While many naive Westerners continue to see Che Guevara as some kind of noble revolutionary hero, as, for example, depicted in Steven Soderbergh’s (Ocean’s Eleven, etc) recent and disgraceful pro-Che films, there is, as the Sun’s Grant Rollings points out, ” a very different side to the story….What most of the Guevara T-shirt-wearing brigade do not realise, he writes, ” is that he was known to be a brutal military commander who shot his unarmed enemies and even his own fighters in cold blood…After Guevara helped Fidel Castro to overthrow Cuban military dictator General Batista in 1959, he took on the role of one of the revolution’s chief executioners…”
Guevara is reported to have been responsible for the deaths of between 180 and “thousands” of prisoners. While the exact figures might be disputed, there is no doubt about his involvement. He admitted he did not feel a need for a fair trial for anyone who opposed Castro’s Cuban revolution. Guevara wrote: “To send men to the firing squad, judicial proof is unnecessary. These procedures are an archaic bourgeois detail.
Any fairly objective person (and there must be at least a couple of dozen in the world) familiar with even a modicum of modern history’s ideological experiments will immediately recognize the same symptom of delusional self-justification in Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot, to name just a few of the really big ones. Though Che or even Castro might not register on their level of mass execution numbers the ideological intent is no less apparent.
Here’s another account of the cult figure behind the movie.
Note: the above pic depicts a lowpoint in Che’s revolutionary career: his own execution in Bolivia by those who essentially thought as he did–that the political end justifies the means. For a rundown on Che’s death read this account.
Note: Yeah, there are all kinds of chic Che items to buy. T-shirts, berets, posters, handbags blazoned with the Bearded One…There are even tattoos. But why no dance yet? Why hasn’t there been a dance called, for example, the Che-Che, popularly performed in clubs around New York and London? Can’t you see Paris Hilton doing the Che-Che? How about Lindsay Lohan working up a rhythmic kissing sweat on her beloved’s mouth–to the tune of Che-Che?
Update: Directorof Che has hard time explaining it all to the press.