“A Revolutionary Parable about Redemption through Sacrifice(s)”
By Peter C. Coker
Increasingly — especially in the last five or six years – I awaken to discover that overnight, the earth’s axis has been nudged-over a half-a-degree or so, to a “Bizzaro” world-order. In a way, it reminds me a little-bit of the chaos of the 1960’s. This, of course could be demonstrated in a number of ways, but the focus here will be on the 60’s era real life character, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, and his especially inspiring way of ruthlessly achieving social justice. Guevara periodically gains renewed popular notoriety, as he has lately, so revisiting his philosophy and life seems worthwhile…even as the earth wobbles.
Ernesto “Che” Guevara, was born in Argentina (1928-1967); was later instrumental in the Cuban Revolution, and died by execution in Bolivia. Che` was a physician, author, anti-freedom guerrilla commander, and Cuban government official. He was married twice and had a total of five children. Che` was a major figure along with Fidel Castro in the Cuban communist-revolution.
Che`s family had Spanish and Irish roots and were leftist in their political leanings. Che` was very intelligent and became well versed in Marxist ideology. As a young medical student Guevara studied Marxist-Leninism and sought out leftist-studies in “class-struggle” and international world-revolution. Che` traveled throughout South America and became more radicalized by the extreme poverty, hunger and disease he encountered in his travels. Being young, intellectually naive and leaning towards a radical leftist political ideology, Guevara naturally saw the United States of America as the main cause of South America’s woes. Not, of course, the inept, corrupt nature of many Latin American governments.
When his travels took him to Mexico City, Guevara met with Raul and Fidel Castro and joined their (communist-led) 26th of July Movement, in Cuba. In Cuba, Guevara quickly rose to second-in-command, under Fidel Castro, proving to be an inspirational leader. At times, Che` also proved to be a keen military strategist. As a military commander Guevara was a harsh disciplinarian who was known to shoot deserters and execute a number of men suspected of being informers, traitors, or spies. One biographer in reading Guevara’s notes and diary accounts noted that Che` had a “remarkable detachment to violence,” referring to an execution as being a “revolutionary parable about redemption through sacrifice.”
Even after Castro and Che`s military coup proved victorious, their Stalinist influenced regime continued with: executions, book burnings, and the jailing and torturing of thousands of women and journalists. Further, many Cuban citizens were being starved and beaten in pest infested torture chambers for the crime of quoting the U.N. Declaration of Rights. Among these dangerous citizens were Cuban librarians and independent booksellers. Librarians and booksellers were convicted of the god-awful crime of stocking some of the world’s best-selling books.
Che` was then appointed by the Cuban Ministry of Justice to oversee the trials of the so-called “war criminals” and carry-out the death penalty executions. “Revolutionary Justice” was to be exacted against those considered to be traitors. The trials and executions of these “traitors” lasted for five months and had reached 16,000 when Che` boasted in his speech to the U.N., on Dec. 9, 1964; “Certainly we execute! And we will continue executing as long as it is necessary!” (The number 16,000 comes from the book by French scholars; The Black Book of Communism). For many Cuban exiles, Che` rightly earned the nickname; the “Butcher of La Cabana.”
It was generally acknowledged by practically everyone, friends and foes alike, that Guevara had become an extremely “hardened man” who had no qualms about the death penalty. If the only way to “defend the revolution” was to execute its enemies he would not be swayed by humanitarian or political arguments.” As Che` Guevara dogmatically stated it: “We reject any peaceful approach! …Violence is inevitable! To establish Socialism, rivers of blood must flow! …‘The victory of Socialism’ is well worth millions of atomic (bomb) victims!” “My nostrils dilate while savoring the acrid odor of gunpowder and blood. Crazy with fury I will stain my rifle red while slaughtering any surrendered enemy that falls in my hands!”…In regards to the United States of America, Che` noted:”The U.S. is the great enemy of mankind! Against those hyenas there is no option but extermination. We must keep our hatred against them alive and fan it to paroxysm (sudden emotions to actions of rage)!”
Lest you think Guevara’s bloodthirsty rampages were limited to so-called military criminals (and the U.S.A.) consider the example of Rigoberto Hernandez, who was seventeen years old. “Rigo,” as he was called, was the janitor in a Havana high school and was also retarded. Nevertheless, Che`s soldiers dragged him from his jail cell, gagged him, tied him to a stake, where the firing squad shot repeatedly and killed him. His single-mother had not only pleaded his case to officials, but proved to his prosecutors that her only son was not “a CIA agent planting bombs.”
Not only did Fidel Castro and Che` Guevara kill and torture the helpless and retarded, they also jailed, starved and tortured some 35,150 Cuban women for so-called “political crimes.” Some of these Cuban women Che` supposedly found guilty of “feeding and hiding bandits,” which was his term for Cuban resistors who took up arms to fight Guevara’s theft of their land. Che` not only had great competence at publically “Talking the talk,” but, also excelled tremendously at murdering bound, gagged, and blindfolded men and boys as well as torturing women. You could say he was gender-blind when it came to imprisonment and torture (so-cool, huh?).
Also, stunningly, according to the Paris-based organization, Reporters Without Borders, Fidel’s and Che`s regime holds the distinct honor of jailing and torturing the most journalists per-capita on earth. (Their mother’s must have been very proud!)
The true “freedom fighters” of Cuba were not the communist inspired criminals and thugs led by Fidel Castro, Raul Castro, and Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara. The real freedom fighters were those fighting against these tyrannical fascist thugs. The real freedom fighters led by San Ramon were known as “La Brigada 2506, organized and trained by CIA man, Grayston Lynch, a veteran of Omaha Beach, Battle of the Bulge, and Heartbreak Ridge. Lynch and his team trained a cross-section of Cuban society including: doctors, farmers, college students, common laborers, whites, blacks, mulattoes, aristocrats and their chauffeurs.
These freedom-fighters were unfortunately those who eventually lost to Castro’s troops. They did not lose because they were smaller in number or lacked a burning morale; they lost because, our beloved Camelot, President Kennedy (JFK), left them hanging without any of the support and supplies (including air support) that had been promised to them before they engaged the enemy. This debacle was called the Bay of Pigs (fiasco) and the Bay of Pigs freedom-fighters fought heroically up to and until they completely ran out of food, water, and ammunition. They fought like tigers even though they were delirious from fatigue, lack of sleep, and hunger. They fought so heroically and ferociously that the Castro brothers and Che` Guevara assumed they were facing an army of 20,000, instead of the actual 1,400 combatants. San Ramon and La Brigada’s Cuban freedom-fighters had inflicted over 3,000 casualties against Fidel and Che`s Soviet-armed troops of 21,000, until President Kennedy pulled the plug on the whole operation.
President John F. Kennedy’s criminal, immoral actions of pulling the plug on the operation in the midst of the battle insured the defeat of the freedom fighters against Castro’s troops. When Admiral Arleigh Burke of the Joints Chief of Staff confronted President Kennedy, JFK responded by saying, “we can’t get involved in this.” Burke exploded, “We put those Cuban boys in there, Mr. President! By God, we are involved!” As Marine Col. Jack Hawkins noted; “They fought magnificently and were not defeated. They were abandoned on the beach without the supplies and support promised by their sponsor, the government of the United States.” Grayston Lynch later wrote, “Tears flooded my eyes…for the first time in my 37 years, I was ashamed of my country.”
Ironically, in August 1961, during an economic conference of the Organization of American States in Punta del Este, Uruguay, Che Guevara sent a note of “gratitude” to United States President John F. Kennedy through Richard N. Goodwin, a young secretary of the White House. It read: “Thanks for Playa Girón (Bay of Pigs). Before the invasion, the revolution was shaky. Now it’s stronger than ever.”
The following year, Che`Guevara played a key role in bringing Soviet nuclear-armed missiles to Cuba at the height of cold-war hostilities. In October 1962 the “Cuban Missile Crisis” brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. Guevara later told British communist news correspondent Sam Russell, “if the missiles had been under Cuban control, they would have fired them off” (at the U.S.).
By the end of 1964 Che` Guevara had emerged as a revolutionary statesman of world stature promoting the gospel of global socialist liberation.
Ernesto Che` Guevara had previously, in January 1959, given a significant speech on the “social ideas of rebel army” in which he declared establishing agrarian land reform. Guevara declared that (forced) land redistribution would bring about social justice for all. Agrarian Reform Law (INRA) crafted by Guevara limited the size of all farms to no more than 1,000 acres. Any land holdings exceeding this limit would be appropriated to peasants in 67 acre parcels or held as state-run communes. The law also said sugar plantations (Cuba’s largest and most lucrative crop) could not be owned by foreigners. To facilitate INRA, Guevara established a 100,000 person militia to help the government seize control and redistribute land holdings. When Castro and Guevara’s government began land seizures it subsequently failed to compensate land owners as stipulated in the reform law.
On a side note: Che` Guevara’s land redistribution scheme was somewhat similar to the U.S. government’s land redistribution policy (Reservations) to the Native American Indians. The main difference was that the U.S. government’s policy was probably more generous. Yet, we now view (and rightly so) the Reservation “system” as a bad alternative for the future of the Indians. Indian tribes were basically put on welfare and given land portions (redistribution) of about 160 acres for each Indian household. Tribal communities could also sell back unused portions of their land (for millions!) to the federal government. The reservation system, though, did not work well for the Indians. Soon, their “spirit” was broken; they were impoverished, and ultimately became almost completely dependent on the U.S. government for their livelihood. It remains one of the dark spots of American history. The main positive was that Indian tribes stopped their constant warring with each other and stopped killing and terrorizing American citizens and immigrant settlers.
So, with the Indian Reservation system as an example of welfare and land redistribution, how is it that similar socialist policies (system) in other situations, such as the ‘Revolution in Cuba,’ are not viewed with the same disdain? Is it just the so-called good intentions of the facilitators that are supposed to make such policies work? Do we measure economic successes by the results or by the good intentions of the planners? Or do these failed policies and others like them naturally destroy the “spirit” of those it proposes to help – killing creativity, motivation, and fostering ever-increasing hopelessness?
Ernesto Che` Guevara, by his own account, was philosophically and ideologically inspired by Karl Marx. Guevara professed that the Laws of Marxism were present in the events of the Cuban Revolution. When enacting and advocating Cuban policy, Che` cited Marx’s inspiration by saying; “There are truths so evident, so much a part of people’s knowledge, that it is now useless to discuss them;”…” “practical revolutionaries simply fulfill laws foreseen by Marx, the scientist.”
[“The merit of Marx is that he suddenly produces a qualitative change in the history of social thought. He interprets history, understands its dynamic, predicts the future, but in addition to predicting it (which would satisfy his scientific obligation), he expresses a revolutionary concept: the world must not only be interpreted, it must be transformed. Man ceases to be the slave and tool of his environment and converts himself into the architect of his own destiny.”]
— Che Guevara, Notes for the Study of the Ideology of the Cuban, October 1960.
Guevara, as a philosophical dialectical materialist (atheist), called his special brand of revolutionary hatred, ‘love;’ “something spiritual that would transcend all borders.” Che` said, “the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love” and beckoning on all revolutionaries to “strive every day so that this love of living humanity will be transformed into acts that serve as examples”, thus becoming “a moving force.” In this Che` was correct; he succeeded in transferring his revolutionary ‘gospel of hate’ across borders. Certain revolutions are guided by a pursuit of liberty, righteousness and love; but revolutions like Che’s, guided by “dialectical materialism,” are anti-theistic and therefore employ the fruits of envy, jealousy, self-righteousness, class struggle, ignorance and hate. Cuba became more and more dependent upon the Soviet Union and Che` then began to be somewhat disillusioned with Soviet policies. Che` then became more favorable to Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong. Guevara strongly supported communist North Viet-Nam in the Vietnam War. He internationally encouraged other developing nations to create “many Vietnams.” North Vietnam later (1967-1968) sought out help from Cuba on their expertise in torture. Fidel and Che`s torture tactics were known to the North Vietnamese and they sought out Cuba’s help for their “Cuba Project,” for torturing American POW’s (Prisoners of War).
As Col. Jack Bomar testified regarding fellow POW, Earl Cobeil: “He had been tortured for days and days and days. His hands were almost severed…He had bamboo in his shins. All kinds of welts up and down all over; his face was bloody. Then ‘Fidel(s) (agents) began to beat him with a fan belt.” Fidel’s torture agents did their training at the Cu Loc POW camp in southwest Hanoi using about 20 American POW’s. “The difference between the Vietnamese and ‘Fidel’ was that once the Vietnamese got what they wanted they let up, at least for a while,” testified fellow POW Captain Ray Vohden USN. “Not so with the Cubans.” Though Che` Guevara had been executed by this time, his and Fidel’s tactics and fingerprints were all over the “Cuba Project” training camp in Hanoi, North Vietnam.
In 1965 Che` Guevara left his positions in Cuba’s government and dropped out of public view. He travelled to the Congo in Africa (changing his name to Ramon Benitez) to offer his talents in the ongoing conflict in the Congo. Che` put his solidarity with the Marxist, anti-Mobutu, Simba Movement. But, he soon became disillusioned with their lack of dedication. After leaving the Congo, Guevara lived clandestinely in Dar es Salaam and then in Prague to compile his memoirs. Che` then went back to Cuba secretly for a brief visit with his family. From there, in 1966, Guevara reportedly met secretly with representatives of Mozambique’s independence movement in Dar es Salaam to offer his assistance. His offer to the independence movement in Mozambique was ultimately rejected by them.
Che` then altered his appearance, changed his name to Adolfo Mena Gonzalez, and headed to La Paz, Bolivia in late 1966. From La Paz, Guevara travelled to the rural southeast region of the country to form a new guerrilla army, the “National Liberation Army of Bolivia.” Fighting and killing just seemed to be in Che`s blood. But, his agitations were always cloaked in “revolution,” fighting for the poor, fighting against imperialism, or a variety of other self-aggrandizing euphemisms. He was, in his own eyes, a global freedom fighter. But, he may well have been a self-glorified serial killer using “worldwide-revolution” and “liberation” to gratify and justify his own lust to agitate, create war, and kill. Che` Guevara’s plan for fomenting revolution in Bolivia ultimately failed as most citizens there were not interested in Che`s revolutionary war tactics. Che`s own preference for creating military confrontations rather than engage in political debate, compromise, and political processes, revealed his own desires for creating totalitarian rule by self-appointed elitists over that of democratic processes and true citizen representation. The kind of representation Che` offered was more like; “you will all do as I say, because I know what is best for everybody.” If you think Che` was advancing freedom and liberty, you would be mistaken. He was not a politically-active version of reggae icon, Bob Marley.
One look at current day Cuba should alert any rational half-wit that the economics of dialectical materialism is a complete and utter fraud and failure. From the start, Fidel and Che` attached themselves to an ideology that ultimately produces: national de-capitalization, fascism, totalitarianism, despair, poverty, dependence on other nations, and irreversible societal decay. Blaming their own woes and failures on American imperialism, or the Soviet Union “forgetting Marx,” is an outright denial of Castro’s and Guevara’s own personal failures to discern that they had originally embraced a truly immoral, fraudulent philosophy and ideology. Che`s determination and unwavering dedication are extremely admirable, but his philosophy and ideology were ‘dead on arrival’ as a philosophy of death, destruction, and hopelessness. As economist Thomas Sowell has noted regarding such historic philosophies:
“Where the creators of wealth receive, on average, somewhat more than the passive beneficiaries, the latter may feel that the former have benefitted at their expense, “exploiting” them in some undefined way, rather than seeing that wealth-creation is not a zero-sum creation. Accusations of this sort have been hurled at the Chinese in Southeast Asia, the Indians of East Africa, and numerous other groups who have created whole new industries and higher standards of living for all, in countries around the world. Such misconceptions about history and economics have not been confined to the unlettered masses, but have often been prevalent among the intelligentsia as well. Indeed, intellectuals have often taken the lead in spreading such misconceptions and whipping up such resentments. Much as history has to contribute to understanding such social phenomena as wealth creation, history has itself become a target of desperate attack by those for whom the truth threatens devastating consequences to their visions, their egos, or their projects.” 1
So, please — pardon me when I see someone waving a Che` flag, or wearing a Che` hat or t-shirt; because, to me, it is like identifying with and supporting someone like the 60’s, ostensible “hippie,” Charles Manson and his cultish-gang of wacky misfit killers. Che` Guevara, Fidel and Raul Castro did far worse than the Manson Family by thousands upon thousands.
After this unholy trinity of “revolutionary” terrorist thugs gained power in Cuba, thousands and thousands of Cuban citizens began to flee the country and head for the United States of America. They crammed themselves into small boats and almost anything that would float to escape Cuba and hopefully make it to Florida alive. These refugees literally risked their very lives in hopes of starting new lives in the U.S.A. Many of them carried signs declaring the common refugee slogan; “Better dead than Red.” In other words, it was better to risk your life floating 90 miles across open-ocean, in hopes of landing in Florida, than remain living in communist “red” Cuba.
Quote from Thomas Sowell’s Race and Culture: A World View; pgs. 226-227.
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