Will the real Che Guevara please stand up?
Posted: 21 July 2007 03:26 AM   [ Ignore ]
less than 10 posts
Total Posts:  2
Joined  2006-09-02

Will the real Che Guevara please stand up?


Dale Yeager

A search for his name in Google produces 1,120,000 hits. His image is
tattooed to the belly of Mike Tyson, and he frequents the t-shirts and hats
of college students and celebrities.

However, most people do not know the real Che Guevara. This article will
explain why I believe that when people wear his image they are wearing the
image of a sociopathic serial killer not a revolutionary.

But many people see Che Guevara as a liberator as a social savior. He was
far from that. When Guevara met Castro and joined forces with him Cuba
needed saving….or did it?

Facts from a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization report on Cuba released in 1957:

·      “One feature of the Cuban social structure is a large middle

·      “Cuban workers are more unionized (proportional to the population)
than U.S. workers.

·      The average wage for an 8 hour day in Cuba in 1957 is higher than
workers in Belgium, Denmark, France and Germany.

·      Cuban labor receives 66.6 per cent of gross national income. In
the U.S. the figure is 70 per cent, in Switzerland 64 per cent. 44 per cent
of Cubans are covered by Social legislation, a higher percentage then in the

·      In 1958 Cuba had a higher per-capita income than Austria and
Japan. Cuban
industrial workers had the 8th highest wages in the world. In the 1950’s
Cuban stevedores earned more per hour than their counterparts in New Orleans
and San Francisco.

·      Cuba had established an 8 hour work-day in 1933—five years
before FDR’s New Dealers got around to it. Add to this: one months paid

·      Cuba, a country 71% white in 1957, was completely desegregated 30
years before the U.S.

·      In 1958 Cuba had more female college graduates per capita than the

In reality the Cuban people had lost control of their government when
Batista seized power in 1952. When the Castro / Che team took over the
country was thriving economically and in some ways socially but it had lost
its direction. History has shown that when liberal democracies lose their
direction there is always an opportunist ready and waiting to take over.

But maybe with all of his faults Che was a kind man, a loving man, think
again! In his article “The Killing Machine”, Alvaro Vargas Llosa details the
violent side of Guevara.

·      In April 1967, speaking from experience, he summed up his
homicidal idea of justice in his “Message to the Tricontinental”: “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.”

·      “I feel my nostrils dilate savoring the acrid smell of gunpowder
and blood of the enemy,”

·      Guevara’s disposition when he traveled with Castro from Mexico to
Cuba aboard the Granma is captured in a phrase in a letter to his wife that
he penned on January 28, 1957, not long after disembarking, which was
published in her book Ernesto: A Memoir of Che Guevara in Sierra Maestra:
“Here in the Cuban jungle, alive and bloodthirsty.”

·      In January 1957, as his diary from the Sierra Maestra indicates,
Guevara shot Eutimio Guerra because he suspected him of passing on
information: “I ended the problem with a .32 caliber pistol, in the right
side of his brain…. His belongings were now mine.”

·      Later he shot Aristidio, a peasant who expressed the desire to
leave whenever the rebels moved on. While he wondered whether this
particular victim “was really guilty enough to deserve death,” he had no
qualms about ordering the death of Echevarría, a brother of one of his
comrades, because of unspecified crimes: “He had to pay the price.” At other
times he would simulate executions without carrying them out, as a method of
psychological torture.

·      Instruction given to his underlings, “If in doubt, kill him”.

·      José Vilasuso, a lawyer and a professor at Universidad
Interamericana de Bayamón in Puerto Rico, who belonged to the body in charge
of the summary judicial process at La Cabaña [the prison Castor put Che in
charge of], told me recently that Che was in charge of the Comisión
Depuradora. The process followed the law of the Sierra: there was a military
court and Che’s guidelines to us were that we should act with conviction,
meaning that they were all murderers and the revolutionary way to proceed
was to be implacable. My direct superior was Miguel Duque Estrada. My duty
was to legalize the files before they were sent on to the Ministry.
Executions took place from Monday to Friday, in the middle of the night,
just after the sentence was given and automatically confirmed by the
appellate body. On the most gruesome night I remember, seven men were

·      Javier Arzuaga, the Basque chaplain who gave comfort to those
sentenced to die and personally witnessed dozens of executions, spoke to me
recently from his home in Puerto Rico. A former Catholic priest, now
seventy-five, who describes himself as “closer to Leonardo Boff and
Liberation Theology than to the former Cardinal Ratzinger,” he recalls that
there were about eight hundred prisoners in a space fit for no more than
three hundred: former Batista military and police personnel, some
journalists, a few businessmen and merchants. The revolutionary tribunal was
made of militiamen. Che Guevara presided over the appellate court. He never
overturned a sentence. I would visit those on death row at the galera de la
muerte. A rumor went around that I hypnotized prisoners because many
remained calm, so Che ordered that I be present at the executions. After I
left in May, they executed many more, but I personally witnessed fifty-five
executions. There was an American, Herman Marks, apparently a former
convict. We called him “the butcher” because he enjoyed giving the order to
shoot. I pleaded many times with Che on behalf of prisoners. I remember
especially the case of Ariel Lima, a young boy. Che did not budge. Nor did
Fidel, whom I visited. I became so traumatized that at the end of May 1959 I
was ordered to leave the parish of Casa Blanca, where La Cabaña was located
and where I had held Mass for three years. I went to Mexico for treatment.
The day I left, Che told me we had both tried to bring one another to each
other’s side and had failed. His last words were: “When we take our masks
off, we will be enemies.”

·      Che set up the first forced labor camp, Guanahacabibes, in 1960.
This camp was the precursor to the eventual systematic confinement, starting
in 1965 in the province of Camagüey, of dissidents, homosexuals, AIDS
victims, Catholics, Afro-Cuban priests, and other such scum, under the
banner of Unidades Militares de Ayuda a la Producción, or Military Units to
Help Production. Herded into buses and trucks, the “unfit” would be
transported at gunpoint into concentration camps organized on the
Guanahacabibes mold. Some would never return; others would be raped, beaten,
or mutilated; and most would be traumatized for life, as Néstor Almendros’s
wrenching documentary Improper Conduct showed the world a couple of decades

According to Ernesto Betancourt his deputy at the Cuban
National Bank where he was put in charge by Castro, ” Che was ignorant of
the most elementary economic principles”.

Posted: 21 July 2007 05:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Total Posts:  86
Joined  2007-07-07

not quite the 1950s cuba i’m familiar with having read about.  If it was the heaven on earth you described, wonder why castro was so successful - you’d have expected him to get no support at all if people were that well off…....

Posted: 21 July 2007 05:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Total Posts:  992
Joined  2005-11-19

I have read a little bit from both sides of Che. War and Revolution are never pretty and I’m sure Che was no saint but wasn’t it a noble cause to overthrow Batista? Too bad the Revolution turned into one man’s lopsided vision though.


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Posted: 21 July 2007 06:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
less than 10 posts
Total Posts:  2
Joined  2006-09-02

Of course the exisiting government needed to be over thrown but not by an equal group of criminals. The people lost control of their government. Che was motivated by his criminal mind not his politics.