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A little History posted 21 Jun 2007, 13:06 by Enkidu, Commoner

Very interesting discussion. What we're hitting on here, ironically enough are issues that Bakker hits upon a little in his books, vis-a-vis the nature of Truth. We'll leave that alone though, and get to this subject on its own merits. I am a freelance journalist, and have spent quite a lot of time in South America, particularly in Colombia, which has been one of the most violent countries in the world, although right now it's a little better. Ernesto "Che" Guevara was definitely an idealist. One of his first jobs away from his home in Argentina, after recieving a medical degree, was working with diseased people in Guatemala, including lepers. While in Argentina in the early 1950's, he witnessed the coup de' tat there, which installed a brutal dictatorship, and was backed and financed by the CIA and the auspices of the United Fruit Company, which was owned by the Dulles family, that is the family of John Foster Dulles, who was U.S. Secretary of Defense at that time and beyond, and who is the person that the airport of the same name in Washington, D.C. is honoring. Che had famously toured South America on a motorcycle when he was younger, which first brought him into real contact with the breadth of poverty, warfare and suffering in Latin countries. From my own experience, they are conditions that you are not qualified to talk about unless you have stayed there living among them for an extended time. In many ways, it is hell. There are a lot of good aspects to Latin countries as well, but the bad shit going on, to be blunt, is horrible, and pretty eye-opening, especially the plight of the desplazados, simple country people who are forced out of their homes in rural areas by either rampant and vast attempts at industrialization, warfare among governmental and paramilitary groups(the paramilitary including the "death-squads" existant in many countires, who incidentally were trained in the past in their methods of torture and mass murder at the "School of the Americas" in Virginia, which now operates under another name, as they were ostensibly "caught" for these activities in the 1980's), and in the modern days, guerillas. To give an example of how this still goes on, just about a month ago, Chiquita Bananas and their parent corporations got caught sneaking a load of arms into Colombia in a fruit shipment. They were only fined $250,000 by one of those wonderful international policing organizations, and the story did not make many waves in the U.S., which only increases feelings of injustice and helplessness in Latin countries, where of course one has to live with the realities of the U.S. government and large corporations purposely destabilizing one's economy and society with war, death and poverty. This is a truncated version, I encourage folks to get the info themselves...Back to Che. So after seeing these sort of things, he eventually hooked up with a group of Cuban exiles led by a young Fidel Castro in Mexico, where they were training to invade their home country of Cuba, and to attempt to oust the current dictator, Batista, who, interestingly enough, also was funded in a large part by the United Fruit Company. Che signed on as a doctor. The infamous trip of the boat "Granma", however, which was carrying the invasion force, changed this. After a terrible sea voyage, the Granma was ambushed by Batista troops when it landed. Most were killed, and only a handful remained. One of these handfuls escaped the landing site with Che, who was faced with the choice to continue being a medic, or to pull the disorganized survivors together and lead them. The rest is history. As for that history...I make no claims of Right or Wrong. I do however understand Che's violent techniques towards a greater goal. Did they work in the long-run? No, because today we have guerilla groups all over Latin America who have become corrupted through their use of violence, and are now more interested in gaining control of the resources that they plan to wrest away from the governments and corporations for themselves than they are with freedom. Which is ironically enough the reason that many of them, unknown to their common soldiers are actually funded and controlled by our old friends the CIA. It makes some good economic and political sense to pay the guerillas, paramilitary groups and the Latin governments themselves to fight one another. Everyone's buying weapons, and the instability means that for instance Colombia will never get control of their large oil reserves, their supply of emeralds(the largest in the world), or their vast agricultural resources, and be able to compete with the hegemnonic power of the U.S. at all. The other question is, does that failure make Che a monster? No, I don't think so. As I said, if you've ever experienced the conditions of Latin America at the hands of the West(from the Conquistadores on), then you might understand the desperation, anger and hatred which would lead a man like Che to use the methods he used. He formed a philosophy, and tested it in the real world, which is why Jean Paul Sartre once called him the "most complete man of the 20th century". Much will continue to be said about Ernesto Guevara, some will twist facts to call him a murderering scumbag, some will twist the same facts to say that he was a saint. As usual in life, the answer probably does not lie in either of these extremes. The answer is not only with the man, but with the world he lived in, in the actions of others, and in a way, what "came before" him, rather than what has "come after". If a million people decide to eat on chairs instead of tables, then a chair isn't a chair anymore...Yeah, that's kind of non-sequiter, I suppose. Sorry this is a bit long, but that's the nuts and bolts of it anyway...Everyone take care... view post


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