I've had that special place for each of them for decades. Yes, I'm no Johnny come lately when it comes to those revolutionaries and their contributions. In fact, I can state confidently and without false modesty that I've made a significant contribution in helping so many people become aware of those two and everyone who contributes to the Cuban revolution and worldwide anti-imperialist efforts.
Its been 25 years since I physically visited Cuba, but I've studied the revolution very closely. Much closer than so many of today's 20 minute analysis experts who read one shoddy internet article and are suddenly subject matter experts on the subject. I've read dozens of volume books on Cuba, Fidel, and Che and organized countless events exploring their work. I've spent much time understanding their successes and failures. So much so that you cannot come to me with these recent rightwing attacks against both men, that so many on the so-called white left accept with little critical analysis. We have written much to debunk the foolishness of these baseless allegations against the integrity of Fidel and Che. Worthless charges that both men were racist when the people leveling the accusations are about as racist as racist gets. This is true because the people making these groundless accusations can point to absolutely nothing they have ever done to support the struggles of colonized people to achieve self determination. Meanwhile, Fidel and Che have a lifetime of work putting each of their lives and the resources they had available to them at risk to better the lives of African and other colonized peoples. This is ill refutable. So, please miss us with foolish accusations against these men. The only credibility your silly accusations carry is that we have to spend time helping honest people understand your lies.
Most recently, we came across a newer and even more crude attempt to attack the legacies of both of these giants. Now, they are claiming that Fidel was working behind the scenes to sabotage the efforts of Che to aide guerrilla fighting efforts in the Congo, Southern Africa, and Bolivia. Anyone who signs on to this absurd proposition demonstrates how little they have studied this history. There are volumes of research here. Che wrote extensive diaries on all of his military expeditions and there are plenty of books/notes from Fidel and independent sources on these issues as well. There is overwhelming evidence that Fidel not only did absolutely everything to support Che in the Congo and especially in Bolivia. There is also an equally impressive amount of evidence to prove that there certainly were extensive disagreements between the two men e.g. Fidel strongly and consistently urging Che not to pursue his efforts in Bolivia, but there is absolutely no evidence that Fidel didn't provide all resources available to support Che's efforts.
The promoters of this nonsense point to the changing political landscape in the mid 1960s related to the struggle between the Soviet Union and China as each country jockeyed to become the leader of the socialist world. Cuba, receiving support from both countries certainly embarked upon a more militant effort, aligned more so with China, in the early 60s. This is illustrated by Che's famous (or infamous if you are beholden to imperialist propaganda) United Nations speech in 1964 as well as China's open support for revolutionary insurrections in the Congo, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Finally, Cuba's open invitation to U.S. opponents to come to Cuba, like Robert Williams, Eldridge Cleaver, etc.
It definitely appears that at some point, Cuba decided to chill somewhat on relations with China and Mao Tse Tung for a more favorable relationship with the Soviet Union and since Che was viewed as China's man in Cuba by the Soviets, it makes sense that the Russians would desire to see Che's role in Cuba diminished. This doesn't mean that Fidel pursued sabotage efforts against Che as these reactionaries claim. Instead, the actual evidence indicates that Che recognized the contradiction and being the principled revolutionary that he was, he intentionally sought to distance himself from Cuban affairs in an effort to protect the Cuban revolution. His resignation from all his posts in Cuba and his letter to the Cuban people do nothing except confirm this. And Fidel's principled efforts to convince Che to avoid pursuing guerrilla action in Bolivia, particularly after efforts to convince Bolivian Communist Party Secretary General Mario Monje to support Che's "foco" guerrilla effort in Bolivia, fell through. Despite the tepid decision by Che to continue on in Bolivia, without the support of most Bolivian revolutionaries, Fidel still clearly did everything possible to support the Bolivian effort. This is proven by the fact even the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), clearly one of the major sources attempting to damage the legacies of Fidel and Che, has documents confirming Cuba's role, at Fidel's behest, in serving as the initial base for Bolivian operations and continuing to support those efforts up to Che's assassination and the extracting of the three surviving guerrillas safely out of Bolivia. Salvador Allende, the socialist political leader from Chile, escorted those three remaining guerrillas out of Bolivia and Allende was clear that he was acting at the request of Castro and the Cuban revolution. Also, the Bolivian revolutionaries with a great deal of respect in Bolivia, the Peredo brothers - Inti and Chico - wrote about the level of support Fidel provided to them and this continued as Chico was killed in battle in Bolivia, but Inti was one of the three who escaped Bolivia. He was determined to continue the fight from Bolivia so he re-entered his home country and hid in La Paz, Bolivia, for two years, with strong support from Cuba and Fidel, until Bolivian military forces, with support from the U.S. CIA, located Inti Peredo and assassinated him in broad daylight in 1969.
Without the slightest hint of bragging, I note that I know all of this history because I have spent my entire adult life belonging to an organization that encourages study. Active, intense, and consistent study. And, I received and have acted on that requirement with rigid discipline for decades. That's why your one or two weakly written internet articles won't work here.
The level of principled behavior and commitment to justice that just what is written here displays by both men is the reason why I hold them in such high regard. The fact neither of them was perfect means about as much as the fact you aren't perfect. Tell us something we don't know. We take what they gave us and we build on what they didn't do right. That's how progress is made. There is no perfect revolutionary process and anyone suggesting there is clearly has no on the ground work doing anything. We love Fidel Castro and Ernesto Che Guevara and if that bothers you we hope your irritation blossoms into uncontrollable discomfort until you do as Kwame Ture suggested; "when you are sick, you take an aspirin. Why when you are ignorant do you not read a book?"