Ernesto Guevara (born June 14, 1928 in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina, and executed October 9, 1967 in La Higuera, Bolivia), better known under the name of Che Guevara, Che, is a Marxist revolutionary, politician and Latin America, leader of Cuban and internationalist guerrillas.
As a young medical student, Guevara traveled throughout Latin America, which puts him in direct contact with the poverty in which much of the population. His experience and his observations led him to conclude that socioeconomic inequalities can be abolished by the revolution. He then decided to intensify his study of Marxism and travel to Guatemala to learn reforms under President Jacobo Arbenz Guzman, a few months later overthrown by a coup backed by the CIA (Operation PBSUCCESS). Shortly thereafter, Guevara joined the 26th of July Movement, a revolutionary group led by Fidel Castro. After more than two years of guerrilla warfare in which Guevara became commander, the group took power in Cuba by overthrowing the dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959.
Within months, Guevara was appointed prosecutor of the Revolutionary Court, which executes more than one hundred police and military of the former regime who were guilty of war crimes, then it creates camps "work and rehabilitation." He then held several important positions in the Cuban government, which dismisses the Democrats, being able to influence the passage of the Cuban economy similar to that of the USSR, and a political rapprochement with the block East, but failed in the industrialization of the country as a minister. Guevara wrote during that time several theoretical works on the revolution and guerrilla warfare.
In 1965, after denouncing the exploitation of the third world by the two blocs of the Cold War, he disappeared from politics and left Cuba with the intention of extending the revolution. First Congo-Leopoldville, without success, then in Bolivia, where he was captured and summarily executed by the Bolivian army trained and guided by CIA.
After his death, Guevara became an icon for revolutionary movements around the world, but remains controversial among historians, particularly because of evidence of possible executions of innocent people. A photographic portrait of Che Guevara by Alberto Korda made is considered one of the most famous photographs in the world.
Ernesto Guevara de la Serna was born June 14, 1928 in Rosario, Argentina, Ernesto Guevara Lynch and Celia de la Serna, both of Irish and Spanish noble. Indications are, however, that his birthdate was postponed for one month to avoid a scandal, because too close to marriage. That is to say that Che Guevara was born May 14, 1928. His parents are of aristocratic lineage but live like a middle class family with a penchant for non-authoritarian leftist, objecting especially to Perón and to Hitler. Ernesto's aunt, who raised her mother's untimely death of their parents, is a communist.
The eldest of five children, he first lived in Cordoba, the second largest city. At the age of three years, he learned chess from his father and begins to participate in tournaments at age 12. His mother taught him that fluent French. Ernesto Guevara de la Serna is fast becoming known for his radical views even though an early age. It would be one of the soldiers of Francisco Pizarro in his thirst for adventure.
All his life he suffered severe asthma attacks, which overwhelm him since childhood. He confronts the disease and working to become an athlete. Despite opposition from his father, he became rugby player. He won the nickname "Fuser" (a contraction of furibundo ("furious") and the surname of his mother, "Serna") because of his aggressive style of play. During his teens, he takes advantage of periods of rest forced their asthma to study poetry and literature, from Pablo Neruda through Jack London, Emilio Salgari and Jules Verne, to essays on sexuality Sigmund Freud and treatises on social philosophy by Bertrand Russell. He wrote poetry (sometimes parody) throughout his life like that is common in Latin American education. He also developed a great interest in photography.
In 1948, he studied medicine at Buenos Aires. He played a few months at the San Isidro Club rugby team first division, he must leave because of his father who finds this level of dangerous game for an asthmatic, and then played in teams with lower levels. During this period, he dreams of marrying a girl of high society in Argentina and settle, but he can not carry out this project because of opposition from the family of the latter, its own personality already considered unconventional, and his growing desire to travel and discovery.
First Latin American trip
In 1951, his old friend Alberto Granado reformist left, biochemist, suggested that he take a sabbatical. This way they can realize the trip they have long talked about, crossing South America on an old Norton 500 cm3 motorcycle nicknamed "The strong" (La Poderosa in Spanish) in often precarious (often sleeping in controversy a police cell) with the aim of spending a few weeks as a volunteer in the San Pablo leper colony on the banks of the Amazon in Peru. Guevara recounts this epic in Diarios de motocicleta: Notas de viaje por América Latina. The journey lasts nine months and lead to Miami Guevara makes first arrive in Chile where they had to abandon the Poderosa breathless and where they visit the giant Chuquicamata mine and discover the living conditions of minors. They then pass through the Andes, met Dr. Hugo Pesce, leprosy specialist and founder of the Peruvian Socialist Party, which greatly influence on the ideals of Guevara, then having provided assistance to the San Pablo leper colony, they descend the Amazon Canoeing British full time until the Violencia and separate in Venezuela where Guevara flies to the U.S. in a cargo plane. He returned to Buenos Aires 31 July 1952 to complete his medical studies.
Through her own observations of poverty and powerlessness of the masses and influenced by his Marxist views, he concludes that the only remedy social inequalities in Latin America is armed revolution. He was taken to see Latin America not as a set of separate nations but as a cultural and economic entity requesting a "continental strategy of liberation." This concept of a Bolivarian Latin America united and borderless sharing a mixed culture (mestizo) is a theme that returns significantly in his later revolutionary activities. Back in Argentina, he completed his studies as soon as possible in order to continue his journey in Latin America and graduated June 12, 1953.
Second trip to Latin America and Guatemala
On July 7, 1953, he began a long journey through Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.
In Bolivia, he participated in the summer of 1953 to the social revolution populist Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario (MNR), then went out with indignation, saying the social revolution is tainted by racial inequalities.
He arrives late December 1953 in Guatemala where President Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán left leads a populist government launched into deep social reforms. The Arbenz government conducts include land reform, which, with other initiatives, seeks to eliminate a system of large estates dominated by the United States through the United Fruit Company (UFCO). The UFCO is the largest landowner and employer of Guatemala, and the redistribution plan includes Arbenz expropriated 40% of the land it. While the U.S. government has little evidence to support their arguments on the worsening of the Communist threat in Guatemala, the relationship between the Eisenhower administration and UFCO illustrates the influence of corporate interests in foreign policy of the United States.
In a letter to his Aunt Beatriz, Guevara explained his motivation to settle in this country: "In Guatemala, I improve myself and will accomplish all that is needed to become a true revolutionary.
Shortly after his arrival in Ciudad Guatemala, Guevara met Hilda Gadea Acosta, a Peruvian economist who lives and works in Guatemala, on the advice of a mutual friend. Gadea, whom he later married, has many political connections as a member of the American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA) Socialists, led by Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre. It presents many Guevara Arbenz government officials, but also allows him to reconnect with a group of Cuban exiles he had met in Costa Rica, members of the July 26 Movement of Fidel Castro. Guevara joined these moncadistas in the sale of religious objects related to the Black Christ of Esquipulas, and is also an assistant two Venezuelan malaria specialists at a local hospital. Ernesto Guevara fails to obtain a boarding school, his financial situation became precarious, leading him to sell some jewelry Hilda.
During this period he completed his famous nickname Che means "Argentina" (The accent especially Argentines and their recent European origins and distinguished immediately from other Latin Americans have created the nickname " che "particularly Mexico and Central America to refer to any Argentine and the word itself comes from the Argentine interjection" che "used in the geographic area of the Río de la Plata and in the Valencia region in Spain, interjection mark essentially stupor or used to attract attention).
The political situation changed radically in the May 15, 1954, when a delivery of weapons and light artillery of Czechoslovakia Škoda arrived in Puerto Barrios communist government Arbenz destination, on board the Swedish boat Alfhem. The CIA estimated 2000 tonnes of weapons shipped and only 2 tons by Jon Lee Anderson. Ernesto Guevara went briefly to El Salvador to renew his visa, and returned to Guatemala a few days before the attempted coup of Carlos Castillo Armas supported by the CIA accused of being communist Arbenz. The anti-Arbenz forces ahead of Honduras fail to stop transfer of weapons. After a pause to regroup, the column of Castillo Armas takes the initiative, with U.S. air support. Guevara was eager to fight for Arbenz and joined in a first step a militia created by the Communist Youth. Frustrated by the inaction of the group, he returned to medicine. While the coup was about to succeed, it returns to volunteer in the battle but in vain, Arbenz took refuge in the Mexican Embassy and asked his supporters to leave the country. After the arrest of Hilda, he puts himself under the protection of the Argentine consulate where he remained until receiving a pass a few weeks later. It then assumes the free flight to Argentina proposed by the embassy, preferring to move to Mexico.
The overthrow of the democratically elected Arbenz in a coup backed by the CIA (Operation PBSUCCESS) reinforces the conviction of Ernesto Guevara as the United States as an imperialist power, implacably opposed to any government seeking to correct socioeconomic inequality endemic to South America and other developing countries. He is definitely convinced that socialism achieved through the struggle and defended by an armed populace is the only way to change this situation.
Che Guevara arrived in Mexico early September 1954. He returned shortly after Ñico López and other Cuban exiles whom he had known some years earlier in Guatemala. In June 1955, López introduced him to Raúl Castro. A few weeks later, Fidel Castro arrived in Mexico after being pardoned from a jail in Cuba. On July 8, 1955, Raúl Guevara has his older brother. After a conversation one night, Che became convinced that the revolutionary leader Fidel is inspired to seek and he immediately joined the July 26 Movement, which seeks to overthrow the government of dictator Fulgencio Batista. Originally designated as a medical group, Che participates in military training with other members of the movement, the end of which is designated by the instructor, Col. Alberto Bayo as the best rookie.
Meanwhile, Hilda Gadea arrived in Mexico and renews his affair with Guevara. During the summer of 1955 she informed her that she is pregnant, and he immediately proposes marriage, they will marry Aug. 18. Their daughter, Hilda Beatriz, born February 15, 1956.
A disastrous finish
Ernesto "Che" Guevara was one of 82 men (one of four non-Cubans from the expedition), who came with Fidel Castro in November 1956 for Cuba on the Granma, a small yacht in bad condition that is resistant to bad weather which prevails during the trip. The guerrillas were attacked just after landing by Batista's army who got wind of the expedition. Only twenty men survived the fighting and a dozen joined the Sierra, the others being killed in fighting or summarily executed.
Che wrote later that during this confrontation, he chose to abandon his bag of medical equipment to pick up a box of ammunition dropped by a fellow fugitive from status and medical condition of the fighter.
Sierra Maestra, a difficult start
The surviving rebels regroup and flee to the mountains of the Sierra Maestra to launch a guerrilla war against the Batista regime. Here they are supported by local farmers (or guajiros montunos) suffering first of this dictatorship, then, subsequently, political repression launched against the guerrillas and their supporters, real or imaginary. Che Guevara is acting as a physician and soldier, despite many asthma attacks due to climate. Che stressed the importance of being accepted by the population by providing care in isolated villages or literacy new recruits at the heart of the jungle.
Their forces (weapons and recruits) increased with the logistical support of the urban movement July 26 (not Communist, the Partido Socialista Popular Cuba until Castro does not help when they are certain of victory, mid-1958) and U.S. (who see Castro as a good alternative to the corrupt regime of Batista and Castro which has concealed Communist objectives). The existence of two factions in the movement will be very important in the future and create tensions. The largest urban leaders were Frank País Vilma Espín, Celia Sánchez, Faustino Pérez, Carlos Franqui, Haydee Santa Maria, Armando Hart, René Ramos Latour (Daniel), mostly Democrats and anti-communist.
Guevara is very strict about acts of insubordination, treason and crimes, not only for its own troops but also against enemy soldiers and peasants who inhabit the area. This part of his personality is shown February 17, 1957, when guerrillas discovered that one of them, Eutimio Guerra is a traitor who had given the location of the group, allowing the army to bomb them position on the peak of Caracas and then ambush them on the heights of Espinosa, putting the rebels on the brink of defeat. During his arrest, he is in possession of weapons and a safe-conduct issued by the enemy. Eutimio request death. Fidel Castro decides it is executed for treason, but without naming an executor. Given the general indecision that followed, the Che who run, demonstrating coldness and hardness against war crimes that made him famous, this did not prevent Guevara suffer a severe attack of asthma after the execution. Another version says that Castro execution means for executing guerrilla Universo; Universo Che and bring the traitor to the gap so as not to kill him before men and Che running the way at a time that it deems appropriate.
Between 1957 and 1958, some estimate that 15 estimates the number of persons charged with treason or espionage carried out by order of Guevara, one of them before his own family just for expressing his opposition to the revolution as a guerrilla control, exiled from Miami. Instead, Guevara seems tolerant of honest mistakes of its own troops and against enemy prisoners. This contributes to the good reputation of the M26-Sierra and subsequently encourages the enemy soldiers to surrender rather than fight fiercely. Many times it comes from Fidel Castro to avoid executions. It heals itself from enemy soldiers and expressly forbids torture or execution of prisoners, protecting it with the same force that deploys to punish the traitors. Another witness, inconsistent with previous claims that he was a young guerrillas shot for stealing some food.
During the first months of 1957 the small group of guerrillas survive in precarious conditions, with scarce support from the local population. He is pursued by a network of peasant spies (chivatos) by government troops and must fight against infiltration and improve military discipline. Small skirmishes and fighting one another, with little loss of either side.
In late February appeared in the New York Times, the most read newspaper in the United States, an interview with Fidel Castro conducted by Herbert Matthews in the Sierra Maestra. The impact is huge and starts to rise in the national and international public opinion a certain sympathy for the guerrillas. On April 28 held a press conference at the summit of Pico Turquino, the highest mountain in Cuba, for CBS.
In late May, the number of guerrilla fighters up to 128 well-armed and trained. May 28 is triggered first ambitious action attacking the barracks where El Uvero six guerrillas killed 14 soldiers and a large number of wounded on both sides. After the battle, Fidel Castro made the decision to leave the burden of injuries to Che Guevara did not slow the main group in pursuit of government troops. Guevara then handles injuries on both sides and reached an agreement on the honor with the doctor from the barracks to leave behind the most serious injuries to the condition that they be imprisoned so respectable, respected by Pact the government army.
Che and four men (Joel Iglesias, Alejandro Oñate ("Cantinflas"), "Vilo" and a guide) should then hide, protect and care for wounded seven guerrillas for fifty days. In this time, Guevara has not only protected and cared for all, but more kept the discipline of the group, recruited nine other guerrillas, won the decisive support of the superintendent of a large rural estates in the region and established a system supply and communication with Santiago de Cuba. When he joined the rest of the troops July 17, Che is at the head of an independent group of 26 men. The rebels then take a small territory west of Pico Turquino with 200 disciplined men and morale. Fidel Castro decided to form a second column of 75 men, then he called the fourth column to deceive the enemy on the amount of his troops. It promotes Che Guevara to the rank of captain, and five days after the commander designates this column. Before that only Fidel Castro held the rank of commander. From that moment, the guerrillas should be called "Comandante Che Guevara".
Commander of the fourth column
The column then contains four platoons led by Juan Almeida, Ramiro Valdés, Ciro Redondo Lalo Sardinas as commanders in second. Shortly after coming Camilo Cienfuegos to replace Sardiñas who accidentally killed one of his men by threatening and whose execution has been passed by the guerrillas in a narrow majority, but was spared and degraded by Guevara. A close friendship develops between Cienfuegos and Che.
Guevara is characterized by including in its many troops guajiros (peasants of the island) and Afro-Cuban, which make up the population group most marginalized in the country at a time when racism and racial segregation is still prevalent there included in own ranks 26th of July Movement (in 1958, access to the central park of Santa Clara was forbidden for people with black skin).
He named the new recruits include his column "descamisados (shirtless), containing the phrase Eva Peron used to address the Argentine workers, pejoratively known as" cabecitas negras (black heads). One of these recruits, Enrique Acevedo, a fifteen year that Guevara appointed Chief of the Disciplinary Commission of the column, later wrote his impressions of the day in a newspaper:
"Everyone treated him with great respect. It is hard, dry, sometimes with some irony. His manners are gentle. When he gives an order we see that control really. It takes place in the action."
The fourth column is successful, thanks to a few victories (Bueycito El Hombrito), to take control of the area of El Hombrito to establish a permanent basis. Its members have constructed a field hospital, a bakery, a cobbler and an armory in order to have a supporting infrastructure. Che launched the newspaper El Cubano Libre.
One function of Che's column is to detect and remove spyware and infiltrators and maintain order in the region, performing the bandits who take advantage of the situation to kill, loot and rape, often by being passed for guerrillas. The strict discipline in the column is that many guerrillas demanding their transfer to other columns, although at the same time just and egalitarian behavior of Guevara, the training he gives to his men, since the literacy to complete the political literature, in fact a strong group solidarity.
Government troops led by Ángel Sánchez Mosquera conducting a dirty war policy in the region. On November 29, 1957 they attacked the guerrillas causing two deaths, among them Ciro Redondo. Che is injured (foot) as well as Cantinflas and five other fighters. The base is completely destroyed and the column was repositioned in a place called the mesa to build a new one. It creates the clandestine radio station Radio Rebelde in February 1958. Radio Rebelde then broadcasts information on the Cuban people but also serves as a link between the various columns on the divided island. Radio rebelde still exists today in Cuba.
Beginning in 1958, Fidel Castro became the man most sought by the international press and dozens of journalists from around the world come to the Sierra Maestra to interview. For its part Che Guevara has become, for the press defending Batista, the central character of the guerrilla. Evelio Lafferte, a lieutenant in the Cuban army taken prisoner, and then rose in the column of guerrilla Che, remembers:
"The propaganda against him (Guevara) was massive, they said it was a killer, a pathological criminal ..., a mercenary who lent his services to international communism ... They used terrorist methods, they socialized women left their children so ... They said the soldiers taken prisoner by the guerrillas were tied to a tree and did open the abdomen with a bayonet. "
In February, the army rounded up 23 activists of the movement of 26 July and shot in the foothills of the Sierra Maestra, to simulate a victory against the guerrillas. This event is a scandal for the Batista government. 16, Castro guerrillas attacked the barracks of Pino del Agua with losses on both sides. Shortly after coming Argentine journalist Jorge Ricardo Masetti trend Peronist who is a founder of the Cuban news agency Prensa Latina and the organizer in Salta (Argentina) in 1963 the first attempt guerrilla Che Guevara outside Cuba.
Che is in conflict with the leaders of the urban movement of July 26th. They see it as a Marxist extremist with too much influence on Fidel Castro, and he considers the right, with a half-hearted fight design and layout too sympathetic toward the United States. Sovietophilia satisfied, in 1957 he wrote to his friend Rene Ramos Latour "I belong, by my ideological training to those who believe that the solution of problems of this world is behind what is called the curtain Iron. The year 1958 was a period of political conflict within the movement of July 26th between Che Guevara, who says his communist beliefs, and Armando Hart and Rene Ramos Latour any two directors of the movement, directing its urban area, and anti-Communists. They put forward the idea of a rapprochement with the United States to fight against Baptista. The CIA seeks in effect at that time an alternative to military dictator and his corrupt, inefficient and committing exactions considering controlling the non-Communist movement of July 26th. The U.S. military supports it unconditionally Baptista, on behalf of the fight against communism, doubting the political real Fidel Castro. Guevara also affirmed admirer of the late Stalin: "He who has not read the fourteen volumes of the writings of Stalin can not be regarded as entirely Communist."
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