The truth... is that Che was no less a brutal killer than other communist leaders. If he failed to rise to the same "heights" as Lenin or Mao, it was largely for lack of opportunity.
1. Che was responsible for the execution of thousands of political prisoners in Cuba (most of them purely for their opposition to Castro's communist policies or for no reason at all).
2. Che enjoyed torturing and abusing the prisoners, including children.
3. Che was instrumental in setting up the Castro regime's massive forced labor camps and secret police apparatus.
4. Che tried to organize campaigns of terrorism against civilians in the US and elsewhere (though he largely failed in these efforts).
5. Far from being merely a Third World nationalist or pragmatic leftist, he was a committed, hard-line Stalinist, even going so far as to call himself "Stalin II" early in his career.
However, as Vargas Llosa points out in this New Republic article, Che was no uncritical admirer of the Soviet Union. To the contrary, he thought the Soviets had not taken communist totalitarianism far enough. In his travels through the Soviet bloc, Che was, by his own account, most impressed with North Korea - not coincidentally also the most oppressively totalitarian of all communist states at the time. Later, as Vargas notes, he criticized the Soviets for giving the private sector too much scope, and for their unwillingness to take even greater risks of touching off a nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Yep, folks. You don't get much closer to pure evil than Che, and he's the guy the Left loves to portray as their symbol.