Magazine article New Internationalist

The Meaning of Che

Magazine article New Internationalist

The Meaning of Che

Article excerpt

ERNESTO 'CHE' GUEVARA is a modern hero, a brooding, powerful symbol of selfless dedication to the poor and the oppressed. He was born into a middle-class Argentine family in 1928 and educated as a doctor.

Travelling through Latin America by motorcycle as a young man, he saw poverty first hand. He ended up in Guatemala where he witnessed a CIA-led coup against the mildly-reformist President Jacobo Arbenz. Later he joined up with a kindred spirit-Fidel Castro-in Mexico.

In Cuba, as part of Castro's guerrilla army, Che was known for his searing intellect, bravery and military prowess. Rising quickly to the rank of Comandante, he and Fidel soon became the heart and soul of the Revolution. A self-taught Marxist, and an important political theorist in his own right, his vision of social change was pure and uncompromising: 'I believe in the armed struggle as the only solution for people who fight to free themselves. …

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