The folks in Washington are fond of talking about “the optics” of this or that. The optics of our president in Cuba have gone viral on the Internet. The image of President Barack Obama standing with the U.S. delegation in front of a 5-story steel outline of Che Guevara is chilling. It is tacit approval of a man the left hails as a hero, but the real story of Che Guevara is quite disturbing.
Guevara was an Argentine marxist who played a major role in the Cuban revolution. Che joined the Castro brothers in overthrowing Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. Talk about jumping from the frying pan into the fire, the Castro reign of terror ended up being even worse than the Batista regime, and Che Guevara played a key part in its terror. Guevara presided over the notorious La Cabana prison, a hell hole where hundreds were executed. Guevara’s forced labor camps became concentration camps with untold misery and horror. They held homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and anyone else deemed to have committed so-called crimes against the revolution.
Guevara’s own diaries outline much of the slaughter, so this is not post-revolutionary propaganda put forth by anti-Castro forces. Guevara was instrumental in the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 and favored nuclear annihilation of the United States to “build a better world.” He was involved in a plot blow up Grand Central Station and major shopping centers in New York on Black Friday.
He described his own idea of justice as “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 killing machine was blessedly exterminated while trying to lead another bloody revolution in Bolivia.
The iconic two-tone portrait of Che Guevara by Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick has been emblazoned on countless t-shirts, coffee mugs, and flags since it was introduced in 1968. The romantic image leads many to believe that Guevara was a hero. He was anything but. Certainly he was a complicated man, but his thirst for blood became his overriding legacy. The number of people Guevara personally murdered is impossible to tally. We do know that he oversaw the execution of thousands. To say the least, he was a butcher of barbaric proportions. The Castro regime in Cuba is famous for its brutality and Che Guevara is its most heralded hero behind Fidel himself.
To have the president of the United States visit this totalitarian dictatorship is bad enough. To see our president posing in the shadow of one of history’s most notorious murderers is beyond the pale. It’s as if Obama is trying to do as much damage to the United States as he possibly can before he leaves office.
There’s no doubt that Batista was a bad man. There’s no doubt that he should have been deposed. However, what took his place was even worse, and icons no less than John F. Kennedy tried to do something about it. It was Guevara-trained forces that repelled the invasion at the Bay of Pigs. How someone can be pro-JFK and, simultaneously, revere Che Guevara is beyond me.
How our president can honor such a butcher with a photograph that will no doubt be used as propaganda by countless marxist ideologues is unconscionable. To say that the photo op was unplanned stretches the limits of credulity. Every Obama photo op is carefully choreographed. This was meant to send a message to the world. That message is that marxism trumps capitalism. It’s a sad message indeed.