Monday, June 14, 2021

Ernesto "Che" Guevara born on this day in 1928. Nothing to celebrate.

A mass murdering racist, who dined with Mao as millions died of hunger is not someone to celebrate.

"All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword." - Matthew 26, 26:52

Some wish to celebrate Ernesto Guevara's birthday today. If he and his comrades had their way the world would have been subjected to a nuclear holocaust in October 1962, and they were bitterly disappointed that it did not happen.

Thankfully, John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev reached a peaceful outcome to the Cuban Missile Crisis, but the Castro regime protested it and was unhappy with their Soviet allies not launching their nuclear missiles. 

Ernesto "Che" Guevara's essay "Tactics and strategy of the Latin American Revolution (October - November 1962)" was posthumously published by the official publication Verde Olivo on October 9, 1968, and even at this date was not only Guevara's view in 1962 but the official view in 1968: 

"Here is the electrifying example of a people prepared to suffer nuclear immolation so that its ashes may serve as a foundation for new societies. When an agreement was reached by which the atomic missiles were removed, without asking our people, we were not relieved or thankful for the truce; instead we denounced the move with our own voice."

In the same essay, the dead Argentine served as a mouthpiece for Fidel Castro declaring: "We do assert, however, that we must follow the road of liberation even though it may cost millions of nuclear war victims." Castro and Che were so outraged that the regime reached out to Nazis to purchase arms and train the regime's security services.

Castro and Che were not alone in their criticism. Mao Zedong also criticized Khrushchev for backing down in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, and this was the last straw in a series of slights between the two communist powers that set the stage for the Sino-Soviet split. 

However Castro eventually backed off and returned to the Soviet camp whereas Che Guevara embraced the Maoists

This should not have been a surprise.

Mao Zedong had already been in power in China for a decade when the Castro regime took power in Cuba in 1959.  In September 1960 Havana diplomatically recognized the Peoples Republic of China. Between 1960 and 1964 the two communist dictatorships would collaborate closely together.

Mao's regime in 1958 embarked on the Great Leap Forward, a campaign to reorganize the Chinese populace to improve its agricultural and industrial production along communist ideological lines. The campaign was a disaster that led to mass famine and a death toll of at least 45 million.

In the midst of the famine Ernesto "Che" Guevara with a Cuban delegation visited Mainland China and met with Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, and other high ranking Chinese officials in 1960 to discuss conditions in Cuba and in Latin America, and the prospects for communist revolution in the Western Hemisphere. As millions starved in China the two revolutionaries dined through several courses of traditional Chinese food.


Che and Mao dine in 1960 while millions starved in China.

Finally, on the question of race and sexuality the Argentine revolutionary had retrograde views that the woke today somehow continue to ignore or excuse.

Unlike Mohandas Gandhi, who truly evolved in his views on race as a young man but is still attacked for them, Che Guevara seems to get a pass despite not showing an equivalent evolution. Politifact on April 17, 2013 quoted from The Motorcycle Diaries, a book based on diaries the Argentine kept while traveling through Latin America in the early 1950s.

"The blacks, those magnificent examples of the African race who have maintained their racial purity thanks to their lack of an affinity with bathing, have seen their territory invaded by a new kind of slave: the Portuguese. And the two ancient races have now begun a hard life together, fraught with bickering and squabbles. Discrimination and poverty unite them in the daily fight for survival but their different ways of approaching life separate them completely: The black is indolent and a dreamer; spending his meager wage on frivolity or drink; the European has a tradition of work and saving, which has pursued him as far as this corner of America and drives him to advance himself, even independently of his own individual aspirations."

 "The Establishment" writing in the publication AfroPunk cited the above quote but dismissed it as something  Guevara wrote when "he was around 24 years old." He then goes on to say that he " went so far as to fight with an all black army," but failed to cite his critical quotes against the Africans he fought alongside.

Politifact in 2013 quoted this comment from Guevara’s writing on his time fighting with black revolutionaries in the Congo that included this line: "Given the prevailing lack of discipline, it would have been impossible to use Congolese machine-gunners to defend the base from air attack: they did not know how to handle their weapons and did not want to learn."

It wasn't the Congolese, but Che's failure to train them that led to defeat. The other side that defeated Guevara's forces were also Congolese, but he tried to pass off his own incompetence with a racist excuse. 

However in another area Mr. Guevara has even more to answer for. In the same diary he refers to homosexuality in a negative context:

"The episode upset us a little because the poor man, apart from being homosexual and a first-rate bore, had been very nice to us, giving us 10 soles each, bringing our total to 479 for me and 163 1/2 to Alberto."
Fidel Castro in a March 13, 1963 speech was clear in his distaste for the "effeminate" were he openly attacked “long-haired layabouts, the children of bourgeois families,” roaming the streets wearing “trousers that are too tight,” carrying guitars to look like Elvis Presley, who took “their licentious behavior to the extreme” of organizing “effeminate shows” in public places.  The Cuban dictator, and Guevara's comrade, warned: “They should not confuse the Revolution’s serenity and tranquility with weaknesses in the Revolution. Our society cannot accept these degenerates.”

Two years later in 1965, Fidel Castro spoke explicitly about the Cuban Revolution's views on homosexuals:

“We would never come to believe that a homosexual could embody the conditions and requirements of conduct that would enable us to consider him a true revolutionary, a true communist militant.” ... A deviation of that nature clashes with the concept we have of what a militant communist should be.” 

In 1964 the Cuban revolutionaries began rounding up Gays and sending them to Military Units to Aid Production or UMAPs (Unidades Militares de Ayuda a la Producción). These forced labor camps were for those suspected of or found guilty of "improper conduct."  Persons with effeminate mannerisms: what the Cuban government called "extravagant behavior" were taken to these camps

Ernesto "Che" Guevara was in the revolutionary leadership in Castro's Cuba throughout this process and did not leave Cuba until 1965.

Castro put him in charge of La Cabaña prison and in the first half of 1959 presided over the executions of hundreds of Cubans, reported Andres Vargas Llosa in 2005.

Che Guevara addressing the United Nations on December 11, 1964 did not mince words: "We must say here something that is a well-known truth and that we have always asserted before the whole world: executions? Yes, we have executed people; we are executing people and shall continue to execute people as long as it is necessary.

Guevara bragged of the executions being carried out in Cuba.

Between 1959 and 1964 the numbers of Cubans executed was in the thousands. This is nothing to celebrate.  However the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) disagrees with this assessment and celebrated the above speech with an excerpt that ends with "Fatherland or Death!" This is why I protested the U.S. rejoining UNESCO in 2003, and celebrated leaving it again in 2017.

No comments:

Post a Comment