Guevera was born in Argentina where he studied medicine. While traveling through South America he was struck by the poverty and inequality and he grew more interested in Marxism and continued on to play a large role in the Cuban Revolution. Guevara met Fidel Castro who had a profound influence on him and who he continued to serve as an advisor and ally for. When Castro was in power in Cuba, Guevara served as the commander for La Cabana prison where he ordered hundreds of executions. He also held positions such as president of the National Bank, instructional director for Cuba’s armed forces, and was an ambassador for Cuba. His powerful positions played a large role in the formation of a communist state.
Guevara captivated the attention of many through his writing. He published a manual on Guerilla warfare as well as a memoir, The Motorcycle Diaries, of his travels in South America and the poverty that ignited his passion for revolution. Through his writing Guevara argues that the causes of poverty and inequality in third world countries are ultimately due to capitalism and neocolonialism. He notes the necessity of violence in revolution as he states in Speech to medical students and health workers; “A revolution needs what we have in Cuba; an entire people mobilized, who have learned the use of arms and the practice of combative unity, who know what a weapon is worth and what the peoples unity is worth” (Guevara 98). In the same piece he emphasizes not to enforce wisdom upon people but to “show that we are ready to learn with the people, to carry out that great and beautiful common experience – to build a new Cuba” (Guevara 102). His writing emphasizes the importance of unity of the people and the fight for a common cause.
Guevara is both remembered as a great revolutionary leader as well as a symbol of brutality. While fighting for what he believed, he did not condemn the use violence. Instead he considered violence necessary as can be seen through his executions in La Cabana prison and his emphasis on the importance of guerrilla warfare.
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Guevara, Che. Speech to medical students and health workers. Melbourne: Ocean Press, 1997.
Latin American Perspectives, Vol. 25, No. 4, Che Guevara and his Legacy (Jul., 1998), 19-32.
“People’s World.” Movement That Changed the World Began in Cuba July 26, 1953 » Peoplesworld. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2016.
“The Truth About Che Guevara.” World Affairs Journal. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2016.