Robert Scheer on Che Guevarra

In Robert Scheer’s analysis, Che Guevarra “was either an Argentine Trotskyite or an anarchist, but Che was not a Communist in what we think of as the heavily entrenched, bureaucratized Cuban mold. Che was restless in post-revolutionary Cuba because his anarchist temperament caused him to bristle at the emerging bureaucracy. He was, like Trotsky in his dispute with Stalin, skeptical that the kind of socialism that truly served the poor could survive in just one country; hence, he died attempting to internationalize the struggle.

“It also turned out that killing Che was a big mistake, as his message was spread more effectively by his execution than by his guerrilla activities, which were, after he left Cuba, quite pathetic. This is the case in Latin America, where political leaders he helped inspire are faring better than those coddled by the CIA. Daniel Ortega, whom the CIA worked so doggedly to overthrow, is the elected president of Nicaragua. Almost all of Latin America’s leaders are leftists, some more moderate than Che (as in Brazil), and others as fiery as the guerrilla (in Venezuela), but all determinedly independent of yanqui control. Fortunately, they differ from Che in preferring the ballot to the gun. But all recognize that poverty remains the region’s No. 1 problem and that the free-market model imposed by the United States hardly contains all the answers.”

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