A few years ago, wandering on maybe the most famous Istanbul street but the less visited by tourists because they’re lured to different objectives in different parts of the great city, I have heard for the first time the piece of music featured in the video at the end of this article.
One of the wrong myths of the last century, Ernesto Guevara de la Serna y Lynch, known as “el Che”, was fortunate enough to meet the right bunch to become famous. Unfortunately he doesn’t deserve to be famous, but keeping the proportions, he ordered so many executions in his short “government official” position that he can be rather accused of genocide. He fell in with the right bunch of Soviet sponsored revolutionaries, like Ringo Starr fell in with Beatles, by pure chance. The comparison is not mine, it’s taken from Humberto Montoya’s book of exposing Che Guevara, a criminal and a wrongly appraised hobo. Guevara is an Argentinean with aristocratic origins of some sort, his family was no “working class hero”. Don’t mistake him with Karl Marx, the Satanist who wrote the Communist Manifesto, only this one was no aristocrat. Che’s father, diminished family wealth by wrong management, and that was a trendy reason to become “leftist”. Usually people resent money when they don’t have them or when they lose them by gambling, which is synonym with bad management. Young Ernesto was neither poor nor unhappy for the imbalances of the world.
His fortune changed in 1954, (historically a year after Stalin’s death) when he met Nico Lopez in Guatemala, who later, introduced him to Castro Brothers. “Che” was a nickname given by the Cubans in Mexico City, meaning “chico” or “dude”. I don’t like “dude”, I can’t explain why, even if it sounds comic. The Motorcycle Diaries were written, or re-written, by professionals in Fidel Castro’s propaganda apparatus.
“Che”, one of the most iconic figures of the twentieth century, was a murderous criminal like Stalin or Hitler, comparing the territories and population numbers they had on their hands. Everyone now condemn a totalitarian regime, the propaganda everywhere is creating triggers to move things in a directions or another. I have lived during a totalitarian regime, one the historians considered the worst in the former East European Block, Romania under Nicolae Ceaucescu (I kept the English transcript of the name). The Red Barron, came to power without struggle, because he was part of a second wave, end he posed as a “liberal” in disagreement with the Soviets. So, Queen Elisabeth II carried him in the royal lorry, General De Gaulle came to visit in Romania to shake his hands and President Nixon was the first US President to ever visit officially a communist country. Ceaucescu eventually has been considered a criminal, has been summarily judged and executed on spot. He was the King of Communism.
Che was not Ceaucescu. Che was mentally ill. He had no respect for human life. He is appraised for what he hated. He was a killer, and not the smartest one.
“Crazy with fury I will stain my rifle red while slaughtering any enemy that falls in my hands! My nostrils dilate while savoring the acrid odor of gunpowder and blood. With the deaths of my enemies I prepare my being for the sacred fight and join the triumphant proletariat with a bestial howl!” “To send men to the firing squad, judicial proof is unnecessary. These procedures are an archaic bourgeois detail. This is a revolution! And a revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate.” – Che Guevara
The future “revolutionary” icon was recruited in Mexico City as the rebel’s army new doctor (the graduating papers, or any other official University mentions of Guevara studying Medicine were never found). On the boat, when they invaded Cuba from Mexico, “Che” lost his consciousness, and was found fainted in a cabin, dead alike. When Castro heard those from a rebel, he replied: “Well, if he’s dead, then throw him overboard”.
So much for the brothers in arms. Alberto Korda (Alberto Diaz Gutierrez on his real name), the one who shot the famous Che Guevara image (above), maybe the most famous image of all times, was a longtime drinking buddy with Hemingway. Smirnoff, the vodka manufacturer, wanted to use the famous image on the label. Korda did sue Smirnoff for slurring Che and won, on grounds of unauthorized use of the picture. It was ironic, because Smirnoff considered no slur to put a mass murderer image on it’s vodka labels. It would have been appropriate. After snapping the famous Che photo, Korda accepted to be Castro’s personal photographer, until he died of a heart attack in 2001.
Che, the revolutionary was so convinced of his charisma that he went to teach guerilla warfare around the third world. According to a lot of contemporary Cubans, he really was an embarrassment for Castro, The Maximum Leader himself, maybe more for that “charisma” and less for destroying the country’s economy.
Whatever the merits or demerits of Guevara’s economic principles, his programs were unsuccessful. Guevara’s program of “moral incentives” for workers caused a rapid drop in productivity and a rapid rise in absenteeism. Decades later, the director of Radio Martí Ernesto Betancourt, an early ally turned Castro-critic and Che’s former deputy, would accuse Guevara of being “ignorant of the most elementary economic principles.” – excerpt unmodified from Wikipedia.org [source]
[“revolution”, “freedom”, “Che Guevara” – the main keywords and some breasts flashing of course, Latino style. I wonder who can believe such emptiness.]
Che left Cuba in 1965. He was mad at himself, he was mad at the world and wanted to teach others “Revolution”. He went to Congo and after that to Bolivia. He previously has renounced all his official functions and left his luxurious villa in Havana.
He was captured by the Bolivian Army with help from the CIA (the two operatives were relatives with victims of Che’s former execution squads).
Fidel Castro, who wanted to throw him out the boat when they started, made a martyr from Che, but ironically, a week before this one’s formal execution. Guevara told the executioners the he is more valuable alive than dead. Apparently it was the reverse. His “legend” is still in use to sell merchandise. So is Stalin’s image. Who cares?
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