Argentinian revolutionary and guerrilla leader Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara has a remarkable legacy: many people look at his face and can remember who he was or simply celebrate his life with memorabilia or T-shirts that feature him. However, there are dark secrets about him that aren’t as well-known or spoken about. He’s often hailed as a hero but had some truly disturbing shades to his personality, making him rather paradoxical and layered in nature.
According to a piece by The Pulitzer Center, Che started many violent campaigns while leading military tribunals during the revolution. Omar López, human rights director, the Cuban American National Foundation, said that Che’s activities would now be perceived as terrorism. He added that it’s ironic that Che is hailed as an icon in contemporary culture. “The biggest paradox concerning Che Guevara is the fact that he’s considered the ultimate revolutionary in spite of the fact that he was never successful in any of his revolutionary adventures,” López commented.
He was homophobic, racist and loved violence
Che wasn’t afraid of being brutal. As per an article by The Independent Institute, Che was drawn to extreme violence. For him, justice was best served through severe punishment. In his “Message to the Tricontinental,” he didn’t mince words while describing violence: “hatred as an element of struggle; 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.”
What’s more, Che was racist and wrote about his perspective in his diary. According to the Huffington Post, he called Blacks “those magnificent examples of the African race who have maintained their racial purity thanks to their lack of an affinity with bathing” and said Mexicans were “a band of illiterate Indians.” Wait, there’s more: the leader was homophobic and also helped set up Cuba’s first concentration camp back in 1960. Throughout his career as a revolutionary, he is believed to have adopted a bloodthirsty approach by weeding out those he deemed unfit in his quest to mould his idea of a nation.
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