Che Guevara: The man who’s face is plastered on the t shirts of innumerable Leftists and socialists, yet do they have any idea of who this man actually was?
If you go to any university campus, you will be sure too find plenty of Che Guevara T-shirts among the student body. Ask a cultural studies major with a minor in White Guilt about Che and you’ll hear how he was an anti-imperialist hero. Ask them about Che’s time in Congo and you’ll probably get a very blank stare, similar to this:
While the Motorcycle Diaries and other pop culture representations have covered Guevara’s early life and the Cuban revolution in a romanticized fashion, it wasn’t until 2001 that Cuba finally released for publication The African Dream, Che Guevara’s diary of his failed attempt to export the Cuban style revolution outside of Latin America. Che’s Congo adventure, which he himself called an “unmitigated disaster,” was the tragic result of his attempt to force Cuba onto places that aren’t Cuba.
Che sauntered into Africa after the assassination of Congolese independence leader Patrice Lumumba. Using the political tragedy as a rallying point, he hoped to launch a people’s revolution. By “people,” we mean “Che Guevara’s people,” because although the local rebel leaders considered him a white guy and didn’t take well to him barking orders, Che insisted on leading the project with a bunch of his own Cuban mercenaries. His lack of faith in the Congolese people being able to learn how to operate guns makes scholars think he just “sounds pretty much like an old-fashioned racist.”
But he looks so open-minded on those T-shirts!
No, Che Guevara was far from a ‘revolutionary hero’, but just one of a very long line of communist murderers of the 20th century.
Che should be remembered for the political terror he was involved in and publicly defended on a number of occasions. This was a man who was also a defender of the North Korean regime and who deeply mourned the death of Joseph Stalin.
Che oversaw many executions at Cuba’s notorious La Cabaña prison following the 1959 revolution. Though the exact number of killed is unclear, thousands were killed in Cuba’s post-revolutionary purge and forced labor camps. There is even some evidence that Guevara personally carried out some of the murders associated with the revolutionary period.
Guevara also hoped that the Soviets would launch nuclear attacks on American cities, confident that the Communists would win a nuclear war that would have killed millions.
Reasons for condemnation of Guevara isn’t just for the racist statements buried away in his personal diaries but also the very visible blood on his hands.
The Body of Truth