GLENN: You know, last episode, we learned that Stalin's horrific intentional starvation of the Ukrainian people, called the Holodomor, the mass starvation which claimed between seven and 10 million people in just one year. It's amazing that such an atrocity is largely hidden from our textbooks and absent from historical conversations.
Unlike Stalin's hideous cleansing, the carnage of another mass murderer lie within our periphery at all times. Pop culture has embraced this genocidal dictator, so much so, that you actually see Che Guevara's face everywhere. As the editor in chief of Reason.com, Nick Gillespie explains...
VOICE: There's the famous T-shirt. It is so famous, in fact, that you can buy T-shirts that have images of the T-shirt on it. Che's image, it sells beer, it sells lighters, it sells belt buckles, it sells baby onesies.
GLENN: But is that who Che really was?
VOICE: One of the things that is fascinating about the cult of Che, is that it effectively thrives in the absence of any kind of historical understanding.
GLENN: For example, look around at an anti-war rally, and you probably see Che.
VOICE: Che was a self-taught revolutionary, who was instrumental in Castro's takeover of Cuba. He became known as the butcher of Lackawanna (phonetic) Prison in revolutionary Cuba, where he personally oversaw the execution of anywhere from 175 to several hundred people. He's complicated in thousands of deaths that come after that.
VOICE: Author of Exposing the Real Che Guevara, Humberto Fontova explains...
VOICE: Fourteen thousand men and boys were executed in Cuba during the 1960s. He said that his dream was to become a killing machine. He said to his revolutionary comrades, if they weren't sure of someone's loyalty, if in doubt, kill him. These are the royalties that we need to understand about Che. You can probably call him clinically a sadist. When you read his diaries, he goes into particular detail about when he himself shoots people in the head.
GLENN: But it goes beyond war. Go to a rock concert, and you're sure to see Che.
VOICE: This is a man who tried to ban free expression, particularly musically expression such as rock music and jazz music because he thought it was imperialist. He was the Caribbean equivalent of the Taliban. He enforced a single moralistic viewpoint. And if you didn't agree with him, you would be killed.
VOICE: One of my favorite is Carlos Santana. At the 2005 Oscars, naturally, The Mortal Psycho Diaries (phonetic) won an Oscar. And Carlos Santana went there to play the theme song. He was wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt. Carlos Santana was showing the emblem of a regime that made it a criminal offense to listen to Carlos Santana music.
GLENN: But surely Che was a progressive and uniting force on race. Right?
VOICE: He says the Negro is lazy and indolent and spends all of his money on frivolities and booze. Whereas, the European is intelligent and forward-looking. This was from his own diaries. Yet we've got Jesse Jackson down there, viva Che. We've got Jay-Z with a song with the lyrics, I'm just like Che Guevara, with the bling on.
JAY-Z: I'm like Che Guevara with bling on. I'm complex.
GLENN: Maybe he is complex. Either that or this guy doesn't that know this guy would have thought that this guy was nothing but a frivolous lazy drunk just because of the color of his skin. So what's wrong with wearing the T-shirt of a warmongering, bloodthirsty racist? Well, what if he also was a thirsty too?
VOICE: To his places of work, to his places of recreation, we will attack the enemy wherever he lives. Folks, this was written in 1966. He preempted al-Qaeda by 30, 40 years.
GLENN: Let's see if you can tell the difference which quote was from Che and which one was from Osama bin Laden. Who said that if he had nuclear weapons, he would use them against the very heart of America, including New York City? And who said the US is a great enemy of mankind. Against those hyenas, there is no option, but extermination?
Yeah. It was kind of unfair. It was a trick question. Both of those quotes are from Che. Luckily, his attempts at killing Americans on our soil were about as effective as his attempts to ignite revolution around the world.
VOICE: We look 50 years into the future, and there are only two unapologetic communist regimes, North Korea and Cuba. If they had enough nutrition in order to run out of North Korea, they would do that. They are starving there.
In Cuba, we see time and again, people who are so desperate to get off that island hellhole, that they will swim through shark-infested waters. Che was the vanguard of the revolution. He was going to bring communism everywhere around the world. In this sense, Che was an absolute abject failure. And it's a damn good thing that he was.
GLENN: This is Barbara Rangel grandfather. Colonel Cornelia Rojas.
VOICE: He was a freedom fighter, way before Batista came into power. He was the descendent of patriots. His father first a general, and his grandfather was also a general brigadier that fought for Cuba's War of Independence against Spain.
GLENN: One day, her grandfather was just gone.
VOICE: When Fidel Castro and Che Guevara arrived in Havana, it was January '59, and that's precisely when my grandfather disappeared. My family had no idea where he was. All of a sudden, my family was watching television in the living room, and they see my grandfather walking. They were extremely happy to see him.
And then they -- they realized that he was walking towards the wall. He started screaming. And my grandmother collapsed. They realized that he's going to be executed. When they asked him if he wanted to be blinded folded, and he said, no. And he said, there you have the revolution. Take care of it.
He asked if he could give the firing orders. And he says, aim, fire.
He died like a hero.
GLENN: And he was executed by cowards.
VOICE: There was no trial whatsoever. Che Guevara did not allow a trial. He was taken prisoner the beginning of January and executed January 7. That is something that I will not forget. There is not one day in my life that I do not think about him.
GLENN: This is the real legacy of Che. It's murder, destruction, and broken families.
So what can we do to correct the lies? Maybe it's time to make the truth a bit more fashionable. In the next episode, we learn the truth of one of the most prolific communist killers in history, The Chairman, Mao Zedong.