Monday, October 15, 2007

Notable & Quotable: What Spaniards Really Think About "Che" Guevara

[The following post, which was published in the Spanish blog En Defensa de Occidente (In Defense of the West) and which we have translated here, reflects accurately the true sentiments of real Spaniards towards Communism in Cuba, and, in particular, the lionizing of the Argentine filibuster Ernesto "Che" Guevara. Its description of Guevara's cravenly conduct in his last hours is especially noteworthy. When young and in possesion of their faculties, if not in possession of themselves, and about to face death prematurely, men will synthesize their entire lives in their last few hours of concentrated living. There is no better example of this than "Che" Guevara. He died like the coward that he was and always had been, begging for his life like a woman, indeed, as few women who have found themselves in his position ever have, stopping short only of offering his body for the gratification of his captors (although if he had, surely they would not have said so). We might note here that the author does not mention the most notorious instance of Guevara's cowardice before his Bolivian misadventure -- when he shot himself in the head with his own rifle on first hearing the news that the "Yanquis" had landed in the Bay of Pigs. It was claimed at the time that this was an "accident." But even the worst marksman would find it difficult to shoot himself accidentally in the head with his own rifle.

Of especial interest to Hispanophobes at Babalú blog and past adherents of BUCL's "Campaign Against Spain," should be the fact that Spaniards share their fascination with "Che" merchandise, except that far from being offended by it they correctly regard it as a posthumuous and well-deserved repudiation of the man and everything he stood for, which bolsters in them, as it should in everyone, the hope that perfect justice is not a perfect fiction. — MAT]

Forty Years After Justice Was Done, Or the Empire of the T-Shirts

40 years ago, a humble Bolivian soldier, who lived honestly from the work of protecting his country's sovereignty, fired two shots at an Argentine psychopath and racist whose objective had been to foster genocide in the soldier's country in order to create there the same "utopia" that he had founded in Cuba also through genocide. Ernesto Guevara murdered with his own hands 200 Cubans whom he did not know but nonetheless executed as a means to control by terror a people who were not his people and whom he didn't know either. Guevara was a coward in battle; the anti-Batista guerrillas who survived Castro's purges after Batista's overthrow remember Guevara hiding or disappearing at the most dangerous moments. He only "fought" in earnest when his enemies were tied to posts and about to be executed; then and only then, did the assassin take out his gun, point it and proceed to "make Revolution."

Guevara went to Africa to defend the interests of a sinister warlord; he was to be the "white face" of his movement. His innate racism made him believe that the little "pickininnies" would worship him as a living god; but the truth was that the Africans soon saw what a coward he was when he dove under a table at the sound of gunfire. His constant whining at such times was just too audible and they used him for the only thing he was good for — to harangue and indoctrinate the soldiers. Eventually they tired of his interminable chatter and put him on a plane back to the Castroite paradise. "How very ungrateful those negroes," he pronounced them in Havana.

Only one thing meant more to him than shooting his victims in the back of the neck, and that was his ego. The monomaniac was not content to rest, and so he set out for Bolivia, which to him was an exotic land filled with puny Indians who were also going to fall at his feet because he was "white and intelligent." He placed himself in the very heart of Bolivia with a foco of guerrillas, all of them very white. The result? A disaster. The inhabitants of the area quickly tired of the Argentine psychopath's threats and tantrums and decided to reveal his whereabouts to the Army, which had been looking for him.

Guevara had been spotted everywhere and it was hard to fix his location; finally, the peasants ascertained where he was and presented themselves at the local barracks to let the Army know where they could find "the white devil" who had tormented and threatened them with his endless harangues, so that the soldiers could finish him off before they did.

The Bolivian Army sent a patrol on reconnaisance to the area and found them exactly where the Indians had indicated. In a direct attack on the guerrillas they quickly apprehended the "children of Che." Because of his position as "Che" Guevara and the fact that he considered himself irreplaceable, Ernesto surrendered immediately without resistance, informing his captors of his identity and how he was more valuable to them alive than dead. He was detained and jailed in a much more comfortable cell and with better food than what Cuban prisoners were afforded in their last hours. A coward who wanted only to elude the consequences of his actions, he spent all night trying to bribe the humble soldiers: "Fidel would pay whatever you asked for me;" "I have many friends in Moscow who would gladly compensate you;" "My family in Argentina has considerable assets and loves me very much... they would do anything for me." But it was unavailing, and as the hours passed he began to scream hysterically: "You are going to find out who I am!;" "Don't dare to lay a finger on me!" and, later, unmanned and sobbing incontrollably, he pleaded for his life: "You can't kill me... I am a defenseless human being... please don't kill me..."

The same humble Bolivian soldier who captured Guevara was accorded the honor of executing him. Without thinking it twice, he did. The rabid dog was dead and his body was put on public display, as they did in the Old West with notorious criminals. A hundred peasants filed pass his remains, relieved no doubt to see that the menace who had threatened them was dead.

His death was the end of him but the beginning of one of the important industries to emerge in the last 40 years. "El Che" has proved to be a lucrative franchise for the marketting of all types of merchandise: first, it was posters with the psychopath's image; then T-shirts became a real boom, and eventually, everything else — berets, keychains, cigarette lighters, sneakers, swimsuits, towels, beachballs, flags, ashtrays, underwear, diapers, beers, colognes... everything. If you can imagine it, they can make it. Untold millions of euros are generated annually by the "Che" franchise. At 22 euros ($50) per T-shirt, tell me, how could anyone lose his shirt?

The only thing that they have not been able to turn to good account is his theoretical books, which have never sold well much less been read outside of Cuba, where reading them is obligatory. Of course, this is understandable since something so soporific has no commercial possibilities, especially when he is the same embezzler in his books that he was in life, going so far as to steal even the phrase "It is better to die on one's feet than to live on one's knees," which does not belong to him. That phrase belongs to Emiliano Zapata, but it was attributed to him by the merchandisers because it sold more T-shirts, posters, toilet paper, condoms, plungers and I don't know what else.

Since his death, Ernesto Guevara has become a kind of MacDonald's of novelty goods. From an enemy of capitalism, the Argentine psychopath devolved into its stooge — "The King of Novelty Merchandise."

[Correction: The Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata did not say it; neither did Spain's "La Pasionaria," who made it famous. Of course, the words are Martí's].


Charlie Bravo said...

thanks, it's very refreshing to start the day reading about the unmasking of a criminal....

Vana said...

So he died begging for his life, am sure all those wearing Che shirts have no inkling of it, so easy it was for him to kill innocent people, but when he was the one about to die he whimpered like a child, now he's nothing more than a clown on a t shirt.