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Che Guevara T-Shirt on West Point Cadet—So What’s the Big Deal?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

I’m trying to be rational here: if Che Guevara idolatry is good enough for the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces-- then why not for a West Point cadet?

In brief: West Point graduate and commissioned 2nd Lieut. Spenser Rapone is under investigation by the U.S. Army for promoting communism on social media. One of these pro-communist stunts involved Rapone flaunting a Che Guevara T-shirt under his cadet uniform.

“The U.S. Military Academy strives to develop leaders who internalize the academy’s motto of Duty, Honor, Country, and who live the Army values. Second Lieutenant Rapone’s actions in no way reflect the values of the U.S. Military Academy or the U.S. Army... Second Lieutenant Rapone’s chain of command is aware of his actions and is looking into the matter. The academy is prepared to assist the officer’s chain of command as required.”

Here are a few items indicating why Che Guevara idolization at West Point might be considered inappropriate:

 “If the nuclear missiles had remained (in Cuba) we would have fired them against the heart of the U.S. including New York City. The victory of socialism is well worth millions of Atomic victims.” (Che Guevara, 1962).

“The U.S. is the great enemy of mankind!” (Che Guevara, 1961)

“Against those hyenas (Americans) there is no option but extermination!” (Che Guevara, 1961)

“We must keep our hatred (against the U.S.) alive and fan it to paroxysm!” (Che Guevara, 1965)

Every item above fully-documented here.

But recall that when President Obama visited Havana last year to consummate the U.S. surrender to Castro, he made it a point to pose for a picture in front of a YUUUUGE rendition of this very Che Guevara, the Stalinist who declared Obama’s country “the great enemy of mankind!”

“But come on, Humberto!” comes the retort. “That couldn’t be helped! It was a diplomatic event in Havana, and President Obama just happened to be at that angle when the picture was snapped. Lay off the guy!”

Au contraire. In fact, Obama DELIBERATELY staged that photo-op so that Che Guevara (adorning the headquarters of KGB-trained Cuba’s secret police, by the way) would appear prominently behind him. Proof here.

Furthermore: All of Che Guevara’s crimes were on the direct orders of Fidel Castro. And yet another former Democrat U.S. Commander-in-Chief regards this terrorist mass-murderer as an exemplary humanitarian and as “an old friend”: “Fidel Castro first and foremost is and always has been a committed egalitarian. He wanted a system that provided the basic needs to all — enough to eat, health care, adequate housing and education. Cuba has superb systems of health care and universal education…We greeted each other as old friends” (Jimmy Carter upon visiting Castro in 2011).

More worrisome for those who know something of Che Guevara is that a U.S. 2nd Lieut. might regard Che Guevara as a proper role model as military tactician! Whoo-Boy! If so, his unit is really in trouble!

Don’t look for this anywhere within the Fake History Channel, Fake News Media or Fake Academia, but on the very, very few instances where this famed “guerrilla fighter” actually faced combat. Che Guevara made Groucho Marx as Rufus T. Firefly look like George Patton. He was a horrendous joke.   

"You hate to laugh at anything associated with Che, who murdered defenseless men and boys," says Felix Rodriguez, the Cuban-American CIA officer who played a key role in tracking him down in Bolivia. "But when it comes to Che as "guerrilla" you simply can't help but guffaw."

His performance during the Bay of Pigs invasion says it all. The invasion plan included a ruse, a CIA squad landing in three rowboats off the coast of western Cuba (350 miles from the true invasion site). The little boats were loaded with time-release Roman candles, bottle rockets, mirrors and a tape recording of battle.

The wily Che immediately deciphered the imperialist scheme! That little feint 300 miles away at the Bay of Pigs was a transparent ruse! The REAL invasion was coming here in Pinar Del Rio! Che stormed over with several thousand troops, dug in, locked, loaded and waited for the "Yankee/mercenary" attack. They braced themselves as the sparklers, smoke bombs and mirrors did their stuff just offshore.

Three days later the (literal) smoke and mirror show expended itself, and Che's men marched back to Havana. Now Che could taunt the (safely captured and disarmed) freedom-fighters, including Manel Menendez who parachuted into the inferno of Soviet firepower known as the Bay of Pigs and ripped into the Communists to his very last bullet, helping his band-of-brothers inflict casualties of 20-1 against their Soviet-led and-armed enemies—until JFK sold them down the river.

During dinner with your humble servant many years later, Manel described Che's visit. "We'd all run out of ammo and been captured and herded into an enclosure," he recalls. "And so who finally shows up--it’s Che Guevara himself! He approached us strutting and sneering as usual. He strutted up and looked around with that famous sneer of his. Then he started snickering. Many of us were wounded, but one of our guys faced him down and said, "Well I guess you'll send us all to the paredón (firing squad) now, right, Che?"

"No!" Che snapped. "No paredón. We're gonna hang all of you—and slowly! The firing squad's too good for you."

"I was standing close to Che at the time," recalls Señor Menendez, "and got a close-up of his face when he was talking. It was plain from the way his eyes lit up that the man was sick, mentally ill, a bonafide sadist. Here, the combat was over. We were uniformed adversaries but completely disarmed. So look, don't even ask me what I think when I see him on a T-shirt, or when I see him presented as some kinda military genius!"

Shortly after this visit, Che somehow took a bullet, which pierced his chin and exited above his temple, just missing his brain. The scar is visible in all post-April '61 pictures of the gallant Che (the picture we see on posters and T-shirts was shot a year earlier).

Did one of the freedom-fighters hide a pistol? Did he decide: “Well, I’m a goner for sure. But at least I’m taking this swine down with me!”

Nothing of the sort. The bullet came from Che’s own pistol when he either dropped it or accidentally hit the trigger while blustering and waving it under his chin!

“Che’s contribution to the Bay of Pigs victory was crucial,” writes Che hagiographer Jorge Castaneda, also a New York Times contributor and Columbia, Princeton and Harvard visiting Professor. “Che's military leadership was permeated by an indomitable will that permitted extraordinary feats."

“Extraordinary” is certainly one way of putting shooting yourself in the chin with your own gun!

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