The Legacy of Che Guevara: A Documentary Study

The Legacy of Che Guevara: A Documentary Study

The Legacy of Che Guevara: A Documentary Study

The Legacy of Che Guevara: A Documentary Study

Excerpt

Italicized numerals in brackets refer to the Documents

The New Left in Latin America is virtually indistinguishable from the political currents generated by the Cuban Revolution in response to the common Latin American predicament of underdevelopment. The social basis of revolutionary movements in Latin America may be traced to a number of broad factors. A frustrated sense of patriotism is the response to the dominating role of foreign, mainly US-based, corporations which appear to manipulate Latin American governments in their own interest and have the effect of distorting the independent development of native economies. The symbols of prosperity in foreign business communities contrast starkly with the very low wages and squalid living conditions of native employees, while Latin American governments find themselves financially and technologically dependent on the US for the development of their national industries. On the analogy of the first War of Independence against Spanish colonialism (1810-25), Latin American revolutionaries conceive of the present struggle against US imperialism as a Second War of Independence. In Latin America power lies with a landed oligarchy, native capitalists linked to foreign interests, and the armed forces which often have imposed unpopular governments on their countries in violation of electoral results. Corrupt electoral practices, governments which give only lip service to their constitutions, and military dictatorships which arbitrarily establish their own grounds of legitimacy -- all these form the background against which the New Left has been active.

If revolutionary violence has become an accepted political tactic in Latin America, its origins should be related to the institutionalization . . .

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