Ernesto Guevara

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Ernesto Guevara
Portrait of comrade Che
Ernesto Guevara

(1928-06-14)June 14, 1928
Rosario, Santa Fé Province, Argentina
DiedOctober 9, 1967(1967-10-09) (aged 39)
La Higuera, Vallegrande Province, Bolivia.
Cause of deathCapture and execution by the Bolivian state
Political orientationMarxism–Leninism

Ernesto "Che" Guevara (June 14th, 1928 — October 9th, 1967) was a Latin-American Marxist–Leninist revolutionary and a leader of the Cuban Revolution, alongside Fidel Castro. During his time in the government of Cuba, he was appointed president of the Central Bank of Cuba in 1959 and later Minister of Industry in 1961.[1][2] He would also lead the Department of Industrialization and the National Institute for Agrarian Reform.[3]

Che was part of an expedition led by Fidel Castro that directed the armed struggle against the US-backed Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. Guevara also presided over Cuban delegations that visited various countries and was a representative of the revolutionary government in important international conclaves. During the October Crisis he was appointed military chief of the province of Pinar del Río.

In 1965, Che left Cuba to set up guerrilla forces first in the Congo and then later in Bolivia, where he was ultimately captured and killed in October 1967. Accounts of his execution have varied over the years, but many contemporary accounts indicate some degree of collaboration between Bolivia's government troops and the United States' CIA. Che Guevara developed a theory of primacy of military struggle, in particular concept of guerilla foquismo. Many of Che's theories regarding guerilla tactics are articulated in his 1961 work "Guerilla Warfare."

Life[edit | edit source]

Early life in Argentina (1928–1950)[edit | edit source]

Baby Ernesto Guevara in 1928

Ernesto Guevara was born to his father Ernesto Guevara Lynch and his mother Celia de la Serna y Llosa in the city of Rosario, Argentina on May 14th, 1928, despite his birth certificate recording his birth a month later. His mother got pregnant before she was married to his father and they hid baby Che from their families for one month after he was born.[4] Che spoke Spanish with a typical La Plata accent, common in the regions of Uruguay, south of Brazil and the northeast region of Argentina, which makes frequent use of the interjection "che" in the speech. This characteristic accent would render Guevara's nickname "Che".[5]

Che Guevara's mother had Spanish descent, from the Argentine colonial era nobility, and his father had Irish descent, also from an aristocratic family.[5][4] During his childhood, Che developed chronic asthma, which would afflict his health for his whole life.[4]

He initially studied engineering in the Argentine city of Córdoba. In 1947, his paternal grandmother, who he taken care of, died. This death caused him to start studying medicine at the School of Medicine in Buenos Aires. He received his degree at the age of 24.[6]

Continental motorcycle travels (1950–1952)[edit | edit source]

Guevara made two motorcycle trips across South America.[6]

The first trip was during a time when he was a student. He made the trip with Alberto Granado. They worked in hospitals in Lima and São Paulo to help cure those afflicted with leprosy.[6]

He made another trip on his motorcycle to help those in need after graduating. That trip ended in Guatemala.[6]

His motorcycle trips across Latin America helped inspire him against imperialism. This was due to seeing mistreatment of workers in Chilean copper mines run by the Anaconda Company and hearing about the actions of the United Fruit Company. Both United Fruit and Anaconda were Statesian companies. He understood that the actions of foreign imperialists was inherently tied to the bourgeoisie in the local countries. This lead him to support both Marxism and national liberation.[7]

Guatemala and Mexico (1952–1955)[edit | edit source]

He would meet Raúl and Fidel Castro as well as other future Cuban revolutionaries in Mexico.[6][8] Guevara was inspired to join them in their revolution by Fidel Castro and was decided to be the doctor of the Granma yacht.[6]

Cuban Revolution (1956–1958)[edit | edit source]

Guevara was involved in the Cuban revolution and was a member of the Granma yacht expedition to Cuba. He fought in Sierra Maestra and was at the head of the invasion.[3]

Governance in Cuba (1959–1965)[edit | edit source]

During the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, Guevara almost was killed by an accidental discharge of his pistol. While leading the Rebel Army Command at the previous headquarters of the Rural Guard in Consolación del Sur in Pinar del Río, he fell on a pipe which loosened his pistol from his belt which proceeded to discharge. The bullet entered his right cheekbone and exited by his ear. He received a tetanus vaccine due to the shot, to which he was allergic.[9]

In December 1964, Che spoke at the United Nations and encouraged the UN to take action against imperialism.[10]

On 24 February 1965, he addressed the Second Economic Seminar of Afro-Asian Solidarity in Algeria. He called for socialist countries to support post-colonial states in order to protect them from imperialist banks. He said trade between socialist countries should help both countries develop.[11]

Struggle in Congo (1965–1966)[edit | edit source]

Che left Cuba before he could attend the Tricontinental Conference and fought in the revolutionary movement in the Congo.[12]

Struggle in Bolivia and capture (1966–1967)[edit | edit source]

Mario Monje, leader of the Bolivian Communist Party, agreed to support Che's struggle in Bolivia.[12] The CIA, working with wealthy Cuban exiles, captured and murdered Che Guevara in Quebrada del Yuro near La Higuera in Bolivia on the 8th of October, 1967.[6][13][14][15]

Works[edit | edit source]

Guerrilla warfare[edit | edit source]

Reminiscences of the Cuban revolutionary war[edit | edit source]

On revolutionary medicine[edit | edit source]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

Che Guevara biographies[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Richard L. Harris (2011). 'Timeline: events in the life of Che Guevara' in Che Guevara: a biography. Santa Barbara, Califonia: Greenwood. ISBN 978-0-313-35916-3 [LG]
  2. "President Maduro Highlights Ernesto Che Guevara's Legacy" (2021-10-08). teleSUR. Retrieved 2023-07-09.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Pedro Ríoseco (2023-06-14). "We will be like Che, the motto that belongs to an entire people" Granma. Retrieved 2023-07-09.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Jon Lee Anderson (2010). 'A plantation in Misiones' in Che Guevara: a revolutionary life. Grove Press. ISBN 978-0-8021-9725-2 [LG]
  5. 5.0 5.1 I. Lavretsky (1976). 'First steps' in Ernesto Che Guevara. Progress Publishers. [LG]
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Ángel Freddy Pérez Cabrera (2023-06-14). "Che, an extraordinarily human man" Granma. Retrieved 2023-07-07.
  7. "Che Guevara's Socialism Against Revolutionary Dogma" (2019-10-09). teleSUR. Retrieved 2023-07-09.
  8. Yisel Martínez (2018-06-13). "Ernesto Guevara: The man who gave himself" Granma. Retrieved 2023-07-09.
  9. Ronald Suárez Rivas (2017-09-28). "The shot that almost took Che's life" Granma. Retrieved 2023-07-09.
  10. Vijay Prashad (2008). The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World: 'Belgrade' (p. 104). [PDF] The New Press. ISBN 9781595583420 [LG]
  11. Vijay Prashad (2017). Red Star over the Third World: 'Colonial Fascism' (p. 113). [PDF] New Delhi: LeftWord Books.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Vijay Prashad (2008). The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World: 'Havana' (pp. 108–109). [PDF] The New Press. ISBN 9781595583420 [LG]
  13. William Blum (2002). Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower: 'A Concise History of United States Global Interventions, 1945 to the Present' (p. 123). [PDF] Zed Books Ltd. ISBN 9781842772201 [LG]
  14. Yenia Silva Correa (2017-08-09). "What it means to be like Che" Granma. Retrieved 2023-07-09.
  15. "'Che Guevara' Is Remembered 53 Years After His Assassination" (2020-10-09). teleSUR. Retrieved 2023-07-09.