001.
    Fontova catalogs eye witness accounts of atrocities, murders, executions committed by Che in gory detail in his campaign of terror, not only in Cuba, but also in Africa and South America. The narrative in these chapters is not for the faint-hearted.

    On the other hand, in a moment of almost comic relief, Fontova describes a hilarious encounter of a Cuban-American wearing a T-shirt: “Che Is Dead Get Over it!” and Carlos Santana, who happened to be sitting by an outdoor cafe. Santana, a Che fan, who also has worn a T-shirt of the guerrilla icon was not amused and the exchange is a memorable treat!

    Illustration: Sporting his Che Guevara T-shirt, musician Carlos Santana, and his wife Deborah King Santana arrive at the 77th Annual Academy Awards in February 2005. (Frank Micelotta/Getty Images). As for the Daily Caller article, here it is:

  3. I hate to spoil it for those who like Hemingway’s books. But I no longer read Hemingay’s books, although I have read several of them. He befriended and admired Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. He sipped Daiquiris with Che ( the two Ernestos) while entertained watching the firing squads execute anti-communists at the Fortress of La Cabana in Havana in 1961! In the Spanish Civil war (1936-1939) he informed on friends to the communist goon squads. See Cuba’s Eternal Revolution, pages 93-97; See also pages 58-70 in the Stalin book for the Spanish Civil War in general and Stalin. 😎

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