Let’s admit it, Ernesto “Che” Guevara or Che Guevera as he is commonly known is a pop culture icon. Go to any t shirt shop in India and the world over and in most probability you will find a Che Guevera T shirt. He is considered a youth icon and his popularity has transcended borders. That he was the a Marxist revolutionary has made him a darling of the left intelligentsia in India especially of the youth wing of the left who have accorded him a Demi god or a good like status considering the fact that most Communist identity themselves as atheist.
He is considered an icon of youth rebellion around the world so much so that popular brands like Converse, Nike, Taco bell, Smirnoff have extensively used his image to promote their products among the youth and made him a “Capitalist commodity”, something which he fought against his entire life.
But there is more than what meets the eye and the youth of this country and around the world has every right to know about the man they flaunt on their t shirt, handbags and even carve his image into their bodies and consider to be their idol.
That Che Guevera was an ally of Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro and was a proponent of guerrilla warfare but what many do not know about him is the fact that he was a homophobe, racist and a mass murderer like Stalin, Mao and Castro were.
He believed in the idea that an individual under socialism is complete and the state should everything in it’s power to educate the people about it, be it by force or otherwise.
He referred to homosexuals as ‘Sexual perverts and considered homosexuality as bourgeois decadence (meaning middle class Decay, who doesn’t contribute anything to the society) and something that was counter revolutionary. He along with Castro put them in concentration camps and tortured and raped them and many died in these concentration camps.
People in Cuba who spoke against him and Castro were arrested and either executed or kept in slave labour camps where they would be tortured to death.
He was also upright racist who thought of the white as the superior race. He referred to black people as “those magnificent examples of the African race who have maintained their racial purity thanks to their lack of an affinity with bathing” and described Mexicans as “a band of illiterate Indians”. If this doesn’t sound bigoted and racist, I don’t know what else does?
He derived pleasure in killing and torturing animals , something that has been confirmed by Alberto Benegas Lynch Jr. , Cousin of Che. He had no regard for human life either as is evident from his quote ” Death is necessary for revolution”.
How someone like him became a youth icon is beyond my compression. He should not celebrated, but rather condemned. So the next time you flaunt a Che Guevera T-shirt, think of the countless innocent lives he took in the name of a superfluous revolution.