Talk:Che Guevara/Archive 12

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Che Guevarra Myths Are Many

There are two Che Guevaras-- the flashy Left-icon, and real Che Guevarra who was an egotistical and obsessive mass-executioner for the Castro regime. Time for the truth to be told: Sources for Che Guevarra Myths. 18:54, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

Mass executioner - waht are you on?


The current article says:

Hi Zleitzen:

An article by Maite Rico and Bertrand de la Grande has been published this month in Letras Libres (the magazine of Enrique Krauze) claiming that the discovery of the Che remains was a fake.

If I remember correctly you know Spanish. I will quote from today’s article by Mario Vargas Llosa in Reforma: “De todo ello concluyen que los restos del Che no son los que reposan en el museo de Santa Clara […] y que el supuesto descubrimiento fue una pura representación teatral rigurosamente fraguada para complacer a Fidel Castro”.

Cesar Tort 00:37, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Hello Cesar Tort. Indeed, I saw that the other day. Certainly worthy of a mention here - I was hoping someone else would do the honours ;) Here is a good source for the story in English : Bones in Cuban mausoleum are not Guevara's, claims magazine.-- Zleitzen(talk) 00:52, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Guidelines for External Links

The External Links section is becoming very large. A number of the links clearly do not meet Wikipedia's guidelines, which I am including below for reference. Perhaps upon reading these guidelines, users who have added links that do not meet these criteria will kindly remove them; or, if not, perhaps other editors will take the necessary action ... -- Polaris999 23:03, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Links normally to be avoided

Except for a link to a page that is the subject of the article or an official page of the article subject—and not prohibited by restrictions on linking—one should avoid:

  1. Any site that does not provide a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a Featured article.
  2. Any site that misleads the reader by use of factually inaccurate material or unverifiable research. See Reliable sources.
  3. Links mainly intended to promote a website.
  4. Links to sites that primarily exist to sell products or services. For example, instead of linking to a commercial bookstore site, use the "ISBN" linking format, giving readers an opportunity to search a wide variety of free and non-free book sources.
  5. Links to sites with objectionable amounts of advertising.
  6. Links to sites that require payment or registration to view the relevant content.
  7. Sites that are inaccessible to a substantial number of users, such as sites that only work with a specific browser.
  8. Direct links to documents that require external applications (such as Flash or Java) to view the relevant content, unless the article is about such rich media. If you do link to such material make a note of what application is required.
  9. Links to search engine results pages.
  10. Links to social networking sites (such as MySpace), discussion forums or USENET.
  11. Links to blogs and personal webpages, except those written by a recognized authority.
  12. Links to open wikis, except those with a substantial history of stability and a substantial number of editors.
  13. Sites that are only indirectly related to the article's subject: it should be a simple exercise to show how the link is directly and symmetrically related to the article's subject. This means that there is both a relation from the website to the subject of the article, and a relation from the subject of the article to the website. For example, the officially sanctioned online site of a rock band has a direct and symmetric relationship to that rock band, and thus should be linked from the rock band's Wikipedia article. An alternative music site run by fans is not symmetrically related to the rock band, as the rock band has only indirect connections with that site.

Source: WP:MOS page entitled Links normally to be avoided

Comment re La Coubre Explosion (copied from CG article page) : opinions requested

The following comment was posted a few minutes ago by User:Bogden400 and I am copying it here so that it will receive wider readership among editors.

Sentence is not clear. Mainly because the explosion is not explained it detail, so people who are reading this will be confused by the phrase "when a second explosion occured", as I was. Mainly because a first explosion is not mentioned. Will somebody with more knowledge about this explosion please edit this sentence to include some background information first.

While I do agree with User:Bogden400 that the explosion of La Coubre is not explained in the paragraph in question in the Che Guevara article, since La Coubre is wikified and the incident is fully discussed in the linked-to WP article, I have hesitated to add text to the CG article to describe the event. However, perhaps a sentence or two should be added to clarify the context? I would like to hear how other editors feel about this, and also see any suggestions as to the text that might be added. Thank you -- Polaris999 04:25, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Agree that a sentence or two would be good, Polaris. But I took a look at the paragraph - realised that I hadn't noticed it before - and nearly choked on my cornflakes. Whilst the explanation that the CIA deliberately bombed the boat has always seemed dubious Fidel rhetoric - the most likely explanation being that it was a terrible workplace accident perhaps due to procedural negligence, which happened to coincide with actual attacks on Cuba - the convoluted belief that "Guevara's soviet rivals" were somehow responsible for the explosions is well... a wild conspiracy theory - based on no evidence at all - from an unreliable source here.-- Zleitzen(talk) 03:11, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Hello Zleitzen -- Thank you for your comments. That remark re "Guevara's soviet rivals" was a contribution by EJ. It confused me when I first read it, then I came to interpret it to mean that Roca, Grobart, and their associates might have sabotaged the ship, presumably with the intention of fomenting further discord between Cuba and the USA. In any case, even if they did so, they certainly did not do it because they were "rivals" of Guevara's since at that point in time he and they were actually collaborators, working hand in hand to lead Cuba along a socialist/communist path. Howver, since no one ever raised questions about this paragraph until now, I had concluded that I must be the only one who had problems with it, and therefore kept silent. Any chance you could apply a touch of the Zleitzen magic to it and bring form out of chaos? -- Polaris999 04:46, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Many thanks, Zleitzen, for your redact of the paragraph re La Coubre. What a welcome improvement! -- Polaris999 08:56, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Redundancy of banners

Some weeks ago, one editor gathered all of the "project banners" that had been placed on this Talk page into a single banner with the text "This article is within the scope of multiple WikiProjects. Click on [show] for further details"; clicking then caused the individual banners to be shown. This method seemed like a good one to me. However, several days ago, another editor re-inserted all of the banners so that they again display individually at the top of the Talk page -- without, however, removing the banner created by the former editor that consolidates all of them as described above.

Obviously, we should not have both methods present on this Talk page simultaneously as is now the case, so I suppose we will have to find out which of the two methods of displaying the banners is preferred. Perhaps we could do an informal poll within this topic where people can express their opinions as to which should be used. -- Polaris999 04:46, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

In favor of consolidated banner:

In favor of individually-displayed banners:

Support. Editors have argued about the consolidated banner on other pages, the main argument being that users have to wade through a page of these things before getting to the talk section. However, the consolidated banner hides the important details about the project, and also obscures the relevant WP:Portal link. Increasing access to these elements of wikipedia is essential to make other users aware of the many different pages surrounding the topic and encourage much needed participation. As this article is a prominent page for WP:Cuba, and the Cuba:Portal (for example), it would be a wasted opportunity not to advertise these features. The best option would be keep the banners but just add this template, which still allows our tortured editors to be rid of those meddlesome banners with one click, but keeps them visible for others. -- Zleitzen(talk) 07:37, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for your comments, Zleitzen. I have inserted Template:skiptotoctalk as you suggested, and remmed out the consolidated banner. -- Polaris999 19:53, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
I imagine someone will come along any time now and consolidate the banners anyway. By the way, Polaris, what do you make of the new map? I was browsing the sprawling, Joycean Spanish version of the CG article the other day and spotted that an editor had been creating maps like their life depended on it. Eclipsing our timid efforts of cartography on the Cuban Revolution articles. I sneaked out with one and it added to our page. I think another of our pics was deleted without reason - so the Guatemala section needed some complimentary visuals.-- Zleitzen(talk) 06:05, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Spanish wikipedia entry on Che Guevara critically different

Simply put, the spanish entry clashes with key information presented in the english entry. If anyone likes, I can point to and translate excerpts of the spanish entry, which cites sources just as the english version. In a nutshell, the spanish version portrays Che Guevara as characterised by the following: - Tolerance of errors commited by people under his command - Integration, recognition, and treatment as equals of guajiros and ethnic minorites under his command - Solidarity and general incarnation of his "New Socialist Man" (Hombre Nuevo Socialista) philosophy, in which voluntary work is cornerstone - He performed voluntary work every week, working in metalurgies as well as crop fields - He refused any other payments or luxuries when in key gorvernmental positions, conserving only his original meager salary in order to set a "revolutionary example"

And there are many more. Again, you can see where these things come into conflict with the information present in the english entry. Again, I can provide transcriptions of the spanish entry if needed, and cite sources. Wryn 10:09, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Well I don't think the Spanish article is as good as this one, it is way to long and wouldn't pass the requirements for a featured article on this wikipedia. Regarding the points, refusing payments is in this article, as is Hombre Nuevo, other points relating to Cuba such as the voluntary work are in the daughter article Che Guevara's involvement in the Cuban Revolution which covers the philosophy in greater detail.
However "tolerance of errors commited by people under his command" and "treatment as equals of guajiros and ethnic minorites" is not the case in my view. There are several instances of Guevara's cruel mistreatment of young fighters under his command who had made errors, as well as his at times offensive attitude to uneducated workers. Also, post-revolution, when young black revolutionaries took over a club in Havana after having been refused entry by a racist door policy, Guevara - their commander - scolded them with some liberal blurb that "the revolution had not progressed far enough" for such reckless activity. Marcus Garvey he was not.-- Zleitzen(talk) 10:35, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Points noted regarding Che Guevara's involvement in the Cuban Revolution. I still think there should be some mention about Hombre Nuevo and the importance given to voluntary work beyond this paragraph:

"His essay El socialismo y el hombre en Cuba (1965) (Man and Socialism in Cuba) advocates the need to shape a "new man" (hombre nuevo) in conjunction with a socialist state. Some saw Guevara as the simultaneously glamorous and austere model of that "new man."

Particularly because acting on such ideas through voluntary work was arguably an important moment and aspect of his life.

Regarding black discrimination, that is another point of clashing information with the different entries. In the spanish version Guevara's groups had an integration of blacks and guajiros and important ranks where given to its members, not a common practice at that time. Self-edit: Here is more on the matter, a translated fragment from his speech to the United Nations in 1964

Llegará el día en que esta Asamblea adquiera aún más madurez y le demande al gobierno norteamericano garantías para la vida de la población negra y latinoamericana que vive en este país, norteamericanos de origen o adopción, la mayoría de ellos. ¿Cómo puede constituirse en gendarme de la libertad quien asesina a sus propios hijos y los discrimina diariamente por el color de la piel, quien deja en libertad a los asesinos de los negros, los protege además, y castiga a la población negra por exigir el respeto a sus legítimos derechos de hombres libres?

The translation:

There will come a day in which this Asembly will adquire more maturity and make a demand towards the government of the United States of garanties for the life of the black and latin american populations living in that country, the majority of them north americans of origin or adoption. How can one constitute onself as protector of liberty, he who murders their own children and discriminates them on a daily basis by the colour of their skin, who lets the murderers of blacks roam free, who it even protects, and punishes the black population for demanding the respect towards their legitimate rights as free men?

He differentiated between errors and treason, two matters he handled distinctively different, tolerance towards errors but intolerance towards treason. On the offensive attitudes towards workers, there is a single notable example to the contrary, the case being his romance with Zoila Rodríguez García, a guajira. There is a testimony by García in which Guevara shows her a book with yellow letters on the cover. Garcia asks if they are gold, to which Guevara chuckles, and answeres "No, this is a book about communism". She was a bit embarrassed to ask what communism was, since she didn't know. It didn't seemt to affect his opinion of her, his treatment towards her or their relationship.

One final point I forgot to mention during the Cuban Revolution, during a succesful siege by Guevara's group, he stayed afterwards to tend the injuries of both his group and the rival combatant's. He reached a truce with the other groups medic to leave the most severly injured under his watch, so long as repercusive action was not taken against them after he left, a truce which was latter proven to be upheld. Wryn 11:12, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Legacy & Criticisms

It's equally interesting and laughable to note a criticism section here, whereas articles such as those of Castro, Stalin and Hitler don't have one (this is not to say there’s no criticism there at all). Moreover, too many sources are of American origin (or rather, Cuban-American) and of dubious background (such as Felix Rodriguez, the “heroic” killing machine). Ok, there’s Jean Paul Sartre and few others… shall I understand that established scholars from other parts of the world systematically and unanimously overlooked Guevara or their views are not in line with the article’s general tone?!

At last but not least, there’s a general feeling that “this guy had to be stupid and tyrannical because he was a commie… oooh, and because CIA took him out!”. Usually when reconstructing somebody’s image positive and negative views are weighted with equal scrutiny… in Guevara’s case negative testimonies must have been true while positive reviews must have been either propaganda or exaggerations… so much with NPOV! 21:46, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

It wasn't Cuban American Felix Rodriguez who wrote the “heroic” killing machine it was Peruvian Alvaro Vargas Llosa. I'm not sure which Cuban-Americans you are referring to? You are right to pick up on Vargas though because he is a complete idiot. The point referenced to him is this;

in much of Latin America, Che-inspired revolutions had the practical result of reinforcing brutal militarism for many years.

Which to me sounds rather like blaming Geronimo for the subsequent brutality of the white settlers. But if you are the same editor that wrote the above section, you have yet to convince me that there are any glaring omissions, or that there is much to be removed. -- Zleitzen(talk) 23:36, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
No Zleitzen, the coment in this section was not written by me. (Nevertheless, I do agree with the point being made, but that's a side issue). Seeing as how you answered this comment and not the one I made above, I will have to ask just why exactly you need to be convinced of any glaring omissions. Do you have some sort of administrator status over this page? (no sarcasm intended, only a legitimate question). For glaring omissions, my points are already stated. Wether you agree to them or not is subject to debate for which you haven't presented credible sources or substantial evidence on your behalf (the incident with the racist club for example). I, on the other half, have present substantial evidence and credible sources to the contrary (his speach towards the United Nations in 1964). I was trying to have a reasonable debate with you, but since I'm not noting any disposition from you, I will then have to Wikipedia:Be_bold_in_updating_pages and cite my sources, regardless of your degree of personal convicement or foundness. You are of course, entitled to debate, just as I, or anyone else here is for that matter. Wryn 08:28, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Hello Wryn. I can site my sources -

  • racist club incident : Richard Gott. Cuba a new history p.172-174 based on the testimonies of Pombo Villegas.
  • Or this: Anderson, Jon Lee. Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life, New York: 1997, Grove Press, p. 567. "Once, when he took economist Regino Boti with him to the farm and tested some of the men on their reading comprehension. One man did so badly that Che insulted him, saying: "Well, if you keep studying maybe you'll get to be as smart as an ox in twenty years" and turning on his heel. The poor guajiro was so humiliated he began crying. Boti went back to talk to Che, telling him that he had been wrong to be so harsh, to go back and talk like a man, to lift his spirits again. Such episodes were commonplace"
  • Or this Anderson, Jon Lee. Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life, New York: 1997, Grove Press, p. 340. "When Pombo Villegas and others went on a hunger strike to complain about the food, Che had at first threatened to shoot them. In the end, after conferring with Fidel, he had softened the sanction, making them go without food for five days."

etc. etc. The rest of my points are already on the page. We can await your edits to see if they are an improvement, but I was still unconvinced by what you thought was missing from this article.-- Zleitzen(talk) 09:03, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Done. I've added a bit of info regarding his romance with Zoila Rodríguez García and the Minas del Frío Cadet School, its a start for now. Hopefully the very POV tone of this article will begin to balance towards a more NOPV tone, backed up by solid facts that are conveniently not present at the moment, cited from reliable sources. Wryn 11:36, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Hello Wryn. You've removed the sentence about the watch, which as you rightly observe is not cited. However, it is on the following page of Anderson's book which you have cited. Can I take it that you have not read the book you are citing from? -- Zleitzen(talk) 17:04, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm looking at this page in which that paragraph matches the same paragrapth on this entry exacty. In fact, there are several paragraphs which match each other, so I have to turn the tables and question if you have read Anderson's book in return. If you happen to be the editor of the article on the mentioned page, given Wikipedia´s stance on self-citing, the page in question would seem an unpublished synthesis of published material. Remeber to avoid Conflict of Interest and No Original Reseach. Wryn 18:29, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Zleitzen, my apologies, I thought you were referring to something else. Add the part about the watch again if you want, cited. My previous points on Conflict of Interest still stands though.Wryn 18:43, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
You've lost me completely. What conflict of interest? The link you have provided is a "scrape" from this page. As the information we provide is copy free, other websites take it and place it on their sites. See here, there are tons of them.-- Zleitzen(talk) 20:08, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Z: three points

(1) Your analogy to Geronimo may be far more apt than intended. Since Gernomimo was a leader of the Apaches, whose reputation and apparently real record of rape, torture and murder exceeded even the loose mores of the times. BTW there is a link to Cuba since Leonard Wood got his medal of honor for the capture of Geronimo (it is said he was only marginally linked to it)

(2) The said romance with Zoila must have occurred in the quite luxurious headquarters the Che had ordered constructed for himself at that dreadful cold place called Las Minas del Frio

(3) There is now even more question about the location of Guevara's remains [1]. El Jigue 16:53, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

I didn't know that Leonard Wood captured Geronimo, EJ. Thank you for that tidbit.-- Zleitzen(talk) 17:04, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I read that Geronimo surrendered in 1886 to a General Nelson A. Miles [2],[3]--Dakota 03:03, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Luxurios headquarters? Perhaps you mean Cadet School.Wryn 18:32, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Change the introduction?

The intro portrays Guevara as a socialist, but it mentions nothing of his methods which have been highly criticized. Could we please put this in? It is very important and cannot be ignored (it only receives light mention in the article).

I do agree, the intro should mention something about the dark side of him, from the execution of homosexuals to murdering political rivals. As it is its kind of like having a whole article on Stalin w/o mentioning his purges (ok, so I got to far...but not by much). Gtadoc 01:06, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Removed Section

I've removed the following section recently added, simply because I think there are too many problems with it to clean up in one or two edits. One of the problems is that it seems to be directly translated from another article - without any effort to fix grammar issues, and actually links to the Spanish wikipedia - which is neither policy or practice. As this is a featured article, I would ask editors not to text dump poorly worded material to a page. The below addition will need to be discussed and sorted out before being readded to the page.

In 1958, Che Guevara installed Cadet School in Minas del Frío, moments during which the Movimiento 26 de Julio had installed themselves in Sierra Maestra with the objective of overthrowing the dictatorship of Fugliencio Batista. During this time in Minas del Frío he started a relationship with Zoila Rodríguez García, a guajira who lived in Sierra Maestra and, like the rest of her family, colaborated with the guerrilla.[1]

Other editors comments are welcome.-- Zleitzen(talk) 08:26, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Nice move, though a rather ridiculous argumentation. If grammar is such a problem in such a small paragraph, isn't it a bit ridiculous to say it's too much of a hassle to fix it in one edit? Likewise, the link can be easily removed in no time. But of course, you would rather leave out a text that mentions his relationship with García, a guajira, which contradicts the general tone of this article that Che was racist. Nice move. Conveniently, the part about him being a poetry and literary enthusiast has been removed from the introductory paragraph. Folks, lets cut the crap. Why don't you just say he was a racist, gun-totting unthinking godless commie? No, of course you can't say that, it wouldn't be serious enough or encyclopedic. Ironic though how thats what the article exactly implies. Despite the verbosity, your machinations are completly evident to those of us who can see the reeking anti-Che, anticommunist, POV of this article. (For example, the paragraph phrasing "Che became known as a 'comandante'". Newsflash, Commander is a typical designation of any communist group leader, in contrast to "officer". No need to give it such an aura of esoterism.).
In any case, I've given up on this and other wikipedia articles relating to similar matters (if you think the english and spanish entries on Che are clashing, just look at the entry on Hugo Chavez. The clashing is 100 times worse if not more... Dear God...).
I can understand differing interpretations of data, but the extent of manipulation on information on this and other entries sets a downright slandering POV tone, if not being a complete slander falling short of propaganda, no matter how formalistic and archival the redaction is.
In a place where neutrality is the desired goal, it makes me sick to see how information is manipulated and presented in such a guiltless way.
Oh well. Live and learn. Wryn 16:16, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
You are welcome to start a request for comment on my anti-Che, anticommunist, POV machinations here: Wikipedia:Requests for comment/User conduct.-- Zleitzen(talk) 16:56, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
You mention grammar issues with the paragraph, yet I've just run a spell check and the only grammatical error it has is with the word "colaborated" instead of "collaborated". Are you seriously telling me, with a straight face, that a -single- grammar error was meritory of the deletion of an entire paragraph? Oh right, it also has a link. Removing the entire paragraph would be more suitable than removing a single link? Maybe its the word "installed" which is causing trouble. The use is legitimate though. From
installed: To settle in an indicated place or condition; establish: installed myself in the spare room.Wryn 20:41, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Silence implies consent, eh?Wryn 16:56, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

This is my first exposure to the subject, who died before I was born. I have no emotional attachment either way.
I have read the removed section in question several times, and I still have no idea what it is trying to convey. "Installed" is certainly a big part of the problem, but overall it seems to be poorly translated. Another example is the clearly non-english word "guajira". In the second sentence, "...he started..." leads me to believe that Che is the subject, he began an undefined relationship, with a person, perhaps a female ("her family"), and then he colaborated with someone referred to only as "guerrilla". Also, too many pronouns for clarity, specifically the trailing "guerrilla".
I'm not sure what any of this means, but I'm fairly certain I have it all wrong. If it can't be clarified, it should not be included. 20:21, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Marxist or Marxist-Leninist?

This matter has been previously discussed ( In Talk Archive #2 and In Talk Archive #6) and a consensus reached that the adjective "Marxist" was the best choice for the lead paragraph.

It should be borne in mind that, in the last years of his life, Guevara had become quite critical of Lenin who, he had concluded, was "the culprit" responsible for the series of errors that had ultimately resulted in the Soviet Union taking the "capitalist path". He develops this line of thought in Apuntes críticos a la economía (published by Ocean Press, 1 August 2006), a fact that is recorded by Anderson on page 697 of the edition ISBN 0-8021-3558-7(pbk.). In view of his position in this regard, I do not see how it can be considered appropriate to label him a "Leninist", but I would welcome the opportunity to read other editors' opinions on the subject. -- Polaris999 03:17, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Imperialism is a leninist concept. "Marxism" by itself denotes something more akin to left communism, council communism, luxemburgism, or simply reformist. But hey, feel free to leave simply "Marxism", its less explanatory and sounds more pejorative, goes well with the tone of the article. Wryn 21:52, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Paragraph in urgent need of a re-write

Reference is made here to the "Cuba" section of the main Che Guevara article, i.e. , specifically to the first two sentences of its 3rd paragraph, which read as follows:

Guevara became a leader among the rebels, a Comandante (English translation: Major), respected by his comrades in arms for his courage and military prowess,[2] During the guerrilla campaign Guevara was feared for his ruthlessness, which Fidel Castro described as an "excessively aggressive quality", being personally responsible for the execution and torture of a number of men accused of being informers, deserters or spies.[3]

1. Re Sentence #1: This is actually a text string rather than a sentence, having been truncated to the point that it now ends with a comma. Either its original text should be restored or it should be entirely re-written.

2. Re Sentence #2: This sentence is quite a piece of work, having been written in such a way that it seems to quote Fidel Castro describing Guevara's "ruthlessness". However, this representation is either a serious misunderstanding or a deliberate deception since Castro's words are taken completely out of context and their meaning grossly distorted. In order to let editors easily view the actual words spoken by Castro in their original context, I have extracted the relevant paragraphs from the speech in question in both the original Spanish [4] and an English translation (by Ocean Books [5]) and pasted them side by side in the table below. As is apparent, the "aggressiveness" that Castro attributes to Guevara is not "ruthlessness" but rather audacity and his constant willingness to sacrifice his life for others. Not surprisingly, the pages cited in the "source note" attached to this strange sentence, i.e., "Anderson pp. 269-270, 277-278", make no reference whatsoever to this or any other speech by Fidel Castro about Guevara or any other topic.

It is beyond obvious that Sentence #2 does not meet Wikipedia's standards of reliability and needs to be replaced. While I could have done this myself, I thought it was more in keeping with the Wikipedia community spirit to present the problem here on the Talk page so that all editors who wish to participate in crafting the replacement text will have the opportunity to do so. (Please post your suggestions, comments, etc. below the table.) Thank you -- Polaris999 02:02, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Excerpts from the speech delivered by Fidel Castro Ruz on October 18, 1967

"Che was an incomparable soldier. Che was an incomparable leader. Che was, from a military point of view, an extraordinarily capable person, extraordinarily courageous, extraordinarily aggressive. If, as a guerrilla, he had his Achilles’ heel, it was this excessively aggressive quality, his absolute contempt for danger."
"What is so strange about the fact that this artist died in combat? What is stranger is that he did not die in combat on one of the innumerable occasions when he risked his life during our revolutionary struggle. Many times it was necessary to take steps to keep him from losing his life in actions of minor significance.

"And so it was in combat — in one of the many battles he fought — that he lost his life. We do not have sufficient evidence to enable us to deduce what circumstances preceded that combat, or how far he may have acted in an excessively aggressive way. But, we repeat, if as a guerrilla he had an Achilles’ heel, it was his excessive aggressiveness, his absolute contempt for danger."

Fragmentos del discurso pronunciado por Fidel Castro Ruz el 18 de octubre de 1967

"Che era un insuperable soldado; Che era un insuperable jefe; Che era, desde el punto militar, un hombre extraordinariamente capaz, extraordinariamente valeroso, extraordinariamente agresivo. Si como guerrillero tenía un talón de Aquiles, ese talón de Aquiles era su excesiva agresividad, era su absoluto desprecio al peligro."
"¿Qué tiene de extraño que ese artista muera en un combate? Todavía tiene mucho más de extraordinario el hecho de que en las innumerables ocasiones en que arriesgó esa vida durante nuestra lucha revolucionaria no hubiese muerto en algún combate. Y muchas fueron las veces en que fue necesario actuar para impedir que en acciones de menor trascendencia perdiera la vida.

"Y así, en un combate, ¡en uno de los tantos combates que libró!, perdió la vida. No poseemos suficientes elementos de juicio para poder hacer alguna deducción acerca de todas las circunstancias que precedieron ese combate, acerca de hasta qué grado pudo haber actuado de una manera excesivamente agresiva, pero —repetimos— si como guerrillero tenia un talón de Aquiles, ese talón de Aquiles era su excesiva agresividad, su absoluto desprecio por el peligro."

Please post your suggestions re how to improve these sentences here:

Hello Polaris. That was added a few days ago by an anonymous editor, I tried to clean it up and at least give it a source but it appears to have got mixed up in another sentence and become even more garbled. Presumably the "aggressive quality" was taken by the editor from the legacy section, whilst I added the Anderson pp. 269-270, 277-278 to source the "execution and torture of a number of men accused of being informers, deserters or spies". Those pages actually do refer to the execution of such. Any efforts to improve this addition are welcome.-- Zleitzen(talk) 02:24, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

POV dispute

This article presents Guevara from the viewpoint that he was a self-sacrificial, heroic man. He was "murdered" - not "a murderer".

I asked for a POV check, but none occured. The tag was simply removed.

  1. Floyd Brown wrote:
    • Che was a mass executioner who conducted many of his executions without a jury. Che said, “To send men to the firing squad, judicial proof is unnecessary.” Such a judicial procedure in his mind was “just an archaic bourgeoisie detail.” He reminded those who listened that “this is a revolution! And a revolutionary must be a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate.” [6]
  • Now this is the best I could do in a few minutes of googling, but better sources are no doubt available.
  1. Humborto's book about Fidel Castro says:
    • Fidel’s firing squads killed thousands of Cubans
  2. Che himself said:
    • "Executions? ... Certainly we execute! ... And we will continue executing as long as it is necessary! This is a war to the DEATH against the revolution's enemies!" [7]
    • According to the Black Book of Communism, those firing-squad executions had reached around 10,000 by that time.

I ask you to consider that there is a legitimate POV dispute here, and to postpone removal of the NPOV-dispute tag until the matter has actually been resolved. Please read the following excerpt from Wikipedia:POV check:

  • For situations where you or other editors disagree on NPOV status, or need to reach consensus on neutrality, instead use the neutrality dispute template, {{POV}}, and explain the reasons on the talk page.
  • In order to ensure the POV check template cannot be used to brand articles as non-neutral without a justification, it may be removed by anyone if they feel that the issue has been resolved. Please do not edit war over the use of this template. Instead, if you disagree with its removal, place the full neutrality dispute template on the page, explain your reasons on the talk page, and follow the regular NPOV dispute resolution process.

Let's discuss this dispute. --Uncle Ed 16:29, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

(1) I think on the basis that you are on probation for POV and tendentious editing - Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Ed Poor 2 – for what I imagine will be an eternity - then the addition of the tag without any accompanying talk page conversation (of which there will need to be a lot) was illegitimate and extremely unhelpful to this article and wikipedia. This is a featured article and has been much scrutinized by people who know about the subject matter before you showed up. Your linking to the POV guideline "...In order to ensure the POV check template cannot be used to brand articles as non-neutral without a justification it may be removed by anyone if they feel that the issue has been resolved." was not wise. These issues have been resolved time and again via the use of reliable sources. Its removal was justified.
(2) There is no legitimate dispute, Ed Poor. And no one is "edit-warring" over the use of the template. Read the article - which is sourced to numerous major scholars of Cuban history before you start sourcing material to blogs like babalublog and someone called Floyd Brown (?)
(3) Again. Read the article. What is missing that your sources provide? Given that we actually have a list of the names of the 170 or so executions Che Guevara is said to have been responsible for in La Cabana, then you can be sure that editors have poured over this in far more detail than yourself and FloydBrown. Your "10,000" figure from the Black Book of Communism, though obviously in dispute, is unrelated to Guevara anyway and the figures come largely from the wars against the bandits.
My view is this: Above I can be found disputing this article with an editor who believes the article is a disgraceful anti-Che Guevara tract - and I was accused of having an "anti-Che, anticommunist, POV". So the article is either too anti-Guevara or too pro-Guevara to various editors who haven’t really backed up what they claim beyond basic hyperbole and useless sources. Now I know that you Ed, actually do have an “anti-Che, anticommunist, POV”. Perhaps you can argue with the other editor on a blog somewhere and let us get on with working on the article. But do not add a POV tag to a featured article without reading it first and without some serious sources. Guevara has been the subject of numerous major biographies, and the Cuban revolution is well covered by scholars. What do historians such as Anderson, Thomas, Castañeda, Dorschner etc say on the subject Ed? -- Zleitzen(talk) 17:07, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Additional comments to Ed. You write "this article presents Guevara from the viewpoint that he was a self-sacrificial, heroic man". This is a sample of sentences from the article for you to read. Please reconsider whether these statements present a pro-Guevara POV problem in this article that requires your tag...-- Zleitzen(talk) 18:18, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
  • "Guevara was also feared for his ruthlessness, and was responsible for the execution of a number of men accused of being informers, deserters or spies."
  • "he oversaw the trial and execution of many people, among whom were former Batista regime officials and members of the "Bureau for the Repression of Communist Activities.."
  • "these were lawless proceedings where "the facts were judged without any consideration to general juridical principles" and the findings were pre-determined by Guevara."
  • "It is estimated that approximately 179 to 500 people were executed on Guevara's extra-judicial orders during this time."
  • "Guevara helped organize revolutionary expeditions overseas, all of which failed."
  • "he stated that, if the missiles had been under Cuban control, they would have fired them against major U.S. cities."
  • "Studies addressing problematic characteristics of Guevara's life have cited his principal role in setting up Cuba's first post-revolutionary labor camps, his unsympathetic treatment of captured fighters during various guerrilla campaigns, and his frequent humiliations of those deemed his intellectual inferiors."
  • "Guevara an authoritarian, anti-working-class Stalinist, whose legacy was the creation of a more bureaucratic, authoritarian regime"
  • "Che-inspired revolutions had the practical result of reinforcing brutal militarism for many years."
  • "Borba observed the many half-completed or empty factories in Cuba, a legacy of Guevara's tenure as Minister of Industries, "standing like sad memories of the conflict between pretension and reality"
  • "he is remembered by some as the "The Butcher of la Cabaña", a reference to Guevara’s post-revolutionary role as “supreme prosecutor” at the Cabana fortress."
  • "Che has been romanticized over the years, but there is a darker side to his story. He looks like a rock star, but he executed a lot of people without trial or defense."
  • "Guevara is shown casually shooting wounded Batista foot soldiers where they lie."
  • "public opposition which compared Guevara to Osama bin Laden and Adolf Hitler."
If by editors not backing up claims beyond basic hyperbole and useless sources you were refering to me, then you're setting up a straw man. I did give you valid sources, I cited his speach to the United Nations in 1964, along with the romance with García from "Che Entre Nosotros". Yet that comment was completely ignored. When you removed the section I contributed, you claimed it was due to grammar errors. Yet I responded noting there was a single error, and that comment was also ignored. So really, what am I supposed to think?
I would rather have an article without featured status that is informatively accurate, rather than a featured article which is informatively inaccurate. And I thought that this was the goal of Wikipedia -to provide as accurate information as possible. I was discussing/editing basing myself on that principle, yet you question my motives. So now I question yours, unless I'm wrong, and it's in Wikipedia's best interest to sacrife information as long as featured article can be achived/maintained. Which would be a real shame if it was.
As for the use of hyperbole, another straw man. Exactly where did I use hyperbole? The only hyperbole I see is within the article. Comparing Che Guevara to Bin Laden and Hitler? Give me a break.Wryn 02:20, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
The hyperbole and strawman arguments are as follows, from you who has arrived to claim the article is anti-Guevara: "[this article]...sets a downright slandering POV tone, if not being a complete slander falling short of propaganda, no matter how formalistic and archival the redaction is. In a place where neutrality is the desired goal, it makes me sick to see how information is manipulated and presented in such a guiltless way." and from Ed who has arrived to claim that "this article presents Guevara from the viewpoint that he was a self-sacrificial, heroic man" and that it "hides the fact that Guevara is a murderer". If you prefer, myself and the more neutral editors who are well schooled in the subject matter - and who worked hard on this article with wording issues and detailed sourcing - can retire and let you fight it out amongst yourselves. Of course the article will lose its featured status, and much of this hard work will be diminished to the detriment of the article and wikipedia. By the way, please re-read your earlier paragraph, if you believe that this ; "Che Guevara installed Cadet School in Minas del Frío, moments during which the Movimiento 26 de Julio had installed themselves in Sierra Maestra" is grammatically correct, then you obviously had a different schooling in English than myself. It also repeated some points mentioned earlier. I have cleaned up your paragraphs and restored them to the article.-- Zleitzen(talk) 09:29, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

I hope you won't retire from the discussion. I have no desire to make the article lose its feature status.

I'm still studying the placement of statements like, "It is estimated that approximately 179 to 500 people were executed on Guevara's extra-judicial orders during this time."

And I appreciate your willingness to take up this matter. --Uncle Ed 15:46, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

(to Zleitzen) Ok, the paragraph was missing an "a" after installed. The comment I made that is being refered to as hyperbole, was part of a latter response, my earlier responses were based on sources and and did not resort to hyperbole, those are the ones I was refering to originally. When I said Guevara was not racist, I provided documented examples to support that claim. I was not basing myself on a purely ideological position to do so. And yes, right now, I do feel as if the article is saying "Che is racist". But I'm not saying the article should say "Che was not racist", I'm saying the article should say:
  • "Arguments in favor of attributing racism to Guevara include..."
  • "Counter-arguments against the attribution of racism to Guevara include..."
Can you see that I'm only trying to add balance to parts I feel are unbalanced?Wryn 16:04, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
To Wryn. At what point in the article do you believe that it says or even implies "Che Guevara is racist"? Che Guevara wasn't racist, but he failed to understand many of the issues of Afro-Cubans in Cuba, and Africans themselves on his adventure in the Congo. As did Castro whose views on race at that time were akin to middle America of the early 60s rather than Angela Davis. All this is well documented in academic texts and admitted to by those involved much later. But this isn't on the page anyway so I you've lost me. To Ed, take up what matter? There is no matter that I can see other than you placing a POV tag on a much scrutinised article - that has passed a rigorous screening process and has even been on the main page - and presenting Floyd Brown (?) and a blog in your defence. Now you are pondering the placement of something on a page, how long do we have to wait for this?-- Zleitzen(talk) 16:31, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Further reply to Ed: The era we are referring to is the immediate-post revolutionary period and (as usual) I am re-hashing the details same 500-550 people executed in the first 6-12 months or so. Of which all mainstream sources refer to in detail as the "to-the-wall" judicial executions of Batista secret police figures and other collaborators. The larger figures span a decade that includes several wars (War of the Bandits/Bay of Pigs) and campaigns against continued armed "counter revolutionary" resistance groups. Incidentally, Guevara's spell as prosecutor in La Cabaña lasted only 6 months in early 1959.

Remember that this was after a long brutal war against Batista's military regime that perpetrated countless civilian atrocities. It should be noted that the climate of "drive through justice" was severely influenced by the memory of the violent chaos of the post-Machado period in the 1930s, where lawless retributions were rife. It was considered that the speedy trials and executions in 1959, including the stadium trials, were methods to prevent greater lawlessness and deter citizens from seeking their own retributions against Batista informants and other individuals. This all took place amid a backdrop of hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets and demanding justice. Here is a British newsreel from the era that should help us understand the mood [8]. The report notes that 50 people alone died in just one riot, initiated by people demanding justice outside a Batista prison.

An interesting story that might illuminate the issue is that of the trial of 44 Batista airmen in 1959, accused of war-crimes in Santiago. When these men were found innocent, rioting and deep unrest in Santiago against the decision forced a retrial and the judgement was overturned by Castro claiming "revolutionary justice is based not on legal precepts but moral conviction". The men were therefore sentenced to 20-30 years imprisonment. That provides a picture not only of the legal chaos of the era, but of the typical accusations, charges and punishments that were being banded about at the time. The heated atmosphere was compared to France in 1945 by various international observers, where there were also tragic cases of gross miscarriages of justice.-- Zleitzen(talk) 16:42, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

to Zleitzen: My apologies, I mixed up the information from the article itself with the information from talk page discussions above. As a side note, I find it ironic that at first you supported views that regarded Guevara as racist (the racist club incident) and in your latest response you claim that Guevara was not racist, only that he failed to understand certain issues of Afro-Cubans and Africans in his Congo expedition. As another side note, this is a view I don't share (from a documented basis), but this is another matter.
The Legacy and Cult of Che parts of the article contains these phrases: "his principal role in setting up Cuba's first post-revolutionary labor camps, his unsympathetic treatment of captured fighters during various guerrilla campaigns, and his frequent humiliations of those deemed his intellectual inferiors.", this "some of whom consider Guevara an authoritarian, anti-working-class Stalinist, whose legacy was the creation of a more bureaucratic, authoritarian regime. Detractors have also theorized that in much of Latin America, Che-inspired revolutions had the practical result of reinforcing brutal militarism for many years." and this "public opposition which compared Guevara to Osama bin Laden and Adolf Hitler", etc.
I can see that there are phrases which support different viewpoints, such as Guevara becoming the figure of inspiration for guerrillas / socialist leaders in idealistic terms, and his image/persona becoming an icon of consumerism. However, the very important viewpoint that I feel is missing is that Guevara's life and essays serve as the basis for a social critique from a materialist view, not a solely ideal or romantic one as is portrayed by the article right now. I would go as far as to claim, at least in latin america, that the support for Che comes from a materialist agreement to his writtings/life, not from a romanticized or idealistic depiction of Che. Such a latter consideration is more typical of "First World" countries, and is in fact, completely contrary to Marxist thought, which is strictly materialistic/scientific.
I believe that the solution would be to include this fourth viewpoint, Che's support from a materialist viewpoint advocated by different authors and groups, which I feel is a key element missing right now. Of course this would be included from relevant sources. What do you think?Wryn 18:16, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm not going to plunge deeply into this, except to remark that we are dealing with an article that is very difficult to get right. There is no general scholarly consensus on Che Guevara. There are serious, well-intentioned people who consider him a monster and there are serious, well-intentioned people who consider him a hero and role model. He makes Robespierre look positively uncontroversial, in that even the latter-day partisans of Robespierre tend to believe that he ultimately shed excessive blood, whereas the partisans of Guevara usually do not. And, whatever you think of his politics or his conduct, his self-sacrifice in going to Bolivia was large: a man in ill health, who could have been a diplomat or a government official, chose to be a guerrilla fighter.

I don't think that we should downplay his role as an "executioner" (certainly not a "murderer", any more than a "murder victim"), but I don't think we should exaggerate it, either. It is hard to imagine that the Cuban Revolution could have proceeded without such killings, and it is not one of history's bloodier revolutions, nor is Guevara a figure like Lavrentiy Beria, known mainly for his activities in the apparatus of repression. Offhand, the article might be improved by one sentence in the lead mentioning his role overseeing executions at La Cabaña: the lead is probably a bit unbalanced in this respect. And I could imagine "deepening" the legacy section, both positive and negative. But it seems to me that, other than that, in the "narrative" portions of the article, the balance is about right, and that we have to recognize that this is an article that is never going to make everyone completely happy. - Jmabel | Talk 17:40, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

I am not sure how his alleged "self-sacrifice" in trying to disrupt the peace in Bolivia could in any sense be considered positive except by those who support that kind of terrorist subversion. Making him into a hero for his conduct towards the Bolivian people is pushing it, IMO, SqueakBox 17:47, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
Was the liberation of the black slaves in the United States an act of terrorist subversion? What about the French Revolution or American war of Independence? Surely they were subversive terrorists.
Yes, there was peace in Bolivia, people were peacefully starving to death. Wryn 23:27, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
I'd like to add some of what Jmabel said above, to the article intro.
  • There are serious, well-intentioned people who consider him a monster and there are serious, well-intentioned people who consider him a hero and role model.
  • It is hard to imagine that the Cuban Revolution could have proceeded without such killings
This would highlight the fact that appraisals of Guevara are deeply split: monster vs. hero is about as sharp a distinction as I can think of. That his "extra-judicial killings" (executions? murders?) were essential to Castro's consolidation of power may also be of interest. I'm looking into a theme of how Communist regimes get installed; it's not always via a democratic process (see "Democratically elected"), is it? --Uncle Ed 14:42, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
Ed, what about the vast majority of people in the world who do not view the Guevara as a either a monster or a hero? And where appraisals are no more deeply split than they are about Charles de Gaulle. I don't think Jmabel is inferring that the post revolution La Cabana executions were essential for Castro's consolidation of power, they were enacted for the purposes of progressing a revolution against what was already a brutal and undemocratic state. The executions of alleged Batista strongmen and collaborators had massive popular support, were compared to the retributions in France post WWII by outside observers, and were unconnected to the the instillation of a "Communist regime" which occurred long after Guevara left La Cabana in the summer of 1959. Wars and their aftermaths tend to result in unlawful deaths. Some - far more bloody than the Cuban revolution - involve the murders of 1000s of women, children and other non-combatants. Many of those responsible for these deaths are even praised for their foresight and moral clarity. We already provide the necessary information on the events in question relating to Guevara's executions. If the facts are not enough for an encyclopedia article, then we're not writing an encyclopedia article anymore. We're writing an opinion piece. -- Zleitzen(talk) 16:10, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Z: Very few people argue that the first executions in La Caban~a were not excusable (I do but I am against the death penalty). However, as the executions continued and the targeted populations shifted from known/or accused Batista criminals to those who opposed Guevara's and Castro's view of the Revolution then it became clear that the objective was to suppress and terrorize any in the population who wanted democracy. On re-examination many of Guevara's executions in the Sierra Maestra appear to have been intended not as much for military necessity, but to expand marxist control of what was then a popular revolt for democracy against the Batista dictatorship. You will have to await my book to see such in English. One of the difficulties involved in evalutating this circumstance is that much of the commonly known written record was authored by Guevaraand then translated to English. In his overseas adventures Guevara caused at least several hundred unnecessary deaths in Africa and South America in actions that also involved overturning some, notable Venezuelan, democracies. BTW Winston Churchill was taken in by communist operatives during the war in the Balkans, and thus made the erroneous decision to support "Tito," and not the Royalists forces. Churchill himself was not free from bloodlust as noted in his writings on the Sudan Campaign (which strangely and perhaps forgivingly foreshadows present events), and some of his anti-semitic remarks prior to WWII have come to light recently. As to the time line, one can rationally take the view that a marxist take over of Cuba was in progress (is incubation a better word?) since "Fabio Grobart" (which strangely translates to steathy grave digger if one evaluates the first name in Roman Empire history and the second name in Slavic languages) arrive in Cuba circa 1922, and this continued with a series of steathy assassinations notably that of Sandalio Junco, and the apparent recruitement of Castro as early as 1948. El Jigue208.65.188.149 19:08, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Hello EJ. Regarding Churchill, you are correct to note his bloodlust in Sudan, and more shockingly - his attitude to the Kurds in Iraq, and it is safe to say he was responsible for far more deaths of innocent people including children than Guevara in the fight for his political beliefs of the time (British colonialism and its economic interests in the middle east). (Incidentally, the Churchill lead describes how "his speeches were a great inspiration to the embattled Allied forces" without mentioning that the most recognisable were actually read by Norman Shelley, a BBC actor). Whatsmore, whilst Churchill was terrorising Arab and Kurdish civilians, his ideological peers were conducting massacres in India, had set up concentration camps for civilians in South Africa, were hunting down innocent aborigine women and children and hanging them on trees in Australia, were overseeing the torture of civilians in Egypt etc etc. Churchill, a man who approved of gassing innocent Kurdish villagers whom he called "uncivilised tribes", is enshrined as a heroic architect of this modern civilisation and the greatest ever Briton, a role model beyond reproach who has his likeness duplicated on pictures and statues throughout the land, and whose bulldog image has come to symbolise all that is noble in an island's resistance to foreign rule. Perhaps if we were Kurdish or Sudanese historians, we might note that his article "hides the fact that he was a murderer" as well. But I think that would be overdramatic, ahistorical POV pushing to do so, and would damage the efforts of editors who are improving that page.-- Zleitzen(talk) 23:09, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

I've re-added the POV dispute tag, in large part because multiple citations to criticisms of Che and his legacy have been removed from the main article. Examples include and Kind regards, Mike A. Smith96.224.3.71 00:57, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

The POV tag I included has been removed. I can find no explanation as to why. As such, I am re-introducing it, and request a reply from anyone who removes it following this sentence, please. Kind regards, Mike A. Smith96.224.3.71 15:00, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Capitalism Magazine and FrontPage Magazine can hardly be called reliable sources in this case. CapMag is (at least ostensibly) about economy, and both magazines plainly represent extreme ideologies. The articles you link to are not serious historical examinations of Che Guevara.
Moreover, there was a long POV discussion above, but nothing was added to it since mid-April; thus, the POV tag can be removed, as there isn't anyone actively protesting the article's POV. If you have substantial evidence of a biased POV, please open a new section in this article and explain your reasons. —Pablo D. Flores (Talk) 15:25, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for your reply. I respectfully disagree that Capitalism Magazine and FrontPage Magazine are unreliable sources. This holds particularly true when the main article continues to have links to publications on the opposite side of the political spectrum that are just as obscure (if not more so), including but not limited to "Che Guevara - A legacy of struggle by Daniel Waldron in Socialist View, No. 13 Winter 2004, an Irish socialist journal," and "Marxists Internet Archive. Retrieved on June 28, 2006." As long as these latter sources continue to be cited -- and in my opinion, they should be -- then sources like Capitalism Magazine and FrontPage Magazine should also be cited. I continue to actively protest this article's POV. As such, I have re-introduced the POV tag. Kind regards, Mike A. Smith96.224.3.71 15:36, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Cuban Missile Crisis

I had read somewhere that Che Guevara had argued with Castro to take control of the missiles and launch them at the United States. Does anyone have information on this? The Che Guevara page just states that Guevara was quoted as saying that had the U.S. launched a strike against Cuba, then the missiles would have been launched against the U.S.

i dnt no about tha. but kruscef had authrized nucler weapon attacks if the U.S inadaev(Esskater11 02:01, 23 May 2007 (UTC))

I've read that too; he felt betrayed by the Soviets and said that if it was up to him (or perhaps if it were up to Cuba, don't recall) he would have launched them all. Gtadoc 01:03, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

His Forced Labour Camps

Why isnt there any infomation about the christian labour camps he was in control, or the camps he put the people infected with aids in this? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 03:18, 11 May 2007 (UTC).

Yes. I wonder why Guevara's role in setting up camps for AIDS victims in the 1960s is being censored on this page? Surely this is notable. Guevara apparently shows extraordinary malevolent medical abilities by diagnosing a disease that was first known to the mainstream scientific community in the early 1980s. Is there no end to his evil genius? The article should also highlight his planned assassination attempt on John Paul II, his premeditated "Down with Disco" campaign and his warnings of the dangers of the Sony Walkman to children's ears. --Oakhouse 08:11, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

AIDS in the 1960s. Censorship ? There was also some censorship about Julius Caesar driving an Alfa-Romeo. Ericd 15:10, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

I think they were referring to the Che putting homosexuals in labour camps, many where they ended up dying. It is a shame that pretty much everything about the labour camps is ignored in the article though. Gtadoc 01:08, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Article No Longer Encyclopedic

This article has turned into a total whitewash of Che's activities during and after the Cuban Revolution, and a deep seepage of weasel words has infiltrated the article. Unverified laudatory and sympathetic claims run rampant. This article isn't useful or reliable at this point, and requires a total re-write, without the apologist POV. - MSTCrow 21:38, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Add appropriate tags if you really think so. Or even better - state concrete problematic sections and fix them if you good enough sources.--Svetovid 21:44, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
Wouldn't just a complete revert to its Featured version be better? there is a lot of weaselness, removing it manually is an ardous task, a revertion and subsecuent addition of any notable contribution and/or update is a lot more simple and accurate. - 03:49, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

John Lee Anderson

Who is John Lee Anderson is he a reliable source ? Ericd 20:21, 5 June 2007 (UTC)


the introduction needs to be changed. It doesn't introduce anything. 21:43, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

Who is the real Che Guevara?

I hear and read so many things about Che Guevara that I can not believe any of the things I read. The reason is because the people that are writting them are ignorant and communist sympathizers. I wish everyone would just read Humberto Fontova's "Exposing The Real Che Guevara...And the Useful Idiots Who Idiolize Him." Economics, Healthcare, poor people are all things you hear about what he and Fidel have done. However, read the book and you will find out how horribly they destroyed Cuba's Economy. You will find out that Cuban healthcare was in place since the 1930's and was the foundation for international healthcare reform. Furthermore, you will find out about how far ahead Cuba was in terms of Social and political correctiveness, women judges, black presidnets and leaders. Finally, the Labour camps, Not Christian, Not for the sick...Forced labor camps. In WWII, we called them Concentration Camps and Extermination Camps. How proud people must be to where shirts or clothes with Che's Photo on it when he has personally killed between 14,000 and 21,000 cubans by his orders. He ran Cuba's Economy to be third world country. Also Che has run out of Cuba, over 500,000 cubans. You will see how he was cought trying to destroy American landmarks and people. How he loathed artist and musicians, but those are the people that find his plight righteous today...he destroyed a culture and a people. I just hope that the book I recommend is read by at least one person who then can pass it along to others. Perception is not reality, we can stop this insanity. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 09:22, 20 June 2007

Please sign your posts as explained at the top of this page.
Please read WP:TALK for guidelines. Do not insult those who disagree with you, do not generalize, and stick to constructive fact-based criticism. This is not the place to advertise books or denounce crimes. Half of what of you said above is simply wrong, another part is incoherent ("personally... by his orders"), and the rest is already in the article in some form, properly sourced. Wikipedia is not a soapbox. —Pablo D. Flores (Talk) 18:23, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
Before being acussed of being communist I will leave clear that I'm not Cuban or in any way related to his movement, now with that out of the way I would recoment you read WP:CIVIL before posting any other comment. - 21:14, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
I was really tempted to site that book, as though the title is a bit extreme he does make some very good points in it (in a very politically incorrect way) and seems to have done his research. Some of those points should be in the article, assuming that the purpose of the article is to inform and not simply to glamourize.Gtadoc 01:09, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

NPOV dispute

I think the introduction to this article is horribly biased, in that it completely omits mention of what is surely one of the most important facts about Che: that he was directly responsible for the extra-judicial killing of "several hundred" (the lowest estimates I have seen) or "several thousand" (his own estimate, as I understand it) or "tens of thousands" (as some sources have it). The article consistently downplays Guevara's bloodthirst and legacy of death and destruction.

It seems a terrible omission that leads the reader far from NPOV.

I write here as an ordinary reader and editor of Wikipedia, of course. :)--Jimbo Wales 23:13, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

I agree. I'll be working on re-writing it. Thank you for alerting us of the situation, normal Wikipedian :-) Yours sincerely, Eddie 23:32, 7 July 2007 (UTC)
Hello, Eddie. By coincidence, there was another Ed that wanted to re-work this article, who had a similar user page declaration to yours. But went on a wiki-break the day you started editing here. Coincidentally, again, he shared almost exactly the same view as Jimbo above. Given this whole range of happy coincidences, I look forward to reading your informed re-write with much interest.-- Zleitzen(talk) 04:35, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
Comment on the content, not the editor, pal. Wikidan829 19:12, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps the single most potent way to balance the article in line w/ Jimbo's comments would be to expand discussion of Guevara's admission that, during the Missile Crisis, had he and Castro controlled the missiles, they would have fired them onto American cities as soon as the blockade started. He would have regarded this as "a beautiful death", despite having killed tens of millions of innocent Americans, despite the annihilation of Cuba and probably despite a global nuclear holocaust killing billions and destroying civilization. I am hoping you will expand the two sentences currently dealing with this and that you will summarize the incident in the intro. JDG 00:56, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Wales (adopts Clint Eastwood voice). I've come out of retirement for this so you'll have to do better than that ;) I don't buy your comments, they don't wash, and you can read my response to another editor of a similar persuasion & style above.

If you were to find one more critical encyclopedic entry for Che Guevara than this, I will withdraw my comments, but I invite you to examine other encyclopedic entries - britannica, encarta etc - and return with your thoughts. When you say that you write "as an ordinary reader" - you actually appear to write as an ahistorical and naive partisan. "Guevara's bloodthirst and legacy of death". Hmmm, OK. In fact, banging a POV tag on an article as thoroughly worked as this, accompanied by such talk page comments, seems shoddy and tantamount to POV sabotage in itself. This is all very disappointing and reflects badly on the site, and yourself Jimbo for that matter.

A number of very experienced and knowledgeable people on this subject have spent many, many hours over years improving this article to its current high standard. Where it stood as an excellent advert for the process itself until about 4 hours ago when you turned up. I myself have posted this article to various friends and old colleagues over the last year or two - all experts in the field - to nods of approval all round and praise for the process. Keep in mind that the long term editors here have had to endure attacks from editors who insist that the article is an anti-Guevara screed as well as the type of attacks from people of your persuasion. Ask yourself, who has the POV problem here?

As for the other comments. JDG writes that we should "expand discussion of Guevara's admission that, during the Missile Crisis, had he and Castro controlled the missiles, they would have fired them onto American cities". How can you possibly "expand" what was an anecdotal, brief statement which is already in the article? From where will you glean this additional information?

Is this supposed be an article based on extensive factual detail from the most thorough sources, (ie an encyclopedia article) or is this an opinion piece full of speculation of Che Guevara's "blood thirst"? I guess it's up to Jimbo, its his reputation on the line in the end. -- Zleitzen(talk) 02:59, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

I laugh out loud. Guevara's clearly stated desire, corroborated by Castro, to nuke the U.S. is "an anecdotal, brief statement". Yeah, just an off-the-cuff remark about wanting to tip off Armageddon...John Lee Anderson was a respected longtime writer and editor of England's leading socialist paper, but to Zleitzen what he reported is mere anecdote. Talk about POV. To ignore, or, when you can't ignore, minimize facts that go against one's leanings, is almost a definition of POV... This article has been in need of a critical going-over for a long time. JDG 06:08, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
Jon Lee Anderson was not editor of England's leading socialist paper, nor was he the recipient of the anecdote. It was Sam Russell. It was merely reported in Anderson's book. Here's where the problems start. It helps to know the subject matter. And the article for that matter, because it's sourced to Sam Russell and already detailed if you cared to check. And for the record, I have repeatedly stated elsewhere that I can't stand Che Guevara. I think he was an asshole. I just want serious, informative and factually correct articles of the kind you'd expect to find in an encyclopedia on a subject that have a passion for. And I think this kind of business - uninformed editors turning up, calling the shots, making wild claims amidst factual errors - is really damaging to wikipedia's credibility. In this case it seems to come from the top down, but virtually none of the statements by new editors on this article are in any way serious or informed. Guevara "locking up people with Aids", Guevara's "bloodlust", "Is Anderson a reliable source?", "Guevara didn't study medicine", "Anderson an editor of Britain's leading socialist paper", "hides the fact he was a murderer" etc etc etc... How can anyone take this process seriously? -- Zleitzen(talk) 06:23, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
If someone were to blockade say the UK the goverment would probably take the view that it was within it's rights to vapourise the cities of whoever was behind the blockade.Geni 09:16, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
But the key question is not whether or not it was morally right for Guevera to make the remark, but whether we should have an article deeply biased by the omission of the fact that he said it. Perhaps Guevera was right, and it would have been a wonderful and glorious thing for Cuba to have started a nuclear war with the United States. Doesn't matter. It is still noteworthy and should be mentioned in the article.--Jimbo Wales 19:14, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
It is mentioned. It gets an equal level of coverage as Jacques Chirac threat to nuke anyone any state that was behind terrorist actions that hurt french interests.Geni 22:43, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
The answer to Jimbo's "key question" is that it was added in March 2004 and has remained in the article ever since. Which can only lead us to assume that Jimbo hasn't even read the article he finds "horribly biased".-- Zleitzen(talk) 02:52, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
To be honest, I read this article as it existed about half a year ago and did some checking on the journalist who reported this quote, then came back here earlier today after reading "Eddie"'s entry on Jimbo's Talk page, took a quick (too quick) look at the footnote and mixed up Anderson with Russell... I know how you feel, as I've contributed to a few long, carefully assembled articles myself and have had to deal with newish editors just coming in and blasting away. But sometimes being that close to an article can blind you to the real impression it is making on the average reader. I don't think Jimbo can be blamed for feeling the article as it stands mostly reads as a suck up to those who idolize Guevara. Maybe the people you've worked with have, in the pursuit of what they saw as NPOV, toned down material detailing, for instance, Che's involvement in summary killings at La Cabaña. Although there's a sizable paragraph devoted to it, the writing simply doesn't convey how personally brutal the guy was, nor how the majority of those killed hadn't done much more wrong than simply participating in the Cuban society they were born to. I've felt for a while now that the best way to attain NPOV is to allow descriptions, mostly in the form of quotes, that convey the heartfelt convictions of all parties, in language that could never be called "weasely". This as opposed to the other primary technique to attain NPOV, which is to flatten everything out in one long dispassionate drone. JDG 09:22, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
"... the real impression it is making on the average reader." It depends upon who that reader is and what their motives are. I presume we can discount the Latin American scholars and archivists who I passed the article to who were very impressed with the standard, and wikipedia's ability to describe subjects like that - (Ironically, Jimbo seems to have shot down one of the best adverts for his own site due to his own POV!). We can also discount the 10,000s of people who have read this article previously and have not complained despite being on the main page, or the people who voted for it to be a featured article. "I don't think Jimbo can be blamed for feeling the article as it stands mostly reads as a suck up to those who idolize Guevara." Yes he can. He obviously hasn't read professional encyclopedic accounts if he thinks this is "a suck up". If Jimbo can find the below quotes in any other encyclopedic study of Che Guevara, it might be worth considering that he made some sort has a point. Until that moment, his interjection reads like the rantings of an ignorant and unhelpful partisan who is acting on some other motive that has yet to be ascertained, though will become clear eventually I imagine. -- Zleitzen(talk) 12:44, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

At present this article states the following. If these can be found in any encyclopedia entry for Guevara elsewhere, then Jimbo might have a point:

  • "Guevara was also feared for his ruthlessness, and was responsible for the execution of a number of men accused of being informers, deserters or spies."
  • "he oversaw the trial and execution of many people, among whom were former Batista regime officials and members of the "Bureau for the Repression of Communist Activities.."
  • "these were lawless proceedings where "the facts were judged without any consideration to general juridical principles" and the findings were pre-determined by Guevara."
  • "It is estimated that approximately 179 to 500 people were executed on Guevara's extra-judicial orders during this time."
  • "Guevara helped organize revolutionary expeditions overseas, all of which failed."
  • "he stated that, if the missiles had been under Cuban control, they would have fired them against major U.S. cities."
  • "Studies addressing problematic characteristics of Guevara's life have cited his principal role in setting up Cuba's first post-revolutionary labor camps, his unsympathetic treatment of captured fighters during various guerrilla campaigns, and his frequent humiliations of those deemed his intellectual inferiors."
  • "Guevara an authoritarian, anti-working-class Stalinist, whose legacy was the creation of a more bureaucratic, authoritarian regime"
  • "Che-inspired revolutions had the practical result of reinforcing brutal militarism for many years."
  • "Borba observed the many half-completed or empty factories in Cuba, a legacy of Guevara's tenure as Minister of Industries, "standing like sad memories of the conflict between pretension and reality"
  • "he is remembered by some as the "The Butcher of la Cabaña", a reference to Guevara’s post-revolutionary role as “supreme prosecutor” at the Cabana fortress."
  • "Che has been romanticized over the years, but there is a darker side to his story. He looks like a rock star, but he executed a lot of people without trial or defense."
  • "Guevara is shown casually shooting wounded Batista foot soldiers where they lie."
  • "public opposition which compared Guevara to Osama bin Laden and Adolf Hitler."
First: "It is estimated that approximately 179 to 500 people were executed on Guevara's extra-judicial orders during this time" is a downplaying of the matter by using the smallest available estimate. Guevara himself has been quoted as estimating the total number as being in the thousands.
Second: My complaint is primarily about the introduction to the piece. The body is a bit better, although it still displays bias by cherrypicking the claims to cover. The introduction should have, as a minimum, a paragraph describing how he is thought of today as "The Butcher of la Cabaña", and should include a reasonable range of estimates of the number of murders he committed in the brutal crackdowns that led to Castro's complete control of Cuba.--Jimbo Wales 16:49, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
Winston Churchill opening section doesn't mention some of his more negative names or that he authorised the gassing of the kurds. David Lloyd George doesn't mentional the "welsh goat" nickname at all. Nicknames and the like generaly only make it into the opening if people won't otherwise recognise the person (Peter Sutcliffe for example). A full paragraph in the intro? Joseph Stalin racks up 1 line for 20 million killed. The same with Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust.Geni 20:19, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
Well, then, it sounds like those articles could likely use some work too. I haven't looked at those articles, so I can't really comment. But I don't think it is particularly relevant to the fact that this article is biased and needs to be fixed.--Jimbo Wales 19:14, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Jimbo wrote on my talk page, "salient fact about him is that he was a mass murderer who committed his crimes on behalf of a dictator." Is this is the attitude to scholarship and neutrality Jimbo is advocating here? To even enter a debate on that level, before discussing the problematic details with Jimbo's first statement (which have been discussed ad nauseum previously using extensive reliable sourcing, to the point where we've been discussing names of victims), is to lower one's sights significantly, I believe. I note Jimbo hasn't addressed the challenge to produce a professional encyclopedia article that is more critical than our own. Despite this, our own formerly praised article is still deemed "cherrypicking", "downplaying", "horribly biased" and so on. So there does seem little point entering into a rational, factual, historical exchange here. Though Geni is correct to wonder why other articles on political figures far more destructive than Guevara have not been subjected to this kind of carry on.-- Zleitzen(talk) 21:20, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
I absolutely do think it is appropriate to talk about the salient fact that Guevara was a mass murderer who committed his crimes on behalf of a dictator. Indeed, those are the actions which made him notable and famous in the first place.--Jimbo Wales 19:14, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Sorry Jimbo, but that is just not true. Che Guevara is notable for his role in one revolution against a regime - and - having succeeded, his subsequent efforts to foment revolutions against a host of similar regimes in Latin America and the Third World. If he was so notable for the points you mention, you think Britannica, Encarta and so on would mention it in their leads, wouldn't you?-- Zleitzen(talk) 02:52, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
I have to express my disappointment with Jimbo here. He seems to be lowering the standard on NPOV discourse. I don't think any editor should come in with statements about a biography subject's "bloodthirst" without offering some sort of reference. Jimbo, do you have any references indicating that Guevara had a thirst for blood? Moreover, even given ideal references, I don't think we should use that sort of charged language or anything like that in an article. The introductions for articles on Tomás de Torquemada, Vlad III the Impaler, and Ted Bundy all downplay their bloodthirst. Wikipedia is about presenting facts, such as how many people died under Guevara's extra-judicial killings, not speculations on the psyche of a historical figure or graphic descriptions of their wrongdoings. I don't think including the nickname of "Butcher of la Cabaña" in the introduction is appropriate either. The nickname seems to be less than noteworthy: A Google search for "Butcher of la Cabaña" turns up 147 hits. In comparison, the less than popular nickname Dumbya for George W. Bush turns up 121,000.
It sounds like the phrase "Butcher of la Cabaña" should perhaps be removed from the article entirely, then.--Jimbo Wales 19:14, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
The "Butcher of la Cabaña" quote, which I added to the article if I recall, is important as it is encapsulates the sentiments of various Cuban exiles' vociferous opposition to the revolution. I don't believe such a quote is appropriate for the lead, however.-- Zleitzen(talk) 02:52, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
I think one of the best Wikipedia principles, even if not official, is "let the facts speak for themselves." Jimbo, if you think the intro here is biased by including a low estimate of Che's killings, then please provide some sourced estimates.--Bkwillwm 22:39, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
Bkwillwm, my problem with the intro is not that it is "biased by including a low estimate of Che's killings", but that his legendary brutality and advocacy (and execution) of extrajudicial killings in defense of the revolution are not mentioned at all in the introduction.--Jimbo Wales 19:14, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
I am sorry to sound so aggressive here, but I think both of you (Zleitzen and Bkwillwm) are... how can it be put?... psyching yourselves out on this topic (perhaps due to a severe "forest for the trees" effect), so that you don't even register the plain meaning and importance of certain key, highly sourced statements, along with the reality, of course, that those statements should convey. For instance, in 1962 Guevara was the #2 man in the government of a nation which suddenly harbored enough nuclear megatonnage and launch capacity to start an apocalyptic attack upon the United States. To my knowledge, we still don't know how much influence Castro and Guevara had with Khrushchev and his top people, but it's safe to say it was much greater than zero, as these two had just successfully lobbied for the shipment of the missiles in the first place. So this man who had a major influence in probably the weightiest decisions made on the planet to that date has clearly stated he exerted this influence in favor of annihilating ~25 million Americans at one stroke, knowingly igniting an all but locked-in series of counterattacks that would end with billions dead, civilization destroyed and the survivors earnestly looking upon those who were killed as the lucky ones. It is plain and obvious logic that tells the reader of these events: this man had to be possessed of a gigantic, pathological hatred and bloodthirst against the people living within societies he deemed "bourgeois" and "imperialist". In fact, it is difficult to establish a greater bloodthirst displayed by anyone in a position of eminent authority ever. Yes, Hitler accomplished 8 million or so non-combatant deaths and certainly wanted more; Stalin has been "credited" with up to 18 or so million and perhaps wanted more; Genghis Khan had his warriors kill hundreds or thousands of non-combatants after nearly every battle and certainly wanted more; Che Guevara lacked the capacity to order underlings to kill a large number of non-combatants, but in the one situation in which his hatred and bloodthirst could lead to the death of non-combatants he strenuously attempted to have 25 or 30 million killed outright and upwards of 2 1/2 billion killed in all probability, and there was simply no room for him to want more dead beyond that. And now, in the face of this uncontested history of Che and the Missile Crisis, Bkwillwm comes here and states "I don't think any editor should come in with statements about a biography subject's "bloodthirst" without offering some sort of reference." The reference is in the Daily Worker and in Castro's corroboration of that reference. There is also the largely uncontested reference of his actions at La Cabaña, where he put his bloodthirst into action exactly to the greatest extent he could. These are simple, thoroughly documented accounts of a mind matched in cruelty only by the first tier of historical mass murderers; Hitler, et al. Jimbo Wales is dealing with clear evidence on the simple plane of observable reality. His detractors on this page are caught up in some kind of funnel cloud of complexity, unable to just get free and deal with the facts on the ground. It seems they have been trying to mediate NPOV for so long with the insistent, loud voices of Che-idolizers ringing in their ears that they cannot now put those fact-proof fanatics to one side and write with a simple regard for historical accuracy. Obviously, if an editor with that regard comes along and asks why this plain legacy of bloodthirst, destruction and agitation for destruction on a planetary scale is being downplayed, the response is going to be full of talk about "levels of scholarship" and the need for references beyond the scores of references already collected... I'm hoping Jimbo chooses to make a little project of this, delivering one or two polished sentences for the intro encapsulating ultra-documented facts that show this man's insane inhumanity. JDG 00:24, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Currently every nuclear power other than China has a formal policy of retaining the right to a premptive nuclear strike. Are you going to argue then that most major world leaders are bloodthirsty?Geni 06:32, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
I think you mistook my point. I haven't seen any reference (by which I mean a citable source) that says that Che was "bloodthirsty." True, Che committed violence, but we can't assume he committed violence out of bloodthirst. He may have been extremely dedicated to a dogma and willing to sacrifice the lives of others (and himself) to realize his ideological goals rather than trying to quench a thrist for blood. Assuming Che committed and advocated violence because he was blood thirsty is original research unless you find an appropriate reference to cite. I also thinks you should not dwell too much on Che's Daily Worker quote on a nuclear attack against the US. He might have been speaking loudly because they took away his big stick. We probably won't ever know how true the statement was. We should let the statement speak for itself.--Bkwillwm 01:50, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
While Guevara was a self confessed killer, was he ever convicted in open court (one where he had proper representation) of murder? If not, then he is not a murderer. I feel it may balance the romantic bias to mention he did kill many people in the opening paragraph, but "murderer" is a legal term that should be used only under specific circumstances.
Also, re Che and Fidel being wicked for wanting to site missiles just off the US coast - the US sited missiles all over Europe pointing at the USSR/Soviet cities; are the past heads of Western countries also to be described as potential baby killers? Remember, NPOV works both ways... LessHeard vanU 12:51, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Be careful not to assume a straw man here. I have been (falsely) accused here of coming in with a POV, but basically I just want the article to be neutral, and it self-evidently is not at the current time. I have not argued that the article should describe Guevara as "bloodthirsty" or "potential baby killer" or "murderer". It should, rather, report neutrally on the well-documented and relevant facts about him. I think that any world leader (US, USSR, China, etc.) who would make a statement advocating the start of a nuclear war should (and would) have that mentioned in the article. It's quite a noteworthy thing to have said. So I am glad it is in the article and think it should remain.--Jimbo Wales 19:14, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Jimbo, the missile quote was added in March 2004 and has remained in the article ever since.-- Zleitzen(talk) 02:52, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
It was more a comment that the majority of English language sourced references are going to give an emphasis on the basis that the individual followed a Marxist Revolutinary ideology (which will likely be implied as bad) from which the taking of life of "innocents" will be deemed murder - as opposed to the more benign sounding collateral damage when civilians are killed by the forces of the Free World. For an appropriate NPOV overview the language chosen will need to be as neutral as the content. The term "murderer", outside of a conviction, is (IMO) an example of subjective language. Finally, the capacity to kill (in great numbers) is something that humans have nearly always invested in their political leaders. It isn't perhaps as noteworthy as it first appears.LessHeard vanU 20:54, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Jimbo, that's quite astonishing that you disavow coming here with a POV, yet in the very same edit you state "I absolutely do think it is appropriate to talk about the salient fact that Guevara was a mass murderer who committed his crimes on behalf of a dictator." You do understand that your word choice ("mass murderer", "crimes") does signal a certain moral stance that is I believe far from universally agreed upon? No? —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 22:18, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

JDG, I didn't see a single source in any of your comments, just a whole heap of opinions about "bloodlust", something about Hitler, and implications that other editors, who are merely following the line of all professional encyclopedias and 95% of other WP political biographies, are "Che-idolizers", "fact-proof fanatics" etc. Regarding the missiles, the Cuban party line, expressed many times, was that the missiles were to be used in the event of a full invasion - Castro expressed this in his famous letter the Khrushchev [9]. It had already been established here in the past that Sam Russell, of the British Communist Party,[10] is not the most reliable source on these matters, given the fact that by the time of Russell's comments, Guevara had already been smeared by the global Soviet propaganda machine (which included the Daily Worker) following his various attacks on the Soviet model. However, the Russell quote remains in the article as it should, and it was the main editors who rightly insisted on its inclusion. You haven't explained how you plan to "expand" on this comment. The only possible avenue of expansion is to note that it differed markedly from other statements made at the time by the Cuban leadership and was only revealed by a partisan Guevara critic.-- Zleitzen(talk) 15:21, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Of course you didn't see a single source in any of my comments. This is a Talk page... And you are now doing on this page what you have done in the article since 2004-- you assume there is nothing more to the Nuke-the-US quote than a ticked-off Che, fresh from being outmanuevered by JFK, just being a bit petulant with the Daily Worker reporter. Maybe you're right-- but just to go on your assumption seems to fly in the face of the scholarship you profess. If this quote was something more than that, can you tell me it doesn't deserve a mention in the intro? To assume "the only possible avenue of expansion" is in the direction of downplaying its importance is just not the kind of pre-judging I would expect on Wikipedia and just loops back to the matter of bias raised by Jimbo. JDG 14:25, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
John Major mentianed a policy of being prepared to nuke anyone any time for any reason. Nuclear weapons are not even mentioned in his article. Jacques Chirac's dirrect threat to nuke any state that was behind terrorist actions that hurt french interests gets one line in the entire article. So threats to nuke are not mentioned in opening sections. For Harry S. Truman who did order the bomb dropped there is a one line mention in the opening.Geni 17:02, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Geni-- I apologize. I have been meaning to reply to your other messages on this page for a few days now... Surely you must see how Guevara's statement was fundamentally different from any of these you mention here and in previous comments. I don't know Major's or Chirac's exact words, but whatever they were and however you have interpreted them, they could not have been on the level of Guevara's purely evil/insane intent that day in 1962. I know this because both Major and Chirac served many years without any red-alert nuclear brinksmanship going down, despite many incidents during their tenures that seem to match the criteria for nuclear attack that you assign to them. By contrast, we know that Guevara was using his influence to actually, then and there, let loose the missiles (not even in response to an attack nor even the threat of an attack, but to the threat of a passive blockade). These are very different things and occupy utterly different positions in any realistic moral spectrum... By the way, it might interest you to know that I believe Truman, his top aides (particularly Stimson) and in fact a majority of the American people went what I can only call "morally insane" in August of 1945. The dropping of those two bombs was just... what can I say? ... heinous and sick (and completely unnecessary). I simply can't explain what got into them at the time (I'm with Ike, who said "[...]the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing." in the 11/11/1963 issue of Newsweek). The nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki should occupy a majority of the Truman intro. JDG 05:22, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Removing the NPOV tag

To the many arguments against the tag above, I would add article quality–please don't just note that it's a Featured article–there are FAs and FAs–but note the glowing FAC review it got, with essentially the same lead as today. Also, a disagreement about the lead only, which seems to be what we have here, hardly warrants a general NPOV tag. How to formulate the lead in relation to the article as a whole is not a matter of what facts, opinions, or sources get included in the article, or of tone, but rather of Wikipedia custom and convention. As several people point out above, with salient examples, that custom is to keep the Lead crisp, concise, and encyclopedic, to go out of our way to avoid having it read as an opinion piece, to specifically, even, downplay graphic descriptions of wrongdoings (seen in the examples of how "articles on political figures far more destructive than Guevara have not been subjected to this kind of carry on").

Jimbo Wales is in fact no ordinary editor, and however much he may wish to temporarily assume that role, ordinariness isn't a quality to be donned at will. The proof is that the NPOV tag he placed is still there, in spite of the strong arguments against it on this page. Per the discussion above, and a good thorough read of Wikipedia:Consensus, I'm removing the tag now. Many cogent arguments–by fact (lack of sourcing), analogy (comparison with downplaying of killings, and notable absence of nicknames and graphic detail, in articles on other political figures), and statistics (unimpressive number of Google hits for the proposed phrase ""Butcher of la Cabaña") –against having the tag are offered by many users above, whereas two of the editors in favour of the tag, User:Jimbo Wales and User:Boricuaeddie, seem pretty much unwilling to engage in the discussion, reply to points made, answer questions, etc. There is only one user on the pro-tag side, User:JDG, who actually discusses. Please consider opening an article RfC, anybody who wishes to reinsert the tag. Bishonen | talk 18:29, 9 July 2007 (UTC).

Wow, Bishonen, I am really surprised to hear you say that I am "unwilling to engage in the discussion". What am I doing here, if not engaging in the discussion?
The NPOV tag belongs in the article because there is, in fact, a dispute about the neutrality of the entry. Please put it back until that dispute is resolved.--Jimbo Wales 18:56, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
I spoke of unwillingness to engage because when I wrote, your latest post on this page had been followed by seven substantial posts responding to you, addressing you, and asking you questions, and you had not replied to any of them. Actually, I had originally written something in recognition of the fact that responding might demand time you didn't have, but I didn't like the sound of it–there was something condescending about it–so I pared it down to "unwilling". Sorry if that was too brief to fit the case. I still think quite a few of those anti-tag posts, right above here, deserve and require thoughtful replies. If anything, more than mine does, since several of them are far more substantial than mine, and come from specialists in the subject, who have spent much time on the article. (I've never edited it before,as far as I can recollect.) No, I'm afraid I won't reinstate the tag. Every wikipedia page with a remotely political or religious angle would carry such a tag, if we're to follow a principle whereby a single editor gets to add it under the argument that "you can't remove it, because I disagree with what this article says." Even considering JDG's input, there is obviously not a generalized POV dispute about the Lead. It's the same Lead as when it was featured in March, and as far as a quick overview of edit summaries tells me, it has only once worn (been disfigured by–I disagree with you about that–think of what it tells the reader, rather than the editor!) such a tag for a couple of weeks since then, added by Ed Poor in April,[11] but apparently supplemented by insufficient discussion.[12] Considering the subject, there's surprisingly little call for an NPOV tag on this page. I think it's up to you to persuade people that it needs to be there, rather than up to me to put it back. Bishonen | talk 20:24, 9 July 2007 (UTC).
Jimbo Wales, my post is a bit outdated now that Bishonen replied, though I've decided to post it anyway:
(e/c)Perhaps Bishonen's statement was based on the fact that after your post @ 23:13, 7 July 2007 you didn't follow up until 18:56, 9 July 2007, almost two full days later, even though much discussion and speculation ensued in the tween, about what you (the one who tagged NPOV) wanted. Could she have assumed you'd be back? Perhaps. Was it equally reasonable to assume you were busy elsewhere and would leave it for the other editors to resolve? I think so. Peace.Lsi john 20:36, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
And I'd concur WP:BRD places the burden on you to justify your edit (tag). Peace.Lsi john 20:42, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
(Super EC)If nobody minds me commenting (I'll admit that I'm not actually an editor of this article, so feel free to ignore me without offending me)... I really don't understand the clear rationale for including the tag. For example, using the lower estimates on the number of extrajudicial killings? While although I can understand why you'd want to include all (reasonable) estimates, it seems like choosing a conservative figure isn't downplaying so much as refusing to sensationalize. Just say what you know. Let people speculate on what they want. Your stance on "The Butcher of la Cabaña" also confuses me.
First, you assert that it should be right in the lead ("The introduction should have, as a minimum, a paragraph describing how he is thought of today as 'The Butcher of la Cabaña'"). Then, when you find out that it's a somewhat obscure moniker, you immediately switch to saying it should be removed entirely (apparently ignoring the fact that the original context dealt with how he was known to cuban exiles, which makes the name less important for the introduction, but still very much notable, in terms of his legacy in Cuba). Can you see how it can be hard to follow your objections to the article when, when someone shows that you're entirely wrong about one part, you still don't seem to re-examine your overall position? (Personally, when I find out that my opinions on a subject have been largely influenced by incorrect information, I try to see if my opinion really should change) It just seems odd (and hard to understand) why you'd want the name to be either right in the introduction or not at all, rather than, for example, where it makes most sense?
And, terms like, "mass murderer" and "legendary brutality" really don't help to enforce the neutrality of the article.
Yes, there is some dispute over the neutrality of the article. But you've yet to introduce an objective, easy-to-address list of problems with it. You haven't really provided very much to work with. Beyond your desire to see him portrayed as a brutal mass murderer in the introductory sentence, and to have one of his names either included in the first paragraph or not at all, I honestly don't see the precise dispute here. As such, further discussion is absolutely warranted, and your issues should be dealt with once they're better explained, but putting such a conspicuous tag on the article, with no actual (fair) way to resolve the "dispute" doesn't seem entirely appropriate. Bladestorm 20:48, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Wait, what? people there is a reason for the N:POV tag on this article, as a latin user that has heavily contributed to pages about several countries, I find it slightly hard to admit it but the truth is the truth, I recon it might be somewhat hard to write an article about a revolutionary or a revolutionary group avoiding POV, hell I single handely cleaned about 3,000 kbs of POV on Boricua Popular Army, but the fact of the matter is that Che killed for what he believed in, and he was fierce about it. In my opinion the sadest part of this page is that as it stands is not even Featured Article material anymore, the introduction of POV here has been massive since it passed FAC but people only try to help when they feel their article is threatened, like somebody adding a POV, OR or cleanup tag instead of dealing with the mess before it goes out of control, need proof? "I posted a comment in a section above suggesting we reverted back to the original Featured Version above and it went unheard, when suggested that I tried to aboid exactly what is happening now, since the subject is dead there is not going to be a massive ammount of new information pouring in and whatever ammount of useful information that has been added since there can be easily readded avoiding hours of POV cleanup. - 03:22, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

(outdent)DDF, I don't think it's fair to accuse people of trying to protect the article just because they feel it's being threatened by constructive attempts. In this case, and in this very specific case, no strong arguments are being made to explain how the article has a skewed POV. For example, what are we supposed to do when Jimbo says the article is "deeply biased by the omission of the fact that he said" that he would've nuked the US, when it does include that statement? If the bias is based on the omission of information that is in the article, then how can we possibly solve that POV dispute? By removing it and then re-adding it?
How can we deal with an argument that flip-flops between saying that we should call him 'The Butcher of la Cabaña' right in the introduction (ignoring that it wasn't so notable a moniker) and that we shouldn't acknowledge the name at all (ignoring that it's still relevant in the correct context)? If both using it and not using it would be considered POV, then what are we supposed to do?
Trust me, there is no reluctance to address legitimate concerns. And there is no reluctance to cooperate and collaborate. But a NPOV tag really needs to be backed up with specific problems. Not accusations of omitting things that can be found by anyone who does a Ctrl+F for "nuclear" in the article. Not confusing arguments about how extra monikers are only valid if used outside their proper context. And not even your general assertion that, yes, "there is a reason for the N:POV tag on this article."
If you think it should address how 'fierce' he was, then just find some good reliable, notable sources that talk about his ferocity. But insisting that he be outright portrayed as a "mass murderer" of "legendary brutality", outside any quotes, is hardly going to get anything accomplished. In short, state the actual specific problems with the article, and let's address'em one by one. :) Bladestorm 03:42, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Ok, I didn't mean add legendary brutality to the lead, because that in my opinion is pov by itself, but it can be rephrased, say something like this: He was notable for the stregth of his convictions, to the point of being capable of executing or sentencing those who opposed them to death. of course this is just from the top of my head and I'm sleepy, I'm sure there are many ways of writting the content N:POV, god forbid we add the 'The Butcher of la Cabaña' line in the lead but a line detailing he was strong in his beliefs to that point is particulary informative, I think the problem here is just a matter of grammar. On another note there are some instances that have to be sourced as slight as they might seem, for instance:

During an interview with four foreign correspondents on 1 November, Castro remarked that he knew where Guevara was but would not disclose his location, and added, denying reports that his former comrade-in-arms was dead, that "he is in the best of health." Despite Castro's assurances, Guevara's fate remained a mystery at the end of 1965 and his movements and whereabouts continued to be a closely held secret for the next two years.

See? minor things that are probably covered by other references in the article but are unsourced, remember there are critics out there that judge Wikipedia's reliability on small things like this, in a controversial article we need to keep all that might be interpreted as POV or OR sourced, I think if we can focus our attention in this we can keep it where it is but my point avobe is still valid, for some reason in my opinion it seems that sometimes it takes a controversial template or FA review to get everybody's attention. But I must admit it makes me happy its getting all this attention even under the circumtances. - 04:09, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
To be honest, tying the killings to the strength of his convictions seems like even that would have to be sourced. It might be better to simply say that he was known for putting his enemies to death, or something to that effect. But, that isn't really a POV issue, so much as an issue of... what's the word... breadth? As in, I think something to that effect would be a good addition, but it isn't necessary to leave up such a conspicuous tab for something like that. Similarly, you're absolutely right that that section should be cited. But that's what we have the {{cn}} tag for. :) Bladestorm 04:40, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps, the many instances of minor pov on the article can probably be resolved with a few refs, some {{fact}}/{{cn}}s or one {{OR}} can probably replace the current tag, the thing is there is work due here. For the part about the lead we can probably wait for more opinions on how to add this, but it should be added. - 05:01, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
This is utter bunkem. Whatever remains unsourced in this heavily sourced article, which is virtually nothing, is extremely well known to anyone who has a basic knowledge of Che Guevara's life and can be easily sourced. As for the comment: "the introduction of POV here has been massive since it passed FAC" - this is clearly untrue and one only need check the diff of the nominated version [13]. Which beggars the continued question, does anyone who has descended here lately have anything serious, constructive, or truthful thing to say about this article or its history at all?-- Zleitzen(talk) 07:42, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
You do realize that the mayority of people interested in reading the entire piece didn't researched his life, right? The pov is usually removed, I didn't say there is a massive ammount left, but there are instances of unreverted edits, lastly don't assume bad faith. - 09:06, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Just to provide an example of such there is this line that was introduced post FAC: A key figure in pop culture worldwide... can you really prove he is a key figure worldwide do the people in Samoa or Papua New Guinea know him? any proof? like I said before it is a matter of grammar, a line added here and there that went unnoticed and with time accumulated, capiche? - 09:19, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
So the example of how biased and unsourced this article has become since FA well over a year ago, is the very recent introduction of the statement "Che Guevara became a key figure in pop culture worldwide"? I don't particuarly like the wording and would remove it myself, but does it in any way justify this carry on? Incidentally, Che Guevara's iconography and methods were an an influence in Papua New Guinea on the Bougainville Revolutionary Army in their fight for independence,[14] as they were in most colonial/post-colonial struggles of the late 20th century. He is certainly a key cultural figure in every continent on the planet, but as we can't yet prove that he is a key figure cultural figure on Somoa, Maurtitius or Easter island, perhaps you're right and the editor that added that sentence was wrong.-- Zleitzen(talk) 10:28, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
I wasn't the one that added the tag originally, I just reverted it until this is settled, and even proposed a few choices to deal with the "murderer" argument above. I never said it was biased, what I meant in my statement above about it getting pov edits on a daily basis didn't mean all that pov is still in the page, it rather meant that some pov has slipped past the editors and remained there for some time wich resulted in people posting complaints about it not being "encyclopedic anymore", in the process I proposed to revert back to the Featured Version of one year ago to avoid having to pick every line to see if someone added something questionable, please don't consider me a obstacle in the way of improvement as I have always worked to improve the Latin American pages. - 10:45, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
"Worldwide" doesn't mean "for every person in every country in the world" or even "in every country in the world", it means "not provincial" and if that is a statement likely to be challenged then it should be cited, though personally I don't think that is the case. In that statement "key figure" is the more problematic as it assigns him a ranking of sorts. Who are the other key figures and how were they decided?
With regard to bias, I think the problem is not that the article is not NPOV (if you have people arguing from both sides that it is biased one way or the other then that's normally a fairly good indication you've hit the middle ground), but rather that the lead is doesn't encompass any controversial material at all. It tries to avoid the charge of bias by not including or even hinting at controversial material. I'm don't know whether that was a conscious decision, but it fails because as well as providing an introduction, readers want the lead to summarise the entire article. Readers like Jimbo who "know a salient fact about him is that he was a mass murderer who committed his crimes on behalf of a dictator" will be surprised to find no hint of that in the lead, just as others will be surprised to see no mention of him as the "most complete human being of our time" or as an almost religious symbol of the Cuban Revolution, despite these aspects being covered in the article proper. They aren't looking to see that nothing is mentioned about his personality or individual acts, or that the lead operates as a very high level overview (the entire Cuban Revolution is covered in six words); they notice the things they expected to see aren't there and immediately cry "Bias!". They want what they think is important highlighted in the lead regardless of its scope. That can't be done of course, but as it stands the lead is a chronology of his achievements, rather than a summary of all aspects the article. I think one or two lines on the analysis of his character would rectify that (though I recommend not selecting Jimbo's "salient fact" for that purpose). Yomanganitalk 11:56, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

DDF, I know that you had absolutely the best of intentions when you restored the tag. However, the tag doesn't mean that there are disagreements. It means that there's a significant dispute over neutrality (or lack thereof). You're addressing very good points, but they don't really have much to do with the overall neutrality of the article. I won't remove it myself, out of respect for your cooperative efforts, but I'd really encourage you to remove it, but still continue with the discussions.
To address some of what you brought up, Yomangani, I do think that DDF had, essentially, a good idea with the notion of including that he killed those who opposed him (or had them killed. same dif). Though I wouldn't want to phrase it in a way that likened him to Hitler (no, that isn't a confirmation of Godwin's law), I also wouldn't want to phrase it quite the same as in my example above (hence my not making the edit myself). Actually, if you don't mind, I think I might create a section break?

How to address killings in the introduction

Though it would, of course, be extremely POV to call him a mass murderer of legendary brutality (outside of quotes) right in the introduction, the killings do seem to still merit inclusion.
The issues to address are that we don't want to downplay them, but we also don't want to sensationalize them to the point of presenting specifically an "anti-che" POV. It seems like we have two options then.

  1. We address the fact that he had his opposition killed. We don't call it mass-murder, and try to avoid "extrajudicial killings", as those tend to be somewhat loaded terms to avoid, particularly right in the intro. But there's nothing stopping us from addressing the killings. I'd prefer to directly tie the killings to his 'strong convictions', simply because it sounds somewhat apologistic(is that a word?). Maybe something to the effect of, "He was known for having those who opposed him put to death", or, "He was known for responding to opposition with violence, sometimes death." (okay, so that last one might be a bit corny) We may even try to come up with a sentence that connects the fact that he was summarily executed, just as he'd had others similarly put to death (A way of addressing extrajudicial executions without using a buzzword).
  2. We find some quote from a very well-known and notable (but not overtly biased) person who spoke of the killings. For example, some well-known politician, statesman, etc must have talked about the killings. You can be at least a bit more harsh if we're presenting it as a sourced quote, rather than our own personal beliefs.

As far as the unsourced stuff is concerned, I'd rather not rely on the fact that people particularly educated about che would know it to be true. Ideally, I think it's best to source anything that could reasonably be questioned by a person who doesn't have a disproportionate amount of knowledge of the topic. That doesn't mean sourcing everything... but still... So, DDF, can you find all the statements that you think should be sourced, and either add {{cn}} tags to them, or include them here? (or both?) Bladestorm 15:10, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't think the term "opposition" is appropriate as, in the USA and UK, that denotes the party in a democracy that is out of power. The political opponents that Guevara had killed were from the previous administration. As I understand it, this would follow Marxist Revolutionary practice; the execution of the preceding bourgouis masters. Therefore it could be written that he "killed many thousand supporters of the previous regime, in accordance to his revolutionary principles"? LessHeard vanU 21:38, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Heh. Actually, 'opposition' is also a term in our canadian parliament. :) Anyways, I almost like that, but... I was under the impression that it wasn't absolutely accepted that to definitely have been thousands? (Or am I mistaken?)
Could it perhaps be changed to "killed hundreds, if not thousands, of supporters of the previous regime, in accordance to his revolutionary principles"? That way, it doesn't make too strong of an assertion beyond what is known, but still acknowledges that there are many who believe it was more. (btw, how do other editors here feel about that one?) Bladestorm 22:09, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
It would really rather depend on how solid your sources are for "thousands".Geni 22:50, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Well, I personally don't have any at all. :) But I'm just assuming that Jimbo does. (Assuming he can come up with pretty nifty sources, are you fine with that phrasing?) Bladestorm 00:15, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
I have been busy all day so I logged in kind of late, I'm currently checking my watchlist for vandalism before going to sleep, so I will add the tags when I log in tommorow with a pair of fresh eyes, cheers. - 01:33, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
If there are two contradictory sources for the numbers (has anyone checked the body of the article?) then it could always read "...hundreds (ref), if not thousands (ref), ...". LessHeard vanU 21:06, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
That sounds like the best way to do it. But that requires getting Jimbo's source on the thousands number. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to have returned in the last two days. DDF, do you think you might be able to find a source for this? (or... uh... the other editor on jimbo's side? I'm sorry, but I forgot your name) Bladestorm 21:11, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
I've asked Jimbo at his talkpage if he can provide refs... LessHeard vanU 21:38, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
Jimbo is well out of line. The lowest known estimate of Guevera's 6 month tenure as "supreme prosecutor" is 179 from the Florida based Cuban archive project (sourced on the article) which is funded by Cuban exiles. Mainstream scholarship, also sourced here and on the daughter article, puts the figure at around 500-550. These occurred after trials - mainly for war-crimes against the Cuban people 1952-1958, albeit the trials clearly failed most legal standards. It should also be noted that the role was imposed on Guevara by Castro in the first weeks of Jan 1959, and he took it reluctantly. This is all sourced in the two articles.-- Zleitzen(talk) 23:20, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Heh... Yeah. Me dumb. :)
I was going to use "killed hundreds of supporters of the previous regime, in accordance to his revolutionary principles" (with the expectation of adding ", if not thousands," once a reference was found), but... then I realized that I don't have a beginning for that sentence. :) So... how do we start that sentence? "During his tenure as supreme prosecutor"? Do we just use, "He "? (We don't need a perfect solution for now, just something so the deaths are addressed in the introduction. We can tweak it later, if necessary) Bladestorm 03:45, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Um... "Following the overthrow of the Batista regime, and his appointment as ??? by Castro..."? Is there anything in the main body of the article that can be paraphrased? LessHeard vanU 12:35, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
If the killings are to be addressed in the lead it is not sufficient to merely address the killings. Picking a single controversial event from his life to characterise him in the lead is biased, however unpleasant we may find it or however you try to phrase it (in addition "in accordance with his revolutionary principles" is sourced from where exactly? The best source I can see for that is an interpretation of his own comments). If this approach is taken then the lead needs to be expanded to address other signal events in his life. A better approach in my opinion is to add a line or two directly after the opening sentence summing up the extremes of view with regard to his character. This is easily sourced from the legacy section, and doesn't rely on editorialising around the events.
I reverted the attempt to include the sentence on the killings which claimed "without trial or defense" as that would have to be cited to Andy Garcia's interview with NewsMax and I think we can probably do better than that. The trials may have been for show only but more reliable sources mention that they existed (see footnotes 27 and 28). Yomanganitalk 14:42, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
Garcia's comments, though I added them to the article, are false. There were trials and a defense, in fact some of these trials are amongst the most famous in Cuban history, and can be viewed in newsreels. The comments are only interesting because the encapsulate a recurring (false) point of view of the Cuban revolution, which is why they were included, but they should not be given anymore coverage than they already are.-- Zleitzen(talk) 15:05, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
Ok, so why revert the entire edit? Improve instead of revert. Why not simply remove the "without trials or defense"? Wholesale revert does nothing for forward progress. Peace.Lsi john 16:18, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
As I stated above, in my opinion reverting the entire edit is improving the article, as I don't think it should be included. By the way, you don't seem to be following WP:BRD as you claimed in your earlier edit. Yomanganitalk 16:27, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
If I mis-read the objection then I'll self-revert. I was bold, you reverted and objected to a specific part of the wording. As I read it, you objected to the 'without trial or defense.' So I did not restore that part. Peace.Lsi john 16:31, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
The goal is to come up with some wording that mentions the deaths. If it is NPOV, then it is a fair bet that pretty much nobody will be truly happy with it. Peace.Lsi john 16:33, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I'm objecting to the inclusion of the specific events at La Cabaña without introducing some balance by the inclusion of other important events in his life. I'm not talking about a balance of "good Che" v "evil Che" but a balance of the coverage of the activities in his life. There would be no need to editorialise: if the other important events were to establish a pattern of ruthlessness and bloodthirstiness at the expense of all other qualities then it would be self-evident, but the selection of a single event to cover in detail when the rest of the lead operates at a high level doesn't give that necessary overview of his character. The title of this section would be better as "Whether to address killings in the introduction" as that doesn't presuppose the necessity of including this one particular aspect. For the record, in my suggestion that we just include something on the differing viewpoints in the lead I was thinking of something along the lines of (and this is just along the lines of): A controversial figure, he is reviled by some for his ruthlessness, brutality and "excessively aggressive quality" and adulated by others as the embodiment of the Cuban revolution. The killings could certainly be included as an example of the first viewpoint if necessary, but they require a balancing example or to be set in a wider context. If he was nothing more than a bloodthirsty mass murderer we wouldn't be having this discussion. Yomanganitalk 17:10, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

(outdent) I'm just about convinced that we're not reading the same intro. The entire intro is full of the events in his life. In contrast with your objections, the current intro almost makes him out to be the reincarnation of Ghandi. The text I added, barely addresses any aspect of brutality, and certainly doesn't include anything suggestive of bloodthirsty mass murderer. I'm sure you agree that NPOV doesn't mean we offset every negative with a positive. So I'm wondering, with the current lead, why you feel one simple sentence that states a fact about execution of 100's needs to be mitigated. Peace.Lsi john 17:47, 12 July 2007 (UTC) My offer to self-revert is still on the table, but please give me something to work with. Peace.Lsi john 17:50, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Oh sorry, I didn't realise the offer would have further conditions attached ;). The lead is full of events in his life but at a very high level. It doesn't mention events that would be at the same level of granularity as the executions, therefore just including them does bias the intro. Why not mention his speech to the UN or the Battle of Santa Clara? The fixation with including the killings rather than these other details mean we are making a judgement about what defines him. As I said before, the lead is currently a chronology which attempts to avoid controversy by ignoring controversial events. I don't think that is good because it paints a picture of somebody your mother might have over for dinner (though we might call her naive for not reading the rest of the article before issuing the invitation), but randomly selecting a single fact to attempt to rectify that situation doesn't rectify it. Yomanganitalk 19:28, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

If I may, would it sufficient to add an extra sentence to the beginning of the third paragraph - something like "Guevara became a leader among the rebels, respected by his comrades in arms for his courage and military prowess, but feared for his ruthlessness."? The lead section is inevitably a very boiled-down version of the rest of the article, and some editorial judgement has to be exercised: some things have to be left out in the summary, but including others may give them undue weight.

Guevara's ideology clearly led him to perform some acts that most would condemn, but surely it is not really our role as an encyclopedia to praise or to condemn: we just report the facts in as neutral a manner as possible and allow the reader to draw their own conclusions.-- !! 18:03, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

I think that is the right sort of idea, but the scope is probably too narrow, unless we add similar statements throughout the lead which may look a little hamfisted. Yomanganitalk 19:28, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but we're trying to work something into the lead that reflects his .. um.. less desirable traits. To do this in an NPOV manner, you wouldn't water it down with how much his comrades respected his courage and military prowess. NPOV means you 'fairly' reflect the viewpoint, it doesn't mean you balance it with something lovey dovey in order to get a neutral statement. If the viewpoint we want to reflect says he was a ruthless bastard, then the statement should simply say he was a ruthless bastard. (I'm not saying thats what we're trying to reflect. But I'm pretty sure NPOV means.. say it.. don't dilute it.) Peace.Lsi john 19:50, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
With respect to the objection of specificity; the statement currently in place is rather non-specific. It is a rather undetailed statement that seems to be in keeping with the rest of his 'career' outline. Peace.Lsi john 19:54, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
I've attempted to clear up your added statement in the article. But it now looks pretty daft to have this 6 month role, which was greatly overshadowed by numerous dramatic episodes in Guevara's life, hanging around. Yomangani is entirely correct with his reading of the article.-- Zleitzen(talk) 23:35, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

The problem in a nutshell

Jimbo's argument is POV because what is his bloodthirsty extra-judicial killings, are other's duly judged death sentences by military tribunal.

This can certainly be solved by looking at what the reliable, verifiable sources tell us:

Verifiability over truth
wasn't Jimbo who came up with that?

Everything else is WP:SOAPBOXING, plain and simple.

--Cerejota 06:45, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

You're wrong. If Jimbo's on a soapbox, you're on another one just as tall. You basically say "one man's bloodthirsty extra-judicial killings are another man's duly judged death sentences by military tribunal". So how is the former man POV and the latter man NPOV? You say to go to the sources. But two reasonable men studying the same uncontested events will come to radically different characterizations. Why is your characterization NPOV?... Well, I'll tell you: your characterization is not NPOV. And I'll tell you the real reason one man (Jimbo) studies the events and comes to one characterization and why another man (Cerejota) studies the same events and comes to another characterization: it is that the former possesses an ethics rooted in common sense and mercy, and that the latter possesses a relativistic ethics rooted in demagoguery. JDG 18:03, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
It really isn't necessary to start talking about where editors' ethics are rooted.
And, for the record, our characterizing him either way lacks neutrality. Though he may, indeed, have been a mass-murderer, we can't use that phrase. It's a word that's best to be avoided when it isn't absolutely necessary. (Much like I wouldn't suggest calling certain world leaders "terrorists", even if a very strong case could be made for it) We can talk about other notable sources characterizing him that way. We can talk about what's factual: that he had people killed. Whether it was murder or for the good of blah-blah-blah isn't for us to characterize. Present the facts. Include notable opinions when appropriate. And dismissing one editor's opinions because they have no ethics, or putting undue weight on another's because they're pious and infallible isn't going to accomplish anything. Content, not contributer. Bladestorm 18:11, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

JDG: Please cool down. I didn't argue, as you say, that either of the two positions was NPOV. You can contrast two views without having to support either. I ask you apologize for putting words in my mouth, and for your personal attack of calling me a demagogue. I am deeply hurt by your callous treatment of a fellow editor that you have never met, know nothing about, and yet you choose to misrepresent and call names.

Bladestorm is completely right in his comments and I fully agree with him.

Jimbo does have a point in speaking about balance issues, but he fails as an editor (and is disingenious in his claim to being simply an editor) when he soapboxes his view on facts without backing them up with reliable and verifiable sources. He might be right in his comments, but again, we are about "verifiability not truth". --Cerejota 22:55, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Cerejota-- please accept my apology. I was getting caught up in my "this man, that man" line of thought, but I should have kept the "men" completely abstract. You are right-- I don't know you, other than a single opinion I disagree with... On the other hand, please let's not overstate what I wrote. Intimating that someone's ethics may be relativistic, etc.,. is not equal to a profanity-laced personal attack. I don't agree that I sank to the level of "calling names"... Also, with all respect, I must disagree with your latest comment on Jimbo. What you don't seem to be registering here is that Jimbo and others do not need to find additional "reliable and verifiable sources". As they say in legal circles, everybody is "agreed as to the facts". It is our varying characterization of those facts that is causing this trouble. You, Bladestorm, Bkwillm, Zleitsen and others choose to characterize, or quote those who characterize, the La Cabana killings as barely outside the judicial/law-enforcement norm. Jimbo, Dark_Dragon_Flame, Eddie, I and a few others would emphasize the extra-judicial aspect more than the article currently does. JDG 23:14, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
It wast the comparison I found offensive, it was the demagogue part. I am a rational human being who assumes that others is wikipedia also are rational human beings. I feel no need to reduce myself to demagoguery, and being accused of such for simply pointing out wikipedia policies on content is an insult beyond the pale, bordering on the uncivil.--Cerejota 05:01, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
Um... are you sure you want to include me in either list? I believe I phrased it something like, "had those who opposed him killed"? Something like that? I merely objected to using buzzwords like, "mass-murderer", or talking about "legendary brutality" outside any sources.
Incidentally, I don't mean to attack or badger you, but just a note: I'll actually be far less offended if someone calls me a stinking pile of garbage than if they were to question my ethics or integrity. (I'm not saying you meant to do either. I'm only addressing whether or not talking about ethics is in the same realm as personal attacks) Bladestorm 23:20, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
I compare the "to the wall" retribution period in Cuba 1959 to the French chaos of 1945. I do that because that is how scholars, international observers and the media described it at the time. I've read a few of the trial notes of the period, some of them were fairly legitimate, some of them deeply spurious. All of them were under a shadow of mass public, popular demands for justice from Cubans against the previous regime. Watch this. -- Zleitzen(talk) 23:29, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

JDG, I again ask you stop the mis-characterization of my views. I have stated my views and they have absolutely anything to do with taking sides on a POV war. I simply commented that any characterization we do of any event must come from reliable and verifiable sources. You lump me with a set of editors without any evidence and in complete contravention of what few words I have written here. It is obvious you are not listening to your fellow editors and just soapboxing.--Cerejota 01:00, 12 July 2007 (UTC)


Just thought I would point out, while its popular to refer to Guevara as a doctor he dropped out of school and while here that would make him unable to take any title in that time and place he could take the title of medic, not doctor. 15:54, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

If you look at the only records ever produced they indicate a medics education, though this was a similar but lesser medical degree at the time. Also reference Ernesto Che Guevara: Mito Y Realidad , by Enrique Ros (ISBN: 0897299884). Gtadoc 16:12, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Response: I think your label as a doctor depends on where you practice. In America and perhaps Argentina, he may have been limited in practice, but in the presence of the peasantry in the mountains of Cuba, and in the nomadic band of freedom fighters he traveled with, I'm sure his knowledge of medicine(at whatever level) was welcome. I would argue that if your understanding of medicine surpasses that of the society around you (due to lack of health care representation)and people begin to come to you for medical assistance, then you are the doctor for that community. The legacy of "Che" in Cuba has inspired many to pursue medical degrees, and Cuba exports more doctors for humanitarian work than anyone in the world. They produce more doctors per capita in the world. Not a bad role model for someone that was "just a medic."

I agree, it was impressive, more so even if we call him by what he was, that he was appreciated and served as a role model is actually hightened by the fact that he chose to do so instead of finishing his education. Gtadoc 22:44, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

And that outweighs the five sources saying he was a doctor how? --John 16:17, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
Have you actually read them, and have you the ability to determine if the education mentioned qualifies him as a doctor or a medic? It doesn't seem like the authors of those sources do either. As for the number I'll add more when I'm off work today. Gtadoc 16:20, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
Guevara qualified from medical school in March 1953, but would only have been able to practice as a junior until 3-4 years of field work. After that time he could call himself a doctor, not before. This has been much discussed previously. I think you've have misunderstood the Anderson source you added to the content note, it was the Guatemalan Unions that stopped Guevara working as a foreigner because he refused to join the Communist party. This is explained and sourced in the article.-- Zleitzen(talk) 23:12, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

I realize it was probably discussed earlier, and I suppose taking it out of the article all together could be a solution; he never completed the field work (clinical work), and it wasn't just going out and working as a medic but really completing an internship that he needed to do (he essentially had what we today in medical school refer to as the basic science years). I realize that he was stopped from working by the union in Guatemala, however, he wasn't qualified to work as a doctor in Argentina in the first place; I'm not familiar enough with Guatemala's system to know if the same applied there (for a modern example, many Cuban "medics" are considered "doctors" in some Latin countries). Its interesting though that the other sources say he finished his medical education but never point out that the words have different meaning than what we assume today in the USA or UK and result in a different terminal degree if not followed by clinical education. I don't think it really degrades the people who support the Che, if he did do what the supporters claim then it was because of his ability not because of any educational background. Gtadoc 00:53, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for clarifying, that's interesting. --John 03:32, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

The tag needs to go.

DDF, I think you'll agree that, while although there's still work to do, that work doesn't reflect an overt lack of neutrality.
Currently, jimbo's missing. I assume he'll be back, but he never properly explained the tag last time either. As things currently stand, there are no specific neutrality problems being pointed out. As such, I think it's time to remove the tag, but continue with the work.
I'll wait for DDF's reply before removing it. (Or, of course, for the presentation of actual neutrality issues, if those come first)
But if DDF, or anyone else, doesn't come up with a specific neutrality issue, beyond the fact that the tag encourages discussion, I'm going to have to remove it. Bladestorm 21:15, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

After reviewing my opossition I figuerd that the problem present is more of grammatical in nature rather than a matter of Point of View, the only remaining matter is the addition of the "killings" wich happened and should be mentioned regardless of the ammount of people murdered. I would attend some of these personally if I had the time, if it extends a few days more I can probably cooperate but at the moment my time here is very limited as a result of several real life issues. - 01:25, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't think removing it will help at all. You can belittle all the debate here as useless discussion brought on by the tag's existence, but maybe it is really a sign of a serious lack of consensus. This lack will remain regardless of what you do with the tag and will show itself in some other way shortly... I just re-read the intro a few times and came away feeling the solution is one additional sentence at the end of the current first paragraph. This sentence doesn't need to label Guevara a mass-murderer, bloodthirsty or anything else. But it should express the strong passions from several points on the political spectrum regarding both the man's actions and what he was perceived to stand for, being careful not to leave out the views of those who loathed/loathe him, if for no other reason than that they were/are very numerous. JDG 03:29, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
JDG, I don't know if I should even address that. I think that discussion with DDF is generating positive progress. However, the plain and obvious fact that you've neglected to address is a specific POV dispute, which still has yet to be explained.
There's no way to 'resolve' a dispute where one side is apparently unwilling to explain that side.
If you have a specific problem, then bring it up. If it still isn't addressed, then there will be a dispute. Since DDF believes it's primarily a grammatical issue, I'm going to remove the tag now. BTW, DDF, how do you feel about just putting in 'hundreds' for now, and then augmenting it with, "if not thousands" after that reference is found? That way, the fact that there were killings can be addressed without having to wait for that last reference. Bladestorm 03:35, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
This is very unsatisfactory. The original objections probably had more to do with the intro than the body. You want to make a minor change in the body and call it a day... I won't "tag war", but something tells me this is very temporary. JDG 03:44, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
Huh? I thought we were discussing that sentence for the introduction? Because it doesn't mention the killings? Bladestorm 03:47, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
Oh, I thought you were talking about the body... This sentence seems too specific for the intro. The best comment, I feel, in all of this was made by Yomogami (sp?) above. If you review that and build a sentence for the intro accordingly, I think that would at least justify removal of the tag. JDG 03:51, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

(outdent) You mean, about saying that he had his opposition killed? Can you suggest a specific phrasing? (We can try constructing both versions, and see which people like best) Bladestorm 03:57, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Well sorted, another POV issue

Firstly, the added sentence in the lead looks good, and in my opinion is fully appropriate and covers the point properly. Having had a look at Britannica (2004 DVD), its article doesn't mention these killings at all, let alone lead with them, but this mention is appropriate for this much more detailed and informative article.
However, looking through the article, there does seem to be a NPOV issue with the descriptions of the "Batista regime" and the "government of Fulgencio Batista". My small encylopedias/biographical dictionaries (Chambers and Collins) all describe Batista as a dictator. Britannica gives more detail, saying in its lead that in 1952 Batista returned "as a dictator, jailing his opponents, using terrorist methods, and making fortunes for himself and his associates." The detail describes him as returning "as a brutal dictator, controlling the university, the press and the Congress, and he embezzled huge sums from the soaring economy." The article on Che describes him as joining an "attempt to overthrow the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista". In my opinion that is a much more appropriate description, and "Batista dictatorship" should replace "Batista regime" in the lead. Similarly, the first paragraph of the Cuba section should change from "overthrow the government of Fulgencio Batista" to "overthrow the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista". The fact that Castro's regime was a dictatorship should not obscure the point that it replaced a dictatorship. .. dave souza, talk 10:26, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

My only reservation is that a dictatorship infers only the dictator themself (i.e. Batista) or the small immediate cadre. The term regime covers all those who co-operated, supported and benefited from the dictatorship. Since the contested figures for those executed then it is obviously members of the regime that were involved, and not the individual and immediate political colleagues. LessHeard vanU 18:44, 15 July 2007 (UTC)\
Good point. My concern is that there should be some indication in the lead for those who don't already know that they were overturning a dictatorship: my suggestion would be to change from "Guevara joined Fidel Castro's... Movement, which seized power in Cuba in 1959. ... executions of... officials of the deposed Batista regime." to something on the lines of "Guevara joined Fidel Castro's... Movement, which seized power from the dictator Batista in Cuba in 1959. ... executions of... officials of the deposed regime." The recommendation for the Cuba section remains as above. Hope something on these lines can be agreed. .. dave souza, talk 20:44, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
I agree to the rewording as proposed. Since only we two are talking about it do you want to wait for further comment, or do you propose being bold? LessHeard vanU 21:20, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, have done so after waiting for the page to stabilise a bit. .. dave souza, talk 09:55, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
Ok, I'm going to make some changes to the intro, at the moment its laughably flowery and needs to mention persecution and imprisonment of certain groups considered undesirable. I'll be finding sources and modifying it, feel free to make your own additions. Also, it seems the article relies a lot on sources that prefer to glamourize than accurately report so I'll be trying to balance that as well. Gtadoc 16:04, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
I like the phrasing used in this version, though I'd prefer to see a citation for each of those claims. Bladestorm 16:13, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't particularly like it as 1)it tries to imply that those on trial actually did things wrong, which it seems some did but many didn't 2) its uses a lot of pov langauge to try to justify the trial 3) it doesn't mention anything about people not connected with the previous government. 4) its all unsourced and tries to put a positive spin on things. I also want to see something about the prison/labor system that was set up for political adversaries or groups of people that they just didn't like or approve of. Gtadoc 17:12, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
(just to check, you do know that I'm talking about the reversion that you set it to, right? Because I'm not seeing where they imply the guilt or innocence of those killed) Bladestorm 17:17, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
Lol, no, I just saw the other one in the link; yeah, I like mine too :) and i'll be trying to add sources to my statements as well, I was refering to my problem with the previous edit. Gtadoc 17:41, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

<undent> The reference in the lead to the dictator Batista had been removed in adding his military title, so I've restored it to now refer to "the dictator General Fulgencio Batista's regime". For references if needed, [15] or [16] should be suitable. .. dave souza, talk 22:06, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

What che was not...

Che wasn't a medic... he's even said he never cared for medicine...what the hell type of article is this??? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bassman600 (talkcontribs) 23:20, July 11, 2007

OK - how about President of the Central Bank, then ? Economist ? (Che - economist - I thought you said communist !) -- Beardo 00:46, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
The "medic" description was simply to indicate what he was educated as; I agree that for the most part his life followed a different path than medicine. I suppose in the end what he was comes down to be what he was to you as an individual, for some he was a hero and a revolutionary, for others he was a mass murderer. Gtadoc 00:56, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Actually, he did practice medicine for some time even during the revolution, he tended to the sick. The fact is, he was a doctor. Not mentioning this, rather than mentioning it, would be problematic. Irrer 10:01, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
Che Guevara practiced medicine in some capacity from entering medical college to his death. It is mentioned throughout the article. Though completing medical studies - allowing him to practice medicine - he didn't gain the formal field work required to be identified as "a doctor" in the way we understand it. Hence there was no Dr Ernesto Guevara. When the first paragraph describes him as a doctor, some soul comes along once every few weeks and disputes this, others are so confused they deny that Guevara even studied medicine etc. Better to leave as "as a young man studying medicine..." and have the diploma & details sourced in the article. -- Zleitzen(talk) 13:24, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
He did study medicine, and did practice as a medic; he was not, however, a doctor, even in the connotation of those times. I do agree "as a young man studying medicine" is a good description...although I'm going to put back in sources that indicate what his diploma really was, as the current ones try to give a false impression. Gtadoc 19:24, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

So your basically telling me that im wrong and that im a disturbed soul. well, see, since wikipedia is based off "professional sources" i cant just put a video up here of people who fought next to "el che". these people claim that he never even cared for medecine. you are more ignorant than you think, since when does a "doctor" go and kill so many people and still be remembered as a "doctor". you just like the man because he was "the almighty rebel!"

ignorance still murders user:bassman600


"...when does a "doctor" go and kill so many people and still be remembered as a "doctor"..."

I would refer you to Josef Mengele, and Harold Shipman. The article mentions Guevara took medical studies. It is an indication of his intellectual and educational capabilities, and also gives an insight to his social and economic background. LessHeard vanU 19:50, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
Although I do think it should be noted that he left his studies early in order to pursue what he thought to be a different future. Gtadoc 01:12, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Pop Icon

Should the fact that he's become some sort of cultural/pop icon really be attributed to him? I think rather, this facet of his fame is something that is quite antithetical to all that he believed in. Shouldn't this be discussed in another, perhaps, minor section at the end, rather than at the beginning, of the article? Irrer 10:04, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Che Guevara became a cultural/pop icon whether he was antithetical or not. It is mentioned frequently in the article and there are links to a whole spin off article which discusses this.-- Zleitzen(talk) 13:24, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't know but i am editing now wearing a Che Guevera shirt. The shirt was made in Asia. I bought it in Europe and i am wearing it in Africa. Che lived most of life in the Americas. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 13:33, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
Ohhh. Irrer is a sock of User:Mariam83? OMG! What a small world! -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 13:36, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

His name was Ernesto Guevara

Someone has requested a citation for changing the lead and infobox to state that his name was "Ernesto Rafael Guevara". Presumably such a citation will never be found since his name was not "Ernesto Rafael Guevara" but "Ernesto Guevara". His father's name was Ernesto Rafael, which may perhaps be the source of the continuing confusion on this issue which we have visited and re-visited here on the Talk page numerous times. The definitive source for establishing the fact that his name was "Ernesto Guevara" is his birth certificate, a copy of which anyone who wishes to see it can view in one of the archives of this Talk page by clicking on the following link: -- Polaris999 17:18, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

...Declaró además. Nothing follows. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 18:22, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
Porque no declaró más nada.
I.e., nothing follows because it's a form and his father, who was filling it out, left those lines (following "Declaró además") blank because he didn't have anything more to declare in that particular section. -- Polaris999 18:41, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, that was my point. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 19:28, 16 July 2007 (UTC)


I see a true statement which I added to the lead, sourced to Jon Lee Anderson but borne out by numerous scholarly sources has been reverted and replaced by a false statement sourced to Enrique Ros, former Florida shock-jock, long time anti-Castro campaigner who had Orlando Bosch write the opening to one of his books. The latest editor simply reverted the whole sourced note which best explained the post revolution era in La Cabana and added some nonsense about "social minorities". I presume this editor is getting confused with the mid-late 60s period of repression which had little to do with Guevara. This article is now disintegrating into farce, but that could have been predicted.-- Zleitzen(talk) 19:03, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Replace your sourced statement, but keep the other one. That is how NPOV is served, since WP makes no claim as to which is true but only to that which is verifiable. LessHeard vanU 19:47, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
What? NPOV isn't served by completely replacing a reliable well sourced statement from a neutral source with an unreliable/POV source which itself appears to have been misunderstood and badly represented. -- Zleitzen(talk) 13:46, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Where did I say replace? I said keep them both. I suggest that neither you or I are the best judges of how reliable the other source is. Let the readership decide what it wants to read.LessHeard vanU
You're treading on dangerous ground if you believe that all sources are equally reliable. Wikipedia does have some policies about this. See WP:RS: "Claims not supported or claims that are contradicted by the prevailing view in the relevant academic community." Silly rabbit 19:36, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
No source is equally reliable, but we are talking politics (and other countries/societies politics at that) not scientific or academic themes. "Reliability" is itself open to bias when it comes to politics. Once that is accepted, then the discussion moves onto "how is this best presented" rather than "should this be presented". LessHeard vanU 20:51, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
"Little to do with Guevara" is the farce, in fact numerous sources attest that he helped set up a system that persecuted gays, land owners, political rivals, etc. Zleitzen keeps putting in pov statements that try to glamorize or justify Che's actions. I suppose how it is right now is a fair compromise, it mentions little of the injustices perpetrated by Che but does keep out the pov wording that tried to say he only went after people with bloody hands from the previous regime, which is utter nonsense. Gtadoc 20:22, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, but this is just atrocious. How dare you claim that I've added POV to this article when you've come along and added false sentences to a featured lead using citations from Florida radio commentator Enrique Ros. How dare you say that attempts to save this featured article by citing serious historical records - that can be borne out by years of detailed historical study - is "trying to glamorize or justify Che's actions." When did Guevara set up a system that persecuted gays etc? Presumably you mean the UMAP re-education camps set up in the mid 60s that had nothing to do with Guevara. You have yet to produce a single source for your statements beyond some vague unreliable Enrique Ros citation which you then turned to imply that Guevara was executing homosexuals in La Cabana. This is just crap. -- Zleitzen(talk) 13:46, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
So, put it back in. This reference says that, another reference says another. Just consider that those who think Guevara a hero possibly believe that your references are crude Commie bashing, just as you believe that theirs are romantic foolery. Let's have them both and let the reader decide which they want to click. Remember, Wikipedia is neutral.LessHeard vanU 21:05, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
This has nothing to do with people who think Guevara is a hero and people who do not. This is about historical accuracy. I do not like Guevara. I think he was a ultimately an unwelcome and naive egotist. But there are not "two opinons" on the well documented historical facts here. The reference added by Gtadoc is not in any way related to Guevara's spell at La Cabana, and anyone with the most basic knowledge of the subject would dismiss it instantly.-- Zleitzen(talk) 13:46, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Just for the record, I don't see too many "Che is a hero" references. I think you may have misinterpreted WP:NPOV a bit. The neutral point of view must also be balanced against things like reliable sources. When a source is obviously biased (like the Enrique Ros reference), it should be handled with care. The article should not present all sides as if they carried equal weight (see WP:UNDUE). What we have here is one reference, the Jon Lee Anderson version, which is widely held to be a definitive scholarly biography, and another reference which is from a biased minority viewpoint. It's fine to give that viewpoint, but to represent it as if it were a factual majority view is ludicrous. It must be made clear that this is not a mainstream view, and not from a recognized authority. Silly rabbit 21:17, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I was referring to when a person is written about in a way to justify or glamourize actions that even viewed in context are clearly immoral, I wasn't saying it actually was as direct as you infer. Also, there are many, many first hand accounts, and texts that quote them; yet most in the current article don't. As far as I see the majority view includes that he was brutal, yet that is left out somehow by people claiming that its a biased minority viewpoint. So where is the bias then? In the selective way we're portraying him? Gtadoc 03:14, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I am saying that the selected Ros reference is biased, written by an outspoken critic of the Cuban government. The Anderson reference is widely recognized as authoritative. We need to be careful when using controversial references such as Ros, since for every blatantly anti-CG reference, there is going to be a blatantly pro-CG reference. If we go down this route, then the page will spiral out of control unless a real compromise can be reached.
My impression is that the article does represent the view that he was brutal. Of course, it can't say "He was a bloodthirsty, brutal, savage barbarian who drank the blood of his victims," now can it? Nor can every line of the article be steeped in the "he was brutal" sort of language. His brutality is documented in the appropriate sections, isn't it? In short, the page does not leave me with a warm and fuzzy feeling about the guy. You obviously think he was horrible and brutal. But then you should ask yourself, aren't you viewing the page through a definite "Point Of View"? Silly rabbit 13:09, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't see how wanting to have a SINGLE WORD in the intro is any way comparable to saying "He was a bloodthirsty, brutal, savage barbarian who drank the blood of his victims." Besides, my issue was more with the additions to the intro trying to justify his brutality by claiming all the victims of it deserved what he had coming (as in a previous edition byZleitzen that tried to claim all of his victims were political thugs or criminals from the past regime, when many weren't even "officials" at all. I was happy to simply remove that paragraph and have a word in place that indicated it was more than just officials from the previous government that suffered. The current version, for example, calls them war criminals...thats exactly what I've been talking about, and its not appropriate anywhere in the article much less in the intro.Gtadoc 14:59, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I also added back the npov tag as the origional argument over it seems to have just been ignored; and due to the blatant attempts to include pov language in the intro. I offered a compromise that some editors seemed to like but it was simply reverted w/o discussion. Gtadoc 15:33, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
You were trying to push a POV reference into the lede. If you somehow feel that Enrique Ros is less biased than Jon Lee Anderson, please provide an indication as to why. Otherwise, you have no leg to stand on in this dispute. When you have a serious reference supporting your POV, then you can make your case for a content dispute. Otherwise, you are just making noise and being generally disruptive. Silly rabbit 15:50, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I've been reading this talk page for quite a while now, ever since Jimmy Wales slapped a POV tag on the article and subsequently opened a can of warms. To me it seems unfair and unconstructive to accuse people like Zleitzen of POV-pushing. Isn't it a better idea to come up with a list of references you think adequately describe the fact that the individuals executed by Guevarra were not only suspected war criminals? The current source only mentions "war criminals", any other interpretation is just that; interpretation. You say you've inputted a lot of reference material regarding this, but due to the high number of reverts and deletions it's unclear which references you mean. Could you (Gtadoc) post a list here, so that other editors can examine the material, reach consensus over inclusion and then change the intro accordingly if necessary? menscht 15:52, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I will as soon as I have time; to start I've briefly looked at the 4 other notable biographies, none of which assert that he tried and executed only war criminals; I had used other sources as well earlier but they were deleted. Also, I'm sure if I included sources that rely on first hand accoounts like Alvaro Vargas Llosa I'd still be blamed for pov pushing. There is no dispute that Anderson idolized Guevara, and while he also brings up negative points in it he tries to justify Che's actions. I'm thinking of rewriting that sentence to mention Anderson's contention while also mentioning others like Llosa, who quotes an eye witness and participant that "I remember especially the case of Ariel Lima, a young boy. Che did not budge. Nor did Fidel, whom I visited. I became so traumatized that at the end of May 1959 I was ordered to leave the parish of Casa Blanca, where La Cabaña was located and where I had held Mass for three years. I went to Mexico for treatment. The day I left, Che told me we had both tried to bring one another to each other’s side and had failed. His last words were: “When we take our masks off, we will be enemies.”" In multiple works he goes on to discuss how many innocent people died, many without trial while the Che was quote "having a lot of fun'. Also, already cited in the article and giving contrary renditions: "Executions at La Cabaña fortress under Ernesto "Ché" Guevara". Document written by José Vilasuso (in which he says witnessed the events and that they were told everyone was already guilty before the "trials" even began, the trials a rubber stamp to execute anyone even suspected of being against Fidel and Guevara), and Courtois, Stephanie et al. The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression. Harvard University Press, 1999. Even per the source Anderson more contends that the people were accused of being criminals, spies, etc. rather than saying they actually were. I was happy to compromise and say "political officails and opponents" but others would have none of it. Gtadoc 16:29, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Also though I haven't checked in detail "Armando M. Lago, Ph.D., Cuba. The Human Cost of Social Revolutions" citing many were killed (giving names even) w/o process of law or concern for guilt or innocence. Also Armando Valladares, who survived torture and imprisonment, his contention that many were political prisoners and/or prisoners of conscience and that Guevara took particular interest in incarcerating idiological opponents. It seems theres enough other sources to warrant the contention that calling them (as if a fact) all war criminals is not appropriate. Gtadoc 16:46, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
And in case one wants a "Che supporting" source in New Politics Magazine Samuel Farber states "it cannot be ruled out that there were innocent people whose execution could have been avoided had Che been a revolutionary with different politics. It is also possible that some Batistianos may have suffered punishments quite disproportionate to the offenses with which they were properly charged." and "Perhaps arguments could be made to justify, or at least to provide extenuating circumstances, for his behavior at La Cabaña. No legitimate arguments can be made to defend Che's principal role in setting up Cuba's first labor camp in the Guanahacabibes region in western Cuba in 1960-1961, to confine people who had committed no crime punishable by law, revolutionary or otherwise. Che defended that initiative with his usual frankness:
[We] only send to Guanahacabibes those doubtful cases where we are not sure people should go to jail. I believe that people who should go to jail should go to jail anyway. Whether long-standing militants or whatever, they should go to jail. We send to Guanahacabibes those people who should not go to jail, people who have committed crimes against revolutionary morals, to a greater or lesser degree, along with simultaneous sanctions like being deprived of their posts, and in other cases not those sanctions, but rather to be reeducated through labor. It is hard labor, not brute labor, rather the working conditions are harsh but they are not brutal...(p.178)
Clearly, Che Guevara played a key role in inaugurating a tradition of arbitrary administrative, non-judicial detentions, later used in the UMAP camps for the confinement of dissidents and social "deviants": homosexuals, Jehovahs Witnesses, practitioners of secret Afro-Cuban religions such as Abakua, and non-political rebels. In the 80s and 90s this non-judicial, forced confinement was also applied to AIDS victims. " Gtadoc 17:04, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
"I've briefly looked at the 4 other notable biographies, none of which assert that he tried and executed only war criminals". That is a ridiculous statement. All serious historical accounts of the La Cabana trials - which occurred under Guevara's appointed supervision Jan 1959-July 1959 (reluctantly I might add, Guevara didn't want the job) - discuss that they were for suspected war crimes. Do I need to wheel this clip out again for educational purposes? Later, after Guevara had left the role, and Castro had gained more power, Castro ordered various dubious executions for "counter-revolutionary" activity over the decade. Many, many, more dubious imprisonments occurred during that time of major upheaval and ongoing civil war. In the mid 60s, as the Soviet grip tightened, Cuba experimented with a Soviet style labour camp scheme for "social deviants" that was modified 3 years later after an outcry from just about everyone. Guevara was half way round the world by then and had nothing to do with it. And none of this has anything to do with Cuba's forced hospices for AIDS sufferers in the late 1980s which were abandoned in 1991 but played an important part in keeping Cuba's AIDS epidemic the lowest in the Western Hemisphere. It would take some kind of imagination to link this to Che Guervara and all of this has been either deliberately or unwittingly mixed up to give a wholly false impression.
Your various cited views, the anti-Communists Farber and Alvaro Vargas Llosa, are radical opinion pieces and largely without any historical merit. In stark contrast to Anderson (of whom your characterisation is pathetic), Thomas, Castenada and so on who form the basis of academic understanding of this subject and this article. However, your points are already in the article in some form. I know because I edited them into the article. However, as they are so radical, they are in the legacy/criticism section and briefly covered where they belong. To add this kind of stuff to the lead is like highlighting David Irving in the Holocaust article. But it seems that is the way this article, which had been highly rated by consensus and from off site experts on the matter, has been heading since Jimbo's interjection. -- Zleitzen(talk) 18:13, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
So what is considered a "serious" historical account is only the ones you've approved of? Actually, in the biographies I looked at 2 were cited by Anderson, 1 was written almost right after the event, and 1 was more recent but what you would probably call "radical" (read, concervative). Anderson himself says that he had an infatuation with Che and described it as being common to biographers. I suppose his own opinion is "pathetic" as well. If you can't make your arguement w/o personal attacks on editors then that should clue you in to any event, several sources I listed are already cited in the article, others document first hand accounts. Further, I find it interesting that you call Llosa a radical (though I knew you would) as he was firmly on the liberal side for a long while. I'm not sure why you're talking about AIDS (other than it was part of a larger quote) as it seems the persecution from the time of Guevara and after mostly focused on homosexuals and idiological opponents, though I suppose you'd like to deny that as well. In any event, there are numerous sources that state that more than just war criminals were executed, including innocent people, and many more that state that people were often charged as such w/o any serious consideration for a fair trial. And, if my points are already in the article in some form, why do you insist on contradicting them in the intro with your own radical version? (oh, and to note, the points are also in the "Cuba" section, where they rightfully belong as well, but somehoe left out and contradicted in the intro). It seems to me that the article can only be credible if it pushes your pov, and others, including first hand accounts, are not worthy of inclusion...? I've offered a compromise in the wording, which you consistently refuse to even consider; its clear that your claim that the people were war criminals is controversial at best and has no business in the intro. Gtadoc 18:35, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Being somewhat new I'm not sure what the big tado is about, a small change of a few words that seem to make the wording less imflammitory? The current version by John seems reasonable. Fmehdi 19:01, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

(edit conflict)We are witnessing a pov war between two intractable opposing view supporters. Neither wants the others contribution in the lead and only their own. My suggestions that there should be language which reflects both contentions (and that NPOV allows two - or more - different viewpoints rather than just neutral text) is being generally ignored. It may be my fault, I might be typing too fast. LessHeard vanU 19:37, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Actually LessHeard vanU I'd happily accept if you wanted to reword it to include both, and I apologize if I missed your sugesstion that we do so. I suggest something similar earlier but was told "There are not two opinions" so I was focusing on not leaving out what I felt was by far the more neutral one. Gtadoc 19:48, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Apology happily accepted; I believe there will always be more than one opinion even between people who agree. I wish you luck in finding a good mediator/third party. LessHeard vanU 20:45, 19 July 2007 (UTC) User:Dave souza was the third party I referred to. He was very able a few sections above. User:Bladestorm seems capable, too. LessHeard vanU 20:47, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

NPOV tag

I am not understanding, despite having read through the arguments above, why the NPOV tag should be on the article. Since Jimbo originally placed it there but has not provided WP:V and WP:RS sources supporting the tag, cannot others who support his position come up with the properly sourced references to support Jimbo's contentions? This dispute is wasting an enormous amount of editors' time when the dispute can be resolved through the proper citations methods that are Wikipedia's guidelines and policies. Sincerely, Mattisse 19:32, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

  1. ^ Testimonio de Zoila Rodríguez García, novia de Ernesto Guevara en Sierra Maestra; incluido en el libro Che entre nosotros(1992), de Adys Cupull y Froilán González
  2. ^ U. S. Central Intelligence Agency, "CIA Biographic Register on Ernesto 'Che' Guevara". Online, accessed July 12, 2006."Commander of one of the largest of the five rebel columns (Column 4), he gained a reputation for bravery and military prowess second only to Fidel Castro himself."
  3. ^ Anderson pp. 269-270, 277-278.