A romantic freedom fighter, a thoughtful philosopher and a stylish revolutionary in Che Guevara

Posted on 10 Oct 2016 by Admin     
A romantic freedom fighter, a thoughtful philosopher and a stylish revolutionary in Che Guevara

S.Ramachandran.

 

“I now know, by an almost fatalistic conformity with the facts that my destiny is to travel...” 

“After graduation, due to special circumstances and perhaps also to my character, I began to travel throughout America, and I became acquainted with all of it.... I have visited... all the other Latin American countries.”

“For me, the sea has always been a confidant, a friend absorbing all it is told and never revealing those secrets; always giving the best advice - its meaningful noises can be interpreted any way you choose.”

“The stars drew light across the night sky in that little mountain village, and the silence and the cold made the darkness vanish away. It was - I don't know how to explain it - as if everything solid melted away into the ether, eliminating all individuality and absorbing us, rigid, into the immense darkness. Not a single cloud to lend perspective to the space blocked any portion of the starry sky.” 

“Perhaps one day tired of circling the world I'll return ....settle in the ... lakes if not indefinitely then at least for a pause, while I shift from one understanding of the world to another.” 

The above lyrical prose is not that of a wanderer or a Zen poet, but from a ‘che’ i.e., ‘buddy’ in Spanish. Yes it is Che’s, Ernesto Che Guevara.

Once when he addressed students of a university he said, “This professor standing before you was once a doctor, and by force of circumstance was obliged to take up arms, and after two years graduated as a guerrilla commander.”

‘‘I began the ups and downs of my career as a university student, a member of the middle class, a doctor who shared the same horizons, the same youthful aspirations you have.... however, I changed and  convinced of the imperative need for revolution, and of the great justice of the people's cause’’.

‘‘secular humanist and sympathetic practitioner of medicine who did not hesitate to shoot his enemies, a celebrated internationalist leader who advocated violence to enforce a ...philosophy of the collective good, an idealistic intellectual who loved literature but refused to allow dissent, an anti-imperialist Marxist insurgent who was radically willing to forge a poverty-less new world on the apocalyptic ashes of the old one, and finally, an outspoken anti-capitalist whose image has been commoditized. Che's history continues to be rewritten and re-imagined.’’ Wikipedia.

Guevara also viewed his role of commander as one of a teacher, entertaining his men during breaks between engagements with readings from the likes of Robert Louis StevensonCervantes, and Spanish lyric poets.

Che said ‘The true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality.’

“Che was loved, in spite of being stern and demanding. We would give our life for him “Tomas Alba, who fought under Che confessed.

His universal love and being loved  by all reflected in his marital life as well. His wife March Guevara revealed that after a romance that began when they were guerrilla comrades in the Cuban revolution, Che wanted to marry her and wanted their 1959 wedding to be small and private. But Raul Castro, (the present President of Cuba) threw a big party. Unfortunately, he had not  invited his own brother, Fidel.

The result was Castro was an ‘uninvited’ guest. ‘‘Nobody told Fidel, because of the clandestine way in which the party was planned, and he arrived complaining that nobody had invited him,’’ March informed.

“Che Guevara - hero of the Cuban Revolution, left-wing icon and the face that has sold more posters than anyone else in history. Remembered as a romantic freedom fighter, an expert in guerrilla warfare, and a thoughtful philosopher who died young for his cause, Guevara has always been the revolutionaries' revolutionary. Stylish, vehemently anti-American and .... practically invented the image of the bearded, beret-wearing left-wing radical, as adopted by thousands during the 1960s and 70s.” -Owen Booth. 

Fifty years ago, the same day, OCTOBER 9, 1967-: Early in the morning, the (Bolivian Army) unit receives the order to execute Guevara and the other prisoners.

“According to one source, the top ranking officers ... instruct the non-commissioned officers to carry out the order. ..., Sergeant Jaime Terán goes ... to execute Che. Terán finds Che propped up against the wall and Che asks him to wait a moment until he stands up. Terán is frightened, runs away and is ordered back by Colonel Selich and Colonel Zenteno. "Still trembling" he returns ... and without looking at Che's face, he fires into his chest and side. Several soldiers, also wanting to shoot Che, enter the room and shoot him.” (Harris, 129)

In Jon Lee Anderson's account, Sergeant Terán volunteers to shoot Che. Che's last words, which are addressed to Terán, are "I know you've come to kill me. Shoot, (coward) you are only going to kill a man." Terán shoots Che in the arms and legs and then in Che's thorax, filling his lungs with blood. (Anderson, 796)-THE DEATH OF CHE GUEVARA: A CHRONOLOGY; Compiled by:-Paola Evans, Kim Healey, Peter Kornbluh, Ramón Cruz and Hannah Elinson.

“He was just like a Christ, with his strong eyes, his beard, his long hair. He is very miraculous”, Susana Osinaga, a Bolivian Government nurse who attended him after his death said.

But in a Letter to his mother earlier, he wrote, “I am not Christ or a philanthropist, old lady; I am all the contrary of a Christ.... I fight for the things I believe in, with all the weapons at my disposal and try to leave the other man dead so that I don't get nailed to a cross or any other place.”

Gandhi said “I would risk violence a thousand times rather than risk the emasculation of a whole race. I do believe that, where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence”.

May be, Che risked violence a thousand times rather than risking  the emasculation of a whole race in Latin America.



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