Saturday, October 13
Remembering Ernesto "Che" Guevara: Live for the People!
Last Monday marked the Fortieth Anniversarry of the death of Ernesto "Che" Guevara, the Cuban revolutionary who devoted his life to waging revolution to end the oppressive system of imperialism and unite Latin America. Forty years after his death in Bolivia while waging guerrilla warfare against the US back Bolivian puppet government and fighting off Green Berets for 12 months, Che Guevara still remains an international icon of revolution and liberation, a icon of hope for those oppressed and liberty from US imperialism. Che was born to a once wealthy, but now pauperized Argentinian family. Most of his childhood was spent impoverished. His father was out of job for most of his youth, so growing up he struggled, yet he managed to get a college education and become a doctor despite this. The most decisive factor in Che Guevara's shaping was his travels of Latin America. The book and now hollywood movie The Motorcycle Diaries illustrate his journey through Latin America with his best friend on a small, old, rusty, but mostly reliable motorcycle. While the journey was filled with stories which make you shake your head and say "those crazy kids", it was also a very lifechanging experience for Che. Che was able to experience first hand the horrors of imperialism. He saw the mass poverty, the diesease, multiple times Che tried to use his doctoring knowledge to help those who were denied healthcare for example, he also saw the oppression of governments on the working class as well as a seeing US intervention in Guatamala. Throughout all this Che Guevara grew more and more progressive, militant, and revolutionary until he met the young exile in Mexico, Fidel Castro. According to legend, Fidel and Che spent a whole night talking about the world, about poverty, and about Revolution. Fidel told Che of his plans for revolution on the little island of Cuba to overthrow the oppressive US backed Batista regime. Che immediately agreed to join him. Che would emerge as a leader during the revolution, after the revolution, he would be the most anti-imperialist, and the most militant. Che was a fighter though, and soon after liberation of Cuba, he felt he had to continue the struggle elsewhere throughout the world, something he would die doing.
Che is still an important figure today because he is a concentration of everything a revolutionary stands for. A comrade of mine recently said at a Public Party meeting that he is concentration of so much it is impossible for me to explain in a really concentrated way. However a couple days later, I think Fidel Castro came close:
I make a halt in my daily struggle to bow my head in respect and gratitude to the exceptional combatant who fell in combat on October 8th, forty years ago; for the example he passed on to us as leader of his Rebel Army Column, crossing the swampy grounds of the former provinces of Oriente and Camagüey, while being chased by enemy troops. He was the liberator of the city of Santa Clara and the mastermind of voluntary work; he accomplished honorable political missions abroad and served as messenger of militant internationalism in East Congo and Bolivia. He built a new awareness in our America and the world.
I thank him for what he tried and failed to do in his home country, because he was like a flower prematurely severed from its stem.
He left to us his unmistakable literary style. He was elegant, swift and true to every detail of whatever happened to cross his mind. He was a predestinate, but he didn’t know it. He still fights with us and for