AN ARTIST OF REVOLUTIONARY WARFARE

61

Picture: Che Guevara, died on 9 October 1969 in Bolivia. 2017 marks 50 years since his death. (Photo: Timemg).

Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, famously known by the name Che Guevara, was born June 14, 1928 in Rosario, Argentina. He died in Bolivia on the 9th of October 1967. Che as he was commonly referred to is known for being a theoretician and tactician of guerrilla warfare, as well as a very prominent role player in the Cuban Revolution that lead to the demise of Batista in 1959. Che was a guerrilla commander in South America and trained many African countries in guerrilla warfare in the struggle for liberation. He is seen as the figure of revolution that had values of leftist radicalism and anti-imperialism.

In 1948, Guevara had studied Medicine at the University of Buenos Aires. What led him to be in the front of the fight against imperialism came as a result of his travel across Latin America and other parts of the world and by seeing the working conditions of the miners in Anaconda’s Chuquicamata copper mine and the sad poverty of the remote rural areas, where peasant farmers worked small plots of land owned by wealthy landlords in Machu Picchu.

Che believed that “The merit of Marx is that he suddenly produces a qualitative change in the history of social thought. He interprets history, understands it’s dynamic, predicts the future, but in addition to predicting it (which would satisfy his scientific obligation), he expresses a revolutionary concept: the world must not only be interpreted, it must be transformed. Man ceases to be the slave and tool of his environment and converts himself into the architect of his own destiny.”

When he was asked in 1960 about Cuba’s ideology at the First Latin American Congress he answered “If l were asked whether our revolution is communist, l would define it as Marxist. Our revolution has discovered by its methods the paths that Marx pointed out.” Che attributed his ideological sense to Marxism which supported his moves through the struggle against imperialism.

On the 7th of October 1967 an informant told the Bolivian forces of the location of Che’s guerrilla encampment. The following day 1800 military men advanced on the area which led to the capture of Che Guevara. He was then taken prisoner and, later that morning, on October 9 the Bolivian President René Barrientos ordered that Guevara be killed. It is reported that Gary Prado, the Bolivian captain in command of the army company that captured Guevara, said that the reasons Barrientos ordered the immediate execution of Guevara were “so there would be no possibility for Guevara to escape from prison, and also so there would be no drama in regard to a public trial where adverse publicity might happen”.

The President of Cuba, Raul Castro will lead a ceremony at Che Guevara’s mausoleum in the central town of Santa Clara on the 9th of October 2017 to pay respect to this fallen revolutionary, the President fought together with Che in the Cuban revolution led by his brother Fidel that in 1959 overthrew dictator Fulgencio Batista.