There are two things one sees on tee shirts that glorify evil incarnate. The first is the anti-Christian, anti-Semitic and anti-American peace sign, which has been put on jewelry, tee shirts and even on children’s clothing (listen to my interview with Paul Ibbetson, host of the Conscience of Kansas radio show on the peace sign below). The second is the image of Che Guevara the “butcher of La Cabana” on paraphernalia sold by Amazon.com, eBay and at TheCheStore.com.
Che Guevara died on October 9, 1967, in La Higuera, Bolivia.
Humberto Fontova in his book “Exposing the Real Che Guevara: And the Useful Idiots who Idolize Him” wrote on page 82:
Twenty-four-year-old Teresita Saavedra was a lay Catholic leader when the Che-trained militia arrested her in the town of Sancti-Spiritus in Central Cuba. The Bay of Pigs invasion had just been crushed and a huge dragnet was sweeping Cuba for any who had sympathized with those abandoned freedom fighters. Teresita, who certainly qualified, was hauled away at Czech machine-gun point to the town’s police headquarters. In the interrogation room she was repeatedly raped by five milicianos, who then released her. Teresita committed suicide that night.
I recently visited Communist Cuba and noticed images of Che are everywhere. On posters, painted on walls and even in Cuban hospitals and health clinics. Che has become the primary symbol of the revolution, eclipsing even Fidel Castro and his brother Raul.
As Che said, “The clay of our work is the youth.” Fidel and Che understood the value of propaganda. Fidel’s February 1957 interview with New York Times correspondent Herbert L. Matthews is one example of Fidel using the media to his advantage, portraying his and Che’s “revolution” as a benevolent one. This lie was exposed on January 1, 1959 when Fidel and Che toppled Batista and established what is now a Communist dictatorship.
After this “revolutionary victory” who was Che Guevara what was his role?
He [Che] helped free Cubans from the repressive Batista regime, only to enslave them in a totalitarian police state worst than the last. He was Fidel Castro’s chief executioner, a mass-murderer who in theory could have commanded any number of Latin American death squads, from Peru’s Shining Path on the political left to Guatemala’s White Hand on the right.
[ … ]
As Guevara wrote to a friend in 1957, ‘My ideological training means that I am one of those people who believe that the solution to the world’s problems is to be found behind the Iron Curtain.’…He was a great admirer of the Cultural Revolution [in China]. According to Regis Debray, ‘It was he and not Fidel who in 1960 invented Cuba’s first corrective work camp,’ or what the Americans would call a slave labor camp and the Russians called the gulag.”
Before the revolution Cuba was 80% Catholic. Che, like Karl Marx, believed that “religion is the opiate of the masses.” Matthew Archbold in his National Catholic Register article “5 Reasons Christians Should Never Ever Celebrate Che Guevara” wrote:
5) Che savagely killed Christians for little or no reason.
And it’s not just me saying it. In 2005, Cuban Jazz musician Paquito D’Rivera wrote a moving letter to the guitarist Santana, who wore a shirt with a crucifix and an image of Che’s face to the premiere of the movie The Motorcycle Diaries, which lionized Che.
Hola, Santana: I found out, through our friend Raul Artiles, that you’ll be performing in Miami soon; I find this rather ill-advised, since not too long ago you committed the faux-pas of appearing at the “Oscar Awards” ceremony, brandishing, with pride, an enormous crucifix over a tee-shirt with that archaic and stereotyped image of “The Butcher of the Cabaña,” the moniker given to the lamentable character known as Ché Guevara by those Cubans who had to suffer his tortures and humiliations in that nefarious prison.
One of these Cubans was my cousin Bebo, imprisoned there just for being a Christian. He recounts to me on occasion, always with infinite bitterness, how he could hear, from his cell, in the early hours of dawn, the executions without prior trials or process of law, of the many who died shouting, “Long Live Christ The King!” The guerrilla guy with the beret with the star is something more than that ridiculous film about a motorcycle, my illustrious colleague, and to juxtapose Christ with Ché Guevara is like entering a synagogue with a swastika hanging from your neck…
Wow. Pretty awful. But hey, so maybe Che had a little bitty problem with Christians. But it’s not like he totally hated Christ, right?
4) Che hated Christ.
Che actually said, “In fact, if Christ himself stood in my way, I, like Nietzsche, would not hesitate to squish him like a worm.”
But propaganda didn’t end with the January 1, 1959 Cuban Revolution. Today, the Cuban government controls all aspects of the media, magazines, newspapers, broadcasting facilities and the internet. Billboards and graffiti with pro-Che sentiment litter the landscape, and strict law enforcement and community groups like the “Committees for the Defense of the Revolution” are used to minimize the expression of conflicting views. As Totten noted:
You know what happens to Cubans who display open hatred of Che?
They get arrested.
When he was still alive, they were executed or herded into slave-labor camps.
So yeah, everyone “loves” him. It’s required by law. Woe to those who disobey State Security.
Totten provides these quotes from Humberto Fontova’s Exposing the Real Che Guevara:
“A revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate.”
“We will bring the war to the imperialist enemies’ very home, to his places of work and recreation. We must never give him a minute of peace or tranquility. This is a total war to the death.”
“If the nuclear missiles had remained, we would have used them against the very heart of America, including New York City…We will march the path of victory even if it costs millions of atomic victims…We must keep our hatred alive and fan it to paroxysm.”
Here’s one more from Fontaine in France: “In his will, the graduate of the school of terror praised the ‘extremely useful hatred that turns men into effective, violent, merciless, and cold killing machines.’ He was dogmatic, cold, and intolerant, and there was almost nothing in him of the traditionally open and warm Cuban temperament.”
Totten wrote, “Che’s selfless and collectivist New Man is a utopian fantasy. Humans will only work long and hard hours for no pay if they’re forced—hence Cuba’s repressive political system.”
Next time you see someone wearing a Che tee shirt, stop and ask them do they really know what they are doing?
Oh, by-the-way, Che was not a Cuban, he was from Argentina. His first name was Ernesto but the Cubans called him Che because Argentinians use the word Che instead of the pronoun Tu.
Interview with Paul Ibbetson, host of the Conscience of Kansas radio show on the peace sign:
Che Guevara on Jesus Christ: From Discovery Channel Documentary about Che Guevara.
EDITORS NOTE: It was Colonel John Waghelstein U.S. Army (Ret.) who served as an adviser to the Bolivian airborne unit that chased down the last of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara’s rebel band in 1967. The author served with Colonel Waghelstein, then Major Waghelstein, when he Commanded the 2 Battalion 7th Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.