Ernesto Guevara was born in l928. When he was two, he moved to
Cordoba, Spain, because of asthma. As a young child, Guevara became
interested in reading Marx, Engels, and Freud found in his father's library.
As he grew up, he watched the Spanish refugees from the Spanish Civil War
fight against the fascist dictator, Francisco Franco. Mr. Guevara was
influenced by the war and refugees. He began to hate military politicians, the
U.S. dollar, and parliamentary democracy. Ernesto's parents were both anti
In Buenos Aires, Mr. Guevara went to medical school. He graduated
in l953. After several years, Ernesto went to Guatemala writing articles on
the Inca and Myan ruins. During his stay in Guatemala, he had the chance to
become a government medical personnel. He refused this chance because
he did not want to join the Communist party. Therefore, he was penniless
for a number of years. Shortly thereafter, Guevara met one of Fidel
Castro's lieutenants with whom he fled to Mexico City.
In Mexico City, he also met Fidel Castro, and his brother Raul. In
Fidel Castro, he saw a great Marxist leader that he was seeking. Guevara
joined Castro followers at a farm where they were training for guerrilla war
tactics. The tactics were those first used by Mao Tse-Tung. At this time,
Ernesto Guevara first was nick named "Che", which is Italian for pal.
The group invaded Cuba, where Che was commander of the
revolutionary army. From then on, he was known as the most aggressive,
clever and successful guerrilla officer. He also got the reputation for cold-
blooded cruelty. One reason for this reputation was because of his orders
to mass execute followers of the former Cuban president Batista. There
after, Che Guevara was second only to Castro in the government of Cuba.
As the years went on, Guevara ran the department of industry for
Cuba. The government they formed was communist but very different from
the then Russian government. Ernesto attacked the Russian style of
Communism and said "It was tacit accomplice of imperialism." The
Russians were not trading only with communists and they were not giving
under developed countries aid.
After April of l965, Guevara disappeared from the public eye. Castro
dropped his association with Guevara because of Che's criticism. Che's
plan at that time was to bring about Marxism by starting a world-wide
revolution. He went around the world with forces (120 Cubans). In Congo,
they attempted to accomplish one of these revolutions. It fell short when
Belgian aid arrived to help the current government. Che had little help from
the rebels of Congo and eventually failed. His final days were spent in
Bolivia where he used bad judgment by trying to start a revolution. His
troops were crushed, and he was captured by the Bolivian Army. Che was
shot the next day.
Ernesto "Che" Guevara is known even today in Vollegrande, Bolivia
as a hero to many citizens. He is a symbol of power for the oppressed
people. Guevara is thought of by many as a saint. Pictures of Che remain
in many windows.
To the youth of America in the l960's and l970's Che was thought of
as an idol. He was viewed as a revolutionary martyr that supported the ideal
classless society. In many ways, his thoughts and ideas are important for us
today. Now our "democratic" government is only run by rich Caucasian
males. The door for the equality in our government has not been open to
the rest of society.