He died 46 years ago, but the popularity of this man, who put his life on the block in the name of protecting the humiliated and offended, as if he did not want his detractors, is growing inexorably every year.
October 9 1967 was killed by the legendary revolutionary revolutionary, Comandante Ernesto Che Guevara, as a result of a joint operation by the CIA and the Bolivian military in Bolivia. "Rossiyskaya Gazeta" represents the brightest moments of life and struggle of the famous Argentine, who has become a real icon of left-wing radical movements and young rebels.
1. Ernesto Guevara de la Serna was born in 1928 year in Argentina. He was the first child in the family of the architect, who for many years unsuccessfully tried to do business. On the paternal side, Ernesto was Argentine in the twelfth, and on the maternal one - in the eighth generation. His mother was one of the first car enthusiasts in the country. Among the ancestors of Guevara were rebels - immigrants from Ireland, Spanish pirates, Argentine landowners, and even royals. When Che fought with the troops of Batista in the Sierra Maestra, his uncle, Admiral, brother of his father, headed the Argentinean embassy in Havana.
At the age of two years, Ernesto fell ill with asthma, which will make itself felt in the most tragic periods of his life. Because of asthma, the little “Tete,” that was his name in the family, did not go to school, but his mother taught him to read and write. The disease was so severe that Che Guevara was forced to inject himself with adrenaline injections, jokingly calling himself a "adrenaline adventurer." After the revolution, he will write with bitter irony: "I love my inhaler more than a gun ... I tend to think deeply during severe asthma attacks."
2. He finished high school perfectly. In 19 years he entered the medical faculty of the university in Buenos Aires, where the course took three years instead of seven years. As a student, he traveled around Argentina on a motorcycle that he called "Rosinante". It is believed that the progressive and humanistic views of Ernesto Guevara were largely formed at the beginning of the 1950-ies, during his motorcycle tour of South America, which he made with his friend Alberto Granado. For several months, friends visited almost all countries of the continent: they worked in hospitals for lepers, and Che communicated with the sick without a mask, helped the peasants. Friends visited the copper mining sites in Chile, crossed the Atacama Desert, visited the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru, sailed on Lake Titicaca.
In 2004, German filmmakers based on the memories of Alberto Granado, who lives in Cuba, made a wonderful feature film about this journey - The Motorcyclist Diary. In Bolivia, Guevara made acquaintance with representatives of the new people's power. But, seeing their attitude to the peasants, became disillusioned with this regime and went to Guatemala.
3. The CIA did not file Che Guevara during the guerrilla war of the rebels in the Sierra Maestra mountains, but after the events in Guatemala. Former CIA officer Philip Agee at the beginning of the 2000-ies said that this special service had its own personal accounts with Che. She finally caught up with Bolivian soldiers and destroyed him in Bolivia in 1967. In 1959, the CIA sent its agent Andrew St. George to Havana, who had previously interviewed Fidel Castro and Che Guevara as a “journalist” during their partisan struggle. St. George had to persuade Che not to shoot the former deputy head of the so-called Cuban "Bureau of Communist Activities Suppression", sentenced to death. However, Che Guevara answered the American: "We will shoot him anyway, because he killed and tortured Cubans and because we know that he is a CIA agent." Then the CIA resident in Cuba wrote in his telegram in Langley: "This is a declaration of war."
4. Castro met his future brother by arms in Mexico 9 July 1955, the first day after his arrival from Cuba to Mexico to emigrate. The acquaintance took place in the house of the Cuban Maria Antonia, who sympathized with the revolutionaries. She was married to a Mexican and in her quarter in Mexico City enjoyed considerable prestige. Knowing what interest it would be quite natural for local special services to show Cuban émigrés, she advised Cubans to develop a system of passwords and symbols for entering the "headquarters".
In Mexico, the twenty-seven-year-old Ernesto Guevara tried several professions: he sold books, was a street photographer, and worked in one of the hospitals. He was not a member of any party or organization, but was a Marxist by conviction. People who had a chance to communicate with Fidel and Che in the first years of the struggle against Batista, noted that on many theoretical issues the Argentine was “better off” than the future commander-in-chief. This was subsequently noted by Fidel Castro himself: "In ideological, theoretical terms, he was more developed. Compared with me, he was a more advanced revolutionary."
During the first meeting, Ernesto Guevara and Fidel Castro talked the whole night - from eight o'clock in the evening until dawn. Fidel later recalled that "Che immediately signed up for an adventure." Even then he was sure of the “success of a hopeless event” and even looked far ahead. “When the revolution in Cuba wins, do not forbid me to return to Argentina to fight for freedom there,” he told Fidel. Ernesto Guevara was so impressed with Castro and his plans that a few days after their meeting he composed "A Song in Honor of Fidel!". True, he considered this work not his most successful poetic experience, and one day he simply became enraged when he learned that several years later one of the Cuban newspapers had printed it. He sent the editor-in-chief an angry letter demanding never print his literary works without his knowledge.
5. In Mexico, Ernesto Guevara, who came to this country from Guatemala, was stuck with the legendary prefix "Che". In his conversations with the Cubans in his native Spanish, Ernesto often peppered his speech in Argentinean interrogation “Che” - from Spanish like “well,” “hey!” For the Cubans, such an imposing appeal was atypical and not peculiar, but Ernesto Guevara, even after having lived side by side with them for many years, could not get rid of the “word-parasite”. They first laughed at the Argentine, and then accustomed.
“He treated people with sympathy,” Fidel Castro recalled. “He was one of those people who sought favor with their naturalness, simplicity, friendliness. Nobody hid his sympathy for Che because he traveled throughout Latin America, visited Guatemala, saw the inflicted North American companies hurt, knew about our struggle in Cuba, shared our ideas. In Mexico there were such cases when they laughed at him because he is an Argentinian, not a Cuban, for which he got a kick in. It was at the beginning, but then, everybody understood what a person he was to the jokes stopped. And no one asked more about his origin. " At first his name was by name. Then just "che." Finally, "Che" with a capital letter. He himself really liked that name. Already, being one of the leaders of the new Cuba, he answered the question why he signs "revolutionary money" with his nickname, and said: "For me, Che means the most important, the most precious thing in my life."
6. Guevara and the Castro brothers drew up a plan to land an armed expedition in the Cuban province of Oriente and to continue the struggle in the Sierra Maestra mountains. Guevara was taken on an expedition as a doctor. Years later, Fidel will say: "Che was a doctor who turned into a soldier, continuing to be a doctor every minute."
Che himself explained his decision to join the expedition: “As a matter of fact, after experiencing my wanderings in Latin America and the Guatemalan finals, it did not take much to push me to participate in the revolution against any tyrant. Besides, Fidel impressed me as exceptional man. He was able to solve the most difficult problems. He was deeply convinced that, heading to Cuba, he would reach it. When he got there, he would start a fight, that by starting a fight, he would achieve victory. I became infected with his optimism. about doing business, taking concrete measures, fighting. The time has come to stop wailing and get down to action. Then I thought it was not so bad to die on the coastal beach of a foreign country for such lofty ideals. "
7. Che Guevara, in spite of asthma, attended all the fire training classes that retired General Alberto Bayo taught for insurgents in Mexico. Guevara was one of the most disciplined, initiative and politically competent fighters, he always received 10 points on a ten-point system.
After a while, largely due to the lessons of the gray-haired Baio, Che Guevara will develop his own strategy of guerrilla warfare (he will describe in detail in her two books). Its essence was to ensure that the partisan detachment to win must gradually grow into an army that can defeat another, stronger and enjoying support from outside. Later, Fidel recalled that Che, on the rare weekend provided to the fighters, was trying to climb the Popocatepetl volcano in the outskirts of Mexico City: “This is a high mountain, 5 thousand meters. Che made great efforts, but he didn’t manage to reach the top. his asthma prevented him. He never managed to climb to the top, but he did not give up trying and tried and tried every weekend. He made heroic efforts, but still could not reach the top. I call this character. When we were still a small group , everytime, hen needed a volunteer for some complex tasks, the first volunteer was, of course, Che. "
Che Guevara became the head of the group, was responsible for her political training, which at first caused discontent among the Cubans who unwittingly were forced to listen to an Argentine stranger. But his simplicity, sincerity, and most importantly, the desire to perform the most difficult task, he quickly won the sympathy of the overwhelming majority of group members. “He was notable for amazing fearlessness, never feared anything, and sometimes he put forward an offer to do very complex and risky things. And I had to say to him:“ No, ”Fidel confessed. Why, for example, such an offer, Che decided to become a kind of experimental a rabbit, it was on him that the expeditioners trained ... to give injections. During the training, Che received about 100 injections from his comrades!
8. During the expedition on the "Granme", suffering from rolling and asthma, the Argentine was almost mistaken for being dead and not being thrown overboard. When disembarking land, having fallen under the bombing of the Batista troops and leaving the mangroves with heavy losses, the detachment split into three groups: one to three people led by Fidel, another six led by Raul, the third seven soldiers from Juan Almeida , which included the wounded in the neck of Che Guevara. “Something pushed me hard in the chest, and I fell,” Che said. “Once, obeying some vague instinct for a wounded man, I shot towards the mountains. And at that moment, when everything seemed lost, I suddenly remembered the old Jack London's story. He recalled his hero, who, realizing that he must still freeze, was preparing to accept death with dignity, knowing that he was destined to freeze in the icy Arctic. "
As a result, all 22 from the 82 rebels got to the appointed place. Including: Fidel Castro, Raul Castro, Ernesto Che Guevara, Camilo Cienfuegos, Ramiro Valdés, Juan Almeida. These members of the July 26 Movement were destined not only to play a decisive role in the years of partisan struggle, but also to lead large-scale transformations already in the new Cuba, occupying key posts in the revolutionary government. In Cuba, they love to remember the legendary episode of the reunion of Fidel with his brother Raul. "How many rifles do you have?" - asked Fidel. "Five!" - answered Raoul. "Plus, the two that we have, a total of seven. Now consider that we won!".
9. He did not just like women, but was adored by them. For the overwhelming majority of those who know the biography of Ernesto Guevara, read his works, Che will remain the most incorrigible romanticist, the young man who once said in person to the rich father of his first beloved Chichiny: "My meaning of life? I want to do good things, without any personal gain. "
During the years of partisan fighting in the village of El Pedrero, in the foothills of Escambray, Che Guevara, who by that time parted with his wife, Peruvian Ilda, met the seventeen-year-old Cuban nice Aleiba March, who would become his second wife and give birth to four children. Having tied up the hand of Che, who had hurt herself, Aleida melted the heart of the Comandante, who had previously been categorically against the presence of women in the detachment and their participation in the revolutionary struggle.
Aleida March was born in 1936, in Cuba, in the province of Las Villas, in a family of immigrants from Spain. She received a pedagogical education, but she never worked in her specialty. Before joining Che, Aleida maintained contact with Fidel Castro’s armed units, transferring money, information and weapons to them.
10. Bike is widely popular, as Che received an important state post after the overthrow of the Batista regime. Revolutionaries gathered. Someone asked the question: "Are there real economists among us?" In response - silence. Everyone looked at Che Guevara. The incorrigible romantic, "flying in his dreams," at this time was making notes in a notebook. But here, at the request of his comrades, he was distracted from the records. He heard: "Are there any real Communists among us?" "Yes, there is," Che raised his hand. "So you will be the head of the Central Bank!" - responded to the revolutionary.
It is said that when a delegation of Cuban comrades came to Che's homeland in Argentina, his parents told about the successes of their son, his father, hearing that his son was appointed to this position, said, "Well, that's all ... end to your bank." By the way, in early February, 1960, Che Guevara, who did not have enough experience in driving, crashed his car on Havana Street, and only by chance escaped with minor injuries. 23 February 1961 was Ernesto Che Guevara appointed Minister of Industry of Cuba, in charge of which nationalized industries and dozens of new enterprises were transferred.
11. Che has repeatedly appealed to Fidel with a request to release him from Cuba, to fulfill the promise made on the first day of his acquaintance in Mexico. "Rosinant" called the incorrigible romance on the road. In the end, Che Guevara was assigned the leadership of a group that was supposed to go to help revolutionaries in the Belgian Congo, now Zaire. Che Guevara flew to Africa under the assumed name Ramon, with a fake passport, with a suitcase full of books for reading and an inhaler.
The fighting in Africa took place in the most difficult conditions. 1 November 1965 of the year, Che, from Cuban comrades in Tanzania, receives an urgent dispatch that the authorities of Tanzania, after consulting with representatives of several African countries, decided to refuse assistance to Congolese rebels. And the Cuban detachment must leave the Congo. A few days later, Che met with Fidel Castro’s personal message, in which the commander-in-chief suggested that Che Guevara himself decide to continue the struggle in Africa. Unlike Che, who already tasted the partisan struggle, and took the decision of the Tanzanians extremely painful, Fidel was more calm. He realized that the prerequisites for the deployment of the revolutionary movement in Africa are absent.
Che flew out of Tanzania quietly, hiding his face for six hours of flight. And next to the adjutant, the Cuban, who accompanied the commander, was flown by an officer of the Zanzibar army, an ardent admirer of Che Guevara, who during the whole flight spoke enthusiastically and tirelessly about the Argentine, not knowing that he was sitting two feet from him ...
12. The Congolese epic ended, if not the failure of the expedition itself, then the collapse of illusions and complete disappointment for Che. From Africa, he traveled to Czechoslovakia, to Prague in March 1966, where he was illegally. He saved up forces for the expedition, which he decided to spend in Bolivia, the most impoverished country of the Latin American continent, the only one that did not have access to water.
Che Guevara planned the Bolivian operation at the start of 1966. Che, who sincerely believed that "all Latin America is pregnant with a revolution," regarded it as a prelude to a big guerrilla war, which should cover the whole continent and free Latin America from the influence of the United States.
October 23 1966, the year Ernesto Guevara finally left Cuba. Together with Che, 17 Cubans went to Bolivia, they were not even 35 years old. Despite the fact that the backbone of the detachment was composed of Bolivians, Che managed to create a very strong partisan detachment. He was convinced that the group in 30-50 people is enough to start an armed struggle in any country in Latin America. The main thing is to find the area where the principles of justice are violated most of all and the rights of peasants are violated. He seriously believed that a handful of rebels would quickly exhaust government forces, and then, with popular support, would take power into their own hands. Inside the Bolivian opposition forces had their own problems: the leaders of the Bolivian Communist Party, Mario Monge and Moises Givard, were constantly in conflict. Che did not succeed in reconciling them.
13. In early October, 1967, the 17 partisans were surrounded by special forces in the El Yuro gorge. Che was wounded in the leg and captured. Mexican researcher José Castaneda wrote about Che’s last minutes: “All the available materials unanimously and unequivocally confirm: the Bolivian authorities decided to eliminate Che Guevara - and the sooner the better. Before noon (October October) the order left the capital in La -Gegeru, and Colonel Centeno appointed the soldiers who were to execute it. First, photographs were taken, then the performers cast lots to fall on Lieutenant Mario Terana — it was he who was to finish off the disheveled, lame, deeply depressed, about not obedient man.
After several false starts, several gulps of whiskey and Che's appeals not to drag Lieutenant Teran, he drove half a dozen bullets into the body of the Comandante: one of them, caught in the heart, turned out to be deadly.
His last words, according to Colonel Arnaldo Saudeda Parade, the Chief of Intelligence of the Eighth Division, who was commissioned to present an official report on how Ernesto Che Guevara died, “I know that you are going to shoot me; it’s strange that you didn’t kill me Tell Fidel that my failure does not mean that the revolution is over, she will win somewhere else. Tell Aleida (wife) that she will quickly forget me, get married, be happy and educate the children. Let the soldiers aim, properly". His body was tied to the "ski" of the helicopter and delivered to Vilagrande, and there it was washed and put up in the laundry of the hospital of the Most Pure Virgin of Malta. "
14. In the summer of 2013 of the year in Cuba, a book by two Cuban historians, Adis Cupulla and Froilan Gonzalez, entitled Che's Murder in Bolivia: Exposure, was published. For about 30 years, these historians have been researching the life and death of an Argentine revolutionary.
The body of Che Guevara was partially beheaded by the special forces who captured him, after it had been put on public display. This was done by order of Bolivian President René Barrientos, who allegedly wanted to send the revolutionary’s head to Cuba, but the Americans opposed the dispatch. As a result, Che cut off his hands.
Researchers also claim that the Comandante, barely alive, was tortured heavily before his death. Bolivian soldiers, moreover, appropriated his belongings. Several senior officers seized four Rolex watches belonging to partisans, as well as US dollars, Canada, and Bolivian pesos held by Che. At the same time, the group commander agreed with the soldiers not to inform his superiors about this.
The burial place of Che Guevara remained a secret for a long time and was the subject of various kinds of speculations. It was only in November 1995 of the year that he was indicated by retired Bolivian general Mario Vargas Salinas, who in 1967 took part in the destruction of the Che squadron. And only in June 1997, the Argentine and Cuban scientists were able to find and identify the remains of the legendary Comandante. His remains were transported to Cuba and October 17 1997, with honors buried in the mausoleum of the city of Santa Clara, where by that time a six-meter statue of Che was installed.
In Cuba, where Ernesto Guevara, a native of Argentina, has long been an icon, his memory is protected as the apple of his eye. It is enough that the Cuban pioneers take an oath: “Be like Che!”. “I think that he was not only an intellectual, but also the most perfect man of our age,” said the outstanding French philosopher and writer Jean-Paul Sartre. No less expressive are the lines of the Cuban writer Desnoes: "Che must have been dazzling, since the darkest people lit up when he passed by."