A Conversation for Che Guevara - Revolutionary

Che is a commie

Post 1


There certainly are a lot of flowery quotes to describe someone who believes in communism -- a political system designed to take away the freedoms of individuals. If Cuba is so great, why do thousands of Cubans die trying to leave Cuba every year to come to the US? How many people from the US have died trying to go to Cuba? About zero.

Che is a commie

Post 2


You're wrong, communism is not designed to take away the freedom of individuals, although in practice people like Castro have tended to twist that way (power corrupts, Surprise!). Cuba is chiefly a dictatorship, not a communist country. Since the United States was supporting corrupt dictators calling themselves democrats throughout South America in the 1950's, communism probably looked like the only real alternative at the time.

Che is a commie

Post 3

Researcher 127504

Great! Maybe Cubans too want the freedom to go to South America and get a f**k for a few cents or have the freedom of beeing shot by the killer-squads of the landowners.

Che is a commie

Post 4

Jim diGriz

Replying to Alaska:

Yes, Che is a commie.

Please note the way in which I wrote the article. Here's an example:

"Che *concluded* that the citizens were being exploited by the imperialist ambitions of the US which *appeared* to be keen to prop up the dictators for its own ends".

Note that I didn't say "Che saw that the citizens were being exploited by the imperialist ambitions of the US which was keen to prop up the dictators for its own ends".

Just because I wrote an article about Che Guevara doesn't mean that I agree with him. Indeed, I'm about as anti-communist as it's possible to be. (I'm also about as pro-US as a Brit can get.)

And the fact that I disagree with Che's conclusions does not prevent me from appreciating him as a fascinating person.

And (to labour a point) just because I disagree with his conclusions does not prevent me from understanding the problems that he saw, or understanding why he felt he needed to fight against them.

(Similarly, I can appreciate a lot of what Marx was saying in his analysis of economics and "the class struggle", while completely disagreeing with his 'solution'.)

As a secondary point, I am using this article to help spread the ideas that Che really believed in. Having been told recently that Che would have approved of a "Sponsor a Dog" campaign, I realised that he was being hailed as a hero by many charitable-minded people, as if he was some kind of do-gooder hippie who just wanted to get down around a camp fire with the rest of humanity and sing happy songs. Far from it; that's why I included the quote about "hounding the enemy". If people are going to use Che as an icon, they should at least know what kind of man he really was.

Having said that, it is of course completely appropriate to argue about the legacy of the cause for which he fought.

Regards, jd

Che is a commie

Post 5

Pan Da

Thanks, Jim, for a well written, interesting article. Of course, it was bound to result in some knee-jerk reaction from people who know nothing about socialism, but enjoy a bit of tribal prejudice.

Yes, the ideals probably have failed in Cuba, just as they have in every other revolution, but at leasst we should have some respect for ideals. The USA was founded on ideals, and the thoughts of Thoreau and Emerson (for example) have inspired people around the world, but it could be said that the American revolution failed, too. After all, look at the recent elections, where democracy seemed to amount to a choice between two rich, elitist stooges for the millionaire class.

Yes, communism probably wouldn't have helped the Latin Americans, but three decades after Che the lot of most Latin Americans is as bad as ever. What we need now is some more idealism. Students in the sixties used to be inspired by Che. Now they seem to be inspired by Bill Gates - to get rich quick!

Che is a commie

Post 6

Commies from outer-space


Come join the revolution.

!Viva che!

Che is a commie

Post 7

Maurice Deebank

Oh well, that proves the supremacy of the US capitalist system then! You sir are an ignorant fool. What Che was fighting all his life was the arrogant intercession of the US state into countries that it (and by it I mean the cynical old McCarthyite weirdos running the place at the time, not the general populace) found ideologically unacceptable on its doorstep - and not just on its doorstep. I refer you to the mess in SE Asia, esp. Vietnam. Freedom takes many forms.....
It's about time the US left Cuba alone


Che is a commie

Post 8

the autist formerly known as flinch

Che is a commie and good for Che, it's so easy to slag off Cuba and shout "Dictatorship, Dictatorship", but if you go there (and thousands of americans do, and many stay) you'll find most of the peole, although poor and grindingly underresorced, are much happier both in themselves and with the system they're part of, than anywhere i've come accross in the west.

And if some of them want to take desperate measures to escape the economic war that the US has wages for 25 years or so, well i think that's probibly understandable. Especially when they're constantly to of the land of freedom that awaits them over the gulf.

The Cuban people have a very real role in the running of their country, not based on handing responsibility over to elected officials but by actively taking part in decision making and advisory structres and being acountable for thier implemntation on the ground.

When the economy was floundering a few years ago and there was a drive to produce more sugar, Castro himself went out into the feilds to lead his people into work, an old man, cutting cane (Happy birthday Fidel btw - 75 years old this week), side by side with the workers. Whereas President Bush has taken more than 60% of his presidency so far as holiday! Castro leads his people 24/7 and is widly admired and loved for it, both by those who support him, and those who are (often quitely) critical.

I say that because things are not perfect, there are issues regarding free speech (in the press at least) and other public freedoms, and i'm not about to go into the whole "difficult times call for diffcult measures" arguement, which though a good one, i don't entirely agree with. Neither do i think that Brother Che or Comrade Fidel are perfect men with perfect solutions, but they are good men, trying as hard as they can do what they can for their fellows.

Che is a commie

Post 9

Otto Ill

Consider the fact that the life expectancy of Cuba is among the highest in Latin America and less than one year lower than that of the US - though the per capita spending for healthcare is less than 1/20 than that of the US.

Che is a commie

Post 10

Rt. Rev. Lesley Gentle

Alaska, you clkearly don't have the faintest idea about what you are talking. Stick to flipping burgers and don't have any silly ideas about debating politics again, you just make yourself look silly.

Che is a commie

Post 11

combattant pour liberte

The US-backed Batista regime didn't exactly protect people's freedom--unless you were a large American multinational corporation.

Che is a commie

Post 12

Anarchist in the U.K- I'm not a hippy, Its just a nickname

I think it's ideologist saying commie. Please say communist. Very P.C. I don't go round calling you faschies do I?

Che is a commie

Post 13


also if you are doing a comparison to other islands in the area. cuba is the only one that is not completely over run by drugs nad the gang wars that go with it. look at haiti for instance, or to a lesser extent jamaica.

for those people like alaska that think that being communist is bad, it depends doesn't it. I personally think that Marx himself would be horrified at the regimes that claim to have use his theories.

the same extremes are to be found and easily criticised in capitalism, for example the every man for himself attitude. "or pull the ladder up mate and sod the rest" in other words as long as im rich why should i care about anyone else.

in conclusion extremes on the left or right, (or even religious) extremism can lead to serious problems (Stalin vs. Hitler= both dictators, both committed genocide and mass murdered their own people and anyone who disagreed with them).

Che is a commie

Post 14


Frankly, political system means nothing whatsoever - just the power vested in the leader and whether he is sufficiently qualified and responsible to lead it.

Che is a commie

Post 15


Cubans may not have the freedom to visit the USA but strangly the people who live in "the land of the free" are not allowed to visit Cuba. If Communism is such a dead duck why is America putting so much effort into isolating Cuba and making the plight of it's people so much worse.

In pre revolution Cuba many of the people were enslaved to the huge suger and fruit companies. People who worked for these companies were not payed in pesos or dollers but in fruit company money, this could only be exchanged in the fruit company shop or to pay for the fruit company house they lived in. This was slavery in the 1950s perpetrated by the huge american fruit and suger companies. This sort of enslavement had been illegal in the UK for over a hundred years, when despotic mill owners were trying the same tricks of not paying people for their toil.

Many Cubans are not happy with their lot, the grass often seems greener on the other side of the fence, but they have many things right such as free healthcare and education for all which helps provide a life expectancy and infant mortality comparable to any country in europe and literacy levels higher than most developed countries.

Yes there are many things wrong in Cuba but that is the case in the "democracies" we take for granted. One thing that there can be no argument about is that the Cuban people are great company and despite everything have a real zest for life.

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