Both men participated in major battles that marked the end of hostilities in their respective revolutions. John Paul's victory over a British man 'o war in sight of spectators watching from the cliffs of England's shoreline, sent members of parliament scrambling back to their chambers to demand that their government sue for peace. Similarly, the capture of Santa Clara by Ché's column of revolutionary forces sent a message to the dictator, Fulgencio Batista, that it was time to flee into exile. However, this is not a perfect comparison. Whereas Ché never evinced any great skill as a military leader, John Paul's seamanship and tactical leadership were decisive in the battle between the HMS Serapis and the Bon Homme Richard, as well as many other great battles.
The end of warfare in their respective revolutions did not quench their thirst for their enemies' blood. Both sought to continue their fights irrespective of their sponsors' wishes. Ché continued fighting anyone who opposed his dream of bringing the blessings of Communism to the Cuban people. Even loyal Fidelistas who had fought at his side to depose Batista, were forced to flee to sanctuary in Miami to escape Ché's wrath. John Paul was promised a new frigate, the America, under construction at the end of the American Revolution, and he dreamed of setting once again to sea to harry the British, treaties be damned.
In the end, the benefactors of both men were forced to constrain the revolutionary zeal of their “heroes”. Washington and Jefferson, arranged for the frigate America to be delivered to the French in repayment of their support during the Revolution. They mollified John Paul by arranging a new assignment for him, to command the Black Sea fleet of Catherine the Great of Russia, purportedly so that he could thus become qualified to return as an admiral and command a new American fleet. Castro sent Ché to South America to foment revolution there and murder more capitalists. Neither man lived to return to their promised rewards. Both were betrayed by their benefactors because both threatened the peace that their new nations needed to establish themselves. The remains of both were returned from distant shores after their death, to become objects of veneration by future generations though neither ever made an effort to become a citizen of the lands for which the fought.
I would place another pin in that time line at the point in history occupied by Barrack Obama and connect it to Ché. I am not suggesting, of course, that President Obama is a murdering thug. However, both he and Ché were driven by ideology when those around them wrestled with mere politics. Both men rose to positions of power by their innate charisma where they might reshape their nations according to that ideology. Interestingly, agents for both men used the same image, that of a handsome young man looking towards some distant horizon with a fervor that inspires us to turn our heads and look with them, straining to see a future free of want and blessed with equality. Neither proved capable of fulfilling that promise, at least not yet.
Thus, I begin building my “Timeline of Clones.”