Che Guevara: PC Icon
Che Guevara's image graces many a T-shirt worn in the US. Wearing one of these seems to be intended as a statement that it is good to be free of the crushing norms of a civilization tricked up by dead white men.
The T-shirt image depicts a long-haired 1960's hippy gazing steadfastly into the future.
The truth is, Ernesto "Che" Guevara, the one-time number three in Fidel Castro's thugocracy, would have had a guy looking like Guevara's semblance arrested and sent to a concentration camp known by their acronym: UMAP (Military Units for the Promotion of Production). Guevara was resolutely against rock and roll and its long-haired adherents. Long after his demise his grandson was rousted by the Cuban police for being a rocker.
Che is revered today as one who was above materialism, but he sure did not get that memo when he stole one of the largest mansions in Cuba. While he remained in Cuba, he lived and entertained in the lap of luxury.
As Minister of the Economy, Che drove Cuba into the ground. The country had been more prosperous than France, but in a short period of time, it became a place even fleeing Haitians avoided. This was not a failure in socialist terms. By impoverishing the whole country, the thugocracy ensured that there would be much less opportunity to oppose them.
The objective of Che and the Castro brothers was to monopolize power. In addition to bankrupting the country, gun confiscations were carried out the day after seizing power. As the Nazis before them in Germany, the Cuban communists used the gun registration lists of the prior government for rounding up privately owned guns.
As Lenin and Stalin before him (Che began his tenure in power signing his name as Stalin II), Che carried out executions on a daily basis. Even when there was a trial, the outcomes were not surprising -- the execution lists were posted before the trials would begin for the day. The names of the accused were the same as those on the execution lists. Che's judicial philosophy was captured in this quote: "I don't need proof to execute a man -- I only need proof that it’s necessary to execute him." (cited in Exposing the Real Che Guevara by Humberto Fontova, p. xxiii)
How ironic that the ignorant glitterati of the West so idolize Che. For example, rocker Carlos Santana (a man who would have been jailed by Che) displayed his IQ in public with this whopper: "Che is all about love and compassion, man." (Fontova, photo caption)
The good thing about Che, if it can be put that way, is that he knew nothing about military tactics and strategy. For that matter, neither did the Castro brothers. Had it not been for fawning media coverage ("I got my job through the New York Times," Castro could have said), even the incompetent Batista army could not have been overcome.
Fontova found much proof that when Che's utility in Cuba had come to an end, this potential rival was "volunteered" to the Communist insurgency of Laurence Kabila in the Congo. The one thing Che was good at when combat overtook his headlong flight was getting his men killed. Soon after Che came to "lead" the Africans, they would have nothing to do with him.
Che decided he would start from scratch and tried to make Bolivia the next Cuba. In a stroke of "brilliance" Che divided his shrinking band of warriors in the Bolivian jungle. They were totally lost. From deserters and a few survivors it is clear that they were wandering in circles. It seems that the city boys could not even relate a compass to a map. At one point the two valiant bands of wanderers even shot at each other.
When the Bolivians caught up with Che, he had earlier that morning exhorted his remaining guerillas to fight to the end. When Che -- alone and fleeing to safety -- spotted Bolivian soldiers, he threw his guns down and pled for his life. The Bolivians wisely shot him soon after -- and well before the Western press could make his trial into an Historic Moment.
The next time you see someone sporting a Che Guevara T-shirt, you might want to share the real Che with the wearer.
[Larry Pratt's interview with Humberto Fontova can be found at http://www.gunowners.org/radio.htm.]