Ernesto Che Guevara quotes

Ernesto Che Guevara photo
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Ernesto Che Guevara

Birthdate: 14. June 1928
Date of death: 9. October 1967
Other names:Эрнесто Че Гевара

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Ernesto "Che" Guevara was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat and military theorist. A major figure of the Cuban Revolution, his stylized visage has become a ubiquitous countercultural symbol of rebellion and global insignia in popular culture.

As a young medical student, Guevara traveled throughout South America and was radicalized by the poverty, hunger and disease he witnessed. His burgeoning desire to help overturn what he saw as the capitalist exploitation of Latin America by the United States prompted his involvement in Guatemala's social reforms under President Jacobo Árbenz, whose eventual CIA-assisted overthrow at the behest of the United Fruit Company solidified Guevara's political ideology. Later in Mexico City, Guevara met Raúl and Fidel Castro, joined their 26th of July Movement and sailed to Cuba aboard the yacht Granma with the intention of overthrowing U.S.-backed Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. Guevara soon rose to prominence among the insurgents, was promoted to second-in-command and played a pivotal role in the victorious two-year guerrilla campaign that deposed the Batista regime.

Following the Cuban Revolution, Guevara performed a number of key roles in the new government. These included reviewing the appeals and firing squads for those convicted as war criminals during the revolutionary tribunals, instituting agrarian land reform as minister of industries, helping spearhead a successful nationwide literacy campaign, serving as both national bank president and instructional director for Cuba's armed forces and traversing the globe as a diplomat on behalf of Cuban socialism. Such positions also allowed him to play a central role in training the militia forces who repelled the Bay of Pigs Invasion and bringing the Soviet nuclear-armed ballistic missiles to Cuba which precipitated the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Additionally, Guevara was a prolific writer and diarist, composing a seminal manual on guerrilla warfare, along with a best-selling memoir about his youthful continental motorcycle journey. His experiences and studying of Marxism–Leninism led him to posit that the Third World's underdevelopment and dependence was an intrinsic result of imperialism, neocolonialism and monopoly capitalism, with the only remedy being proletarian internationalism and world revolution. Guevara left Cuba in 1965 to foment revolution abroad, first unsuccessfully in Congo-Kinshasa and later in Bolivia, where he was captured by CIA-assisted Bolivian forces and summarily executed.

Guevara remains both a revered and reviled historical figure, polarized in the collective imagination in a multitude of biographies, memoirs, essays, documentaries, songs and films. As a result of his perceived martyrdom, poetic invocations for class struggle and desire to create the consciousness of a "new man" driven by moral rather than material incentives, Guevara has evolved into a quintessential icon of various leftist movements. Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century, while an Alberto Korda photograph of him, titled Guerrillero Heroico , was cited by the Maryland Institute College of Art as "the most famous photograph in the world".

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Quotes Ernesto Che Guevara

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„The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall.“

—  Ernesto Che Guevara
Intercontinental Press (Vol. 3 January-April 1965); also, in Che Guevara speaks: Selected Speeches and Writings (1967)

„We cannot be sure of having something to live for unless we are willing to die for it.“

—  Ernesto Che Guevara
As quoted in Wise Guys : Brilliant Thoughts and Big Talk from Real Men (2005) by Allan Zullo, p. 36

„If you tremble with indignation at every injustice, then you are a comrade of mine.“

—  Ernesto Che Guevara
As quoted in The Quotable Rebel : Political Quotations for Dangerous Times (2005) by Teishan Latner, p. 112

„While a person dies every day during the eight or more hours in which he or she functions as a commodity, individuals come to life afterward in their spiritual creations.“

—  Ernesto Che Guevara
Context: While a person dies every day during the eight or more hours in which he or she functions as a commodity, individuals come to life afterward in their spiritual creations. But this remedy bears the germs of the same sickness: that of a solitary being seeking harmony with the world.

„Our task is to prevent the present generation, torn asunder by its conflicts, from becoming perverted and from perverting new generations.“

—  Ernesto Che Guevara
Context: Our task is to prevent the present generation, torn asunder by its conflicts, from becoming perverted and from perverting new generations. We must not bring into being either docile servants of official thought or scholarship students who live at the expense of the state — practising "freedom." Already there are revolutionaries coming who will sing the song of the new man in the true voice of the people. This is a process, which takes time.

„We socialists are freer because we are more fulfilled; we are more fulfilled because we are freer.“

—  Ernesto Che Guevara
Context: We socialists are freer because we are more fulfilled; we are more fulfilled because we are freer. The skeleton of our complete freedom is already formed. The flesh and the clothing are lacking; we will create them.

„My Marxism has taken root and become purified.“

—  Ernesto Che Guevara
Context: My Marxism has taken root and become purified. I believe in armed struggle as the only solution for those peoples who fight to free themselves, and I am consistent with my beliefs.

„Wherever death may surprise us, let it be welcome, provided that this, our battle cry, may have reached some receptive ear“

—  Ernesto Che Guevara
Context: Wherever death may surprise us, let it be welcome, provided that this, our battle cry, may have reached some receptive ear and another hand may be extended to wield our weapons and other men be ready to intone the funeral dirge with the staccato singing of the machine-guns and new battle cries of war and victory.

„The greatest threat of the Cuban revolution is its own example, its revolutionary ideas“

—  Ernesto Che Guevara
Context: The most submissive countries and consequently, the most cynical, talk about the threat of Cuban subversion, and they are right. The greatest threat of the Cuban revolution is its own example, its revolutionary ideas, the fact that the government has been able to increase the combativity of the people, led by a leader of world stature, to heights seldom equaled in history. Here is the electrifying example of a people prepared to suffer nuclear immolation so that its ashes may serve as a foundation for new societies. When an agreement was reached by which the atomic missiles were removed, without asking our people, we were not relieved or thankful for the truce; instead we denounced the move with our own voice. We have demonstrated our firm stand, our own position, our decision to fight, even if alone, against all dangers and against the atomic menace of Yankee imperialism.

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