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Che Guevara - yazik.info - Free ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read book online for free. Biography Of "The Icon of Revolution"-Che. Ernesto Che Guevara de la Serna () embodies an outstanding . The books that formed part of Che's personal library and that were arranged. “Che, live like him!” He is presented in innumerable books and articles as a shin- researched biography lauded by supporters, Che Guevara: A. Revolutionary.

She graduated from an exclusive Catholic girls school in Buenos Aires. She was an intelligent, quite literate, unconventional, and generous person who remained devoted to Ernesto, her rstborn, until her death just a few years before his own. Soon after Ernestos birth, his parents moved to San Isidro, Argentina, where Ernestos father was a partner in a yacht-building business.

It was while they were living in this city along the banks of the La Plata River that his parents discovered the young Ernesto had asthma which he suffered from the rest of his life. His mother was an avid swimmer and used to take him with her to the yacht club in San Isidro when she went swimming. On one particularly chilly day, by the time she was ready to leave the club she discovered he was very ill.

She and her husband took him immediately to a local doctor, who informed them that their son had a severe asthmatic condition. For the next two years, Ches parents tried every possible cure, but in the end they were advised that they would have to move to a much drier climate if they wanted their sons health to improve.

As a result, they moved to the little town of Alta Gracia on the gentle western slopes of the Sierra Chica in the central Argentine province of Crdoba. The dry climate of the region greatly beneted his health, although he continued to suffer periodic asthma attacks, which at times forced him to stay in bed for days.

Nevertheless, as he grew older, Ernesto spent as much time outdoors as possible. His childhood friends recall that he was always organizing hikes to the hills and playing games requiring physical skill and endurance Caligiuri and Piccon He learned to swim at an early age, and this sport became one of his passions. His parents, especially his mother, encouraged him to swim, since they believed this sport would improve his health and particularly his breathing problems.

As he grew older, he also became an avid golfer and loved to ride horses. His friends remember him as a decisive and bold youth who was very sure of himself Caligiuri and Piccon He had several nicknames during his childhood.

His family members often called him Tete, while his friends called him Ernestito, Fuser, and Chancho. His childhood and school friends remember him for his enthusiasm, mischievous and courageous nature, and adventurousness.

Evidently, he was a real daredevil, willing to do almost anything, perhaps to prove to himself that in spite of his chronic illness he was just as good or better at doing things as his friends. Enrique Martin, one of his childhood friends, remembers him as a real friend when somebody needed him and as a charismatic person who never got angry more than two minutes.

According to Martin: We all respected and admired him for his kindness Caligiuri and Piccon The family lived in Villa Nydia from to and again from to Caligiuri and Piccon It is the house that was most thought of by the Guevara family as their home in Alta Gracia.

Ernestos family life was relatively happy, although his parents separated when he was a young adult. His father gave him considerable freedom and moral support. His mother gave him a great deal of love and attention; they had a special bond between them.

Ernesto always conded in her, even years later when he became an important leader in the Cuban Revolution. During this period, his mother tutored him at home, and Ernesto spent hours reading alone or playing chess with his father.

Later on, when he was enrolled in school, his mother taught him to speak and read French, in which he was uent. By this time the frequency of his asthmatic attacks had decreased considerably, and his attendance in secondary school was quite regular.

Despite his asthma, as he grew older Ernesto became involved in a wide variety of outdoor activities and sports. He swam, played soccer and golf, rode horses, took up target shooting, and loved biking and hiking Anderson Although he sometimes had to be carried home by his friends because of an asthma attack, he was determined to do everything his friends could do and refused to let his asthma limit him. The administrator of his primary school, Elba Rossi de Oviedo, remembered him as a mischievous boy who exhibited leadership qualities on the playground Anderson She said: Many children followed him during recess.

He was a leader, but not an arrogant person. Sometimes he climbed up trees in the schoolyard.

She also said he was an intelligent and independent person, who had the qualities necessary to lead a group, and he never sat at the same desk in the classroom, he needed all of them Caligiuri and Piccon Ernestos parents wanted their children to be freethinkers. At home, the parents never spoke of religion except to occasionally criticize the conservative hierarchy of the Catholic Church, and the children were given considerable freedom to think and talk about all kinds of subjects as well as indiscriminately associate with people from all classes Caligiuri and Piccon They were given no religious instruction, and his parents asked that their children be excused from religion classes in school.

Although he was baptized as a Roman Catholic when he was an infant to please his grandparents, Ernesto was never conrmed as a member of the church.

His parents, especially his father, were critical of the hypocritical role played by the conservative Catholic clergy in Latin American society. They felt strongly that their children should not be overprotected and that they should learn about lifes secrets and dangers at an early age.

Their home life was somewhat Bohemian, and they followed few social conventions Anderson She was the rst woman in town to drive a car, wear trousers, and smoke cigarettes in public. She was able to get away with breaking many of the social norms in the socially conservative community because of her social standing and generosity.

She regularly transported her children and their friends to school in the family car and started a daily free-milk program in the school for the poorer children, which she paid for herself.

Ernestos father considered Celia to be imprudent from birth and attracted to danger and chided her for passing these character traits on to her son Anderson Ernestos father in turn was known to have an Irish temper, and it appears he passed this trait on to Ernesto, who as a child could become uncontrollable with rage if he felt he was treated unjustly. In temperament, however, Ernesto was more like his mother, who was his condant and at times his co-conspirator in criticizing what they considered to be the hypocritical and outmoded social norms of their provincial community.

Ernesto enjoyed playing soccer or football as it is called in Latin America and most of the world and rugby. In the former sport, he usually played the position of goalkeeper, always with an inhaler for his Author at entrance to Che Guevara House Museum in Alta Gracia, Argentina. Richard L.

However, it was at rugby that he really excelled. Hugo Gambini, in his biography of Che, claims that the position he played as a youth in this game helped to dene his personality Gambini It seems he played the position of forward, which is generally the key position in rugby since the majority of advances depend on it.

Ernesto played this position fearlessly, as though both his personality and his physical attributes had been made to order for it.

Perhaps, as Gambini suggests, this game was instrumental in shaping Ernestos personality as a daring leader. All those who knew Ernesto Guevara as a youth were impressed by his intelligence and the ease with which he learned new things. However, he was not an exceptional student and he was not interested in getting high grades in school, since his interests lay outside of school.

He was preoccupied with hiking, football, rugby, and chess. In the case of chess, he was an excellent player and it became his main hobby. Ernesto also was an avid reader. From his father he developed a love for books on adventure and history, especially the works of Jules Verne Taibo , and from his mother he gained a love for ction literature, philosophy, and poetry.

He had read nearly every book in his parents relatively large home library by the time he was in his early adolescence.

Ernesto grew up in a highly politicized environment. Both his mother and father identied with the leftist Republican cause during the Spanish Civil War, and after the war they became close friends with two Spanish Republican families who had been forced to ee Spain and seek exile in Argentina after the fall of the republic when the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco was established. The Guevara family was also ercely anti-Nazi.

His father belonged to an anti-Nazi and proAllies organization called Accin Argentina, and Ernesto joined the youth wing of this organization when he was 11 Anderson She was leftist in her political orientation and far more progressive minded in her political views than his father, who was more of a libertarian conservative.

However, both of Ches parents strongly opposed the spread of fascism in Europe and Argentina and opposed the popular military strongman Juan Pern as he rose to political power in Argentina. Because of his parents active support for the Republican cause in Spain and the Allied countries ghting against fascism in Europe during World War II, and their opposition to Peronism in Argentina after the war, Ernesto was caught up in his parents political activities at a crucial time in the early formation of his political consciousness Anderson His familys involvement in anti-fascist and antiPeronist politics helped shape his view of the world as well as his political ideals and views.

According to those who knew him as a youth, many of the character traits for which he became famous as an adult were already present when he was a boy: physical fearlessness, inclination to lead others, stubbornness, competitive spirit, and self-discipline Anderson However, at this stage in his life, his interest in politics was secondary to his other interests. In the summer of , Ernesto and his family moved from Alta Gracia to the nearby city of Crdoba, to which he was already commuting daily by bus to attend a secondary school more liberal than the one in Alta Gracia.

Largely because of his mothers wishes, their home in Crdoba had the same casual open-door policy as their home in Alta Gracia. All the friends and acquaintances of the Guevara children were always welcome, there was no regular schedule for meals and they ate when they were hungry, and there was nearly always a wide assortment of interesting guests Anderson Although the Guevaras welcomed everyone into their home, Ernesto and his mother would tease mercilessly any visitor who showed any pretentiousness, snobbery, or pompous behavior.

Toms was Ernestos schoolmate, and Alberto was Tomss older brother. Alberto was a rstyear student in biochemistry and pharmacology at the University of Crdoba when they rst met.

He was also the coach of a local rugby team. Even though Ernesto was relatively inexperienced and his father was afraid he would suffer a heart attack from playing such a strenuous sport, Ernesto convinced Alberto to let him join the team; he soon C HE GUE VAR A earned a reputation for being a fearless rugby player despite his frequent asthma attacks. Alberto was impressed by his fearlessness and his determination to excel at the sport.

He was also pleasantly surprised to discover Ernesto was an avid reader like himself. In fact, Alberto and Toms found it difcult to believe that the young teenager Ernesto had already read so many books. He especially liked the poetry of Chiles famous poet Pablo Neruda, and his personal hero was Mahatma Gandhi, whom he deeply admired Taibo Hilda Gadea his rst wife remembers that Ernesto told her he read everything in his fathers library when he was teenager: Ernesto told me how when he was still in high school he decided to start reading seriously and began by swallowing his fathers library, choosing volumes at random.

ix xi xxiii 1 19 37 69 91

The books were not classied and next to an adventure book he would nd a Greek tragedy and then a book on Marxism. Gadea His interests were eclectic, but he took a special interest in poetry and could recite many of his favorite poems from memory. Although he read books on political topics and enjoyed discussing politics with his family and friends, most of his schoolmates remember him as being for the most part politically disinterested during his secondary school years Anderson As for sex, he was denitely interested.

In the mids in Argentina, good girls were expected to remain a virgin until they married and boys from the upper classes were expected by their families and the social norms of their class to respect the virginity of the girls they dated, especially if they were from their same social circles. For their rst sexual experiences, therefore, boys from Ernestos class went to brothels or had sexual relations with girls from the lower classesoften the young maids who worked in their homes or the homes of their friends.

In Ernestos case, his rst sexual experience appears to have occurred with a young maid when he was Unknown to Ernesto at the time, Calica and a few of his friends spied on him while he had sex with the young woman. The following is a brief account of Ernestos sexual initiation with La Negra: They observed that, while he conducted himself admirably on top of the pliant maid, he periodically interrupted his lovemaking to suck on his asthma inhaler. The spectacle soon had them in stitches and remained a source of amusement for years afterward.

Anderson According to his friends, Ernesto was not perturbed by their jokes about his rst experience in lovemaking and continued for some time thereafter to have sexual relations with La Negra.

Che Guevara

By the time he graduated from secondary school, Ernesto had developed into an extremely attractive young man: slim and wideshouldered, with dark-brown hair, intense brown eyes, clear white skin, and a self-contained, easy condence that made him alluring to girls Anderson By the time he was 17, he had developed a devil-maycare and eccentric attitude that was characterized by his contempt for formality and social decorum and a penchant for shocking his teachers and classmates with his unconventional comments and behavior.

This poem was written 20 years before he diedriddled with bulletsin During his absence from Crdoba, his family moved to Buenos Aires. His fathers business was doing poorly and the family was forced to sell their house in Crdoba and move into the apartment his grandmother.

Ana Isabel Guevara owned and lived in. By May his grandmother was on her deathbed, and Ernesto gave up his job in Villa Mara to be at her bedside. According to his father: Ernesto [was] desperate at seeing that his grandmother didnt eat [so] he tried with incredible patience to get her to eat food, entertaining her, and without leaving her side. And he remained there until [she] left this world. Many years later she observed that it must have been one of the greatest sadnesses of his life Anderson: Apparently, the painful death of his beloved grandmother and his personal interest in nding a cure for asthma led him to change his mind about pursuing a degree in engineering and to study medicine instead Anderson: His family believed he made this decision to change careers because of the shock of his grandmothers painful death and his desire to pursue a career that would alleviate human suffering.

But his choice of specialties and research interests in medicine suggested he was also motivated by a desire to nd a cure for asthma. Years later, he said he chose a career in medicine because I dreamed of becoming a famous investigator. In addition to his studies at the university, he held a number of parttime jobs.

The one he held the longest was in the clinic of Dr. Salvador Pisani, where he also received treatment for his asthma Anderson: Pisani gave him the opportunity to work as a research assistant in the laboratory of his clinic, specically on the pioneering use of vaccinations and other innovative types of treatment for the allergies associated with asthma.

Ernesto became so enthralled in this research that he decided to specialize in the treatment of allergies for his medical. He became a xture of Dr. Pisanis clinic and his home, where the doctors mother and sister prepared a special antiasthma diet for Ernesto and took care of him when he suffered severe asthma attacks. What little spare time he had he devoted to rugby, chess, and travel. He registered for military service as required when he was 18, but he was given a medical deferment from military service because of his asthma.

As for his political orientation at this stage of his life, he was a progressive liberal who avoided afliation with any political organization Anderson: His political views were nationalist, anti-imperialist, and anti-American, but he was quite critical of the Argentine Communist Party and its youth organization at the university for their sectarianism intolerance of other political organizations and ideologies.

While he was not a Marxist, he did already have a special interest in Marxs writings and in socialist thought. At this stage of his life he was an engaging and intelligent nonconformistan oddball who most of his friends and acquaintances found difcult to categorize. Since he was not quite 18 when the national election was held that elected Juan Pern to the presidency of Argentina in , he was not able to vote in this historic election, but like most other students of his generation, he did not support Pern.

His views regarding Pern have been characterized as a-Peronism Castaeda: However, he reportedly told the maids who worked for his family that they should vote for Pern since his policies would help their class. It is not clear what he thought of Argentinas popular female political gure during this periodthe beautiful blond radio actress Evita who was Perns controversial mistress until he married her a few months before his election to the presidency in During the years Ernesto was a university student, Eva Evita Duarte Pern became the darling of Argentinas popular classes because of her charismatic populist speeches and her highly publicized personal crusade for labor and womens rights EPHRF While her husband was president, she ran the Argentine federal governments ministries of labor and health; founded and led the Eva Pern Foundation, which provided charitable services to the poor especially to the elderly, women, and children ; and created and served as the president of the.

After her death from cancer in , Evitalike Che Guevara laterbecame a powerful icon in the political culture of Argentina and Latin America. However, there is no evidence there was ever any personal or political connection between these two historic gures. After living in his deceased mothers apartment for a year, Ernestos father sold his mat plantation and gave the money to Celia to download a modest home in Buenos Aires at the edge of the desirable Palermo district Anderson: However, to make ends meet, the older children had to nd jobs.

Despite the now obvious separation between his parentshis father slept on the sofa in the living room of the new houseErnesto maintained his close and open relationship with both parents, his father fondly describing their relationship during this period as follows: We joked with one another as if we were the same age.

He teased me continuously. As soon as we found ourselves at the table in our house, he would goad me with arguments of a political character.

Ernesto, who at that time was twenty years old, surpassed me in this area, and we argued constantly. Those who overheard us might have thought we were ghting. Not at all. Deep down there existed a true camaraderie between us. She presided over the household in Buenos Aires in much the same way she did in Crdoba and Alta Graciashe showed a complete disregard for social decorum and housekeeping but generously offered informal hospitality to all manner of guests.

There was very little furniture and few decorations in the house, books were everywhere, and the walls in the kitchen gave electrical shocks because of a chronic short circuit in the electrical wiring. Ernesto often went to his Aunt Beatrizs and deceased grandmothers apartment to study, and his father went there often to sleep, be-. Ernesto had a special relationship with his spinster aunt, who loved to mother him. She would prepare meals for him and, according to his father, his Aunt Beatriz didnt sleep while Ernesto studied; she always had his mat ready to prepare for him and accompanied him when he took a break, and she did this all with the greatest of affection quoted in Anderson: She was quite conservative and proper, so Ernesto loved to scandalize her with his ideas and stories but always in an affectionate and respectful manner.

According to a cousin who accompanied him frequently to his aunts apartment, Ernesto secretly seduced her maid without their aunt knowing anything about it Anderson: From this period of his life, there is a photograph of Ernesto with his classmates in one of the classrooms of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Buenos Aires. A careful examination of this photograph provides some clues to Ernestos character, state of mind, and his relationships at the time.

In the photograph 28 white-coated students stand in three rows on different levels behind a naked cadaver with an open chest cavity on a metal table in the foreground. A few of the students are smiling at the camera and the rest have assumed a serious professional look, but in the third row is one student who is looking open-eyed at the camera with a broad joking smile it is Ernesto.

Biography Book Review: Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life by Jon Lee Anderson

All the men are wearing ties, except for Ernesto, who is wearing a white shirtprobably the one white nylon shirt he owned and which he called La Semanera the Weekly One because he wore it all the time and washed it once a week. There are only three women in the group photograph, one of whom is Berta Tita Infante, with whom Ernesto had a deep but platonic relationship. She is looking at the camera with an intense gaze.

Tita and Ernesto met in an anatomy course and became very close friends and condants. It appears she wanted more from the relationship than he did or at least more than he was willing to give at the time. What follows is her description of Ernesto: By his accent he was a provincial, by his appearance he was a beautiful and uninhibited young man. A mixture of shyness and arrogance, maybe the audacity hid his profound intelligence.

Their friendship lasted beyond medical school, and he corresponded almost as frequently with her after he left Argentina as he did with his mother and Aunt Beatriz. As for Ernestos own reection on this period of his life, years later he said the following: When I began to study medicine, the majority of the concepts that I have as a revolutionary were absent from the storehouse of my ideas.

I wanted to succeed, like everyone; I dreamed of being a famous researcher, dreamed of working untiringly to succeed at doing something that could be denitively placed at the disposal of humanity, but in that moment it was a personal achievement. I was, as we all are, a child of my environment. Ernesto loved to travel. His father wrote that with time he came to understand his obsession with travelling was just another part of his zeal for learning Guevara However, Ernesto disguised this motivation for his early trips by talking casually about his travel plans and by at least pretending to be motivated primarily by the desire for adventure.

His diary of his now famous trip Guevara throughout South America is written primarily in this vein. However, his subsequent trip throughout South and Central America was clearly motivated by more serious intentions, especially after he reached Central America see chapter 3.

Ernestos rst noteworthy journey on his own took place in , when he toured all of central and northern Argentina by motorbikea trip of some 4, miles Gambini He was 21 and a medical student at the University of Buenos Aires at the time. On his journey he stopped off in Crdoba to visit his friends Toms and Alberto Granado. Alberto was conducting research on lepers at a leprosarium near San Francisco del Chaar, and because Ernesto was intrigued by Albertos research he spent several days with Alberto at the leprosarium.

From there he headed north and met an interesting assortment of hobos, vagabonds, seasonal workers, poor indigenous inhabitants, and other socially marginalized people along the way. He often stayed overnight in police stations and provincial hospitals where he asked if he could sleep in vacant jail cells or empty hospital beds.

As a result, for the rst time in his adult life, Ernesto. What he learned from this trip to the poorer northern region of his country was that Argentinas more modern and supercial European culture was a luxurious faade under which the countrys true soul lay; and that soul was rotten and diseased.

It was from this region of the country that the Argentine Indians, commonly referred to as coyas, and the mixed-blood cabezitas negras little black heads ed in steadily increasing numbers, pouring into the cities in search of work and setting up shantytowns like the one in front of the Guevaras home in Crdoba Anderson They were the social class of domestic servants and day laborers called descamisados shirtless ones whom Pron and his wife Evita promised to incorporate into the nation and whom Argentinas white elite still exploit and despise.

When Ernesto returned to Buenos Aires from this trip he took the motorbike back to the store where he bought it in order to have it reconditioned. When the store owner discovered the details of the trip, he was astounded and asked Ernesto to give him a letter attesting to his having made such a fantastic trip using the particular brand of motorbike that he used.

This letter, along with a picture of Ernesto sitting on his motorbike, was published in a local sports magazine as an advertisement for this type of motorbike Taibo Ernesto returned to his studies in medical school, resumed playing rugby, and continued working in Dr.

Pisanis clinic. He also fell in love for the rst time. The object of his affection was the year-old daughter of one of Crdobas wealthiest families.

Her name was Mara del Carmen Chichina Ferreyra, and they met in October at a wedding in Crdoba attended by Ernesto and his family. By all accounts, she was a strikingly beautiful, intelligent, and charming young woman, who was as infatuated with him as he was with her Taibo: However, this ro-. Chichinas family lived in an imposing French-style chateau with parklike gardens in Crdoba and on a large estate called La Malagueo outside of the city.

According to her cousin, Dolores Moyano: The family visited the village church every Sunday for Mass, worshipping in a separate alcove to the right of the altar with its own separate entrance and private communion rail, away from the mass of workers. In many ways, La Malagueo exemplied everything that Ernesto despised.

Yet, unpredictable as always, Ernesto had fallen madly in love with the princess of this little empire, my cousin Chichina Ferreyra, an extraordinarily beautiful and charming girl, who, to the dismay of her parents, was equally fascinated by Ernesto.

Ernesto was madly in love with Chichina and wanted to marry her. But the differences in their age and social class, her parents disapproval of him, and the distance between them began to strain their relationship. At the beginning of , Ernesto needed to earn some money, so he signed up to serve as a ships nurse on Argentinas merchant marine freighters and oil tankers Taibo: Between February and June , he made various trips back and forth between Argentina and Brazil, Venezuela, and the Caribbean islands.

These trips gave him plenty of time to study for his medical exams and exposed him to life at sea as well as most of the ports of call on the Atlantic Coast of South America and in the Caribbean.

At the end of June , he went back to medical school. On one of his visits to Crdoba to see Chichina he also visited his friends the Granado brothers. In the course of a conversation with Alberto. Granado while working on his motorcycle, nicknamed La Poderosa the Powerful One , the idea of making a yearlong trip together took shape.

Ernestos account of this momentous occasion is as follows: Our fantasizing took us to far away places, sailing tropical seas, travelling through Asia. And suddenly, slipping in as if part of our fantasy, came the question: Why dont we go to North America?

North America? On La Poderosa, man. Thats how the trip came about, and it never deviated from the general principle laid down then: My task before leaving was to take as many exams in as many subjects as possible; Albertos to get the bike ready for the long journey. At that stage the momentousness of our endeavor hadnt dawned on us, all we could see was the dusty road ahead and us on our bike devouring kilometers in the ight northward.

Guevara Alberto had quit his job, and Ernesto was tired of medical school, hospitals, and studying for exams. He was also frustrated by the opposition of Chichinas parents to their relationship. For these reasons, they both wanted to take a break from their existing circumstances. Thus, in December , when he lacked only one year of receiving his medical degree, Ernesto and his friend Alberto Granados decided to set out to explore all of Latin America by motorcycle. Ernestos Motorcycle Diaries Guevara , which were published many years after his death, provide a valuable personal narrative of this journey.

They shed light on a little known period in his young adulthood and provide important insights into his personality and the development of his views about the world.

Written while he was traveling around South America in his early 20s, they allow the reader to gain an intimate portrait of him at an important and formative period in his life.

Ironically, most of this trip was not made on a motorcycle. In fact, Ernesto and Alberto traveled on just about every mode of transportation available at the timehorses, railroads, buses, trucks, cars, ships, ferries, boats, rafts, and airplanes and of course on their feet.

After their motorcycle died in Chile, they were forced to walk, hitchhike, and use whatever means was available to make their way from one end of the South American continent to the other. Ernestos lucid and brief accounts in his diary enable the reader to almost hear his thoughts, view the world through his eyes, and sense his spirit.

In a certain sense they allow the reader to travel back in time to meet the man before he made his grand entrance on the stage of world history as one of the most charismatic and emblematic revolutionaries of all time. They had increasing problems with the motorcycle as they traveled over the Andes and through southern Chile.

As they neared the Chilean capital of Santiago, the motorcycle nally gave out and they had to continue the rest of their trip on foot. They also quickly ran out of money. They were forced to panhandle, freeload, and work at numerous odd jobs in order to continue their journey northward through Chile to Peru, through Peru to Colombia, and nally to Venezuela.

Along the way, Ernesto developed a critical social consciousness based on the many instances of social injustice, human exploitation, and racial and ethnic discrimination he witnessed in all the countries he visited. He also developed a Latin American identity as he discovered that the people in these countries shared common values, aspirations, and sociohistorical conditions. When Ernesto announced his travel plans to his family they were surprised to learn he planned to be away for a whole year, particularly because of his love affair with Chichina Guevara When his father asked him about her, Ernesto said: If she loves me, shell wait.

Years later, his father reected on Ernestos motivations for this trip in the prologue he wrote for the so-called Motorcycle Diaries. He said he really did not understand his sons motivations at the time and it was only many years later that he realized what truly motivated him. He wrote: I was puzzled. I didnt understand Ernesto. There were things about him I couldnt quite fathom. They only became clear with time.

I didnt realize then that his obsession with travelling was just another part of his zeal for learning. He knew that really to understand the needs of the poor he had to travel the world, not as a tourist stopping to take pretty pictures and enjoy the scenery, but.

Years later, thinking back over his continuous. However, through reading his letters and later his diaries, his father realized his son was following a true missionary impulse which never left him and possessed a mystical and certain knowledge of his own destiny Guevara The choice of the term missionary is somewhat misleading, since Ernesto at this stage was certainly not concerned with propagating a specic ideology or doctrine.

He was very open-minded, quite secular in his thinking, and generally respectful of the cultural differences he encountered in his travels. In fact, there is very little evidence of the kind of dogmatism and ethnocentrism in his thinking that one associates with the thinking of most missionaries.

His father had to suffer in silence the fears he had for his son when he learned he was planning to take a year away from his studies to go on the incredible transcontinental odyssey he and his friend Alberto Granado had planned.

Che Guevara - Biography.pdf

When he told me of the journey he planned with Granado, I took him aside and said: Youve some hard times ahead. How can I advise against it when its something Ive always dreamed of myself?

But remember, if you get lost in those jungles and I dont hear from you at reasonable intervals, Ill come looking for you, trace your steps, and wont come back until I nd you. He and Alberto started out on their journey on January 4, midsummer in the Southern Hemisphere. They went rst to the Atlantic Coast of Argentina to visit one of Ernestos uncles in Villa Gisell and then to the beach resort city of Miramar to say good-bye to Chichina, who was vacationing there with one of her aunts.

Ernesto brought with him a puppy for Chichina whom he signicantly named Come Back. He ended up staying eight days in Miramar, and Al-. Ernesto wrote the following in his diary about this romantic interlude at the outset of their long journey: The trip hung in the balance, in a cocoon, subordinate to the word which consents and ties. Alberto saw the danger and was already imagining himself alone on the highways and byways of America, but he said nothing.

The tug of war was between her and me. The two days Id planned stretched like elastic into eight and with the bittersweet taste of goodbye mingling with my inveterate halitosis I nally felt myself wafted away on the winds of adventure.

Several weeks later in the Andean mountain resort of Bariloche, Ernesto found a letter from Chichina waiting for him at the local post ofce, where they had previously arranged he would pick up his mail. In this letter, she informed him she had decided not to wait for him.

In his diary, he wrote the following about his reactions: I read and re-read the incredible letter. Suddenly all my dreams of home, bound up with the eyes which saw me off in Miramar, were shattered, apparently for no good reason page Although he was clearly hurt and wanted at rst to write a weepy letter, he realized it was hopeless to convince her to change her mind. He also wrote: I thought I loved her until this moment when I realized I couldnt feel, I had to think her back again.

The next day Ernesto and Alberto crossed a mountain lake into Chile on a leaking ferry boat that they kept aoat by pumping out the bilge water in return for their free passage. On this boat they met some Chilean doctors who told them there was a leper colony on Easter Island Rapa Nui, or Isla de Pascua , some 2, miles from mainland Chile in the southeastern Pacic.

As Ernesto wrote in his diary: It was a wonderful island, they said, and our scientic appetites were whetted page They resolved to travel to the island and asked one of the doctors to give.

With their money running low, they were forced to freeload their way through southern Chile. In the southern port city of Valdivia they dropped in on the local newspaper, which interviewed them for an article about their journey. As a result, they decided in a gesture of great magnanimity to dedicate their trip to the city since it was celebrating the th anniversary of its founding. At their next stop, in the picturesque central Chilean town of Temuco, they were interviewed again by the local newspaper, which was printed under the title: Ernestos account in his diary of this article and their short stay in Temuco reveals some of the avor of their trip at this point as well as his tongue-in-cheek view of their freeloading style of travel.

We had asked permission to leave the bike in the garage of a man who lived on the outskirts and we now made our way there, no longer just a pair of reasonably likeable bums with a bike in tow. No, we were now the experts, and thats how we were treated.

We spent the day xing the bike and a little dark maid kept coming up with edible treats. At ve oclock, after a sumptuous snack laid on by our host, we said goodbye to Temuco and headed north.

They were worried they would have to spend the night in the open, but as Ernesto recounts in his diary: We werent just anybody now, we were the experts; we soon found a railway worker who took us to his house where we were treated like kings page They xed the tire at a garage the next day and resumed their trip, but they soon encountered more trouble. Without any warning, their motorcycle veered sideways and threw them off.

The crash broke the bikes steering column and smashed its gearbox. This was the beginning of the end of La Poderosa. Although they managed to weld the steering column and x the gearbox at a local garage, the bike was never the same again.

While they were working on the bike at this garage they bummed something to eat and drink at the homes of the curiosity seekers who dropped by to see the two famous travelers working on their motorcycle. Their last night in Temuco they were invited by the mechanics at the garage to have drinks with them and go to a village dance, where Ernesto got drunk and caused an altercation on the dance oor.

He wrote the following account of this incident in his diary: Chilean wine is very good and I was downing it at an amazing rate, so by the time we went on to the village dance I felt ready for anything. One of the mechanics from the garage, a particularly nice guy, asked me to dance with his wife because hed been mixing his drinks and was the worse for wear. His wife was pretty randy [feeling horny] and obviously in the mood, and I, full of Chilean wine, took her by the hand to lead her outside.

She followed me docilely but then realized her husband was watching and changed her mind. I was in no state to listen to reason and we had a bit of a barney [quarrel] in the middle of the dance oor, resulting in me pulling her toward one of the doors with everybody watching. She tried to kick me and as I was pulling her she lost her balance and went crashing to the oor. Since they had now worn out the hospitality of their local hosts, they left the next day, but only after having lunch at the house of the family that lived next to the garage.

On the road north to Santiago, they had another bad spill on the motorcycle and they had to repair it once again. Shortly thereafter, the bike nally gave its last gasp going up a steep hill, and they had to hitch a lift on a truck going to the town of Los Angeles. They arranged to stay in a volunteer re station in Los Angeles and in a few days found a truck to take them and the bike to Santiago, where they left the corpse of La Poderosa at a garage.

At this point in their journey Ernesto noted they ceased being motorized bums and became non-motorized bums page From this point forward they had to rely on their freeloading skills to hitch rides, bum meals and lodgings, work at odd jobs when they could,.

Ernesto noted in his diary their transition to this new stage in their journey: We were used to attracting idle attention with our strange garb and the prosaic gure of La Poderosa II, whose asthmatic wheezing aroused pity in our hosts. All the same, we had been, so to speak, gentlemen of the road.

Wed belonged to a time-honored aristocracy of wayfarers, bearing our degrees as visiting cards to impress people. Not any more. Now we were just two tramps with packs on our backs, and the grime of the road encrusted in our overalls, shadows of our former aristocratic selves. While they were in Valparaso they made friends with the owner of a bar named La Gioconda the name of a famous Italian opera and another name for the Mona Lisa painting.

The bar owner would not let them pay for their food or drink and even let them sleep in the kitchen. He was found of saying: Today its your turn, tomorrow itll be mine page While they were there, he asked Ernesto to visit one of his elderly customers who was suffering from asthma and a bad heart.

Ernestos comments in his diary about this old woman reveal a great deal about his social views at this stage in his life. He observed that the poor thing was in an awful state, breathing the smell of stale sweat and dirty feet that lled her room, mixed with the dust from a couple of armchairs, which were the only luxuries in her house page Such circumstances, he said, made a doctor feel powerless and long for change that would end the social injustices of the present order.

He noted that in such cases we see the profound tragedy which circumscribes the life of the proletariat [working class] the world over, since the poverty of their existence makes them at the end of their lives a bitter burden for the poor family members who have to take care of them. His concluding comments were these: How long this present order, based on an absurd idea of caste, will last I cant say, but he added it was time for governments to spend more money, much more money, funding socially useful projects.

From Valparaso, Ernesto and Alberto stowed away on a boat that was headed for the northern port of Antofagasta. They were discovered after the boat was at sea and forced to do menial chores such as cleaning the latrines and the decks. However, at night the captain invited them to drink and play cards with him. When they arrived in Antofagasta they tried to stow away on another boat headed farther north, but they were caught before it sailed and put onshore.

Instead, they traveled north overland through the desert by hitching rides on trucks.

So it was that they ended up visiting Chiles largest copper mine at Chuquicamata. On the way they made friends with a married couple who were mine workers and members of the Chilean Communist Party. The husband told them about his three months in prison as a result of the Chilean governments proscription of the party and persecution of its members, and about his starving wife who followed him with exemplary loyalty, his children left in the care of a kindly neighbor, his fruitless pilgrimage in search of work and his comrades who had mysteriously disappeared and were said to be somewhere at the bottom of the sea page According to his diary, when Ernesto and Alberto encountered the couple, they were numb with cold, huddling together in the desert night without a single miserable blanket to sleep under, so we gave them one of ours and Alberto and I wrapped the other around us as best we could.

Ernesto saw them as a living symbol of the proletariat the world over and wrote that its really upsetting to think they use repressive measures against people like these, since what motivated them to join the Communist Party was nothing more than the natural desire for a better life and their protest against persistent hunger. He observed that this motivation had led them to adopt Communist ideology, whose real meaning he felt they could never grasp, but when it was translated into bread for the poor was something that they could understand and that gave them hope for the future page When he and Alberto visited the huge U.

In his diary, he wrote: The bosses, the blond, efcient, arrogant managers, told us in primitive Spanish: Ill get a guide to give you a half-hour tour around the mine and then please be good enough to leave, we have a lot of work.

He also noted that a strike was being planned at the mine and wrote in his diary that their guide, who he called the Yankee bosses faithful lapdog, told us: Stupid gringos, they lose thousands of pesos every day in a strike so as not to give a poor worker a couple of extra centavos.

Ernesto noted in his diary that Chile offers economic possibilities to anyone willing to work as long as hes not from the proletariat, since the country had enough mineral resources copper, iron, coal, tin, gold, silver, manganese, nitrates, etc.

However, he observed that the main thing Chile has to do is to get its tiresome Yankee friend off its back, a Herculean task, at least for the time being, given the huge US investment and the ease with which it can bring economic pressure to bear whenever its interests are threatened page From Chuquicamata, Ernesto and Alberto hitchhiked to the Peruvian border. In Peru, they adopted a pattern of hitching rides on the trucks carrying people and freight between the main towns and asking if they could stay overnight in the guard stations of the Peruvian Civil Guard the countrys paramilitary national police force or the hospitals in the towns where they stopped.

As they traveled, they came in close contact with Perus exploited and suffering Indian masses, who represent a majority of the population. They saw how the Indians of the Peruvian altiplano high plateau were and still are exploited and oppressed.

In Tarata, Peru, Ernesto wrote in his diary about how the local Peruvian Indians the Aymars are not the same proud race that time after time rose up against Inca rule and forced them to maintain a permanent army on their borders; rather, they had become a defeated race since the Spanish Conquest and centuries of colonial domination. He noted that they look at us meekly, almost fearfully, completely indifferent to the outside world, and some give the impression that they go on living simply because its a habit they cant give up page After they left Tarata, they traveled on the same truck with a schoolteacher who had been red by the government because he was a member of the leftist APRA party American Popular Revolutionary Alliance.

He was part Indian and seemed to know a great deal about Perus indigenous cultures and customs. He told Ernesto and Alberto about the animosity that exists between the Indians, whom he admired, and the mestizos half-bloods , whom he considered wily and cowardly, even though he. According to Ernesto: The teachers voice took on a strange inspired resonance whenever he spoke about his Indians.

The teacher told Ernesto and Alberto about the need to establish schools for the Indians that would teach them to value their own world and that would enable them to play a useful role within it. He also spoke about the need to change completely the present system of education, which he said on the rare occasions it does offer Indians an education education, that is, according to the white mans criteria , only lls them with shame and resentment, leaving them unable to help their fellow Indians and at a tremendous disadvantage in a white society which is hostile to them page Ernesto made frequent references in his diary to the plight of the Indians and to the injustices and discrimination they suffered at the hands of the whites and mestizos.

When he and Alberto visited the magnicent Incan ruins of Machu Picchu, he also noted how the North American tourists paid little or no attention to how the Indians lived. Although he and Alberto traveled to the ruins on the third-class train used only by the local Indians, he observed: The tourists travelling in their comfortable railcars can only have the very vaguest idea of how the Indians live, gleaned from a quick glance as they whizz by our train which has to stop to let them pass page And he later criticized how the wealthier people in Peru expected their Indian servants to carry anything heavy and put up with any discomfort page Because of their interest in leprosy, they went to Lima, the capital city of Peru, to meet Dr.

Hugo Pesce, a well-known expert in leprology and a university professor. Pesce put them up in the leper hospital he ran in Lima and invited them to eat dinner at his house, which they did just about every night while they stayed in Lima.

They divided their time between the leper hospital and the National Museum of the Archaeology, Anthropology, and History of Peru, which presents the history of Peru from prehistoric times to the colonial era. Ernesto also had long conversations about philosophy, politics, and critical health issues in Latin America with Dr. Pesce had been forced into political exile during the rst years of the dictatorship of General Manuel Odra and was probably the rst man of medicine Ernesto and Alberto had met who was genuinely living a highly principled life and totally dedicated to serving the common good Anderson In Lima, Ernesto and Alberto decided to give up their original objective of traveling to the United States.

They chose Venezuela as their ultimate destination after rst visiting Dr. Pesces largest treatment center for lepers in Perus siteian region. When they were ready to leave, the patients of the leper hospital in Lima gave them an emotional send-off party. They were very touched by the affectionate farewell the patients gave them and by the small collection of money they presented them for their trip.

Ernesto wrote in his diary that some had tears in their eyes as they thanked us for coming, spending time with them, accepting their presents, sitting listening to football [soccer] on the radio with them, and he added that if anything were to make us seriously specialize in leprosy, it would be the affection the patients show us wherever we go page Somewhat later, in a letter he wrote to his father from Iquitos, Peru, he observed that their appreciation stemmed from the fact that we didnt wear overalls or gloves, that we shook hands with them as we would the next man, sat with them chatting about this and that, and played football with them.

He added: This may seem pointless bravado, but the psychological benet to these peopleusually treated like animalsof being treated as normal human beings is incalculable and the risk incredibly remote page Their destination when they set out from Lima was the San Pablo leper colony situated on the banks of the site River. They hitchhiked from Lima to Pucallpa and then took a boat down the Ucayali River one of the headwaters of the site to Iquitos.

From Iquitos they took another boat down the site to the San Pablo leper colony. Once there, they volunteered to work in the leprosariums laboratory and endeared themselves to both the staff and the patients. They played soccer with the patients, took them on hikes, and even led them on hunting expeditions.

While they were at the colony, Ernesto turned 24 and the staff threw a birthday party for him. After he was given a touching toast by the di-. An excerpt from his account of this speech is worth quoting since it reveals his newfound Latin American identity and also what would become one of his deepest political convictions: In a few days we will be leaving Peru, so these words are also a farewell, and Id like to stress my gratitude to all the people of this country, who over and over again since we arrived.

And I would like to add another thought, nothing to do with this toast. Although were too insignicant to be spokesmen for such a noble cause, we believe, and this journey has only served to conrm this belief, that the division of America into unstable and illusory nations is a complete ction. We are one single mestizo race with remarkable ethnographical similarities, from Mexico down to the Magellan Straits.

And so, in an attempt to break free from all narrow-minded provincialism, I propose a toast to Peru and to a United America.

When it came time for Ernesto and Alberto to leave, some of the patients gave them a very emotional farewell serenade, with a blind man singing local songs and a man with virtually no ngers playing an accordion. Alberto thanked them and said they were both deeply touched. The next day, Ernesto and Alberto went to see the patients and after taking some photographs with them came back with two large pineapples.

After saying their nal good-byes they cast off in a raft, named Mambo-Tango, built for them by one of the staff members so they could go down the river to Leticia, Colombia, where the borders of Colombia, Peru, and Brazil meet on the upper site.

In Leticia, they got 50 percent off on the weekly ight to Bogot and made some money coaching and playing for the towns soccer team. When they arrived in Bogot they obtained permission to stay at a hospital where they were offered jobs in the leprosy service. However, they had a run-in with the local police over a knife Ernesto carried with him that was a present from his brother Roberto. They were harassed. In reference to this encounter with the Colombian police in a letter Ernesto wrote to his mother from Bogot, he observed: There is more repression of individual freedom here than in any country weve been to, the police patrol the streets carrying ries and demand your papers every few minutes, which some of them read upside down page He also wrote that the countryside is in open revolt and the army is powerless to put it down.

Because of this situation, he said: Were getting out of here as soon as we can. A few days later, the two harassed travelers left Bogot on a bus headed for Venezuela. They made their way to Caracas, the capital of Venezuela. Alberto looked up a doctor who was a specialist in leprology. Impressed by Albertos interest in leprosy, the doctor offered him a position in his laboratory. At about the same time, Ernesto ran into an uncle who had an airplane that he used to transport race horses between Buenos Aires and Miami.

The uncle told Ernesto that he could return with him to Buenos Aires if he wanted to resume his studies at medical school. Ernesto and Alberto made a pact: Alberto would accept the job offered him and stay in Venezuela, while Ernesto would go back to Buenos Aires to graduate from medical school and then return to Venezuela to work with Alberto.

It was the end of July when they said good-bye in Caracas. In one of the last entries in his diary, Ernesto commented on how much he missed Alberto. He said: Im always turning around to tell him something and then I realize hes not there.

And he added: All these months weve been together through thick and thin and the habit of dreaming the same dreams in similar situations has made us even closer. On the other hand, the same entry makes it clear he was looking forward to going home to start my studies again and nally getting the degree which will enable me to practice [medicine] page When Ernesto left Caracas, the plane he took went to Miami, where it was scheduled to stop before returning to Buenos Aires.

However, when they got to Miami the plane had mechanical problems, so it had to be repaired before it could leave for Buenos Aires. Ernesto took advantage of this opportunity to get to know the city pages As it turned out, he had to wait a whole month for the plane to be repaired. He had. During the month that he stayed in Miami, Ernesto visited the beaches and hung around with an Argentine student he met, who helped him nd a job as a dishwasher in one of Miamis restaurants.

When the plane was repaired, he ew back to Buenos Aires. It was September In the prologue he wrote for Ernestos The Motorcycle Diaries, his father says we can see in this written account of Ernestos eight-month journey that he had faith in himself as well as the will to succeed, and a tremendous determination to achieve what he set out to do page 4.

He also recounts the observations made about Ernesto by a priest, Father Cuchetti, a friend of the family who was well known in Argentina for his liberal views. When he told him about Ernesto and Albertos trip to the site and their stay in the San Pablo leper colony, the priest said the following: I take my hat off to your son and his friends humanity and integrity, because to do what [they did] takes more than just guts: Your son will go far page 2.

The Motorcycle Diaries reveal Ernestos growing political consciousness and his early leanings toward socialism as he learned rsthand during his travels of the extreme conditions of social injustice and oppression that prevail throughout Latin America.

However, what is most striking about The Motorcycle Diaries is that while they reveal he had a strong desire to help others less fortunate than himself, he did not possess the kind of self-righteousness or exaggerated piety that one often associates with zealous do-gooders and missionaries. The legendary actor, producer, and director Robert Redford produced a popular lm version of The Motorcycle Diaries, which was directed by the well-known Brazilian lm director Walter Salles.

The lm was shown in cinemas around the world during and It provides a moving account of Ernestos journey with his friend Alberto Granado throughout Latin America. It stars the popular Mexican actor Gael Garca Bernal as the young Ernesto, while Alberto is played by the Argentine actor Rodrigo de la Serna, who is related to Ernesto Che Guevara through his mothers side of the family.

After making the lm, Garca Bernal reportedly said: Hes a person that changed the world and he has really forced me to change the rules of what I am Osborne Redford traveled to Havana to obtain permission to make the lm from Ches widow, Aleida March, who maintains an archive of all his writings, ofcial papers, and information written about him.

When the production of the lm was completed, Redford returned to Cuba to host a special screening, which was attended by Aleida, year-old Alberto Granado, Ches sons and daughters, his former comrades, and people who had worked closely with him during the early years of the Cuban revolution. According to Redford, the lm was well received by this audience, and he said later: I could have probably died there in the seat. When I heard people snifng and crying and I thought either theyre so upset with me Im not gonna get out of here, or they liked the lm, which they did Smiley The lm was generally well received by critics and won various awards, including one Oscar.

Gael Garca Bernal criticized the poor distribution of the lm in the United States.

As a result, most people in the United States never even consider seeing them and they do not get the chance to compete with the well-funded, mainstream Hollywood lms. They get tossed off as foreign and independent lms like they are somehow not ready to compete with all that crap that Hollywood produces.

Nevertheless, the lm is available in DVD format and can be downloadd or rented. As his diaries and the lm reveals, Ernesto learned a great deal about Latin America and himself through his travels. As a young man wandering around South America, he learned to take pleasure in traveling for days on end with little or no money, without the possibility of taking a bath and changing his clothes, and not even knowing when he would eat next or where he would stay the night.Racial Politics in Post-Revolutionary Cuba.

Related Papers. When they were ready to leave, the patients of the leper hospital in Lima gave them an emotional send-off party. When he and Alberto visited the magnicent Incan ruins of Machu Picchu, he also noted how the North American tourists paid little or no attention to how the Indians lived. Bustos, C.