Burying the Myth: Che Guevara was NOT a Trotskyist

“I have yet to find a single credible source pointing to a case where Che executed ‘an innocent’. Those persons executed by Guevara or on his orders were condemned for the usual crimes punishable by death at times of war or in its aftermath: desertion, treason or crimes such as rape, torture or murder. I should add that my research spanned five years, and included anti-Castro Cubans among the Cuban-American exile community in Miami and elsewhere.”

— Jon Lee Anderson, author of Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life, PBS forum

Che Guevara was an anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninist and a strong supporter of Joseph Stalin. He was both opposed to Trotsky and Khrushchev. He hated Khrushchev and was very upset that Fidel Castro supported Soviet revisionism.

“We consider the Trotskyist party to be acting against the revolution.”

— (Che Guevara, 1961).

In November 1960, Che Guevara insisted on depositing a floral tribute at Stalin’s tomb even against the advice of the Cuban Ambassador to the USSR. This was more than four years after Khrushchev’s process of “De-Stalinisation” started.

Guevara’s fellow motorcyclist Alberto Ganado said that it was Stalin that Guevara “discovered” in the mid-fifties (Anderson pp.165-166, p.565).

In 1955 while in Mexico he sent a letter to his aunt signed with the words “Stalin II.”

“I think that the fundamental stuff that Trotsky was based upon was erroneous and that his ulterior behaviour was wrong and his last years were even dark. The Trotskyites have not contributed anything whatsoever to the revolutionary movement; where they did most was in Peru, but they finally failed there because their methods are bad.”(‘Annexes’, p. 402)

— quoted in “Comments on ‘Critical Notes on Political Economy’ by Che Guevara,” from Revolutionary Democracy Journal

Although Guevara helped secure the release of some Trotskyists from prison in 1965, they were freed only on the condition that they cease their political activity (Revolutionary History 2000, Vol.7 No.3) pp.193-195, p.249).

“Along the way, I had the opportunity to pass through the dominions of the United Fruit, convincing me once again of just how terrible these capitalist octopuses are. I have sworn before a picture of the old and mourned comrade Stalin that I won’t rest until I see these capitalist octopuses annihilated.”

 — Letter to his aunt Beatriz describing what he had seen while traveling through Guatemala (1953); as quoted in Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life (1997) by Jon Lee Anderson

“Trotsky, along with Khrushchev, belongs to the category of the great revisionists.”

 – – (December 4, 1965: Letter to Armando Mart)

“Trotsky was fundamentally wrong… Trotskyites ultimately failed because their methods are bad.”

 — (Apuntes criticos a la Economia Politica, 1964)

“In the so called mistakes of Stalin lies the difference between a revolutionary attitude and a revisionist attitude. You have to look at Stalin in the historical context in which he moves, you don’t have to look at him as some kind of brute, but in that particular historical context. I have come to communism because of daddy Stalin and nobody must come and tell me that I mustn’t read Stalin. I read him when it was very bad to read him. That was another time. And because I’m not very bright, and a hard-headed person, I keep on reading him. Especially in this new period, now that it is worse to read him. Then, as well as now, I still find a Seri of things that are very good.”

Che wrote on December 14 of 1957 a letter to René Ramos Latour (“Daniel”), National Coordinator of the Movimiento 26 de Julio who died in combat, the following:

“Because of my ideological background, I belong to those who believe that the solution of the world’s problems lies behind the so-called iron curtain and I see this Movement as one of the many inspired by the bourgeoisie’s desire to free themselves from the economic chains of imperialism.”

“In Cuba there is nothing published, if one excludes the Soviet bricks, which bring the inconvenience that they do not let you think; the party did it for you and you should digest it. It would be necessary to publish the complete works of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin [underlined by Che in the original] and other great Marxists. Here would come to the great revisionists (if you want you can add here Khrushchev), well analyzed, more profoundly than any others and also your friend Trotsky, who existed and apparently wrote something.”

— (Che Guevara, Letter to Armando Hart Dávalos published in Contracorriente, Havana, September 1997, No. 9).

Fuentes:

Burying the Myth: Che Guevara was NOT a Trotskyist