Cuban-born actor Andy Garcia is urging wannabe leftist fashionista rebels to stop wearing T-shirts depicting the image of Ernesto 'Che' Guevara because they remind Cubans of terrible times.
Garcia, who left Cuba when he was five, said, "I'd be curious to go around and ask [young people] how much they really know about Che."
"Some people wearing the T-shirt don't even know his name. They know he's some sort of revolutionary, and to wear his image is cool because you feel like a revolutionary." The irony is that the Marxist-socialist Che has become a best-selling Capitalist icon on t-shirts, mugs, and posters.
Garcia accepts that Guevara is blindly seen as a hero-rebel to many young Che groupies who have no idea he founded labor camps in Cuba, condemned (without trial) thousands to execution by firing squads, and inspired hundreds of thousands in Latin America to die in various revolts.
Guevara, born in Argentina, helped Fidel Castro overthrow General Batista's corrupt government in a guerrilla revolution in the late 1950s. The leaders of the Cuban revolution wanted a democratic-socialist direction but alas, got Castro as a dictator instead.
"Someone told me the other day that they asked one of these people if they were aware of all the executions that Che was a part of in Cuba," Garcia said. "And the guy said, 'Well, I don't know if that's true, as if it had been made up to discredit him.'I wish you could say it was made up because that would mean that all those people didn't die under his thumb. That's the tragedy."
Garcia has a controversial new movie out called "The Lost City" which has been banned in parts of South America because it depicts the Marxist guerilla leader in a bad light.
Garcia, who wrote, directed and stars in the film, says, "There have been festivals that wouldn't show it. That will continue to happen from people who don't want to see the image of Che be tarnished and from people who support the Castro regime. He still has a lot of supporters out there. Some people think Castro is a savior, that he looks out for the kids and the poor. It's a bunch of hogwash."
"In the 45 years since Castro came to power, Cuba has been in the top three countries for human rights abuses for 43 of those years. People turn a blind eye to his atrocities."