|Wednesday, September 3, 2003
13:36 - Che and Che Alike
Somehow or other, this LGF thread turned into a back-and-forthing about Che Guevara. Itinerant limpet "View from Ireland" made happy noises about how many kids buy Che t-shirts because the guy looked soooo coool, and hey, he was an inspiring revolutionary! And for kids to grow up without knowing who he is reflects poorly on their school district.
Lessee here... Looking in my history books from College... Ah, here it is. Che Guevara: Argentinian of Irish descent... Trained as a doctor... Murdered hundreds of Cubans that wanted someone other than Castro to be in power... Murdered a couple hundred more in the La Paz Massacre... Extreme left-wing radical... One of the "spriritual founders" of the Shining Path which has killed more than 40,000 people... He was fond of tying people up, blindfolding them and then popping a cap in the backs of their heads while their wives and children were forced to watch... Executed by the Bolivian government on 48 proven counts of capital murder... Just the kind of guy that deserves to have his face on a t-shirt. Him and Bob Berdella.
OCTOBER 18, 1965: A CIA Intelligence Memorandum discusses what analysts perceive as Che Guevara’s fall from power within the Cuban government beginning in 1964. It states that at the end of 1963, Guevara’s plan of "rapid industrialization and centralization during the first years of the Revolution brought the economy to its lowest point since Castro came to power." "Guevara’s outlook, which approximated present -day Chinese--rather than Soviet--economic practice, was behind the controversy." In July 1964, "two important cabinet appointments signaled the power struggle over internal economic policy which culminated in Guevara’s elimination." Another conflict was that Guevara wanted to export the Cuban Revolution to different parts of Latin America and Africa, while "other Cuban leaders began to devote most of their attention to the internal problems of the Revolution." In December, 1964, Guevara departed on a three-month trip to the United States, Africa, and China. When he returned, according to the CIA report, his economic and foreign policies were in disfavor and he left to start revolutionary struggles in other parts of the world. (CIA Intelligence Memorandum, "The Fall of Che Guevara and the Changing Face of the Cuban Revolution," 10/18/65)
And VFI's response?
Che certainly was responsible for the executions of many following the revolution. A dirty job that Castro gave him. About 500 were killed.
Shining Path are Maoist. If anyone inherited the mantle of Che in Peru it was Tupac Amaru.
He was executed by the Bolivians (alongside the CIA) but not on any 'proven' counts of murder. In fact they denied executing him for a long time.
He was erudite, led a successful revolution, inspired countless numbers, never gave up, and happened to be drop dead gorgeous to boot. I don't think it's any mystery why he's a hardy perennial.
Of course. Never giving up. And being charismatic. What fine reasons to admire a guy, regardless of what it was he never gave up doing.
But I was a good boy. I kept from throttling the Canadians who proudly wore t-shirts with his image when I was up in Toronto.
I'll bet my teeth surfaces are flatter now, though.