"Next time your kid comes home in a Che Guevara T-shirt, ask him if he knows what the Cuban murderer actually stood for. Sit him down, strip the gauze of ignorance from his eyes and have him read these Guevara quotes. Then burn the damn T-shirt."
Pretty powerful stuff, but then Che lived in a time of tape recorders and television. George Washington advocated genocide against Native American tribes simply because he wanted their lands, so what motivated Che Guevara? He was born into a wealthy family in Argentina and attended college and then medical school. You see, he was Dr. Guevara. As a young man he traveled through South America on a motorcycle and he saw widespread poverty. He saw a wealthy few and an impoverished multitude.
George Washington was born the son of a farmer and began a career as a surveyor. He fought for the British in the French and Indian wars and led an unsuccessful charge in pursuit of retreating Native Americans into a forest. George learned that day that you never follow Native Americans retreating into a forest. Washington lost many men and sustained his first military defeat. What about the innocent blood on George's hands?
George married one of the wealthiest widows in Virginia and began to petition his king for land grants west of the Appalachians. George was a man with a dream and a vision, George wanted to be rich, really, really rich, so when his king turned him down George decided that what this country needed was a revolution. His British King was suppressing his dreams and oppressing his freedom to occupy lands which did not belong to him.
This is the view of the American Revolution from the British perspective, a side rarely seen through the gauze of two centuries of propaganda. So George Washington was a revolutionary for vaporous freedom, financial opportunity and the freedom to commit genocide of native peoples and take their lands while Che Guevara was seeking revolution to aid the poor and disenfranchised.
Many, many, too many in this country romanticize war. War is the failure of politics; it is the failure of the human mind and the human tongue to seek reason. It is caused by the arrogance and intransigence to understand our common humanity. This so-called peaceful nation of ours has buried her sons in graveyards all over the world seeking"peace.
When Che came to Cuba he found a country where anything goes. America's playground was just ninety miles from Miami. Gambling, prostitution anything was available in Havana. In the Cuban countryside there was grinding poverty with little or no education or health care. Cuba was the number one Caribbean export market for Cadillac. American companies made millions in Cuba while paying ridiculously low wages and almost no taxes. Cuba was a plutocracy where 75 percent of the assets were owned by foreign nationals, a money machine lubricated by the blood and sweat of its people.
It is hard to look back over the past ten years and not to see the change that has come over the United States. So imagine looking back thirty plus years. My friend who was a few years ahead of me in school graduated from high school and got a union job working for GM. He didn't like it much, working on the third shift, so he was trying to get a job with AT&T working in a factory making telephones. Today those cars are built in Mexico and those telephones in China, countries where GM and AT&T can pay ridiculously low wages and almost no taxes. In countries where anything goes, where a blue jeans manufacturer can dump acids and dyes right into the Mexican drinking water supply, they brought 300 hundred jobs but poisoned the water supply for 2,400.
You see, I am not trying to justify Che's violence as much as to explain it and to understand it. Ten million homes foreclosed equal more than forty million men, women and children ejected from their homes. They live their lives under threats and under pressure, searching for a decent job when there are none. This is no accident, this is violence done in the name of profit. This is revolution by the pen and the freedom to be manipulated and ordered out for the benefit of others. Forty million people is the largest peace time human disenfranchisement in human history. The bankers who profited from this crime have not been punished but have been rewarded and are receiving their annual bonuses again.
This government, your government continues to insist that free trade will help our economy and create jobs. South Korea exports 700,000 cars to the United States but imports less than 7,000 from the United States. South Korea jails labor activists and pays their full time autoworkers a mere $5.00 per hour. They keep on staff contract workers who earn $3.00 per hour but who stand ready to step in the event of any labor stoppage.
Che Guevara and George Washington were in the same line of work, they were both revolutionaries. They were both willing to pit their lives and fortunes to bring about change. They both killed people and destroyed property and they both knew the horrors of combat.
Che said, "A revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate." We must create the pedagogy of the Wall!", meaning they would execute traitors and deserters.
George said, "It is always best to keep the militia in front of you" a reference to shooting conscripts who turn in the face of the enemy.