Monday, 8 February 2010

"A symbol of Tyranny" -- Che Guevara

I often wonder why there are some conceptions fixed in the public mind, quite at odds with the facts.  One of these is Che, a hero of the left, the subject of films, hagiographies, and T-shirts.  Che's the handsome revolutionary, a fighter for the people, for democracy, the one we all want to emulate.  Not.  See the letter below from today's South China Morning Post.
This is the same as the fixed in steel concept that Islam is the Religion of Peace™, despite the tsunami of evidence to the contrary, and the at best ambiguous stance of even the so-called "moderates".
Letter on Che follows....
Returning to Hong Kong for a regular business visit, I was greeted on the morning of January 27 by headlines announcing the resignations of five lawmakers as an expression of support for universal suffrage in Hong Kong.


Photos of the five featured League of Social Democrats legislator Leung Kwok-hung sporting a T-shirt bearing the image of "Che" Guevara, presumably intended as an expression of his support for democratic reforms.
In fact, Guevara's philosophies could not have been further from the notion that reforms can be brought about through democratic means. He co-founded a brutal regime that jailed many of its subjects. In 1959, with the help of Soviet agents, Guevara helped found, train and indoctrinate Cuba's secret police.
Fidel Castro and Guevara converted a nation with a higher per capita income than half of Europe, the 13th lowest infant-mortality rate in the world, whose industrial workers earned the eighth-highest wages in the world, whose peso was valued higher than the US dollar, into a pest hole that repels Haitians and keeps its own citizens virtual captives within their borders.
This "revolutionary" process visited upon Cuba a lower credit rating than Somalia, fewer phones per capita than Papua New Guinea and fewer internet connections than Uganda.
I do hope that Mr Leung will reconsider whether sporting an image of a brutal killer on his chest is consistent with his ideal of bringing about "democratic" reforms in Hong Kong.
Loretta Damron, Pennsylvania, US