Che Guevara and The Possible World He Dreamed Of

By Alejandra Garcia on June 14, 2022, from Havana

photo: Bill Hackwell

Today, Cuba remembers Ernesto Che Guevara on the 94th anniversary of his birth in Rosario, Argentina. Although he was born in distant lands, the Caribbean island considers him its son, as he himself said to Fidel in one of his many adventures in the guerrilla struggle: “Your people are mine.”

This little Caribbean island does not forget the man who traveled throughout Latin America on a motorcycle, healing the wounded, feeling the pain of the poor and helpless, almost always between asthma attacks. He arrived in Cuba from Mexico on the Granma yacht in December 1956, along with Fidel, Camilo Cienfuegos, and 78 other revolutionaries.

He went into the mountains, and fought for the Cuban cause as if his life depended on it. “How much he contributed to the revolutionary work in the brief years he was among us! And how valuable are his teachings and example, which are alive today,” historian Nelson García Santos said in an article published in Juventud Rebelde.

The heroic guerrilla leader became the paradigm of every young person, his critical thinking and intellectual vocation endure to this day.

“We must return to Che’s ideals. The youth must try to imitate his virtues, create, as he once said to be an example and part of the vanguard,” recalled young Denis Ramos, an actor who play a character in La otra guerra (The other war), a Cuban TV show, which evokes those days of guerrilla struggle against the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista.

“Che -who was assassinated in Bolivia on October 9, 1967- has to accompany us in our efforts to create a better world, defend this great Revolution that he helped build, and keep building our Socialism,” the actor added.

Fidel already said it on the 20th anniversary of the young guerrilla leader’s assassination: “There can be no superior symbol, no better image, no more precise idea, than to look at him, a model of a revolutionary man.”

It is also important to read “Socialism and Man in Cuba,” the letter he sent in March 1965 to his friend Carlos Quijano, then-director of the Uruguayan weekly Marcha.

In the letter, Che explained the unusual nature of making a revolution only 90 miles from the United States.

He also addressed the challenges of building a socialist society in Cuba, the ways to overcome capitalism not only with a change of system but, above all, with a profound ideological transformation that aims to create that “new human,” which is still in the making.

In the letter, he insisted on the youth’s role in this new world and the importance of education as a source of knowledge and a generator of feelings and behaviors that make us think about the collective welfare instead of personal enrichment.

Throughout his political life, he urged leaders to keep a constant interconnection with the people and recalled the role of culture, arts, and news media in every society.

Although more than half a century has passed since his assassination in the Bolivian jungle, and the world has changed dizzyingly, Che’s thoughts are more relevant today than then in many aspects. They were like a premonition of a better world that may still be possible.

Source: Resumen Latinoamericano – English