17 augustus 2005

Ché (The Flemish Beerdrinker)

Ché Guevara was a rather awefull man. In a sense i guess we were very lucky that this guy preferred the life of a rebel touring through Latin-American over that of a dictator (the choice Castro made). But the result of this choice is also that Guevara became an idol of millions of young people while he was just an ordinary thug and murderer. Who else can write something horrible as this?

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!

What would have happened if such a man got the apparatus of the state to work with? Well here are some clues:

Less than a year after the Cuban revolution, one of its original leaders was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Although Comandante Huber Matos had supplied weapons for the revolutionary forces and had triumphantly rode alongside Fidel Castro as the rebels victoriously entered Havana, 10 months later he would be labeled as a traitor. His crime? Refusing to be part of a government that had turned its back on democracy. For this, Ernesto “Che” Guevara wanted him killed, or better put: sent to el Paredón, “the wall” for execution by firing squad. Castro eventually spared Matos’ life, fearing a death sentence would make him a martyr. Ask yourself, should a man that openly favored the murder of someone who spoke out for democracy really be the poster child for justice in the world? And Matos is not alone in this experience. Eusebio Penalver and Chanes De Armas are but two more that fought against Batista, only to be turned upon by Che and Castro when they publicly voiced concern over the new government’s consolidation of power. Hardly the leadership one would expect from such an idol. In addition to this, Guevara personally shot a young man under his command for the crime of stealing food in order to set an example for the rest of his subordinates, he founded the Cuban labor camps thus setting up a system that would be a means to terrorize “enemies of the revolution” (i.e. political dissidents, homosexuals, AIDS victims), and by his own account ordered over two thousand executions while in charge of La Cabaña prison and other posts. Again and again he proved that human life posed no obstacle in reaching his goal of creating a “new man”.

When protesting against war criminal G.W. Bush be sure not to wear a t-shirt with Ché on. The pot and the cattle you know.

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