Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Everyone loves a good murderer

What else can I conclude from the never-ending popularity of Che Guevera amongst many youths and celebrities ?

There are so many T-shirts and posters out there with the famous image of Che as if it were a bold fashion statement. Carlos Santana wore a Che T-shirt as he played at last years Oscars. Robert Redford paid homage to Che in last year's film, The Motorcycle Diaries, which focussed only on the earlier years of Che's life as a travelling youth in South America, with no hint or mention of the murderous fanatic that he went on to become.

Finally, someone in Hollywood who actually knows a thing or two about the despicable Cuban leadership has the courage to make a film telling the truth about Che:

Movie star Andy Garcia's controversial new movie The Lost City has been banned in parts of South America because it depicts romantic revolutionary Ernesto 'Che' Guevara in a terrible light. The Ocean's Twelve star spent years trying to get the project made, only for film festival bosses and cinema chains to shun the movie because it tells the truth about the Marxist guerilla leader and the Cubans slayed as he fought to revolutionize the country and hand Fidel Castro leadership.

Garcia, who wrote, directed and stars in the film, says, "There have been festivals that wouldn't show it. That will continue to happen from people who don't want to see the image of Che be tarnished and from people who support the Castro regime. He still has a lot of supporters out there. Some people think Castro is a savior, that he looks out for the kids and the poor. It's a bunch of hogwash. In the 45 years since Castro came to power, Cuba has been in the top three countries for human rights abuses for 43 of those years. People turn a blind eye to his atrocities."
Most young people probably don't know about Che and his legacy. He is widely seen as a freedom fighter, a symbol of revolution and idealism. But he was nothing but a communist thug committed to violence. Here's one telling quote of his:
“I don't know if the Cuban revolution will survive or not. It's difficult to say. But [if it doesn't] . . . don't come looking for me among the refugees in the embassies. I've had that experience, and I'm not ever going to repeat it. I will go out with a machine gun in my hand, to the barricades. . . I'll keep fighting to the end.”
Paul Berman has a superb essay about the man:
He founded Cuba's "labor camp" system—the system that was eventually employed to incarcerate gays, dissidents, and AIDS victims. To get himself killed, and to get a lot of other people killed, was central to Che's imagination. In the famous essay in which he issued his ringing call for "two, three, many Vietnams," he also spoke about martyrdom and managed to compose a number of chilling phrases: "Hatred as an element of struggle; unbending hatred for the enemy, which pushes a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him into an effective, violent, selective, and cold-blooded killing machine. This is what our soldiers must become …"— and so on.