Che

29 Jan

I finished a textbook of a biography about Che Guevara while I was sick in Puerto Madryn.

I felt like I had lost a friend.

Not because he was a figure without blemishes, but because the book provided the most extensive account of a person I’ve ever read.

Let me explain: It felt completly voyaristic to read about someone’s life so thoroughly as I had just done so.  Everything from his sexual adventures as a teenager to his relationship with his father to the guerilla war in Cuba was recorded.

My thoughts on Che?

The book implied that Che was driven to guerilla warfare because of psyschologcal needs for comradery and a sense of fullifment after finding a cause he can believe in.

Sounds like someone I can relate to.  Especially since he found his cause while vagabonding.

But it’s such a shame that a man so seemingly smart and flexible adopted a philosphy so rigid.  Once he found marxism, he nievely read Russia’s textbooks on economics and swallowed every word as fact.  And he was unwavering in his belief that revolution can only be won with force, putting him up against moderates who wanted to create change using elections, even if they were communists as well.

I don’t think he was a sociopath.  It might seem like he was after he personally spearheaded the executions of former Cuban leaders and shot many in the head himself.  But he didn’t seem like he wanted power, never challenging Fidel for power and actually leaving the country when he could have had it all. Plus, he worked too damn hard and his first wife was sort of ugly, so it doesn’t fit the profile.

He was probably just someone who truly believed in his ideals.  The problem was, that he expected of others what he expected from himself.  And that’s impossible.

In the end, he remains someone to be admired.  Force isn’t the best answer, but some might ask what choice he really had.  It becomes increasingly hard to defend American policies of the 50s and on, when the economic interests of a few corporations dictated US foreign policy and the CIA was a plaything of the rich.

We assassinated leaders we did not like and rigged elections to our liking.  The question is whether that justifies guerrilla warfare. And what can we learn from it.

Books to look into from here, Ron Paul, Cuba, Socialism in Latin America, Bolivia.

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