13 May 2007

Life and Death of Che Guevarra

Early Life

Ernesto Che Guevara was born on June 14 in Rosario, an important town in Argentina. At the age of two Che had his first asthma attack, a disease which he later suffered a great deal while fighting against Batista troops in Sierra Maestra, and which did not let go of him till he was shot to death by Barrientos’ troops in the forests of Bolivia. His father Ernesto Guevara Lynch, an engineer, was from a family of Irish descent, and his mother, Clia dela Sena, was an Irish-Spanish descent. When Che was three his family moved to Buenos Aires. Later, his asthma attacks had gotten so worse that the doctors advised him for a drier climate. Hence once again Guevara family moved, this time to Cordoba. Guavaras were a typical bourgeois family, and in terms of their political inclinations they were known to be liberal closer to left. During the Spanish civil war they had supported the Republicans. In time their financial situation worsened. Che started Dean Funes high school where he was being educated in English. In the meanwhile, he was also learning French from his mother. At the age of fourteen Che started reading Freud, he especially loved French poetry, and he had a great passion for Boudelaire’s works. When he was sixteen, he became an admirer of Neruda.In 1944 Guevara family moved to Buenos Aires. They were having serious financial problems. Che started working while he was a student. He registered to medical school. In the early years of his study at the medical school he traveled throughout the northern and western Argentina, studying on leprosy and tropical diseases in the villages. In his last year at the school, Che went on trip through the Latin America by motorbike with his friend Alberto Granadas. This gave him the chance to get to know better the exploited villagers of the Latin America. Che graduated from medical school as a doctor in March 1953 and decided to work in a leper colony in Venezuela. He was on his way to Venezuela when he was put to jail in Peru because of his earlier publication on the natives. When got out, he stayed in Ecuador for a while, where he met Ricardo Rojo, a lawyer. Meeting Ricardo turned out to be a turning point in Che’s life. He changed his mind of going to Venezuela, and instead went to Guatemala with Ricardo Rojo. When revolutionary Arbenz government was overthrown by a rightist coup, he took refuge in Argentina embassy. Soon afterword he joined the resistance he was forced to leave the Embassy. When it became too dangerous for him to stay in Guatemala, he went to Mexico. During his stay in Guatemala he had met Fidel Castro’s brother Raul as well as many Cuban exiles. In Mexico, he met Fidel Castro and his friends, and joined the Cuban revolutionaries. Later, he left for Cuba onboard the ship Granma and took part in the front lines till the end of the war. After the Revolution he, Colonel Ernesto Che Guevara, was assigned to the command of fort la Cabana in Havana. In 1959 he was given Cuban citizenship. Later he married a fellow comrade Aleida March. He was assigned to the presidency of the Institute of National Agricultural Reform, and of the National Bank of Cuba in 1959, by which he was given the financial responsibilities of the country.In February 23rd, 1961, the Revolutionary Government of Cuba assigned Che as the head of newly established Ministry of Industry. However, during the Playa Giran battle he was again called for the command of the fort. In the following years, his many visits to underdeveloped countries provided Che with a closer understanding of the exploited nations and the imperialists. This awakened the rebel in him. He decided to organize the peoples of other Latin American countries. In September of 1965, he left for the unknown countries. In October 3rd, 1965, Fidel Castro read Che’s famous farewell to the people of Cuba....And the death caught up with him near Higueras in Bolivia. He was surrounded by Barrientos’ troops on the night of October 7th, 1967. Heavily wounded from his leg, and he was locked up in a school in Higueras. Never he bowed to anyone. Nine bullets fired by Mario Turan, a murderer for Barrientos....Che died on October 9th , 1967

With Fidel Castro

Captured and Execution

The Bolivian Special Forces were notified of the location of Guevara's guerrilla encampment by an informant. On 8 October, the encampment was encircled, and Guevara was captured while leading a detachment with Simeón Cuba Sarabia in the Quebrada del Yuro ravine. According to some soldiers present at the capture, during the skirmish as they approached Guevara, he allegedly shouted, "Do not shoot! I am Che Guevara and worth more to you alive than dead."[65]

Barrientos promptly ordered his execution upon being informed of his capture.Barrientos[›] Guevara was taken to a dilapidated schoolhouse in the nearby village of La Higuera where he was held overnight. Early the next afternoon he was executed. The executioner was Mario Terán, a Sergeant in the Bolivian army who had drawn a short straw after arguments over who got the honour of killing Guevara broke out among the soldiers. Guevara received multiple shots to the legs, so as to avoid maiming his face for identification purposes and simulate combat wounds in an attempt to conceal his execution. Che Guevara did have some last words before his death; he allegedly said to his executioner, "I know you are here to kill me. Shoot, coward, you are only going to kill a man."[66] His body was lashed to the landing skids of a helicopter and flown to neighboring Vallegrande where it was laid out on a laundry tub in the local hospital and displayed to the press.[67] Photographs taken at that time gave rise to legends such as those of San Ernesto de La Higuera and El Cristo de Vallegrande (Local people came to refer to Guevara as a saint, "San Ernesto de La Higuera", whom they ask for favors. Others claim his ghost walks the area.[68]). After a military doctor surgically amputated his hands, Bolivian army officers transferred Guevara's cadaver to an undisclosed location and refused to reveal whether his remains had been buried or cremated.Amputation[›]

The hunt for Guevara in Bolivia was headed by Félix Rodríguez, a CIA agent, who previously had infiltrated Cuba to prepare contacts with the rebels in the Escambray Mountains and the anti-Castro underground in Havana prior to the Bay of Pigs invasion, and had been successfully extracted from Cuba afterwards.[69][70] Upon hearing of Guevara's capture, Rodríguez relayed the information to CIA headquarters at Langley, Virginia, via CIA stations in various South American nations. After the execution, Rodríguez took Guevara's Rolex watch and several other personal items, often proudly showing them to reporters during the ensuing years. Today, some of these belongings, including his flashlight, are on display at the CIA.[71]

On October 15, Castro acknowledged that Guevara was dead and proclaimed three days of public mourning throughout Cuba. The death of Guevara was regarded as a severe blow to the socialist revolutionary movements in Latin America and the rest of the third world.

Che Guevara's Monument and Mausoleum in Santa Clara, CubaIn 1997, the skeletal remains of a handless body were exhumed from beneath an air strip near Vallegrande, identified as those of Guevara by a Cuban forensic team working at the scene, and returned to Cuba. On 17 October 1997, his remains, along with those of six of his fellow combatants killed during the guerrilla campaign in Bolivia, were laid to rest with full military honors in a specially built mausoleumMausoleum[›] in the city of Santa Clara, where he had won the decisive battle of the Cuban Revolution.

Upon capture

Death pics

Che's hands amputated for Identification

1 comment:

Iso Reno said...

Ha-ha! Che est muerto!!