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Anniversary of Che Guevara: Seven Phrases to Remember

homenaje al che guevara

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On June 14, UNESCO decided to pay tribute to one of the most famous revolutionaries in history: Ernesto “Che” Guevara. With Marxist-Leninist ideals, Guevara gained a prominent place in pop culture, especially among leftist sympathizers, from the most intellectual elite to the humblest voter. A kind of narrative developed around “Che” that catapulted him into history as the “good revolutionary”, a man who dedicated his life to confronting capitalism.

However, the life of “Che” Guevara has little to do with the story imposed by the mainstream media, the reviews of the chic leftist elite or the declarations of admiration by actors, athletes and public figures.

We want to remember the thoughts and actions of historical figures, as we believe that this is the best way for them to genuinely transcend for what they did in life and the true ideals to which they aspired. “Che”, far from being an admirable figure and an example to follow, was a murderer and a person who was willing to go to the ultimate consequences to impose his nefarious political ideas on citizens.

That is why, just as UNESCO and so many other leftist platforms did, El American also pays tribute to “Che” by recalling the 7 phrases that best define the “Butcher of La Cabaña”, nickname that the Argentinean earned for the numerous lives that weigh under his bloody memory.

Members of the French General Confederation of Labor (CGT) union hold a flag of “Che” Guevara as they take part in a demonstration against pension reforms in Marseille, France (Image: EFE)

“I like to kill”: Che to his father

Pedro Corzo, historical Cuban journalist and writer, wrote a book about the criminal and violent thought of Ernesto “Che” Guevara. One of the most surprising findings revealed in the piece is the content of a letter sent to his father in which the revolutionary admitted that he liked to assassinate.

On February 18, 1957, peasant guide Eutimio Guerra was tried by the rebels led by Guevara under the excuse of passing information to the enemy. The sentence was death and the one who shot him was none other than “Che” himself, who detailed in his diary how, with what weapon and what he felt when he liquidated Guerra.

“I finished the problem by shooting him in the right temple with a .32 caliber pistol shot, with an exit wound in the right temple. He gasped for a while and was dead. When I proceeded to seize his belongings, I couldn’t take off his watch tied with a chain to his belt, so he told me with a voice that didn’t tremble, far from fear: ‘Tear it off, kid, anyway…’ That’s what I did and his belongings passed into my possession.”

ernesto “che” guevara

The remarkable thing about this event is that, some time later, Che wrote to his father and referring to the episode admitted his true nature: “I have to confess to you, dad, that at that moment I discovered that I really like to kill.”

Against the free press

Guevara, faithful to his orthodox Marxist ideals, was against freedom of expression, that is why one of his revolutionary objectives was to prevent the free exercise of journalism.

José Pardo Llada (1923-2009), journalist, politician and former Cuban revolutionary, detailed in his book Fidel and “Che” what was the Argentinean’s opinion regarding journalists and their workplaces: “All newspapers must be destroyed, because you cannot have a revolution with freedom of the press. Newspapers are instruments of the oligarchy.”

Bombing New York

On several occasions the Argentine guerrilla fighter admitted that he was willing to go to the last consequences in his dangerous revolutionary struggle.

After the Cuban missile crisis, “Che” admitted in an interview with the British socialist newspaper Daily Worker that “If the rockets had remained, we would have used them all and directed them towards the very heart of the United States, including New York, in our defense against aggression. But we don’t have them, so we will fight with what we have.”

The quote was picked up and disseminated by TIME magazine.

Hatred as a driving force

As Pedro Corzo writes, Guevara found in the Cuban revolution “the leitmotiv to give vent to his criminal instinct”, and one of the main drivers of that murderous instinct was, precisely, hatred towards his enemies.

“Hatred is the central element of our struggle! Hatred so violent that it drives the human being beyond his natural limitations, turning him into a violent, cold-blooded killing machine. Our soldiers have to be like that,” explained “Che” in a special supplement to Tricontinental magazine.

On murder

UNESCO broadcast Ernesto Guevara’s opening speech at the 1964 UN General Assembly on June 14. However, during that same assembly, “Che” participated on more than one occasion and, in one of his speeches admitted that the Cuban revolution shot people.

“We have to say here what is a known truth and we have always expressed it before the world. Shootings, yes. We have shot, we shot, we will shoot and we will continue to shoot as long as necessary. Our struggle is a fight to the death.”

Extrajudicial executions

Che” was nicknamed the “Butcher of La Cabaña”, a prison that was granted to Guevara by Castro after the fall of Batista. There, according to an article by writer Alvaro Vargas Llosa, there were hundreds of executions ordered by the Argentine-Cuban and, according to witness testimony, several of the executions were carried out by Guevara himself.

The denunciations of the murders carried out in that prison are not surprising, because José Pardo Llada himself revealed in the book Fidel and “Che” one of the Argentinean’s most controversial phrases: “To send men to the firing squad, judicial evidence 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 hatred.”

che guevara
A man wears a Che Guevara’s jacket in Panama. (Image: EFE)

On homosexuals and black people

It is curious that, nowadays, the chic revolutionaries proudly wear “Che” Guevara’s jackets with the symbol of the LGBT community. Guevara was not only known for being a bloodthirsty killer, but also for being a hopeless homophobe. The Marxist revolutionary was even the one who planned and devised the concentration camps where homosexuals were imprisoned in Cuba, because for Guevara gays were “perverts” and “incapable” who were of no use to the revolution.

“Che” was also an avowed racist. He hated black people and the following phrase is attributed to him: “The blacks, those magnificent specimens of the African race that have maintained their racial purity thanks to the little attachment they have to the toilet, have seen their royalty invaded by a new specimen of slave: the Portuguese. Contempt and poverty unite them in the daily struggle, but the different way of facing life separates them completely”.

The most curious thing about this phrase is that “Che”, according to rumor, did not like to bathe either because of “his asthma.” In short, what does it matter, the socialists never shone for their coherence.

A tribute to Che

The word “tribute” clearly has positive connotations, since it is an act that is done in honor of a figure. In this particular case, Ernesto “Che” Guevara can only be recognized for one thing: that he gave us the best example of what not to do in life.

Che” was part of a terrible dictatorship that to this day subjugates and scourges Cuban citizens. Che” was a man who fought to impose, in an authoritarian manner, ideas that were harmful to societies. Che”, in short, is the face of an ideology that, like him, has blood on its hands.

This is the homage that a figure like Guevara deserves. To be remembered as what he was: a brutal assassin.

Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón is a journalist at El American specializing in the areas of American politics and media analysis // Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón es periodista de El American especializado en las áreas de política americana y análisis de medios de comunicación.

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