Che Guevara was an Argentine-born Marxist revolutionary who worked closely with Fidel Castro to overthrow the Cuban government under President Fulgencio Batista. In his efforts to spread communism to other...
Category: Che Guevara
Ernesto “Che” Guevara was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, and guerrilla leader. He was a major figure in the Cuban Revolution and has since become a symbol of rebellion and global counterculture.
As with many iconic figures, his life and legacy elicit strong reactions, both positive and negative.
These 9 questions delve into the historical, political, and personal contexts that shaped Che Guevara’s life.
- Why is he called “Che”?
- “Che” is an Argentine Spanish slang term for “pal” or “mate”. Guevara was known to use this term frequently, which led to his nickname.
- How did Che Guevara become involved in the Cuban Revolution?
- Guevara met Fidel and Raúl Castro in Mexico in 1955. Inspired by their vision of overthrowing the Batista regime in Cuba, he joined their 26th of July Movement. He became a key figure in the revolution, playing critical roles both as a military strategist and a diplomat.
- What roles did Guevara hold in the Cuban government?
- After the success of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, Guevara took on several key positions including the head of the National Bank of Cuba and the minister of industry. He was also instrumental in steering Cuba towards a socialist model and strengthening ties with the Soviet Union.
- Why did Che Guevara leave Cuba?
- By the mid-1960s, Guevara had grown disillusioned with the direction of the Cuban socialist project and the Soviet influence. He also had a desire to spread revolutionary ideals to other parts of the world. This led him to leave Cuba to ignite revolutions elsewhere, first in Congo and then in Bolivia.
- How did Che Guevara die?
- Guevara was captured by the Bolivian military on October 8, 1967, during a guerrilla campaign. After being held prisoner for several days, he was executed on October 9 on orders from the Bolivian president. His body was buried in a secret location, only to be discovered and returned to Cuba in 1997.
- Why is Che Guevara considered controversial?
- While Guevara is hailed by many as a symbol of resistance against oppression and a champion for the poor, others criticize him for his methods, including his role in executions post the Cuban Revolution and his uncompromising stance against perceived enemies of the revolution.
- What’s the story behind the famous Che Guevara image?
- The iconic image, known as “Guerrillero Heroico,” was taken by photographer Alberto Korda in 1960 during a memorial service in Havana. The image, which showcases a defiant Guevara looking into the distance, became a symbol of rebellion and was widely disseminated, especially during the 1960s counterculture movement.
- Did Che Guevara write any books?
- Yes, Guevara was a prolific writer. His most famous work is “The Motorcycle Diaries,” a memoir of his travels through South America as a young medical student. He also wrote about guerrilla warfare, the Cuban Revolution, and global politics.
- How has Che Guevara’s legacy endured?
- Guevara’s image and ideals continue to inspire various movements worldwide, from leftist groups to pop culture icons. His legacy is complex and multifaceted, with supporters viewing him as a martyr and symbol of righteous rebellion, while critics see him as a flawed and polarizing figure.
Ernesto “Che” Guevara was a prominent Argentine rebel who was well-known for his role in the Cuban Revolution. His murder in 1967 cast an example of a hero who painfully...