Nobody’s Hero: 9 Inconvenient Truths about Che Guevara

Benicio Del Toro as Che in the highly romanticized account of his life.

8 – He Was an Adulterer

If it wasn’t enough that Che was apparently a murderous racist homophobe, he was also a serial womanizer. He was reportedly a hit with the ladies from an early age. Remember, he grew up in a middle-class family in Argentina, and it was normal for him to have sexual relationships with the maids in his friend’s homes. One of his childhood friends nicknamed him the ‘fast rooster’ because whenever a maid entered the dining room when he was eating, he would force her to climb on the table for sex. He reportedly has sex with a maid at his aunt’s house while his aunt was in the room with her back turned.

In his writings, it is clear that Che showed the same contempt for women as he did for blacks and homosexuals. He referred to a young girl he had sex with in Costa Rica as a ‘whore’ for example. In a way, it is amazing that he had such success with the opposite sex given his abominable personal hygiene. He was nicknamed ‘chancho’ (pig) by schoolmates because of his refusal to bathe. While in Bolivia, he wrote that he didn’t shower for six months.

The suggestion is that he left Cuba in order to spread communism around the world. However, his increasingly disastrous private life probably contributed to this decision as well. He married Hilda Gadea in 1955 but left her and married Aleida March in 1959. March wrote about her husband’s infidelity by saying it was a hard life for her and the kids. She said: “Ernesto goes out every night and gets drunk and picks someone up.”

Che had five children officially but given his sexual appetite and almost unlimited power while in Cuba, it seems likely that he had a few illegitimate ones too. It is worth bearing in mind that he was no sort of father to his children and had no issue abandoning them and his wife when he went traipsing around the globe trying to promote communism. There are of course some lurid accusations about his private life that I will not address here.