Forty-one years ago this day, in a small school hut in La Higuera, Bolivia, Ernesto ‘Che' Guevara was brutally executed by the agents of imperialism. Pragoti commemorates the 41st anniversary of Che Guevera's martyrdom.
If we, in a small point of the world map, are able to fulfill our duty and place at the disposal of this struggle whatever little of ourselves we are permitted to give: our lives, our sacrifice, and if some day we have to breathe our last breath on any land, already ours, sprinkled with our blood let it be known that we have measured the scope of our actions and that we only consider ourselves elements in the great army of the proletariat but that we are proud of having learned from the Cuban Revolution, and from its maximum leader, the great lesson emanating from his attitude in this part of the world: "What do the dangers or the sacrifices of a man or of a nation matter, when the destiny of humanity is at stake."
This was Che's message to the anti-imperialist movement, a year before his martyrdom. Here is the full text of the message titled 'Create Two, Three, Many Vietnams: Message to the Tricontinental' (Courtesy: History is a weapon) followed by an interview (Courtesy: Monthly Review) with Che in 1961 during the Playa Girón (Bay of Pigs) invasion in 1961.
Che embodied energy, and it is this that was seized upon by young people who made him an icon, and it is what sustains his special attachment in the hearts of the young. Youth sees in this forever youthful revolutionary the spark that sustains them in unsettled times.
Che was indeed an extraordinary symbol of the panache and determination, of the intellect and dexterity of the Cuban Revolution: but his extraordinariness was not at the expense of his own basic humanity. If he is portrayed without his warts and without his capacity for self-criticism then he is raised to too high a standard for the rest of us mortals.
Vijay Prashad reviews Spain Rodriguez' graphic biography, Che (Verso, 2008).
Che's last letter to his children affirming life and struggle: 'if imperialism still exists, we'll set out to fight it'.
This is a unique revolution which some people maintain contradicts one of the most orthodox premises of the revolutionary movement, expressed by Lenin: "Without a revolutionary theory there is no revolutionary movement." It would be suitable to say that revolutionary theory, as the expression of a social truth, surpasses any declaration of it; that is to say, even if the theory is not known, the revolution can succeed if historical reality is interpreted correctly and if the forces involved are utilised correctly. Every revolution always incorporates elements of very different tendencies which, nevertheless, coincide in action and in the revolution's most immediate objectives.
On June 14, 2008, Che's 80th birth anniversary, what can be said about Che that hasn’t been said already?