Ernesto Che Guevara left an everlasting legacy for all those who are willing to revolutionize the world and struggle for the freedom and sovereignty of the oppressed. He did not hesitate to leave home and devote his life to fight the poverty and the exploitation he had seen throughout Latin America.
He could have been a lawyer but became interested in medicine and politics. The Spanish Civil War brought him into contact with the political and social reality of the world and a 4,500 kilometer journey through the poorest regions of Argentina opened his eyes to inequality.
Medicine was the bridge to reach what would be his destiny: to make the revolution for social change in Latin America. But journalism accompanied him throughout his life, even during his long days of struggle in the Sierra Maestra in Cuba.
He cultivated a great love for literature and poetry, in fact, in his work as a journalist for news agencies, he was always willing to leave notes on his reality, not only in politics but also in sports and culture.
Fifity years after his assassination in Bolivia, we remember the most important aspects of Che Guevara’s life:
The Necessary War
In his many travels in Latin America, he has taken up the desires of the oppressed peoples for change and justice. “That wandering aimlessly through our capital America has changed me more than I thought,” he said in one of the chronicles following his second trip.
Che saw the injustice. He was a self-taught Marxist who fought for socialism to replace capitalism. “The duty of every revolutionary is to make revolution. He is the icon of the left in Latin America and the world, he rejected injustice and rebellion against a system that generated and still generates profound social inequalities.
In 1955, during a trip to Mexico, he met the brothers Fidel and Raúl Castro and enlisted as a doctor in what would become the Granma expedition, which would take a group of guerrillas to fight against Fulgencio Batista’s regime in Cuba.
With them he confronted the Cuban dictatorship and when he won, the Revolution granted him Cuban nationality, allowing him to participate until 1965 in the organization of the Cuban State, promoting important political and social reforms.
But the conviction that the armed struggle was effective led him to countries like the Congo and Bolivia where he supported insurrectional movements with the idea of achieving the same thing he had achieved in Cuba.
The ever-lasting legacy
Che is a symbol of the armed struggle against imperialism; this became his political legacy because of his influence and participation in the revolutionary movements of the world.
Adverse to the imperialist pretensions of the United States, he took from Marxism and communism the necessary elements to build his own identity which translated into a movement based on the thesis that it was not necessary to wait for social conditions to produce a popular insurrection, but that a small guerrilla movement was sufficient to create the conditions and unleash the popular uprising.
Ché was captured and executed clandestinely in Bolivia, by order of the CIA, while he was promoting the installation of guerrilla centers in the South American country on October 9, 1967. The death was not enough to end the respect and admiration for the revolutionary leader and his role in history.
Even after his death, Che and his ideas are still alive in the movements demanding a change in the power structures. Outstanding figures of art, politics and sports and diverse ideological currents such as Jean Paul Sartre, Diego Armando Maradona, Carlos Santana, Gabriel García Márquez and the Chechen leader Shamil Basáyev are part of the characters that have identified with his figure and ideals.
The advance of progressive governments in Latin America shows that the example of heroism and honesty of this revolutionary has reached the young people, workers and peasants who are fighting to achieve a society of social justice.