Ironically, the top symbol for history’s most disastrous economic policy (his face pops up everywhere from Occupy protests, to Obama campaign offices, to every street corner in Havana) benefitted from modern history’s most effective marketing/ branding campaign.
Che Guevara’s face also pops up everywhere from Mercedes Benz commercials to infantwear Onesies to supermodel Giselle Bundchen’s derriere.
What twists history might have taken if the Castro brothers (Che’s marketers and press-agents—and killers) had gone to work on K Street or Madison Avenue, places where their propaganda skills would have quickly made them billionaires instead of mass-murdering terrorists—whoops! Almost forgot. They are billionaires!—along with mass-murdering terrorists.
Remove the media hype and Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s record in life perfectly matches the worldwide record of the system that flaunts him as their worldwide symbol.
Had Ernesto Guevara De La Serna y Lynch not linked up with Raul and Fidel Castro in Mexico city that fateful summer of 1955–had he not linked up with a Cuban exile named Nico Lopez in Guatemala the year before who later introduced him to Raul and Fidel Castro in Mexico city, that is– everything points to Ernesto continuing his life of a traveling hobo, mooching off women, staying in flophouses and scribbling unreadable poetry.
Che was a Revolutionary Kim Kardashian. By pure chance, he fell in with the right bunch at just the right time and rode their coattails to fame.
Other than his competence at murdering bound, gagged and blindfolded men, Che Guevara failed spectacularly at everything he attempted in his life.
First he failed as Argentine medical student.Though he’s widely described as a Medical doctor by his hagiographers no bona-fide record actually exists of Ernesto Guevara’s Medical degree. When Cuban-American researcher Enrique Ros (late father of former Chairwoman of the House Committee on Foreign Relations Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fl) inquired of the Rector of the University of Buenos Aires and the head of its Office of Academic Affairs for copies or proof of said document, Ros was variously told that the records had been misplaced or perhaps stolen.
In 1960 Castro appointed Che as Cuba’s “Economics Minister.” Within months the Cuban peso, a currency historically equal to the U.S. dollar and fully backed by Cuba’s gold reserves, was practically worthless. The following year Castro appointed Che as Cuba’s Minister of Industries. Within a year a nation that previously had higher per capita income than Austria and Japan, a huge influx of immigrants and the 3rd highest protein consumption in the hemisphere was rationing food, closing factories, and hemorrhaging hundreds of thousands of its most productive citizens from every sector of its society, all who were grateful to leave with only the clothes on their back.
Most observers attribute this to “Communist mismanagement.” Che himself eventually confessed to his multiple economic errors and failings. Actually, given the goal of the Castro brothers (absolute power,) the Cuban economy has always been EXPERTLY managed. Castro inherited a vibrant free market economy in 1959, something unique among communist rulers. All the others, from Lenin to Mao to Uncle Ho to Ulbricht to Tito to Kim Il Sung, took over primitive and/or chaotic, war ravaged economies.
A less megalomaniacal ruler would have considered it a golden goose landing in his lap. But Castro wrung its neck. He deliberately and methodically wrecked Latin America’s premier economy. A Cuban capitalist is a person I won’t be able to control, reasoned Castro–and does so to this day.
Cuba–despite a deluge of tourism and foreign investment for over a decade–is as essentially communist in 2016 as it was in 1965. In fact, despite all the media hogwash lately about “free-market reforms” in Cuba—despite this classic propaganda barrage from the mainstream media, in 1965, with Che Guevara as Cuba’s ‘Minister of Economy,” a higher percentage of Cuba’s population was privately-employed than is today.
The Castro brothers are very vigilant in these matters. Again: “a successful capitalist is a rival power center. So we will not allow anything of the sort in our family fiefdom.” Thus reason the Castro brothers, modern history’s longest-reigning (i.e. “successful”) socialists. And who can argue with success?
Che Guevara was the Castro brother’s tool for achieving and consolidating power. He was perfect for the job. He was monumentally vain and epically stupid. He was shallow, boorish, cruel and cowardly. He was full of himself, a consummate fraud and an intellectual vacuum. He was intoxicated with a few vapid slogans, spoke in clichés and was a glutton for publicity.
But ah! He did come out nice in a couple of publicity photos, high cheekbones and all! And we wonder why he’s a hit in Hollywood?
Che excelled in one thing: mass murder of defenseless men. He was a Stalinist to the core, a plodding bureaucrat and a calm, cold-blooded – but never in actual battle – killer. His pathetic whimpering while dropping his fully-loaded weapons as two Bolivian soldiers approached him on Oct. 8 1967 (“Don’t shoot!” I’m Che!” I’m worth more to you alive than dead!”) proves that this cowardly, murdering, bumbling doofus and swine was unfit to carry his victims’ slop buckets.