As one can guess from the title of this, it isn’t going to end well. I have a built-in bias against anyone wearing a Che Guevara shirt. Every time I encountered this, it usually ended in an ugly fashion. Sorry, but there it is. And I’ll spell out my experiences below.
One of the biggest paradoxes I’ve encountered during my time in the military was the love affair of the Bolivian college students with Che Guevara. He was a murderer, a racist and was trying to export his revolution to Bolivia where he met an untimely end in 1967. The Manchego Ranger Battalion, with training and advisory assistance from the Special Forces men from Panama and the CIA routed his merry little band of guerrillas. In truth, Che’s idea of “revolución” resonated little with the Bolivians.
And yet back in the heady days of massive Special Forces and DEA support during the 80’s and 90’s when there was a constant influx of SF guys and SEALs all over the country, Che was everywhere. At the big university in the capital city of La Paz, there was a huge mural of Che Guevara on the wall of one of the buildings covering about 3 stories. Che’s likeness was on every other building it seemed. And the college students, who went to the very anti-American, leftist universities there, all wore Che t-shirts, as if it were a badge of honor, rather than someone who invaded your country trying to start a revolution where one didn’t exist.
Naturally, they didn’t take very well to the Gringos who they all thought were part of the DEA. And in those times, the SF and SEALs didn’t look like regular soldiers with the short military haircuts and the “I’m on TDY orders” method of dress. Whenever the Americans from the embassy there, and it was a big staff back then, would find a place like a popular disco or nightclub, the leftist college kids would begin to flock in the place and once the odds got what they felt were in their favor, say 8 or 10-1, they’d get brave, very brave. It never ended well for them, and more than once we left a pile in our wake as we got out of Dodge and tried to avoid a “diplomatic faux pas.”