CHE GUEVARA: Latin America-Africa

Posted on October 8, 2008

October 9 marks the 41st anniversary of the assassination of Che Guevara.

Che was killed in the highlands of Bolivia in a CIA operation headed up by a man by the name of Felix Rodriguez. Che was in Bolivia trying to breathe life back into a struggling guerilla movement to return the country and its resources back to the rightful owners — the Indians. Now, forty years after Che’s death and 500 years after the Spanish Conquest, Bolivia has a president that not only looks like the majority of the people of Bolivia, but more importantly, thinks like them. By nationalizing precious resources and redistributing land, the people of Bolivia are on the way to re-building their sovereignty. If Che was around today, he would be gratified.

Following is a video of the triumphant “barbudos” entering Havana in January 1959 after beating the Cuban army as the cruel, US client-dictator, Fulgencio Batista high-tailed it out of the country. The video shows the early days of the revolution and a busy Che and Fidel. Check out the ceremony where the poor are being given their parcels of land as a part of the agrarian reform program. It should be noted that Fidel expropriated land from his own family to contribute to this effort.

In late 1964, after his speech before the UN General Assembly, Che Guevara embarked on a lengthy tour of Africa that began and ended in Algeria. He visited Mali, Congo (Brazzaville), Guinea, Ghana, Dahomey, Tanzania, and the United Arab Republic. He returned to Algiers to participate in the Second Economic Seminar of the Organization of Afro-Asian Solidarity. Below is a video snippet of one of the two speeches he gave there. Here, he clearly articulates the beast that is imperialism.

Later in 1965, Che led a mission of Cuban soldiers to the Congo to help support the Lumumbistes who were fighting against the central government. The central government had just elected a new president, a man who was complicit in the assassination of Patrice Lumumba, the United States’ man in the Congo, Mobutu Sese Seko. Unfortunately, Che’s trip to the Congo was fraught with many difficulties and never bore fruit; consequently, he returned to Cuba. He would never see the continent again.