Why do we admire Che? The many examples of his exemplary revolutionary personality has been stated on this blog many times so I won't take time to easily dismiss the tired old lies about Che being a corrupt leader. The very people, accused war criminals under the despicable Batista regime that the Cuban revolution overthrew, would be called out as the scum they were by the dishonest hypocrites who slander Che's image if the shoe was on the other foot and these war criminals had been accused of the same crimes, but had been on the people's side instead of that of imperialism. We admire Che because of his courage. Everyone who fought alongside Che spoke of his constant habit of running out front when the shooting started. In fact, Fidel Castro had many stern conversations with a determined Che, trying to encourage him to command the soldiers and not physically lead them into battle. Compare that to U.S. military and political commanders, the overwhelming majority of whom would never go within a continent of a battle while never hesitating to send your family members into harm's way to die for multi-national corporate profits. Che fought on the side of justice and unlike far too many people, he was always willing to put his behind on the line for that justice. He never sought personal privilege and recognition. In fact, another thing he was constantly criticized for was his lack of concern for his appearance.
We love Che and we have to acknowledge the irony of the attacks against him and us. Our enemies accuse us of being racists because of our unwavering commitment to African nationalism and Pan-Africanism. Yet, we honor a man like Che who identified as a white man. We not only honor him, but we encourage white activists who claim to want to fight on the side of justice to seriously study Che's life because if you do, you will see someone who initiated Cuba's commitment to Africa. In truth, it was Cuba's courageous presence in Southern Africa, started by Che's military work in the Congo in 1964, that led to the release of Nelson Mandela from prison in 1990. The negotiation for his release was made based on Cuban troops leaving Southern Africa where they spent years fighting against racial segregation, settler colonialism, and capitalist domination.
Finally, for those who criticize some of Cuba's actions in the early days of the revolution in response to fears of aggression by counter revolutionaries (with the full backing of the U.S.). Much of these accusations are centered around Che's role as a military commander. To this we say that every revolution, especially one that takes place 90 miles from the bastion of world imperialism, is going to make errors. You can continue to focus on those errors, but we suggest you contextualize these aspects by thinking about Cuba's commitment to place social justice above some people's personal rights. This is a concept that is foreign to most people in capitalist societies where personal rights smash the value of collective advancement, justice, and any semblance of equity. Che was committed to institutionalizing Cuba's socialist principles. One of those principles was making sure education remains free and universal in Cuba. So, regardless of what you think happened 50+ years ago, with Cuba's world recognized educational system, which stands second to no one, it will just be a matter of time before any discrepancies and shortcomings that people want to linger on will be wiped out. It will take a few generations, but it will most definitely happen. This is the process for collective advancement and this is the correct socialist model to make that happen. Che is a major reason for that and for his role in it, we love and honor him. So for every one of you reactionaries who attack him, we will be right there to set the record straight for our children and all justice loving people on the planet. That's why 48 years after these reactionaries are gone they will be completely forgotten while Che's legacy grows and the love for him deepens with every breath that we take.