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Critics in the United States assert that Che Guevara was responsible for the torture and execution of hundreds of people in Cuban prisons, and the murder of many more peasants in the regions controlled or visited by his guerilla forces. Contrary to Guevara supporters, these critics also argue that Guevara was a blundering tactician with no recorded combat victories. While supporters point to the Battle of Santa Clara as a major victory of Guevara, historian Alvaro Vargas Llosa writes, “his greatest military achievement in the fight against Batista – taking the city of Santa Clara after ambushing a train with heavy reinforcements – is seriously disputed. Numerous testimonies indicate that the commander of the train surrendered in advance, perhaps after taking bribes”. They believe that Guevara murdered individuals on dubious grounds and took their property, seized private manors for himself, and distributed property among communist bureaucrats rather than the peasants. The critics also state that he helped institute forced labour camps when communist volunteerism had failed. Herewith, his social legacy has proven to be notorious as early followers of Guevara have had to transcend hate in order to be attain freedom.


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