Ernesto Rafael Guevara de la Serna was born to a well-off family in Argentina in 1928. While studying medicine at the University of Buenos Aires, he took time off to travel around South America on a motorcycle; during this time, he witnessed the poverty and oppression of the lower classes. He received a medical degree in 1953 and continued his travels around Latin America, becoming involved with left-wing organizations. In the 1950s, Guevara met Fidel Castro and his group of exiled revolutionaries in Mexico. Guevara played a key role in Castro’s seizure of power from Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959 and later served as Castro’s right hand man and minister of industry. Guevara strongly opposed U.S. domination in Latin America and advocated peasant-based revolutions to combat social injustice in Third World countries. Castro described him as “an artist of revolutionary warfare.”
In 1965 Che resigned, some say he was dismissed—from his Cuban government , allegedly over differences with Castro about the nation’s economic and foreign policies. Guevara later disappeared from Cuba, traveled to Africa and eventually resurfaced in Bolivia, where he was killed on October 9th 1967 by the US backed Bolivian army, he was 39. Bolivian forces captured Guevara on October 8 while battling his band of guerillas in Bolivia and assassinated him the following day. His hands were cut off as proof of death and his body was buried in an unmarked grave. In 1997, Guevara’s remains were found and sent back to Cuba, where they were reburied in a ceremony attended by President Fidel Castro and thousands of Cubans.
Following his death, Guevara achieved hero status among people around the world as a symbol of anti-imperialism and revolution. A 1960 photo taken by Alberto Korda of Guevara in a beret became iconic and has since appeared on countless posters and T-shirts. However, not everyone considers Guevara a hero: He is accused, among other things, of ordering the deaths of hundreds of people in Cuban prisons during the revolution.
10 Facts About Che Guevara
- In the city Rosario, his birth place, there is a twelve feet bronze statue of him created using 75,000 keys donated by Che supporters from around the world.
- The Maryland Institute of Art named the photo of Che from 1960 used on so many millions of t-shirts around the world as the most famous photo of all time.
- He had five children, one from his first wife and four with his second wife
- Che was a fully qualified medical doctor
- He is Argentinian, not Cuban as many believe.
- He Was A Warrior With A Taste For Poetry, Philosophy And Chess
- Altough he was in favor of and had empathy for the sick, poor and exploited, yet he was a man of violence who believed and carried out executions
- He went fishing in Cuba with Fidel Castro and Ernest Hemmingway.
- Although his last words are hard to verify, before his execution he supposedly says “I know you are here to kill me. Shoot, coward, you are only going to kill a man.
- 10.Before 1959, Cuba had a literacy rate of around 60 percent. When Che took over he sent out workers to build schools and train teachers, by the end of which the literacy rate had increased to 96 percent.