35 Pictures of the Revolutionary Che Guevara

35 Pictures of the Revolutionary Che Guevara

By Jacob Miller
35 Pictures of the Revolutionary Che Guevara

Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat, military theorist and a major figure in the Cuban Revolution.

As a young medical student, Guevara traveled through South America and became radicalized by the rampant poverty, hunger, and disease he witnessed. His desire to overthrow what he saw as the capitalist exploitation of Latin America by the United States led to his involvement in Guatemala’s social reforms lead by President Jacobo Arbenz. After Arbenz was deposed with the help of the CIA, Guevara, in Mexico City, met Fidel and Raul Castro and joined the July 26 Movement. Guevara was eventually promoted to second-in-command and played a pivotal role in the victorious two-year guerrilla campaign that deposed the U.S. backed Fulgencio Batista regime.

After the Cuban Revolution, Guevara played an important role in the new government including reviewing appeals, overseeing firing squads for those convicted of war crimes during the revolutionary tribunals, instituting agrarian land reforms, spearheading a literacy campaign, serving as national bank president and instructional director of Cuba’s armed forces. He also brought Soviet nuclear armed ballistic missiles to Cuba which precipitated the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

In 1965, Guevara left Cuba to ignite revolution abroad. He was captured in Bolivia by the CIA and executed.

Guevara has been polarized by contemporary society. As a result of his perceived martyrdom for class struggle and desire to create a ‘new man’ driven by moral rather than material incentives, he has become an icon of leftist movements. Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people of the 20 century.

Guevara has also been widely considered a racist. In his diary, Guevara wrote, “The blacks, those magnificent examples of the African race who have maintained their racial purity thanks to their lack of an affinity with bathing, have seen their territory invaded by a new kind of slave: the Portuguese.”

He also wrote, “The black is indolent and a dreamer; spending his meager wage on frivolity or drink; the European has a tradition of work and saving, which has pursued him as far as this corner of America and drives him to advance himself, even independently of his own individual aspirations.”

In 1964, however appearing to have outgrown his racist youth, or out of contempt of Western Imperialism, in a speech before the UN he denounced the South African apartheid saying, “we speak out to put the world on guard against what is happening in South Africa. The brutal policy of apartheid is applied before the eyes of the nations of the world. The peoples of Africa are compelled to endure the fact that on the African continent the superiority of one race over another remains official policy, and that in the name of this racial superiority murder is committed with impunity. Can the United Nations do nothing to stop this?”

In a speech given in Cuba in 1966, Guevara said, “Hatred is the central element of our struggle! Hatred that is intransigent…hatred so violent that it propels a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him violent and cold- blooded killing machine…We reject any peaceful approach. Violence is inevitable. To establish Socialism rivers of blood must flow! The imperialist enemy must feel like a hunted animal wherever he moves. Thus we’ll destroy him! These hyenas are fit only for extermination. We must keep our hatred alive and fan it to paroxysm! The victory of Socialism is well worth millions of atomic victims!”

Che Guevara 22 years old in 1951. History In Pictures
Che Guevara without a beard, in capitalist attire, 1957. History In Pictures
Raúl Castro, Antonio Núñez Jiménez, Ernesto Che Guevara, Juan Almeida Bosque and Ramiro Valdés in Havana, during the first year of the Cuban revolution. Pinterest
Che Guevara, with a broken hand, stands near a Sherman Tank after the Battle of Santa Clara. January 1, 1959 (possibly December 1958). Flickr
Ernesto Che Guevara on a mule in Las Villas, Cuba, November 1958. Pinterest
Guevara Serna, Ernesto ‘Che’, 14.5.1928 – 9.10.1967, Argentinian revolutionary, with Victor Bordon and guerrilla rebels. Pinterest
This handout photo released by La Fabrica on September 1, 2008, shows Cuban-Argentinian Ernesto “Che” Guevara walking in the 1960’s in Havana. The photo was taken by Cuban photographer Alberto Korda and is included in the book “Korda, conocido, desconocido” published by La Fabrica and dedicated to the works of Korda. AFP PHOTO/ALBERTO KORDA/Getty Images
Che Guevara charming a girl in Pyongyang, North Korea, circa 1960. Pinterest
Che Guevara in a Conga Line in a kindergarten in Shanghai, 1960. History In Pictures
Che Guevara visiting Madrid. Pinterest
Guevara speaking with First President of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito during a visit to Yugoslavia. Wikipedia jpg
Guevara meeting with French existentialist philosophers Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir at his office in Havana, March 1960. Sartre later wrote that Che was “the most complete human being of our time”. In addition to Spanish, Guevara was fluent in French. Daily Mail
Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Che Guevara in Cuba, 1960. Photograph by Alberto Korda. History In Pictures
Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara as “Guerrillero Heroico”, 1960 by Alberto Korda
Che Guevara was a prominent communist figure in the Cuban Revolution, and later a guerrilla leader in South America. After his execution by the Bolivian army in 1967, he was regarded as a martyred hero, and his image became an icon of leftist radicalism. Pinterest
Two works; Che Guevara, Voluntary Work, 1961. Liborio Noval
A self-portrait taken in Thailand, 1964. parasolphotography