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Ernesto Che Guevara - a model revolutionary

By U. E. Perera

(June 13, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Ernesto Guevara De La Serna was born in Rosario, Argentina on June 14,1928. He was the brilliant son of a Buenos Aires Architect. After passing out as a medical student, he could have easily carved out a professional life with unlimited comforts but young Guevara who had the opportunity to study teachings of Marxism and Leninism, took a bold decision to dedicate his life for the emancipation of mankind from the yoke of capitalism and imperialism. He joined the just cause of the oppressed people.

After earning his degree as a professional doctor, he travelled throughout Latin America and saw the suffering of the people, under colonialism and imperialism. Living in Guatemala during 1954 - then under the elected government of Jacoba Arbenz- he got actively involved in the political movements there and was an eye witness to the forcible overthrow of that government manipulated by a CIA led military operation.

The military regime that came to power in Guatemala was hunting for the militants, combatants and revolunaries. Therefore, under the threat of death, Guevara left for Mexico which gave shelter and inspiration to young revolutionaries. In Mexico, Dr. Guevara first met Raul Castro who introduced him to his brother, Fidel. Fidel Castro who had the time to have a penetrating dialogue with Guevara enlisted him into the guerilla expedition he was meticulously planning to overthrow the tyrannical rule of Batista. The Cubans nicknamed him ‘Che,’ a popular form of address in Argentina.

The months of November and December 1956 was a critical period for the Cuban revolutionaries. It was during this time that they undertook the expedition to Cuba aboard the cabin cruiser GRANMA to launch the revolutionary armed struggle in the Sierra Maestra mountains. At the beginning of the expedition, Dr. Guevara served as the troop Doctor and became a rebel commander in July 1967.

In September 195 8, he joined hands with Camilo Cienfuegos and led the guerilla columns westward from the Sierra Maestra to the centre of the island. Through intensive and fierce fighting, they successfully extended their power base to other parts of the country. As the next target, Fidel instructed him to invade the central province of Las Villas. After completing this assignment, he then led his rebel column to the Escambray mountains and from there coordinated the efforts of the anti-Batista forces.

At the end of December 1958, Guevara led the revolutionary armed forces to a significant victory in the battle of Santa Clara, one of the decisive engagements of the revolutionary war. He was the strategist of the Battle of Santa Clara, the Capital of Las Villas. The imminent fall of Las Villas, precipitated the flight of the tyrant Batista.

January 1, 1959, Guevara became a key leader of the new revolutionary government. In September 1959, he was appointed as the head of the Department of Industry of the National Institute of Agrarian Reform; in November 1959, he assumed duties as the President of the National Bank; and in February 1961, he assumed duties as the Minister of Industries. Guevara led numerous Cuban delegations all over the world raising the voice of the oppressed people.

In April 1965, Guevara left Cuba to participate directly in revolutionary struggles in other lands. In his farewell letter to Fidel and the Cuban people, he said ‘I am leaving for other lands that claim the recourse of my modest efforts."

He spent several months in Congo, returning to Cuba secretly in December 1965. In November 1966, he arrived in Bolivia where he led a guerilla detachment fighting that country’s military dictatorship. Wounded and captured by U.S. trained Bolivian troops on October 8, 1967, he was murdered the following day under the direct instructions of the CIA.

Che Guevara is recognized as a symbol of revolutionary struggles even by the new generation of young people in Latin America and all over the world. His works ‘Guerrilla Warfare’, ‘Episodes of the revolutionary War’ and the Complete Bolivian Diaries of Che Guevara and other captured documents, edited by Daniel James will certainly enlighten the revolutionaries all over the world in their pursuits for social justice and dignity of life.

Che was a man of ideas and also a man of action. He was a model revolutionary.
-Sri Lanka Guardian

1 comment

class said...

There is a thin line between revolutionary and terrorist.

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