Opinion; Che Guevara in Tosa East

A portrait replicating this famous photo hangs in the language hallway, with the word Revolución.

A portrait replicating this famous photo hangs in the language hallway, with the word “Revolución”.

Malik Boyd

On the second floor of Tosa East, down the hall from the library a painting of Che Guevara hangs with the word Revolución. His portrait needs to be removed from Tosa East. The rationale behind painting and hanging a portrait of him in one of the halls of Wauwatosa East is unclear. This is not a man to be celebrated alongside Martin Luther King Jr. and Princess Diana.

Che Guevara was a Cuban communist revolutionary who became a high ranking official in the Castro regime. According to Cuba Archive, at least 151 extrajudicial killings were directly ordered by him and it is likely that he personally shot over a hundred people. In Cuba he became infamous for his cruelty. Che was also quoted as saying; “We executed many people by firing squad without knowing if they were fully guilty.” He later created the Cuban gulag system, a collection of prisons and forced labor camps to contain dissent and those who resisted the communist government. In the gulags prisoners were regularly tortured, beaten, starved, dehydrated and denied toilets. He fundamentally disbelieved in the concepts of presumption of innocence, fair trials, democracy, and freedom. The communist system that he helped install continues to oppress the Cuban people and denies them fundamental human rights. He is an authoritarian and a murderer. Although the intention of the painter may have been positive, that does not excuse it’s presence. 

“My nostrils dilate while savoring the acrid odor of gunpowder and blood…I’d like to confess, Papa, at that moment I discovered that I really like killing.” – Ernesto Che Guevara, Letter to his father