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What in Essence, is the Nature of an Enduring Character?

(II)

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aa che

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Ernesto Che Guevara

(1928 – 1967)

(C-V)

“To achieve great things, you must lose everything.”

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WHAT IN ESSENCE IS THE NATURE OF AN ENDURING CHARACTER?

What is it about the ones who are enduring? Can we via understanding, commandeer their effect, or part thereof? Is it merely that the ones who try to change history hold fast certain moral imperatives, and are dismissed as idealists for so doing – by those who are accused of not seeing beyond the limits of the practical, no matter how the world around them has become? Is this dichotomy valid? Oftentimes, these enduring characters are now seen as ‘imperialists’, as ‘revolutionaries’ who do succeed, though most often throughout history they do not. These enduring characters often vanish in the mist of time’s passing into which they are forgotten, where their names and deeds are erased. We know this from our own example. To me, they all, whether forgotten or not, appear to carry within themselves a very curious mixture of hope, defiance and submission and an understanding of the meaning of the ultimate character of human existence. Without doubt, and like our own example, it is that they know the enormity they face; they know that the cost may well be their lives. Perhaps grasp that things will turn out well, it is the certainty that something does make sense to them, regardless, whatever the outcome. This does make them interesting to consider, nonetheless.

(C-I)

Additionally, we see Che almost everywhere, so how is he important to us, and what lives at the heart of this man’s legacy? Let’s talk about him because undeniably there are multitudes of people who live in his no less than enduring shadow. In what way is it important that we examine the reason why?

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But first, here is a preamble to the discussion:

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Ernesto Che Guevara was born on June 14, 1928 in the Argentine town of Rosario. His parents were people of moderate means. His father, Ernesto Guevara Lynch, of Irish descent, worked as an engineer for civilian profession, and his mother, Celia de la Serna, had Spanish roots. Ernesto was the eldest of five children raised in this family, which is biased toward liberal opinions and beliefs.

(* photograph; Yuri Gagarin and Che Guevara. Moscow. 1964)

Two years old Ernesto became seriously ill, he suffered a severe asthma, due to which asthma was accompanied by his lifetime. To restore the health of the baby his family was forced to move to the province of Cordoba in the area with a dry climate, Alta Gracia, where his health has not significantly improved. In this regard, Ernesto never had a loud voice, so necessary to the speaker and his listener’s speech, people constantly felt wheezing sounds coming from the lungs when he pronounces each word, feeling how hard it is given to him.

Guevara received primary education at home, mainly from the mother. From an early age he manifested tendencies in reading literature. With great enthusiasm, Ernesto read the works of Marx, Engels and Freud, in abundance of available in the library of his father; possible that some of them he learned before his admission in 1941 in Cordoba State College. During college his ability manifested only in literature and sports disciplines.

During this period, youth’s deepest impression on Ernesto produced Spanish emigrants who fled to Argentina from the Franco-ist repression during the Spanish Civil War, as well as a continuous string of dirty political crisis in their country, the apotheosis of which was the establishment of the dictatorship of Juan Peron, to which family Guevara treated with extreme hostility. This kind of event and the impact on the rest of life in youth approved contempt for the pantomime of parliamentary democracy, hatred of the military dictators and politicians, the army as a means to achieve their dirty goals to capitalist oligarchy, but most of all – to American imperialism, which he saw ‘ready to commit any crime for profit in dollar terms’. Ernesto, and primarily his mother, were active participants in the anti-Peron appearances, he did not participate in student revolutionary movements and had very little interest in politics while studying at the University of Buenos Aires. Ernesto went there in 1947, when he predicted a brilliant career engineer, decided to train to become a doctor, to alleviate the suffering of others as their ease he was not able to.

Initially, he was interested primarily in respiratory diseases that were closest to him personally, but later became interested in the study of one of the worst scourges of humankind – leprosy or leprosy scientific. Thus, in his youth Guevara, as we see more people interested in getting rid of the physical, rather than spiritual suffering. To realise the primacy of the spiritual suffering that came later.

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AAA CHE

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In late 1948, Ernesto decided to go on his first extended trip through the northern provinces of Argentina on a bicycle. During this journey, he first sought to make acquaintance and learn more about life among the world’s poorest people and fund Indian tribes doomed to extinction at the then political regime. It is from that trip he began to realise his impotence as a medic in the treatment of diseases of the whole society in which he lived.

In 1951, after the date of the penultimate university examinations, Guevara and his friend Granados went to a more serious trip, earning a living performing auxiliary work in places that he passed through; he then visited southern Argentina, Chile, where he met with Salvador Allende (according to other sources, he personally met him much later), Peru, where he worked for several weeks in a leper colony of San Pablo, Colombia in the Age of Violence (la Violencia) – there he was arrested, but soon released; moreover, visited Venezuela and Miami, in Florida.

Returning home from this trip, Ernesto set himself a primary purpose in life itself which was to facilitate human suffering. Becoming a specialist in the field of skin diseases after graduation, he harshly rejected the proposal for a promising career at the university, decided to at least the next ten years devote to work of practitioner so to learn about the life of ordinary people and understand what he was capable of. Receiving a letter from Granados from Venezuela with the proposal of an interesting work, Ernesto jumped at the offer and, together with his other friend went there through Bolivia. In La Paz, he was a witness of the national revolution, which condemned as opportunist the hopes of ordinary people and soon was to rein a pro-American government. However, Guevara did not manage to see his friend in Caracas. Fascinated by stories from friends regarding the architectural monuments of ancient civilizations of the Maya (archaeology along with bicycles was his main hobby) and being interested in the revolutionary events in Guatemala, he hastened to head there. There he wrote travel notes on the subject of archaeological monuments of ancient civilisations of the Maya and Inca.

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AAAA CHE

(photograph; Che Guevara leads dance in kindergarten in Shanghai, 1960)

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Guevara lived and worked in Guatemala as a practitioner during the reign of socialist President Arbenz; already at that time defending Marxist position and thoroughly studied the works of Lenin, Ernesto, however, refused to join the Communist Party, afraid of losing the chance to possess a post in the field of Medical practice. Then he was friends with Hilda Gadea, later became his wife, the Indian Marxist school, significantly advanced his political education, and she introduced him to Nico Lopez, one of Fidel Castro’s lieutenants. It was in Guatemala that Guevara got a glimpse of the ‘essence of the CIA and the working methods of its agents for the benefit of the counter-revolution that finally convinced him of the correctness of the revolutionary path of development and methods of armed struggle as the only one possible in the situation’. When Arbenz, supported by U.S. intelligence, was overthrown, that almost cost his associates, in particular, Guevara, his life, Ernesto moved to Mexico City, where from September 1954 worked at the central hospital. There he was joined by Hilda Gadea and Nico Lopez, this is where he met Fidel and Raul Castro and was so fascinated by their ideas that finally became convinced of the correctness of the chosen path and become a leader.

The Castro brothers recently arrived from Cuba, where under their direction was a failed attempt to storm the Moncada barracks for the overthrow of the Batista dictatorship. It cost them a few years in prison; under the pressure of public opinion they were released, but soon they had to leave their homeland. Without a shadow of hesitation Ernesto joined the nascent squad Fidel was preparing for an armed struggle for the freedom of the Cuban people.

His nickname ‘Che’, which he was proud of, he used for the rest of his life. Rebels were seriously preparing for guerrilla war under the leadership of the preparation of the Spanish Republican Army captain Alberto Bayo, author of the book ‘150 Questions to the Guerrillas’ the most experienced guerrilla during the Civil War in Spain, who knew well the theoretical issues of the struggle for Soviet and Chinese sources. Che was his best pupil. Soon, however, attention was drawn to the rebel camp and broken up by police, and all Cubans and including Che were arrested, but released a month later, in June 1956. Che Guevara was with the rebels first as a doctor, and then has at its disposal one of the teams and the highest rank of Comandante (Major).

During landing November 25, 1956 in Port Tuxpan and moving deep into Cuba, they met fierce resistance from the dictatorial forces and their squad were no more than twenty people, but the broad support of the peasantry allowed Revolutionary Army barbudos to strengthen its influence and day after day release all new territory, gaining victories over the superior number of their enemies and weapons. Conducted on the territories occupied by the rebels agrarian and social reforms met with the approval of the vast majority of rural workers and guerrilla forces were growing stronger every day.

Comandante Che emerged as the most courageous, determined, talented and lucky brigade commander. Demanding to subordinate soldiers and merciless to enemies, he won a series of brilliant victories over government forces. The most impressive and in fact predetermined the victory of the Cuban Revolution was the battle for the city of Santa Clara, a strategically important point near Havana, which began December 28, 1958 and ended with its take on December 31. A day in the Revolutionary army entered Havana. Revolution triumphed; there came a new stage in the life of the Cuban people.

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AAAAA CHE

(photograph; Che Guevara and his comrades on vacation after the battle, before entering into Havana. Cuba, December 1958)

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Che became the second man in the new government after Fidel. In February 1959 he was given Cuban citizenship and all the rights of the indigenous Cuban and entrusted to the highest government positions. Che Guevara organised and headed the National Institute of Agrarian Reform, eliminating the semi-feudal land tenure and achieving order to improve its effectiveness; served as Minister of Industry; was elected president of the National Bank of Cuba. With virtually no experience in public administration and economics, Che promptly managed to learn and change for the better things in his custody areas, spending money and industrial reform in conditions of severe threat to the U.S. blockade and intervention.

In 1959, he married for the second time Aleida March, he visited with her in Egypt, India, Japan, Indonesia, Pakistan and Yugoslavia; returning from a trip, signed a historic agreement with the Soviet Union on the export of sugar and oil imports, breaking the dependence of the Cuban economy from the United States. Later visiting the Soviet Union, he was caught up in successes achieved under the construction of socialism, but did not fully endorsed the current policy of the leadership. He felt no need to wait maturing revolutionary situation, and believed himself the right to prepare the ground for it; moreover, like Mao, he thought best to carry out the revolution in predominantly agrarian countries. Even then, he saw in the management layer of Soviet society emerging sprouts counterrevolution and rollback to imperialism, and, as it turns out now, was largely right. In addition, Che served extremely aggressive stance during the Cuban missile crisis, but managed to soften their views and to keep friendly relations between Cuba and the USSR.

He was interested in revolutionary movements of the world, and he wanted to be the main inspiration. To do this, he visited Algeria and played there at the conference of the Afro-Asian Solidarity, visited the UN General Assembly, the Conference had initiated three continents for the implementation of its program of revolutionary liberation and guerrilla cooperation in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The most successful revolutionary tactics was considered a synthesis of Cuban and Vietnamese guerrilla movement types. Che wrote books on guerrilla tactics, episodes of the revolutionary war in Cuba, Socialism and being a man in Cuba.

For the revolution calling Ernesto was a guiding star. And for this, in the end he gave up everything else. In October 1965 Che left everything he held – high public office, declined to Cuban citizenship, and stressing a few lines to his wife, children and parents, disappeared from public life. There were a lot of rumors about his fate then. It was said that he was insane and/or resided somewhere in Bedlam in Russia or killed somewhere in Latin America. One thing is certain; he devoted the rest of life to the struggle for justice and liberation of the oppressed peoples, for the Revolution, he decided finally and irrevocably.

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AAAAAAA CHE

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In 1966, his footprints were found in Africa. Che saw then in several African countries, where he prepared the ground for the anti-imperialist speeches. Later he returned to Cuba and, gathering a volunteer detachment of 120 men, went back with them to Africa, in the Congo, to return to power that of a socialist government in Kinshasa by methods of guerrilla warfare. His trying to organize a broad presentation of the masses failed, and Che decided to return to Latin America.

For quite a long time his men prepared and organized performances of the masses in Bolivia. Che remembered well the Bolivian people during his stay in Bolivia during the revolution in 1952, having carefully analyzed the mistakes of that era and offered this nation its last stand.

In April 1967, Che with his troops illegally entered the territory of Bolivia. At the very beginning of their business activity moved successfully. Were won several victories over government forces, the Bolivian miners organized an armed uprising. However, it was brutally suppressed and did not meet with widespread support among the people. In addition, the advent of funky ‘violent Che’ Bolivian regime called for help from U.S. intelligence agencies.

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AAAAAAAAA CHE

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In October came the denouement. A squad of Che Guevara was detected by the latest U.S. reconnaissance equipment and surrounded by special military units of the Bolivian army-trained by the CIA, near the village of Valle Grande. When he tried to break out, Tanya and Che’s closest associates were killed, very few escaped, and Che was wounded and captured on October 8. The next day, after a brutal interrogation, he was shot in the village of Higuera.

Fear of enemies even before the death, Che was so great that the house where he was shot, was razed to the ground and the burial place was kept secret. Only in June 1997, Argentine and Cuban scientists were able to find and identify the remains of the legendary Commander. They were transported to Cuba and Oct. 17, 1997, with honours buried in a mausoleum in Santa Clara.

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A CHE

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Secret Intelligence Service

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ADVERSITATE. CUSTODI. PER VERUM

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 Supplement

Quotes Ernesto Che Guevara

Certainly to win. Homeland or Death!

It does not matter if I fall, as long as someone else will take my gun and will continue to shoot.

After the revolution, the revolutionaries did not do the work. It is made by technocrats and bureaucrats. And they – the counter-revolutionaries.

If you start trembling with indignation at every injustice, then you are my friend.

If you can find a way without any obstacles, it probably does not lead anywhere.

Silence – a continuation of the dispute by other means.

Sadly not to have friends, but even sadder not to have enemies.

Cruel leaders are replaced only by new leaders who are more brutal.

To achieve great things, you must lose everything.

You must be able to become rougher, preserving its tenderness.

Fidel pass that the revolution is not over, it still prevails! Tell Aleida, let’s marry again, be happy, and will make sure that children are well studied. And order the soldiers to aim well.

There should be no portages litigation. This is a revolution, then secondary evidence. We must act with conviction. They all – a gang of criminals and murderers.

You should always think about the masses, and not about individuals … individuals think about crime, because the interests of the individual mean nothing in the face of the human community.

Whichever way no matter humanity, can not all be reduced to hard cash, vulgarity and “trinket comfort”, and for the protection of human dignity can sacrifice their lives.

The fate of the revolutionary is avant-garde, sublime and sad.

I’ll always dream, and will not stop, will not stop until the bullet.

I am not a liberator. Liberators do not exist. People will relieve themselves.

At the risk of appearing ridiculous, I would say that the true revolutionary is driven by a great love. Impossible to imagine that the true revolutionary does not experience this feeling.

We can not be sure that we have something to live for, unless we are willing to pay for it with your life.

I know what you came here to kill me. Shoot, coward, you’re only going to kill a person.

Somewhere in the woods, long nights (at sundown began our inaction) we built bold plans. Dreamed of battles, major operations, about winning. It was happy hour. Together with all I enjoyed the first time in my life, cigars, which learned to smoke to ward off pesky mosquitoes. Since then I have eaten in the aroma of Cuban tobacco. And dizzy, whether from strong “Havana”, whether from the audacity of our plans – one another desperate.

If I lose, it will not mean that it was impossible to win. Many failed, trying to reach the summit of Everest, and finally Everest was conquered.

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Che. Quotes

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Secret Intelligence Service

 

John Lennon and Ernesto Che Guevara 1

With John Lennon

John Lennon and Ernesto Che Guevara 2

With John Lennon

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