Che Guevara, rebel, revolutionar, terrorist or hero? Who are we to judge?
Santa Clara Travel Blog› entry 12 of 14 › view all entries
I remember when Che Guevara was assassinated in 1967 in Bolivia. I was a small girl then and didn`t understand the reason why. I didn`t know his history just that he was killed.
Travelling to Cuba I had to read up on the countries history and on Ernesto Guevaraâ��s history, as his and Cubaâ��s history goes hand in hand.
Taking to the people in Cuba I realized Che Guevara was their largest hero, not Fidel Castro.
Ernesto Guevara was an idealist, wanted all people to be equal and to have the same opportunities.
Che was also a womens man, studying lots of photos of him I can understand the womens taste of him.
If he was a rebel, terrorist or hero, I donâ��t know, but here is his history.
Ernesto Guevara de la Serna was born to a middle-class family in Rosario, Santa Fe Province, Argentina on June 14, 1928.
Disgusted by the corrupt Argentine militarist government, Guevara became a dedicated Marxist while still in his teens. As a student, he vowed to dedicate his life to revolutionary causes and in 1953 he received a medical degree from the University of Buenos Aires. He left Argentina later that year to take part in a Communist revolt in Guatemala.
There he adopted his revolutionary nickname, nom de guerre Che, the local slang for "pal.
Joining Castro's July 26 Movement, named after the date of Castro's aborted 1953 revolution in Cuba, Che Guevara sailed with Castro and over 80 guerrilla troops to Cuba where they landed on December 2, 1956, bent on overthrowing General Fulgencio Batista's government.
After the invasion force was almost decimated by government troops and air strikes, Castro, Guevara and about 10 others hid out on the Sierra Mastera Mountains of southern Cuba.
In July 1957, Che was assigned command of half of Castro's forces with the rank of Comandante, a title he shared only with Castro himself.
For the next year and a half, he led his insurgents against the government forces in the province of Las Villas, while growing hatred to Batista's government fueled widespread support to Castro's forces, which steadily grew in size.
Che's successful attack against the government troops in Santa Clara in December 1958 sealed the victory of Castro's forces.
After Castro assumed power, Che became one of his most trusted advisors and a leading international revolutionary. Che became the Cuban minister of agriculture and in 1960 wrote a book titled "Guerilla Warfare," a manual for Third World insurgents as part of his plan to bring Communism thought the world.
Che resigned his post in Cuba in 1965 and travelled widely to Africa and other insurgent hot spots in the world, including the Belgian Congo, to organize Communist revolts as well as train Cuban contingents there and teach them the French colonial language.
In November 1966, Che surfaced in Bolivia to organize another revolt by the local Communist peasants. But the revolution in Bolivia only received lukewarm support from many of the poorly-educated, non-Spanish-speaking peasants who preferred to support the government, not caring for foreign insurgents.
After a long and drawn out campaign, Che's revolt in Bolivia came to an abrupt end on October 7, 1967 when he and the surviving members of his group were captured by government Bolivian soldiers.
Two days later, on October 9, 1967, Che was executed by a Bolivian firing squad, who was apparently acting under orders from the CIA which were training the Bolivian army.
Over forty years after his execution, Che's life and legacy still remain a contentious and polarizing issue.
Some view Che Guevara as a hero for example, Nelson Mandela referred to him as "an inspiration for every human being who loves freedom" while Jean Paul Sarte described him as "not only an intellectual but also the most complete human being of our age.
Guevara remains a beloved national hero to many in Cuba; where his image adorns the $3 Cuban Peso and school children begin each morning by pledging "We will be like Che.