As I watched union activists carrying banners with Che's image recently in major cities across the United States, I imagined that he would approve of their behavior, but not the motivation behind it. I wondered if they would flaunt his image if they read in his diary, “I have no home, no woman, no parents, no brothers and no friends. My friends are friends only so long as they think as I do politically.” Would Che applaud their efforts or would he censure them, as he wrote, “We punish individuals who refuse to participate in collective effort and who lead an antisocial and parasitic life.” There are those who would argue that the wages and benefits of public service employees have grown so large that they threaten to destroy their hosts.
Watching youth flaunting Che's image as they rebel against all those in authority, I wonder if they ever heard or read Che's denunciation of revolution, “Youth must refrain from ungrateful questioning of government mandates. Instead they must dedicate themselves to study, work, and military service.”
And woe to those youth who ignored Che. His secret police (yes, Che headed up the Cuban Secret Police) rounded up thousands of youth for being “guilty” of the “rocker lifestyle” or being effeminate, and dumped them in prison camps proclaiming “Work will make men out of you!”
I also would love an opportunity to speak with a famous actress, known as a caring and attentive mother, and reputed to have worn a tattoo of Che's iconic image, and ask her how she feels about her hero abandoning his wife in Mexico, and at least five known children in various countries without any signs of remorse.
Even Castro grew tired of his “hero's” antics. A retired CIA officer reported how Fidel, via the Bolivian Communist party, constantly fed the CIA info on Che’s whereabouts in Bolivia. “Not even an aspirin,” instructed Cuba’s Maximum Leader to his Bolivian comrades, meaning that Bolivia’s Communists were not to assist Che in any way — 'not even with an aspirin,' if Che complained of a headache."
A commentary on Che re-posted on Womanist-Musings from Broad Snark describes him with slightly more vitriol. "... as I watch some of the people who love Che, I am beginning to see that they probably like him for exactly the reasons that I don’t. Because I keep seeing people in our communities emulate all of Che’s most problematic characteristics."
The author of this article goes on to describe how Che, "...a privileged, white kid from Argentina... joined Castro's revolutionary movement... the only thing Che was involved with that wasn’t a total failure." The author goes on to describe Che's many failures such as ruining the economy in Cuba, sending homosexuals and dissidents to forced labor camps, attempting to lead black soldiers in a failed revolution in Angola like an imitation Tarzan, and failing to incite a continent-wide revolution in South America, beginning in Bolivia where his own followers ratted him out to the authorities.