Why would any American university knowingly promote a terrorist? Or fund a café dedicated to a communist mass murderer? In normal times, the idea would be unthinkable, but we no longer live in normal times.
The University of California San Diego (UCSD) not only allows a massive mural of Che Guevara to exist on campus, but an entire business based around him. Founded in 1980 by a group of students, the Ché Café is a fixture on campus. In fact, it has even garnered international attention as a music venue for reggae and punk rock, a place where the music and arts departments of the university hold official events.
The façade of the Che Café building has featured images of the Black Panthers terrorist group and Karl Marx, which is not surprising due to the café’s choice to sponsor a website with links to international terrorist and drug trafficking groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA).
The Che Café Collective promoted a Rock and Roll event on campus as a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood. According to the promotional flyer, “all proceeds will go to Planned Parenthood.” Other flyers for events at the café have featured satanic symbols and hosted anarchic groups such as “Wrist Meet Razor.”
Although efforts have been made in the past to have the Che Café cooperative closed, nothing has seemed to stick. Even after a court order for the premises to be evicted several years ago, the café renewed their lease with the university in 2017.
You can’t imagine a university cafe set up to honor murderers like Adolf Hitler or Osama bin Laden, so why does Ché get a pass?
Who Was Che?
Few images are as iconic as Alberto Díaz Gutiérrez’s famous photo of Ernesto “Ché” Guevara. His bearded countenance quickly became one of the most widespread images on the planet, used as a symbol for leftists of all stripes, a trope for artists and musicians such as Madonna, and a counter cultural symbol for rebellious youth. The communist visage projected a myth far beyond the man, persisting far beyond Che’s embarrassing death in Bolivia.
Who was the man, though? To Cubans in exile, Che is remembered as a butcher. He is the embodiment of Cuban communism. Under his direction political dissidents, priests and undesirables from all walks of life were subjected to heinous torture and execution. Additionally, he engaged in one of the worst persecutions of the Catholic Church in South American history.
In the words of a Cuban college student (who requested anonymity) with a master’s degree in history:
“Ché Guevara is falsely represented by many who have had the fortune of being born in America or other prosperous nations as a hero. He appeals to the naive young person with natural rebellious tendencies, but people seldom look past buzzwords such as ‘equality’ and ‘freedom’ to understand what he’s actually done.”
Che Guevara “was personally responsible for the construction of political prison camps,” the student explained. “The work camps presided over by Ché functioned as bases for slave labor as well. He’s no hero, he’s a monster.”
Are college students and professors clueless about Ché Guevara’s crimes? Do they know that Che personally saw to the summary execution of innocent people? Don’t they know that he intentionally executed men in the presence of their own mothers?
Cuban-Americans who fled the Communist regime know the facts: Ché Guevara was the embodiment of evil. Along with Fidel, he is responsible for the disintegration of Cuban culture, the destruction of the family, firing squads and famine.
"Cold-blooded killing machine”
For Che, criminal activity was considered legitimate as long as it advanced the goals of the revolution. In 1962, he said, “in times of excessive tension we cannot proceed weakly. At the Sierra Maestra, we executed many people by ﬁring squad without knowing if they were fully guilty. At times, the Revolution cannot stop to conduct much investigation; it has the obligation to triumph.”
In 1967, Guevara incited his communist followers to become homicidal “killing machine[s].” In his “Message to the Tricontinental,” Guevara writes: “hatred as an element of struggle; unbending hatred for the enemy, which pushes a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him into an effective, violent, selective and cold-blooded killing machine.”
Yes, the romanticized image of Che is false. He was not a noble “freedom fighter” dedicated to a just cause, but rather a wicked communist butcher.
With this in mind, TFP Student Action encourages its readers to firmly, yet politely, urge the University of California San Diego to shut down the Che Café on campus. The existence of a business centered around a communist mass murderer has no place on UCSD’s campus, nor does it deserve a dime of state or federal funding.
Please direct your concern to:
Dr. Pradeep K. Khosla
Chancellor, University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive # 0005
La Jolla, California 92093-0005