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Cockcroft writes: "The year 2017 is the 50th anniversary of the CIA-ordered assassination of Che Guevara. In light of a recent upsurge in denunciations of Che and the Cuban Revolution, it is important to separate fact from fiction."

Argentine communist revolutionary Ernesto 'Che' Guevara, who helped lead the Cuban Revolution of 1959. (photo: teleSUR)
Argentine communist revolutionary Ernesto 'Che' Guevara, who helped lead the Cuban Revolution of 1959. (photo: teleSUR)


Remembering Che Guevara 50 Years After His Assassination

By James Cockcroft, teleSUR

10 October 17


In light of a recent upsurge in denunciations of Che and the Cuban Revolution, it is important to separate fact from fiction.

he year 2017 is the 50th anniversary of the CIA-ordered assassination of Che Guevara.

In light of a recent upsurge in denunciations of Che and the Cuban Revolution, it is important to separate fact from fiction.

Here are five important points to take into account, all in historical context, drawn from countless reliable sources, especially from the "References" section at the end of this article.

First, there is a burgeoning school of professional Cuba bashers, including some self-proclaimed leftists, who in effect seek the overthrow of the Cuban Revolution.

Apparently expecting perfection, they tend to only see the failures of the Cuban Revolution and its historical leaders. In so doing, they distort the truth beyond recognition and base their arguments on such outright lies as describing Che as “an ardent Stalinist” wedded to “authoritarian ways,” or saying the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, CDRs, are used for “spying on and controlling people."

In reality, however, the CDRs were and continue to be key institutions of the evolving and by no means perfect participatory socialist democracy the young revolutionaries set about trying to establish in 1959 in the face of ongoing U.S. aggression abetted by diehard supporters of the overthrown Batista dictatorship.

And now, 58 years later, by maintenance of the economic blockade, control over Guantánamo, acts of terrorism, military threat, a sophisticated cultural offensive and the budgeting of “dissidents," CIA agents and NGOs inside Cuba, not to mention the mendacious slanders spewed forth by the mass media of disinformation, including some of the social media.

Second, Che understood the centrality of politics impelled by ethics where subjective factors prevail, leading to the rapid conversion of Cuban society into a giant school of reclaiming Cuban culture and ethical values.

Hence, the literacy and “voluntary labor” campaigns, the advances in education, medicine, people’s participation, agrarian reform, housing reform, and so on that converted idealistic goals based largely on the thoughts of Martí, Mella, Guiteras, and other revolutionaries in Cuban history into evolving on-the-ground realities that even in one’s wildest dreams had never appeared possible.

Third, rejecting the use of capitalist methods to fight capitalism, Che and Fidel used the methods of dialectical Marxism-Leninism to implement the maximum possible option: make a socialist revolution of national liberation that would transform institutions and social and human relations through an organized and conscious “praxis” that — despite errors recognized publicly by each of them and their successors — continues today.

Fourth, as known at the time and revealed in collections of Che’s writings after his assassination ordered by the CIA in 1967, Che repeatedly warned about the dangers of not seeing the deficiencies of “existing socialism” and of mechanically copying Soviet manuals and methods.

He observed that the “intransigent dogmatism of the Stalin era has been succeeded by an inconsistent pragmatism…returning to capitalism.” He saw the actions and proposals of the Cuban Revolution as “clashing with what one reads in the (Soviet) textbooks” and contributed insightful Marxist critiques of both capitalist and socialist societies and their theories.

Fifth, Che, like Fidel, was profoundly committed to the cause of peace, but unfortunately had to take up arms to move the world closer to that ephemeral goal. To make a world without war possible, Che gave his life, even as Fidel did. We can learn much from their examples.


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+14 # Bodhidharma 2017-10-10 19:32
Che said, "At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality."
Quoted in Fractured Utopias by Dr. Roger Burbach
 
 
-35 # UpperMidWest 2017-10-10 20:55
Che was a mass-murdering sociopath! "Profoundly committed to the cause of peace"? What a CROCK! Everything about Cuba is a lie and a pathological delusion.
 
 
0 # sean1303 2017-10-11 00:22
And how does the moderator allow this hateful rant that disparages an entire people? What, if anything, is the point of the moderation if it doesn’t moderate ?
 
 
+1 # SHK 2017-10-11 01:47
No. It. Isn't.
 
 
+10 # RLF 2017-10-11 05:27
When is the last time you were there? I've been and it is more developed than Puerto Rico or the DR. The people don't have the anger at being poor in Cuba that the poor have in those two countries either. You're just one of the Cubans that was on the wrong side and now wants your beach house back. You miss being in absolute power...you miss the corruption...
 
 
0 # john rusnak 2017-10-11 06:10
you got that right.
 
 
-1 # dickbd 2017-10-11 15:08
You guys should have to give evidence for your assertions. Che was a doctor and a committed communist, but no innocents died at his hands. (He did execute some of his own men because they thought they could rape and pillage in the name of revolution.)
 
 
+7 # wrknight 2017-10-11 07:41
Quoting UpperMidWest:
Che was a mass-murdering sociopath! "Profoundly committed to the cause of peace"? What a CROCK! Everything about Cuba is a lie and a pathological delusion.

The fact that Che's assassination was ordered by the CIA makes me suspect everything you say about him. I don't know all the facts, but the CIA's history of assassinations, actual, ordered and attempted, is replete with atrocities against humanity.
 
 
+7 # Glen 2017-10-11 10:22
UpperMidwest, Cuba, prior to ousting Batista was a poverty stricken American playground. I know folks who went to Cuba from Florida regularly to play and gamble during the 40's. The wealthy Cubans are the ones who most hated the changes and revolution. It was those businesses and wealthy that a lot of Americans identified with, not those struggling. Certainly the takeover was rough and dangerous and many fled to Miami, but it wasn't a great place before then.

Yes, there are a lot of lies concerning Cuba, but the U.S. generated a lot of the lies. The list is long concerning how Cuba has attempted to help the U.S., even after Katrina, and was turned down by the U.S. government. It is complicated, as usual, but take a gander at the big picture, UpperMidWest.
 
 
+4 # David Starr 2017-10-11 10:22
@UpperMidWest: Mass-murdering sociopath? How you grossly distort Che's legacy. People died on both sides, but there was a revolution going on, and after that U.S. aggression against the island nation. The U.S., in its foreign policy, is infamous in supporting many tyrants worldwide. And the CIA is a major participant. Now what is this about mass-murdering sociopaths?
 
 
+3 # bardphile 2017-10-11 14:34
Everything, Upper? No one so far has mentioned the advances in medical care and literacy for the masses under Castro; do they factor at al in your picture of post-revolution ary Cuba?
 
 
+6 # davehaze 2017-10-10 22:07
What did the United States do to the island 90 miles south of Florida? I'll tell you just one thing: the CIA sprayed a fatal pig virus and from planes over the country side to wipe out a primary part of their food supply. Biological warfare. But it is Cuba that is patalogical according to UpperMidwest.
 
 
-1 # bardphile 2017-10-11 14:30
This is one I hadn't heard before. What's your source for it?
 
 
+9 # goodsensecynic 2017-10-10 22:32
At the risk of sounding pedantic, I'm not sure that the correct term is "assassination. " Since Guevara had been captured and interrogated prior to his being killed while in custody, I suspect that a better term would be "murdered" (if your sentiments are in line with those of "Bodhidharma") or "executed" if your emotions are in tune with those of UpperMidWest.

As for everything in Cuba being "a lie and a pathological delusion," all I can say is that, unlike Americans, I have actually been free to travel to Cuba (first time in 1973) and I felt quite comfortable meeting both officials and ordinary people, none of whom seemed in thrall to "a mass-murdering sociopath."
 
 
-1 # Salburger 2017-10-11 04:00
I'm no enemy of Che or his reputation, I named my son after him in 1968 and never regretted doing so, but I have to say that this article is pure crap and does not provide anything like a serious analysis of Che's politics or the Cuban revolution.
 

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