President Barack Obama's visit to Cuba is humiliating on many levels, as The Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro explains here, and one of the reasons involves a photo of Obama standing with a mural of Ernesto "Che" Guevara:

Leftists are probably excited about this photo. Guevara has been portrayed as a revolutionary icon among the left, as rock stars, college students and athletes proudly wear T-shirts displaying Guevara's face in vain attempts to act like they're cool, hip and in tune with today's culture. In reality, Obama and other leftist fanatics are lionizing a bloodthirsty, power-hungry tyrant who is responsible for the murder and destitute misery of a significant number of a Cubans. To elaborate on this further, here are five reasons why Obama's photo with Guevara's mural is a disgrace.

1. Guevara was a communist thug with a lust for power. To understand the sick, twisted mind of Guevara, one must take note of his ideological roots. The Independent Institute's Alvara Vargas Llosa describes Guevara as having "the predatory urge to take over other people’s lives and property, and to abolish their free will":

In 1958, after taking the city of Sancti Spiritus, Guevara unsuccessfully tried to impose a kind of sharia, regulating relations between men and women, the use of alcohol, and informal gambling—a puritanism that did not exactly characterize his own way of life. He also ordered his men to rob banks, a decision that he justified in a letter to Enrique Oltuski, a subordinate, in November of that year: “The struggling masses agree to robbing banks because none of them has a penny in them.” This idea of revolution as a license to re-allocate property as he saw fit led the Marxist Puritan to take over the mansion of an emigrant after the triumph of the revolution.

The urge to dispossess others of their property and to claim ownership of others’ territory was central to Guevara’s politics of raw power. In his memoirs, the Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser records that Guevara asked him how many people had left his country because of land reform. When Nasser replied that no one had left, Che countered in anger that the way to measure the depth of change is by the number of people “who feel there is no place for them in the new society.” This predatory instinct reached a pinnacle in 1965, when he started talking, God-like, about the “New Man” that he and his revolution would create.

Naturally, Guevara eventually became "infatuated with the Soviet Union" after "years of training in Mexico" and becoming a part of the armed insurgency against the regime of then-Cuban President Fulgencio Batista. According to French historian Pascal Fontaine, Guevara once wrote to a friend, "My ideological training means that I am one of those people who believe that the solution to the world’s problems is to be found behind the Iron Curtain."

"When the would-be revolutionaries were arrested in Mexico in 1956, Guevara was the only one who admitted that he was a communist and was studying Russian. (He spoke openly about his relationship with Nikolai Leonov from the Soviet Embassy.)," writes Llosa. "During the armed struggle in Cuba, he forged a strong alliance with the Popular Socialist Party (the island’s Communist Party) and with Carlos Rafael Rodríguez, a key player in the conversion of [Fidel] Castro’s regime to communism. This fanatical disposition made Che into a linchpin of the 'Sovietization' of the revolution that had repeatedly boasted about its independent character."

Guevara became one of the key figures in forging a Soviet-Cuba alliance that resulted in Cuba becoming a "nuclear beachhead" for the Soviet Union, resulting in "the introduction of forty-two Soviet missiles, half of which were armed with nuclear warheads, as well as launchers and some forty-two thousand soldiers." The love affair between Guevara and the Soviet Union eventually ended when Guevara became disillusioned with what he perceived to be the Soviet Union's penchant for compromise, and instead turned to worshipping the iron fist of Mao Ze Dong's communist regime in China.

2. Guevara was a cold-blooded murderer. Being a tyrannical fanatic, Guevara relished the opportunity to inflict pain, violence and death towards enemies of his precious revolution. Here is Guevara in his own words, via World Affairs Journal and National Review:

  • "A revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate."
  • "We will bring the war to the imperialist enemies’ very home, to his places of work and recreation. We must never give him a minute of peace or tranquility. This is a total war to the death."
  • "Hatred as an element of the struggle; a relentless hatred of the enemy, impelling us over and beyond the natural limitations that man is heir to and transforming him into an effective, violent, selective, and cold killing machine. Our soldiers must be thus; a people without hatred cannot vanquish a brutal enemy."
  • "If the nuclear missiles had remained, we would have used them against the very heart of America, including New York City…We will march the path of victory even if it costs millions of atomic victims…We must keep our hatred alive and fan it to paroxysm."
  • "I ended the problem with a .32 caliber pistol, in the right side of his brain. . . . His belongings were now mine."

The last quote is taken straight from Guevara's diary and is referring to his murder of Eutimio Guerra, a Cuban army peasant who served as a double agent as he provided the Cuban army with key information on Castro's armed insurgency during Cuba's revolutionary war period.

Under the Castro regime, Guevara was responsible for running La Cabana Fortress prison for five months, where Guevara oversaw executions. According to National Review's John Fund, "More than 100 journalists, businessmen, and followers of the previous regime faced death by firing squad at La Cabaña, under Che’s jurisdiction." Judicial process was virtually nonexistent when prisoners were sentenced to death, as Guevara referred to proof as "unnecessary" because it was "an archaic bourgeois detail."

Guevara admitted to ordering thousands of executions at La Cabana in one year–which he would watch with glee from his office as the firing squad destroyed the lives of his victims–and it is believed that he would finish off any survivors with the use of his own gun.

Author Humberto Fontova described the execution of a mentally disabled boy to highlight Guevara's twisted, evil mind:

Rigoberto Hernandez was 17 when Che's soldiers dragged him from his cell in La Cabana, jerked his head back to gag him, and started dragging him to the stake. Little "Rigo" pleaded his innocence to the very bloody end. But his pleas were garbled and difficult to understand. His struggles while being gagged and bound to the stake were also awkward. The boy had been a janitor in a Havana high school and was mentally retarded. His single mother had pleaded his case with hysterical sobs. She had begged, beseeched and finally proven to his "prosecutors" that it was a case of mistaken identity. Her only son, a boy in such a condition, couldn't possibly have been "a CIA agent planting bombs."

"FUEGO!" and the firing squad volley shattered Rigo's little bent body as he moaned and struggled awkwardly against his bounds, blindfold and gag.

National Review's Jay Nordlinger interviewed Felix Rodriguez, a Cuban who used to work for the CIA and was the last man to see Guevara alive before he was executed by the Bolivian government, and Rodriguez relayed the following story on Guevara's cruelty:

He remembers meeting a woman some 30 years ago, whose son had been executed at La Cabaña. He was 15 years old. She went to the fortress to beg for his life. Guevara received her. This was on a Monday. He called an assistant and said, “When is this prisoner scheduled to be executed?” On Friday, he was told. The prisoner’s mother thought Guevara was going to grant a reprieve. Instead, he said, “Get him and execute him now, so his mother doesn’t have to wait until Friday.” She fainted. Says Rodriguez, “He was a very, very cruel man.”

3. Guevara subjected numerous Cubans to concentration camps as well as the inhumane conditions of La Cabana. According to Nordlinger, Guevara established forced labor camps that evolved into concentration camps where "countless citizens–dissidents, democrats, artists, homosexuals–would suffer and die."

Fontova quotes a Cuban exile who noted ironically that if Guevara's leftist admirers had taken their supposedly rebellious stances against the Castro regime, they would have been "jabbed in the butt by 'groovy' bayonets when they dared slow down and perhaps getting their teeth shattered by a 'groovy' machine-gun butt if they adopted the same attitude in front of Che’s militia as they adopted in front of those campus cops" in Guevara's labor camps.

"This is the gulag," Nordlinger writes.

In La Cabana, those who weren't sentenced to death were subject to grimy, inhumane and tortuous conditions. According to World Affairs Journal:

“It was a sweltering place without a bathroom. Gays were not treated like human beings, they were treated like beasts. They were the last ones to come out for meals, so we saw them walk by, and the most insignificant incident was an excuse to beat them mercilessly.”

And he writes about the prison system’s crushing of his colleague in letters Heberto Padilla. “[He] was locked up in a cell, intimidated, and beaten. Thirty days later he emerged from that cell a human wreck. The night [he] made his confession was unforgettable. That vital man, who had written beautiful poetry, apologized for everything he had done, his entire previous work, throwing the blame upon himself, branding himself a despicable coward and traitor. He said that during his detention at State Security he had come to understand the beauty of the Revolution… Padilla not only retracted all he had said in his previous work but publicly denounced his friends and even his wife.”

4. Castro and Guevara plotted to launch a 9/11-esque terrorist attack against the United States. Fontova writes in a column at Townhall providing evidence that Castro and Guevara had attempted to launch a deadly terror attack against the U.S. that would have involved "a dozen incendiary devices and 500 kilos of TNT" used on Macy's, Gimbels, Bloomingdales, and Manhattan’s Grand Central Station on Black Friday in 1962. Fontova puts the horror of Castro and Guevara's terror plot in perspective by pointing out that in 2004, al-Qaeda used 100 kilos of TNT that injured and murdered nearly 2,000 people in Madrid, Spain. Castro and Guevara were planning to use five times the amount of explosives used in the Madrid attacks in areas where thousands of people were going to be cramped together as they fought to purchase gifts for their loved ones. Fortunately, the FBI was able to quash the terror plot.

"Had those detonators gone off, 9/11 might be remembered as the SECOND deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil," writes Fontova.

5. The first black president is standing with a mural of a man who has a history of virulently racist statements. Guevara has a history of espousing racist statements towards blacks. Here are some of them, via The Commentator:

“The blacks, those magnificent examples of the African race who have maintained their racial purity thanks to their lack of an affinity with bathing, have seen their territory invaded by a new kind of slave: the Portuguese.”

“The black is indolent and a dreamer; spending his meager wage on frivolity or drink; the European has a tradition of work and saving, which has pursued him as far as this corner of America and drives him to advance himself, even independently of his own individual aspirations.”

Guevara did later condemn racism after the Cuban revolution, which suggests that his views on race were politically expedient. It's ironic that Obama, himself a race-baiting president, would stand with a mural of someone like that.

The most disgusting part of Obama standing with a mural of Guevara is that the Cuban-Americans who escaped the tyranny of the Castro regime have to see the president of the free world posing for a picture with a mural of one of the chief architects of the bloodbath that tore apart their families and their country.

"Practically every day, we turn on our televisions or go out to the street only to see the image of the very man who trained the secret police to murder our relatives—thousands of men, women, and boys," writes Fontova in the introduction to his book The Longest Romance: The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro. "This man committed many of these murders with his own hands. And yet we see him celebrated everywhere as the quintessence of humanity, progress, and compassion.”

Now, the leader of the free world is standing with Guevara. Disgusting.