Research Paper on Che Guevara
Che knew how to use his intelligence and judgment in all the circumstances he encountered taking advantage of each moment as if it was a highly intensive chess game he was sincerely devoted to. The life Che Guevara chose was a perfect resemblance of a man offered the chance to decide his own destiny, while embracing this challenge with all his passion. There has been much debate about what Che actually represented—stood for, and what his impacts have been throughout the region of Latin America.
Exactly this controversy has given me a tremendous interest to actually research and conclude for myself what this ironic symbol of revolution his intentions truly were. Moreover, I try to find out what the effects of his ideology has been in Latin America. If it indeed had an impact or if it was just one’s infatuation with one’s believe and resulted in no understanding of one’s true meaning—message. If it triggered other revolutions In Latin America to take place whether successful or not. So, in other words, did the revolution of Che Guevara have an impact on Latin America? Revolution
Research Paper on Che Guevara Essay Example
What is a revolution? In order to be able to answer this question, we must first get a comprehensive understanding of the word revolution. What does revolution mean and what can be understood from it. The word revolution is derived from the Latin work revolutio, “a turnaround”. Revolution, in general, relatively seen, is a rare but commonly studied vaguely understood ancient concept. It refers to a political rotation that replaces those in power with a previously dispossessed class of people. In fact, the term is often misrepresented to refer to any coup or change of power so that it loses its meaning.
Some historians will limit the usage of revolution to extraordinary events such as the English or French revolution. Others may state that the social changes that occurred during the modernization or industrial revolution were more significant than those related with politics in order to be truly called a revolution. Subsequently, we cannot really claim what the true conception of revolution should be. Interpretations of its causes and how revolutions have developed in Latin America tend to revolve around the question of who is most likely to rebel.
Writing in a European context, Karl Marx (1818-1883) contended that an urban proletariat would lead to revolutionary changes. Karl Marx considered Latin America, with its lack of an advanced industrial economy, to be not ready for a revolution. However, this is very contradicting with perhaps the fact that in the 20th century Latin America has faced more revolutions than in any other continent in the world. More important, one of the most moving revolutions that took place in Latin America is the Cuban Revolution, in which Che Guevara was the brain of the revolution; power behind Fidel Castro’s dictatorship.
Che Guevara’s existence, and relationship with revolution Che Guevara was born Ernesto Guevara de la Serna on 14 June 1928, in Rosario, north-east of the Argentinean capital, Buenos Aires. His nickname “Che” wasn’t acquired until many years later from his Cuban comrade Nico Lopez in Guatemala. His parents (Ernesto Guevara Lynch, and Celia de la Serna) had 5 children, making Ernesto the eldest of his siblings. His mother was strong-willed and passionate about ideas, particularly French culture. She had met his father while at university after which in effect they filled their sanctuary with lots of books, intellectuals, and artists.
His father, a pragmatic supporter of Republicans from the Spanish Civil War, often hosted many veterans from the conflict in the Guevara home. So from a young age Guevara was exposed to political discussions and debate in the house. Ernesto also had developed asthma from an early age on which had hunted him till his last days. His struggle to endure and overcome this asthma developed a notable will power and a sense of purpose to triumph over. Due to his illness as a child he was forced to spend long periods at home, and encouraged by his parents he became an passionate reader.
As a young man Ernesto also developed a thirst for adventure, which increasingly fuelled by a desire to understand the social conditions of the poor of Latin America. In 1950 he had his first real encounter with poor social conditions was in Peru—Chile, during his second trip through Latin America when he was studying to become a doctor, he found peasants and mine workers to be extremely poor and deprived. Also, it was during this trip where formed his stance in which he believed that the destiny of Latin America was unified and that the national borders served to divide people in their struggles for a more justified social order.
In 1953, after he graduated as a doctor, Che took off through Latin America but this with a more conscious interest in political education. It was in Costa Rica where he met six Cubans who had participated in their failed assault on the 26th of July 1953 on the presidency of Batista in the east of the island. Che was very fascinated about their charismatic leader Fidel Castro who appealed to a often nationalist ideology that gained broad appeal from the poor people. Batista’s government was known for its strong ties with the United States and political violence.
After a long escapade through Latin America Che reached Guatemala, where he found himself in a country that was in a state of intensive political tension. The president of Guatemala at that time had been Jacobo Arbenz Guzman , who was elected in march 1951 on a reforming platform, had set about reducing the economic power of the powerful American company United Fruit Company based in Guatemala. La Frutera, as it was known throughout Latin America, owned large pieces of land in Guatemala as well as several ships and infrastructure.
UFCO was the largest Guatemalan landowner and employer, and the Arbenz government’s land reform included the expropriation of 40% of UFCO land. Because president Guzman was planning to have a nationwide agrarian reform law implemented, which was designed to deprive uncultivated land distribution to peasants, the CIA was prompted to plan his overthrow. This had inspired Che to believe that the U. S was an imperialist power that would oppose Latin American governments attempting to address the socioeconomic inequality within their countries.
In a statement about the Guatemalan-United Fruit Company Guevara said: ” The last Latin American revolutionary democracy – that of Jacobo Arbenz – failed as a result of the cold premeditated aggression carried out by the U. S. A. Its visible head was the Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, a man who, through a rare coincidence, was also a stockholder and attorney for the United Fruit Company “. It was this case that made him come to the realization and determination to fight for social injustice.
He reasoned that Latin Americans that die from hunger, contribute to the economic greatness of the U. S. In addition, he reasoned that revolutions aren’t deportable but that they are created by the people who are willing to fight for freedom. During this period he met Hilda Gadea, a Peruvian political activist, who first introduced him to Marxism and the Chinese revolutionary Mao Tse-tung. The philosophy of Marxist and Lenin became very shaping to his own ideologies throughout his life. Hilda Ghadea later on often joined in the guerilla movements as navigation guide.
Not much later after the coup of Guatemala, Che set off to Mexico where he met up with the Cubans he had met earlier, as well as meeting Fidel Castro in Mexico City for the first time after his release from jail in Cuba. In effect, Guevara became a member of the invasion force that was planning to invade Cuba and overthrow the Batista regime. It was in Mexico where Che Guevara sharpened his combat skills and underwent a highly intensive guerilla training camp. During this short period he developed a prominent guerilla leadership.
In Mexico they really worked out their plan to invade Cuba. After a short period of incarceration, Che and his fellow militants led by Fidel Castro sailed off to Cuba on the yacht GranMa in November 1956 to orchestrate what was soon to be the Cuban Revolution. The Cuban Revolution Cuba around this time was relatively modernized and had reached a level of development comparable to some of the larger countries in Latin America increasingly due to the close ties Batista had developed with the U. S, primarily because of the commercial interests the U. S saw in Cuba.
Upon arrival in Cuba with the yacht GranMa, the rebel army was confronted with troops from Batista. Attacked by Batista’s military soon after landing, many of the 82 men were either killed in the attack or executed upon capture; only 22 found each other afterwards. Once Che arrived in Sierra Maestra, they encountered poor people living there in minimal conditions. Reminiscing on his experiences of traveling around Latin America and his skills as a doctor, Che’s approach was to organize educational classes for the poor people to teach them to read and write in the evening.
He also provided medical assistance and dental treatment with the limited resources that were available to whoever needed it. Many of the peasant, who had never even seen a doctor, spread the word quickly which in effect sparked his popularity among the peasant living in the mountains. Quickly Che took on the role of guerilla doctor. Furthermore, at that time Che established two propaganda mediums that were not common in the guerrilla movement. El Cubano libre which is a newspaper, with Che acting as its political editor.
And the Radio Rebelde, a radio station, which they used to communicate to the headquarters and subsequently bring new ideas to the Cuban people and inform them of the victories of the Rebel army. Around the same time, Che opened a military school to educate and train guerilla. Che had joined the rebels as their doctor, but almost immediately he proved to have good capabilities as a soldier as well. He soon demonstrated a noticeable lack of fear for danger and ability to inspire and lead, combined with a profound sense of tactics. Castro made him commandant after recognizing those tactics.
While engaging through this period of war killing the mass opposing militaries and informers, after each victory Che reminded the people of the revolution while acting as a public speaker by basically telling them: “united we stand, divided we fall”, ensuring them that their province will become free Cuban territory. During the revolution Che also had an immense support for woman fighters. He saw them as fighters, particularly weaker but no less resistant than a man. After being unable to cope with the rebellion, the regime of Batista was overthrown after which Batista fled the country in the beginning of January 1959.
The entry of the guerillas into Havana after Batista’ departure, was not the end but beginning of the revolution. Cuba underwent a drastic transform to achieve the social and economic aspirations that were expected now from the locals by establishing new government and ensuring security. First Che was made ambassador in order to create and strengthen foreign relations. After that he got put in charge of industrialization within the newly created national institute for agrarian reform. The INRA quickly became the most important governing body in the nation, with Guevara serving as its head in his capacity as minister of industries.
As a minister Che Guevara had political power. With that power came the ability to speak out one’s ideologies, which in Che’s case, was particularly about Latin America and the American imperialism they were being faced with. A platform he used to make Cuba’s ideologies more widely known, was at the United Nations. His goal was to overthrow imperialism, which he saw as a global capitalist system which oppressed the developed countries. In this period he also came up with several ideologies such as the creation of the socialist man, the “New Man”—which is a social individual who is completely devoted to the society he lives in.
After all, he saw himself as fighting for socialism. In other words, its role was to create the new society made possible by the revolution. Moreover, he showed much desire to create a state owned enterprise to develop a spirit of socialistic equality and solidarity. He also had involvement in community work, slowly making the transition to prosper communism. During this period a majority of the economy was nationalized, including both domestic and foreign investors—U. S (UFCO). Months later, as retaliation, U. S President Dwight D. Eisenhower sharply reduced U.
S. imports of Cuban sugar (Cuba’s main cash crop), thus leading Guevara on July 10, 1960, to address over 100,000 workers in front of the Presidential Palace at a rally called to denounce U. S. “economic aggression”. However, the Soviet Union agreed to buy all the sugar the U. S. refused to buy. Not much later the U. S imposed a total trade embargo of Cuba and broke off all diplomatic relations with the country. Along with the agrarian reform, Guevara stressed about the improvement on the literacy rate in the country. He demanded some investment n education because in his eyes a country that doesn’t know how to read or write is a country that is easy to deceive. In 1961 Che began organizing groups of revolutionaries to fight as guerillas on the Latin American continent. A few years later he went in disguise to Congo, where he planned to support and give training to guerilla forces there. The time he spend in Congo was not really successful around that era since he claimed that the Congolese people were not willing to fight. This solidified Che’s view that revolutions aren’t deportable, but that they are created by the people who are willing to fight for freedom.
Congo was for Che a stepping stone towards his strategic goal of participating in a wider revolution. In order to spread out the revolution once more, he set off to Bolivia only this time making it his last time he could do so while alive. Bolivia would become a military base giving its geographic strategic location. Che believed that if guerilla columns could be formed with fighter from various countries within Latin America, this would provoke reaction from the governments of these countries, supported by US imperialism.
In turn, this would stimulate revolutionary armed struggle, which would lead the North Americans to intervene. In Bolivia he came to the realization of a theory for the “Liberacion de Bolivia” which sounds as follow: Anywhere were men are being exploited by men, conditions are right to force an armed struggle. When children work in mines and 50% of miners don’t reach 30 years of age, additionally, when these same miners go on strike to improve their wages and they get executed by the army are the conditions right or not?
If infant mortality rates are the highest in Latin America because of the lack of hospitals and medicine, the conditions are right to force an armed struggle! To narrow down towards his last days of being alive, in the beginning of October in 1967 Che was caught by Bolivian soldiers and was brought to the town of La Higuera where he was first questioned then executed. Following his death, Che had a great influence on many politics and revolutions within and beyond the borders of Latin America. The Influence of Che Guevara on Latin America
Che Guevara became the internationally renowned symbol for rebellion. From Guerilla in Latin America, to the Black Panthers in the U. S. A. Along with this symbolism came the naming of his ideology, Guevarism. What Che had proved to world is that it is possible to get power with an armed struggle supported by the people. Besides the fact that the Argentine Marxist Che Guevara can be profiled as: the international icon for revolution; the creator of the “New Man” concept; liberal; integrity; dedicated; transparent in terms of politics; committed to his believes; and pan-American, he was also a murderer.
In terms of outspokenness, he was also less fearful of addressing issues of class transparency and poverty in the U. S. This was very unusual because the predecessors of Castro’s regime had always been pro-America. Nonetheless, the profiling of Che’s myth can be described best by several characteristics in further explanation: * Communist – Socialist Acting out of the interest of the people, but supporting a dictatorial style of centralized government. Since Che’s death, there has been an emergence in leftist(-center) political leader such as Evo Morales who is referred to as the New Che Guevara. Successful commercial merchandise When he was alive he already possessed the ability to “sell yourself” in this case to gain the support from the people to get to power with an armed struggle. Che Guevara his appearance has been common throughout the popular culture. Now that he passed away, many people saw this as a business opportunity for commerce to capitalize. His revolutionary picture has been portrayed in many contemporary mediums, for example; * Advertising: In Peru they sell the Che cigarettes, even though Che only smoked cigars. * Business/Restaurant:
In Russia, Moscow there is a club called Club Che. http://www. clubche. ru * In Films: Since the passing away of Che, he has been portrayed in many movies. The movie “Che” was the single screen movie at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. * In Fashion: “I don’t want people to use my father’s face unthinkingly. I don’t like to see him stitched on the backside of a pair of mass-produced jeans. But look at the people who wear Che T-shirts. They tend to be those who don’t conform, who want more from society, who are wondering if they can be better human beings. That, I think he would have liked. — Aleida Guevara, daughter of Che Guevara * In Politics This refers to the support political leaders have shown for Che Guevara. For example, Hugo Chavez who is known for showing his support for Che Guevara when making public appearances. * Populist leader The idea of populism derives from the remaining inequality as well as the regional tradition that natural resources belong to the nation and, therefore, should be managed by the state. Che was a heavy proponent of this. His quest was to liberate the vast population from suppressions of American imperialism. Anti-Imperialist, Anti-Capitalist—Anti- Neo-liberalism Che wanted to show the world what proletarian internationalism means. It’s based on the view that capitalism is now a global system, and therefore the working class must act as a global class if it is to defeat it. People should unite in solidarity on the basis of a common class interest. Che believed in heavy intervention from the state in the Cuban markets, thus opposing neo-liberalism in the sense of having greater faith in the efficacy of government intervention and putting greater emphasis on protecting the poor from the consequences of economic crisis. Spontaneous This is fairly resembled in the fact that Che, once in Bolivia, served as a guerilla doctor for peasants as well as giving them medical treatment. Also, the community work he did was done spontaneously. * Influential * Woman In Mission The Cuban revolution success in 1959, in which women joined in the guerilla activities, inspired growing numbers of women to participate, often as armed combats, in the grassroots resistance movements that arose in Argentina, Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Peru, and Uruguay.
Furthermore, arguably due to Che Guevara his influence came the emergence of female leaders such as former president of Chile Michelle Bachelet (Left-Center government), who is also a doctor and former defensive minister, which is a significant accomplishment in a region with such a long tradition of male-dominated and machismo politics. In terms of the influence Che has had on other revolutions, one of the most resembled person to Che is Abimael Guzman, a guerilla fighter who originated the communistic party “Lichtend Pad” which is a guerilla movement in Peru. * Political influence
Due to Che his ideologies, character, and personality, he left behind ideas that many politicians were to follow. Nowadays, there is significant variation among the leftist governments that prevail across Latin American. So, it is only right to say that Che had an influence on the Left in contemporary Latin America. Two primary examples of these political leaders are Evo Morales of Bolivia, and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela who both have shown their support for Che Guevara’s ideologies. Their resemblance to Che Guevara can be traced back in their political actions and believes.
The election of Morales, the leader of the coca growers movement and of Aymara descent, was unprecedented in a country where the indigenous population has been marginalized since the colonial era. Similarly, the dramatic rise of Chavez has given voice to those who were all but ignored in the elite-dominated pacted system that prevailed in Venezuela. Morales and Chavez have dealt aggressively with foreign corporations in the oil and gas industries, compelling them to accept new additional revenue that has funded social programs to benefit the poor majority.
The condition’s resembling the time of Che are seen back in the modern governments of Mexico, Peru, and Colombia who have dictatorial regimes ruling under corruption. Conclusion It is evident that Che Guevara has had an impact on Latin America in all sorts of way. The most significant contribution of his revolutionary was his recognition that imperialism was everywhere organizing the exploitation of every fracture on the world’s earth, by intervening militarily in the most distant places with disregard to the most treasured cultural practices –with reference to peasants.
In fact, he wanted a united continent who together struggle to fight poverty in order to liberate the vast population. With that being considered, he got what he wanted in terms of the Free Trade Area of the Americas that was created in 1990. In addition, Che prefered no ties with imperialist countries like the United States of America, and his intentions were to alert the other countries within Latin America to not let American imperialism decide its economic destiny. However, the U. S. A has proved that it can change course for the better, although its democracy still has a long way to go.
Che also believed that the developing of developing countries should be paid by socialist countries. Thats why he was also in favor of making contact with these countries. Nonetheless, his message was to spread the revolution. Due to globalization, the image of Che Guevara prevails as an activist icon among many in the western world. Basically, spreading the alertness that it is possible to get to power with an armed struggle supported by the people. Hasta la Victoria para siempre. – Ernesto “ Che ” Guevara Bibliography
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