History vs. Che Guevara – Alex Gendler

History vs. Che Guevara – Alex Gendler


His face is recognized all over the world. The young medical student
who became a revolutionary icon. But was Che Guevara
a heroic champion of the poor or a ruthless warlord
who left a legacy of repression? Order, order. Hey, where have I seen that guy before? Ahem, your Honor, this is Ernesto Che Guevara. In the early 1950s, he left behind a privileged life
as a medical student in Argentina to travel through rural Latin America. The poverty and misery he witnessed
convinced him that saving lives required more than medicine. So he became a terrorist seeking to violently overthrow
the region’s governments. What? The region’s governments
were brutal oligarchies. Colonialism may have formally ended, but elites still controlled
all the wealth. American corporations bought up land
originally seized from indigenous people and used it for profit and export, even keeping most of it uncultivated
while locals starved. Couldn’t they vote to change that? Oh, they tried, your Honor. In 1953, Che came to Guatemala under the democratically-elected
government of President Árbenz. Árbenz passed reforms to redistribute some of this uncultivated
land back to the people while compensating the landowners. But he was overthrown
in a CIA-sponsored coup. The military was protecting against
the seizure of private property and communist takeover. They were protecting corporate profits and Che saw that they would use
the fear of communism to overthrow any government
that threatened those profits. So he took the lessons of Guatemala
with him to Mexico. There, he met exiled Cuban revolutionaries and decided to help them
liberate their country. You mean help Fidel Castro
turn a vibrant Cuba into a dictatorship. Dictatorship was what Cuba
had before the revolution. Fulgencio Batista was a tyrant
who came to power in a military coup. He turned Havana into a luxury playground
for foreigners while keeping Cubans mired in poverty and
killing thousands in police crackdowns. Even President Kennedy called it
the worst example of “economic colonization, humiliation,
and exploitation in the world.” Whatever Batista’s faults, it can’t compare to the totalitarian
nightmare Castro would create. Forced labor camps, torture of prisoners,
no freedom to speak or to leave. But this isn’t the trial
of Fidel Castro, is it? Che Guevara was instrumental in helping
Castro seize power. As a commander in his guerilla army, he unleashed a reign of terror
across the countryside, killing any suspected spies or dissenters. He also helped peasants build
health clinics and schools, taught them to read, and even recited poetry to them. His harsh discipline was necessary
against a much stronger enemy who didn’t hesitate to burn entire
villages suspected of aiding the rebels. Let’s not forget that the new regime
held mass executions and killed hundreds
of people without trial as soon as they took power in 1959. The executed were officials
and collaborators who had tormented
the masses under Batista. The people supported
this revolutionary justice. Which people? An angry mob crying for blood
does not a democracy make. And that’s not even mentioning
the forced labor camps, arbitrary arrests, and repression of LGBT people
that continued long after the revolution. There’s a reason people kept
risking their lives to flee, often with nothing but the clothes
on their backs. So was that all this Che brought to Cuba? Just another violent dictatorship? Not at all. He oversaw land redistribution, helped established universal education, and organized volunteer literacy brigades
that raised Cuba’s literacy rate to 96%, still one of the highest in the world. Which allowed the government to control
what information everyone received. Guevara’s idealistic incompetence
as Finance Minister caused massive drops in productivity when he replaced worker pay raises
with moral certificates. He suppressed all press freedom, declaring that newspapers
were instruments of the oligarchy. And it was he who urged Castro
to host Soviet nuclear weapons, leading to the Cuban Missile Crisis that brought the world
to the brink of destruction. He was a leader, not a bureaucrat. That’s why he eventually left to spread
the revolution abroad. Which didn’t go well. He failed to rally rebels in the Congo and went to Bolivia
even when the Soviets disapproved. The Bolivian Government,
with the help of the CIA, was able to capture and neutralize
this terrorist in 1967, before he could do much damage. While doing plenty of damage themselves
in the process. So that was the end of it? Not at all. As Che said,
the revolution is immortal. He was publicly mourned in cities
all over the world. Not by the Cubans who managed to escape. And his story would inspire
young activists for generations to come. Ha. A trendy symbol of rebellion for those
who never had to live under his regime. Symbols of revolution
may become commodified, but the idea of a more just world remains. Maybe, but I’m not sharing my coffee. Che Guevara was captured and
executed by government forces in Bolivia. His remains would not be found
for another 30 years. But did he die a hero
or had he already become a villain? And should revolutions be judged
by their ideals or their outcomes? These are the questions we face
when we put history on trial.

100 thoughts on “History vs. Che Guevara – Alex Gendler

  1. Check out the trials we staged for other controversial historical figures in our series, History vs.: http://bit.ly/2iWHQ2t
    We love this series, and we're so grateful to everyone supporting us on Patreon because you help make this work possible! Want to learn more about how to get involved? Check out our Patreon page: http://bit.ly/2jqo6Uw

  2. [Me watching this video for the first time in 2018]

    Funny, the whole time they talk about how famous and well known he is, but I've never heard of this guy in my life.

  3. Che: I'm going to travel to Bolivia to create a revolution to overthrow a dictator who is not even that hated but doesn't matter and I will succeed unlike in Congo
    CIA: I'm about to end this man's whole career

  4. Yes,Che Guevara was cruel at times, but the revolution is not bloodless. Even the opponents he was respected for his commitment to beliefs, willingness to give their lives for their beliefs.His image, his name and his ideas still attract like a magnet. I compared him with don Quixote of the 20th century.Che Guevara was this philosophy is Messianic desire to help the vast majority of people .That is why he deliberately sacrificed personal interests for the sake of their goals. We do not find in the world a similar example, when a person who is at the pinnacle of power leaves everything and goes in search of revolutionary adventure where the chances to win almost was not. It's a Firefly that will remain forever. Another sample service to people it is difficult to find on the Ground. Well, maybe mother Teresa, who gave themselves to the sick and orphans. Fifty years have passed since the death of Che Guevara, and his name hovers over the earth like a living radio wave .The reason is simple and old as the world itself: heroism, unselfishness, and high principles continue to attract people, in spite all the "collapse of hope"." The life of the individual is a million times more than all the property of the richest man on earth." ( Che Guevara).

  5. Communist dictatorship are known for extensive investmemt in human capital , specially education. Thomas Sankara, Guavere , and even Stalin are good examples of this. They were known for their mass literacy campaign, empowerments, etc. Even if you disagree with communism, the lesson to learn here is value the next generation

  6. The oppressed people of the world will always love Che, it is no surprise the elitists of TED can't handle that. Che was a hero plain and simple.

  7. USA:Any revolutionary is an enemy of the United States.
    Russia:Well, dude what about Harry Truman,he devastated japan for nothing.Is that a good move for a responsible democratic country
    USA:Otherwise, the war would not have ended.
    Russia:It would have.
    USA:Well let's take it for granted.
    Russia:WTF.
    And the battle still continues…

  8. His intentions might have been good but MISGUIDED !! It’s like throwing over a dictator for the benefit of people but ending up as a dictator urself …… in my opinion anyone who CENSORS OR TRIES TO CONTROL WHAT PUBLIC CAN OR CANNOT SPEAK OR WRITE they end up becoming a dictator….. and history repeats …… Britain should learn this now … they are starting to POLICE SPEECH

  9. I feel like too many people put Che on a morally grey pedestal when even the good deeds he did had a secondary purpose that served to bolster an unsavory agenda.

  10. I was not aware until recently that others took so much interest in the specifics media consumed by me. Since that's the case, obviously, I will monitor that better – with an approprite fear of God – knowing that it's being monitored.

    This video for instance is one I wont be watching. Have a good day everyone, and happy new years soon

  11. Half of this videos critique of cuba under Castro is straight up not true.
    Bringing up how corporate brands have used Guevara's likeness for profit is irrelevant, if anything it just shows that capitalists will exploit the images of revolutionaries for profit.

  12. You miss the point entirely when you judge him by such political correctness…the greater good absolves him off the so called 'terrors'

  13. Gotta love the liberal takes on revolution XD

    "But muh fascist civil liberties! They killed hundreds of collaborators! So mean, unlike the perfectly fine Batista regime."

    Just ask those people for an example of a revolution that didn't result in bloodshed

  14. Do we judge history based on our perception of standard today? Ideals or vision may not be the criteria nor is the outcome.

    I propose that we judge Che whether he love humanity or not. That will explain whether he did what he did out of hate/aggression or in defense of what he believe is right.

  15. He was admittedly somewhat of a badass but that doesn’t justify being a commie terrorist that prevented free speech.

  16. The irony is Guevara was used as a commodity by the very Capitalists whom he fought against.

    Moral: Don't take away the Profits of the Capitalists. They will make you as their product to gain back their profits.

  17. I'm sorry this is trying to sound balanced, but the side of the prosecutor is very, very, very biased or uneducated

  18. 5:18 inclusive there are beers in rusia and energetic drinks of rebel spirit who has his name now,🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

  19. I’ve read countless books on him & can say the information here is very misleading. It’s a truth mixed in with exaggeration of facts.

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