“If you tremble with indignation at every
injustice, then you are a comrade of mine.”
–Ernesto Che Guevara
Cuban leaders marching ahead of the funeral procession for the victims of the La Coubre explosion, for which the US was blamed.
Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, known as Che Guevara, was born on 14 June 1928 in Rosario, Argentina into a middle-class family. He studied medicine at Buenos Aires University and during this time travelled widely in South and Central America. The widespread poverty and oppression he witnessed, fused with his interest in Marxism, convinced him that the only solution to South and Central America’s problems was armed revolution. He joined Fidel Castro in Mexico in 1955, and joined Castro’s 26 July movement. While playing a key role in the eventual success of guerilla war against Batista, he was keen on spreading the revolution in other parts of the developing world.
Though he failed in training the rebel forces in Congo, he returned to Cuba to only find another land for Revolution. Bolivia was his next stop. While he went to Bolivia to lead the rebel forces, he was hunted down along with his fighters by Bolivian army with US assistance. He was executed on 9 October 1967 in Bolivia and was buried there in a secret location. In 1997, his remains were returned to Cuba for reburial.
While French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre called him the “most complete human being of our times”, others saw him as one of the rare and true revolutionaries. With his death he emerged as the symbol of anti-imperialism struggle and his message resonate in the struggle of different peoples’ movements across the world.