The True Story of Che Guevara
The True Story of Che Guevara - The Documentary is an attempt to shed the light on the life, deeds, and death of a person who nowadays is by right referred to as the last revolutionary. Erenesto Guevara de la Serna can be viewed as one of the most controversial political and military leaders of the 20th century. He was and remains to these days admired by the many. Nevertheless, there are as well those who detest him and his ideas.
The name/nickname “Che” stems from Argentinian interjection that literally means “Hey, you”. The nickname is given to Ernesto Guevara de la Serna in the middle of the 1950s. Specifically, he receives it in 1955, the year when he and Fidel Castro become acquainted through Fidel’s brother, Raul Castro (Media Frenzy, 2012). Fidel Castro is sentenced to 15 years in prison after he and his associates have committed an assault on the Moncada Barracks (Cuba). Fidel Castro is released after two years in prison. He surrounds himself with the followers and associates of his own. Basically, the Moncada siege that occurs on July 26, 1953, is the first attempt to stir a revolution in Cuba (Media Frenzy, 2012).
Early in the morning in November 25, in 1955, a group of 82 people (including Fidel Castro and Che Guevara himself) board the ship Granma in Mexico City (Media Frenzy, 2012). The ship’s point of destination is Cuba. Cuban Revolution is about to begin. Nearly two thirds of people from the Granma ship are shot. Che Guevara himself is wounded in the neck. Sierra Maestra become the guerilla’s first base in Cuba. Shortly afterwards, the guerilla troop commits an attack on a nearest military outpost. In January 22, 1957, the rebels stage an ambush (Media Frenzy, 2012).
Che Guevara executes a great number of people because some of them are simply suspected of treason and espionage, while being officially claimed traitors. Fidel Castro’s mission is to expel President Fulgencio Batisto. The rebels enter Havana triumphantly in 1958 (Media Frenzy, 2012). The takeover of Cuba is on its final stage. The government that rules Cuba after the Cuban Revolution can be characterized as a form of a military dictatorship.
In the spring of 1959, Fidel Castro pays his first visit to Washington as a Cuban leader (Media Frenzy, 2012). Shortly afterwards, Castro’s administration announces the beginning of the implementation of the agrarian reform, which is basically a seizure of private property. Che Guevara is charged with the responsibility of taking the leadership in the Industrialization Department of Cuba. The Cuban Parliament is led by Che Guevara. Che is also appointed President of the Cuban National Bank. It is believed that signing the first Cuban currency’s banknotes was considered an insult. On May 7, 1959, the first seizures of farming/agricultural lands are made (Media Frenzy, 2012). Cuba has to cut all the links with the United States in order to become independent politically and economically. Castro has launched a campaign directed to nationalize the oil companies, which leads to the breaking of all diplomatic contacts between Cuba and the United States. Consequently, in a less than 10 months all the companies that have been owned by the United States are recaptured. The United States imposes a trade embargo on Cuba. The steps taken by the United States are controlled by Dwight Eisenhower’s administration.
Cuba and the Soviet Union become allies. Supposedly, this alliance might have protected Cuba against the United States. The days end up in trouble for the people of Cuba. Nationalization of the land in the context of Cuba means that the people of Cuba are deprived of the lands that they have possessed and become poorer as a result. Since the impact of the sanctions used by both parties against one another has begun to grow, the U.S. authorities decide to plan an invasion and train the great numbers of Cuban exiles in Miami and Guatemala. In January 3, 1961, John Fitzgerald Kennedy is inaugurated. On April 15, 1961, the U.S. invasion plan has been implemented (Media Frenzy, 2012). This situation results in the Cuban missile crisis.
In October 3, 1965, Fidel Castro publicly reads the letter Che has written to him previously (Media Frenzy, 2012). Apparently, by having read the letter publicly, Fidel Castro officially refuses to give Che Guevera his rightful pay. Apart from that, approximately at the same time Che Guevera gets to know that his mother has died. Che Guevera takes the news of his mother’s death extremely hard (Media Frenzy, 2012).
Seeking to contribute to the spread of socialist revolutionary movement throughout the Southern hemisphere, Che decides to start from Congo. Apparently, Che Guevara himself and his allies are outnumbered and, thus, driven off from Africa. To achieve his ambitious goal, Che Guevara’s troops relocate themselves in Bolivia. Tania is an East German spy, also suspected of being a KGB agent. American elite counterinsurgency military forces support the battle and propaganda initiated by the authorities of Bolivia against Che Guevara’s guerilla troops.
In October 1967, Che Guevara is taken as a prisoner. After a couple of days of imprisonment, Che Guevara is executed. For almost thirty years the authorities of Bolivia are afraid to reveal the place of Che Guevara’s burial. Late in the 1990s, Che Guevara’s body is exhumed and reburied in Santa Clara (Cuba). Shortly after Che Guevara has been executed, his body is transported to a military hospital and publicly displayed for the reporters. The executioner makes nine shots. He is ordered not to shoot Che Guevara in the head, so that the body could be easily identified. A surgeon performs a procedure, and Che Guevara’s hands are cut off from the body and sent to Cuba as a proof of Che Guevara’s death
Having taken all the foregoing facts into account, one can make the conclusions as follows. A person should be celebrated for their deeds. But most especially, one should be celebrated for who they are. Ernesto Guevara de la Serna was a hero to some, and a demonic personality to others. He was a hero and martyr, a murderer and a villain. But he was a devoted son to his parents and loving companion to the women who supported him and chose to stay by his side. Che Guevara’s secret ambition was to destroy the world of capitalism as he considered it one of the greatest evils. His journey on a motorbike through South America made him a radicalized person for he had seen the immense suffer of his people. Impressionable, idealistic, and ambitious, Che Guevara thought he could really change the world. He had an agile and inquisitive mind. What he knew had strongly influenced his own vision of the world.
Che Guevara positioned himself as a strong proponent of the socialism. He believed that only through socialism he could restore freedom, justice, and peace to the peoples of South America. Che Guevara took the lives of many people. Clearly, his actions cannot be accepted and tolerated. On the other hand, personally, I reckon that Che Guevara deserved another death rather than the one he had.
Che Guevara was denied by many of those whom he had confided in. What inspired him was the idea of a different, better world. Cruelty, violence, deceit, and vanity were the distinctive features of the middle of the 20th century. It happened so, apparently, because of the sufferings that most nations and peoples of the world had been through in the World War I and II. Apparently, people became more cynical, while the world itself became a less safe place to be.
Biographers and scholars state that Che Guevara attempted to begin the World War III. Furthermore, it is believed that it was Che Guevara himself who brought the idea of the World War III on the verge of becoming a reality. On the other hand, I am inclined to think that Ernesto Guevara did not realize the seriousness and possible consequences of the methods he had used to make his dream of justice and the socialist world come true. I admit, though, that there was a lot of injustice and violence (even wrath) in Che Guevara’s actions. At the same time, after watching the film The True Story of Che Guevara - The Documentary, I pity Che Guevara and sympathize with his fate.
The terms “pity” and “sympathize with” cannot be applied to those who were among the living a while ago, and, most especially, these terms do not apply to those who positioned themselves as strong persons. Obviously, thinking and saying such words is not fair to those who these people held most dear, their families and friends. Che Guevara’s ideas continue to live on. Partly, this happens because the vulnerable continue to suffer and the rich become richer. The world is facing another Cold War. The whole world is threatened by the cases of propaganda, censorship, and promotion of total control over personality that gain momentum nowadays. Personally, I believe in justice in its global and historical senses. History proves that hostility, rage, and treacherousness bring nothing but destruction. However, there is no denying the fact that the mankind does not know yet how to respond to violence adequately. In this respect, mankind should find a balance between liberty, peace, healthy environment, and gradual but steady development of culture, science, and technology. Only then can the mankind respond adequately to the key and most burning challenges of the day.