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    Che Guevara's Human Nature

    By Manuel Yepe

    One of the dimensions of the Cuban Revolution that worries its enemies the most is the identification the Cuban process achieves and maintains with the peoples all over the world despite the more than fifty year-old smear campaign paid for by imperialism and the oligarchies.

    Among all the evidence supporting this criterion is the absolute respect for human life that has characterized the Cuban Revolution from the early moments of the insurrectional struggle against Fulgencio Batista’s tyranny up to the present.

    For this reason, the fact that in South Florida, the descendants of the torturers and murderers that fled to the United States in 1958 stealing up to the last penny of the 400 million dollars in the Cuban National Treasury –today some of these are members of the US Congress in Washington or multi-millionaire parasites fattened by US contributions to the "struggle for the return of democracy to Cuba"- dare describe the present Cuban government as a dictatorship, moves one to anger.

    And even worse, is the fact that they dare accuse such a pure and clean person in the history of Latin America and the world as Ernesto Che Guevara of violations of human rights.

    The respect and admiration for Che Guevara by people with social and political awareness on the continent and many other parts of the world is obvious in the fact that all the resources invested by the empire and reactionary forces, in attempts to reduce his prestige by vulgarizing his image and turning it into a market object, have been unable to prevent it from being present in every fair act of rebellion promoted by the most diverse popular sectors in the world.

    Today, Che is a banner in the struggle of millions of young students, women, workers, peasants, strikers, indignados and occupiers of public spaces everywhere. The lies fabricated in Miami and paid for by Washington have not made a dent in his prestige or the mobilizing power of his example and his ideas rooted in the Cuban Revolution.

    Che was responsible for one of the most significant humanitarian actions of the Cuban Revolution when, as the Commander of the Castillo de la Cabaña in Havana, he guaranteed that the main court created to judge the war crimes of the defeated tyranny performed an exemplary task, commendable for its organization, transparent performance and respect for the decisions of the judges.

    When victory was close, the leader of the Revolution and Chief of the Rebel Army, Commander Fidel Castro Ruz, asked the population not to take justice into their own hands and promised that all those accused of crimes would be tried with all the guarantees provided by law and punished according to the seriousness of their crimes.

    With this act, the Cuban Revolution avoided a repetition of what had happened after the fall of tyrant Gerardo Machado in 1933. At that time, victims of popular wrath, hundreds of people linked to the ruthless tyranny were killed and dragged along the streets without a chance to have a defense in a court of law. At the time there had not been an authority to guarantee to the people that justice would be done.

    It is very well-known that the humanitarian treatment given to the defeated became one of the most powerful weapons of the Rebel Army against the forces of Batista’s tyranny.

    While the forces of the tyranny –supported, trained and advised by US military- killed, tortured and abused the detained revolutionary suspects, the rebel soldiers respected the human rights of their military prisoners.

    This behavior encouraged a marked disposition among the government forces to surrender to the revolutionary combatants when they were required to do so in contrast to the determination of the rebels to always resist to the death.

    Che Guevara, as a doctor, frequently found himself caring for wounded enemy prisoners ahead of his own soldiers.

    As an administrative manager and as a military chief he was very demanding of his subordinates in the fulfillment of their duties. They respected his command more because of the exceptional moral strength conferred by his performance and the demands me made on himself than for the authority of his rank.

    The human dimension of the political persona of Guevara and his critical and polemic thoughts about the building of socialism left a transcendental mark that can be seen today in every Cuban strategy.

    To attack the exemplary behavior of Che Guevara in his public or private life with lies and slander paints a portrait of his defamers.

    July 2012.

    A CubaNews translation.

    Edited by Walter Lippmann.

    * Manuel E. Yepe is a lawyer, economist and journalist. He is a professor at the Higher Institute of International Relations in Havana. He was Cuba's ambassador to Romania, general director of the Prensa Latina agency; vice president of the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television; founder and national director of the Technological Information System (TIPS) of the United Nations Program for Development in Cuba, and secretary of the Cuban Movement for the Peace and Sovereignty of the Peoples.

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