A Guevarista Rethinks Guevara

This is the second time I’m linking to my buddy Mark Nenadov’s blog All Things Expounded. He has written about Mark Rudd, a former member of the Weather Underground who speaks of his renouncing Che Guevara. As much as Rudd is still a socialist, it’s good to see that some people are willing to own up to the fact that Che was not the wonderful freedom fighter that people like Zach De La Rocha make him out to be.

As an aside, Mark’s blog is a good place for news related to politics and economics among other things. I highly recommend putting him on your blogroll.

For info on why Che ain’t the hero that the new movie starring Benicio Del Toro will make him out to be, check out Reason.tv‘s YouTube video, Killer Chic: Hollywood’s Sick Love Affair With Che Guevara [HT: Bureaucrash]. In it you learn that Che indeed hated the arts and popular culture and did all he could to stamp it out. So Hollywood’s love affair with him seems to be a case of self-mutilation. The best part of the video comes from Paquito D’Rivera, a Grammy winning clarinet player who saw the face of Che’s hatred for art. He says, “Che Guevara is the king of marketing.” Of course, the irony is that Che hated markets. Ha!



Filed under che guevara, communism, economics, friends, liberty, politics, socialism

6 responses to “A Guevarista Rethinks Guevara

  1. marknen

    Hey, thanks for the good word!

    Regarding hating art..I was reading a book about the Grateful Dead and it was discussing their Europe tour, and it discussed whether they would ever play in Leningrad, and they concluded of course not, that regime hates everything beautiful.

    Whether or not one thinks the Dead’s music is beautiful :) its a good observation about communism. For all its supposed concern for humanity, it sure hasn’t given humans room to be human. In fact, it has usually been rather neurotic and suppressing just about anything that smacks of normal creative human activity.

    Anyways, about Cuba.. Have you ever heard of Frank Pais? Since you are studying Baptist history a lot, I think you might find this interesting. Frank Pais was the son of the pastor of First Baptist Church in Santiago. He fought in the early stages of the Cuban revolution before the previous governments authorities found him and killed him. Some have claimed that Castro’s wife actually had him betrayed (I don’t know the veracity of that).

    Pais is looked up to as a hero in Cuba, I think if I remember correctly an airport or something is named after him.

    Here is what I found in one academic paper. It goes to show what a variety of people helped overthrww the previous gov’t in Cuba, a lot of people who didn’t like Batista but wouldn’t align with Castro either.

    “The actual story of País’ life and involvement in the struggle to overthrow Batista, however, does not place him clearly on the side of the triumphant Revolution and the ideology that represents it today. País was a devout Baptist and an advocate of liberal, rather than socialist, reforms in Cuba. His death prior to the radicalization of the Revolution made it possible for him to remain a popular figure in official Cuban revolutionary history”

  2. Could you send the bibliographical info for that article? I’m very interested in reading more.

  3. The quote I provided comes from a Duke University publication. It uses the example of Pais in passing to prove a point. It doesn’t really elaborate on him beyond what I’ve quoted.


    But I would like to dig up more information about this guy, and I think it is out there. He has Revelations 14:13 on his grave stone. He wasn’t just any minor player in the revolution either. He was right up there, critical to the early movement. He had his own organization, and then it merged with Castro’s July 26 Movement. Anyways, it is pretty odd. It could be an interesting project to just sort through all the information about him and the different spins on his image and come to some conclusions. It also raises some interesting questions. I heard someone is making a documentary on him.

    There are two books I know of:

    Frank Pais: Architect of Cuba’s Betrayed Revolution

    Frank Pais: An Evangelical in the Cuban Revolution (Spanish only I think)

    If you happen to see a reasonably priced copy of either of those (ie. well under $30), I’m very very interested.

    • I’m very intrigued to find out that there was a Baptist who was part of the Cuban revolution. I once joked with a friend that Dr. Haykin was doing studies on Che because Che was a Baptist. My friend believed me, though he was blown away. I laughed so hard when I told him I was kidding. Now it seems that my joke is sort’ve coming back to bite me?
      I sent the info on Pais to Dr. Haykin and he wasn’t aware of him.

  4. Yikes.. Just realized “Frank Pais: Architect of Cuba’s Betrayed Revolution” was published like 14 days ago! I just sort of assumed it must be old and out of print.

  5. Ian, I wonder if TBS has a publication from England called “Baptist Quarterly” by “Baptist Historical Society.

    It has the following article:

    Dekar, Paul R., Frank Pais, “Baptist Martyr, Cuban Revolutionary”, Baptist Quarterly Volume 39 No. 8

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