Che Guevara was a legendary political activist, doctor, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat and military theorist. He gave his life to the downfall on imperialism and the establishment of socialism. Che Guevara was listed in Time magazines list of ‘100 most influential people of the 20th century’. For his hard work and perseverance, Che Guevara became the counter –cultural symbol of revolution and rebellion.
Che Guevara was the eldest son of Ernesto Guevara Lynch and Celia De La Serna Y Liosa. He was introduced to political perspective and realities, primarily leftism, which left a great impact on the revolutionary form a very young age.
Soon developed an affinity for reading, especially about revolutionaries and leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Emilio Salgari, Karl Marx and William Faulkner.
However, Guevara learned about the prevailing economic conditions and poor adversities only after going for two of the longest journeys of his life: a 4500 –km long journey on a bicycle through the rural province of Northern Argentina in 1950, and a nine –month long, 8000- km journey on a motorcycle through most South America in 1951.
The notes taken on both the journeys were complied into a book titled The Motorcycle Diaries.
After studying medicine and graduating from Buenos Aries University in 1953, he undertook another Journey which further affirmed his views against capitalism and created within him an argue to save the world from the misery.
At the same time, he worked at the General Hospital in Mexico, took lectures in the University of Mexico on medicine, and became a part- time photographer for a news agency.
In 1955, he was introduced to Fidel Castro, a revolutionary leader. Guevara instantly joined hands with him to fight against poverty and the exploitation of the poor. Later, Guevara helped Castro fight against the Batista regime in Cuba.
In 1956, Guevara and Castro came up with the 26th of July Movement, a revolutionary organization, and aimed to setup their base in the Sierra Maestra mountains. However, after an attack by the government troops, only 22 people of the original 82 were left.
Soon after, they attacked military camps and built their stock of weapons. They ultimately gained control over the territory. Guevara and Castro distributed the land equally amongst the peasants and in return the peasants helped them fight against the Batista forces.
Looking at the increasing popularity of Castro’s army, the government started publicly executing people.
This created tension between the government and the Guerilla forces. By 1958, Castro’s army, comprising only the poor and deprived, received support from the middle class and wealthy families, primarily doctors, lawyers, accountants and social workers. Castro’s troops soon defeated the military.
Along with other important fights against the military and government, Castro’s army took over Havana on January 8, 1959. Soon, Guevara became the commander of La Cabana Fortress prison and was to institute revolutionary justice against those who were considered war criminals and traitors.
In June 1959, Guevara went to Singapore, Hong Kong and other Banding Pact countries. After his three- month long trip, he was made the minister, he confiscated the land owned by the Us Government and re-distributed the same amongst its real owners.
He also emphasized the importance of literacy. Guevara mainly focused on educating trainers who would transform the illiterate population into a literate one.
Guevara also set educational institutes in rural areas. During his tenure, the literacy rate went up from 60% to 96%.
Later, he was made the finance minister, and president of the National Bank. He focused on balancing the social system and eliminating inequality. In addition, he also provided health care, housing and employment facilities to the people Cuba.
Soon after, his efforts to create an uprising in Bolivia backfired and the Bolivian president captured Guevara and sentenced him to death.
Che Guevara was killed on October 9, 1967. His body was found four years later, near a Vallegrande airstrip. His remains were laid at rest with military honors in a mausoleum in Santa Clara, Cuba.