Che Guevara has always deserved to be taken down a peg. And Paul Berman is the perfect man to do it:
The cult of Ernesto Che Guevara is an episode in the moral callousness of our time. Che was a totalitarian. He achieved nothing but disaster. Many of the early leaders of the Cuban Revolution favored a democratic or democratic-socialist direction for the new Cuba. But Che was a mainstay of the hardline pro-Soviet faction, and his faction won. Che presided over the Cuban Revolution’s first firing squads. He founded Cuba’s “labor camp” system—the system that was eventually employed to incarcerate gays, dissidents, and AIDS victims. To get himself killed, and to get a lot of other people killed, was central to Che’s imagination
Exactly! Che was bloodthirsty, power-hungry man who made Cuba the tyranny it is today. That is nothing to be proud of. He had the power, and the contact with Castro, to make Cuba a democracy. He was the third-ranking member of Castro’s cabinet, after all. But he didn’t. He deliberately didn’t. He chose autocracy over freedom, and his reputation must suffer as a consequence. It is unbelievable that it hasn’t.