The Iconography of ‘Che’ Guevara Continues to Arouse Passions

Spenser Rapone at his graduation in 2017. (@punkproletarian)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 22 June 2018 — Ninety years after his birth, Ernesto Che Guevara remains one of the most controversial historical figures. This week, a few days after the celebration of the anniversary of his birth, his image has once again aroused anger among his biggest detractors.

This Thursday night, a bust of Guevara was destroyed by a strong explosion in Caracas. The sculpture, located on Avenida Bolívar next to the Nuevo Circo passenger terminal, was completely destroyed, presumably because of an improvised explosive device.

The local press has published images that show the empty space previously occupied by the sculpture, which served as a meeting place for pro-government rallies and tributes to the memory of the heroes of the revolution and communism.

The agents of the intelligence service, Sebin, and the Corps of Scientific, Penal and Criminal Investigations (Cicpc) are investigating what happened.

The bust of Guevara in Caracas appeared last night in a thousand pieces. (@DanielBlancoPz)

The event coincides with the expulsion of a cadet from the US Army after he displayed a communist symbol on his Twitter account.

Spenser Rapone published on social networks photographs of his graduation in West Point where he is wearing a red T-shirt with the face of Guevara, and another in which he raised his fist and rotated his hat, adding: “Communism will win.”

The events occurred last year, but it is now that he has been expelled.

Rapone resigned on Monday after receiving a previous reprimand for “improper conduct of an officer.” The Army carried out an investigation in which allegedly, the cadet said, it was discovered that he had posted online to defend a socialist revolution and belittle high ranking officers.

The young man said goodbye with the tweet of an image in which he said goodbye offensively, raising his middle finger, at the entrance of Fort Drum, with the text: “One last greeting.”

Rapone, 26, who claims to have embraced communism in Afghanistan, has encouraged soldiers to lay down their arms if they “are willing to stop serving the agents of imperialism in a revolutionary movement.”

West Point said, through a statement, that the actions of the former officer “in no way reflect the values of the United States Military Academy or the United States Army.” Marco Rubio personally called the secretary of the Army to eliminate Rapone from the officer ranks.

Greg Rinckey, a lawyer specializing in military law, told the Associated Press that the military academy may request reimbursement of Rapone’s education cost because he failed to meet the five-year total service obligation required upon graduation.

Rapone, who plans to speak at a conference on socialism in Chicago next month, has said he is aware of the consequences of his actions. “Of course my military career is dead, on the other hand, many people came and showed their support.”


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