Daughter of Che Guevara speaks in Vancouver

fuckyeahmarxismleninism:

Dr. Aleida Guevara was only seven years old when her father, famous Argentine Marxist revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara, was executed. She laments that she was unable to spend much time with him, and has few stories about her childhood with him. But she does recall that, even while he was away, she and her siblings would receive anecdotal stories and drawings about animals that would bite off his leg if, for example, her little brother, Camilo, continued to swear in school.

Like many of us, Aleida Guevara grew up knowing her father through his writings and teachings. At the age of 51, she travels the globe making speeches that talk about her father’s ideals and mentions that his writing is full of “political insights and emotional maturity”.

She is a pediatrician in her own right just like her father, writer and author of Chavez, Venezuela and the New Latin America, and when she’s not participating in conferences around the world she is helping run two homes for disabled children in Cuba. She, alongside other Cuban scholars will be participating in this year’s 5th Annual International Che Guevara Conference from November 2–5.

We asked her to give us some insights on Cuban multiculturalism, the importance of her father’s ideals in our modern world and some of the issues that the conference aims to address.

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gunsandposes:

Ernesto “Che” Guevara reunites with his parents at José Martí International Airport in Havana. January 29, 1959.

gunsandposes:

Ernesto “Che” Guevara reunites with his parents at José Martí International Airport in Havana. January 29, 1959.

(via fuckyeahmarxismleninism)

(Source: burning-their-money, via fuckyeahmarxismleninism)

zeldazong:

October 9, 1967: Che Guevara is killed.

At the time of his capture, he had been attempting to organize a Marxist takeover of Bolivia with his joint Cuban-Bolivian group, the National Liberation Army of Bolivia, but nearby Bolivian special forces were alerted of Guevara’s location, and he was taken prisoner on October 8, 1967. Very much outmatched in terms of numbers, Guevara wounded in the gunfight that preceded his capture; he surrendered and told his captors: “I am worth more to you alive than dead”. 

He was taken prisoner and held in a small town called La Higuera until, on October 9, the soldiers received orders from the Bolivian President to carry out Guevara’s execution (a decision American officials later called “stupid”). His last words are disputed - he either declared “I know you’ve come to kill me. Shoot, you are only going to kill a man”, or he said, according to General Ovando of the Bolivian Armed Forces: “I am Che Guevara and I have failed”. Guevara was shot multiple times, and his body was put on display briefly so that soldiers and locals could look upon the remains of the almost mythic revolutionary (some locals reportedly cut off locks of his hair for good luck). His hands were amputated and preserved in formaldehyde, and his hand-less body was moved to a different location. In Cuba, Fidel Castro declared three days of mourning and personally delivered a eulogy in Havana, in which he declared Guevara to be “the model of a man… who does not belong to our times but to the future”. 

Other links: a timeline/compilation of documents on Guevara’s death.

(Source: unhistorical, via fuckyeahmarxismleninism)

xtremecaffeine:

Street sights, Edinburgh 29.9.12

Street sights, Edinburgh 29.9.12

(Source: xtremecaffeine)

(Source: fyeahcheguevara)

fuckyeahmarxismleninism:

June 14, 2012: 84th birthday of Comrade Che Guevara, revolutionary Marxist internationalist and global symbol of the Heroic Guerrilla.

fuckyeahmarxismleninism:

June 14, 2012: 84th birthday of Comrade Che Guevara, revolutionary Marxist internationalist and global symbol of the Heroic Guerrilla.

instinctivepath:

Che Guevara in Gaza.

instinctivepath:

Che Guevara in Gaza.

(via fyeahcheguevara)

(Source: fyeahcheguevara)

"

All this, distinguished delegates, this new will of a whole continent, of Latin America, is made manifest in the cry proclaimed daily by our masses as the irrefutable expression of their decision to fight and to paralyze the armed hand of the invader. It is a cry that has the understanding and support of all the peoples of the world and especially of the socialist camp, headed by the Soviet Union.

That cry is: Patria o muerte! [Homeland or death]

"

Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, addressing the UN General Assembly in 1964. (via fyeahcheguevara)

Che Guevara

Ernesto (Che) Guevara was born in Rosario in Argentine  in 1928. After studying medicine at the University of Buenos Aires  he worked as a doctor. While in Guatemala  in 1954 he witnessed the socialist government of President Jacobo Arbenz overthrown by an American backed military coup. Disgusted by what he saw, Guevara decided to join the Cuban revolutionary, Fidel Castro, in Mexico .

In 1956 Guevara, Castro and eighty other men and women arrived in Cuba in an attempt to overthrow the government of General Fulgencio Batista. This group became known as the July 26 Movement . The plan was to set up their base in the Sierra Maestra  mountains. On the way to the mountains they were attacked by government troops. By the time they reached the Sierra Maestra there were only sixteen men left with twelve weapons between them. For the next few months Castro’s guerrilla army raided isolated army garrisons and were gradually able to build-up their stock of weapons.

When the guerrillas took control of territory they redistributed the land amongst the peasants. In return, the peasants helped the guerrillas against Batista’s soldiers. In some cases the peasants also joined Castro’s army, as did students from the cities and occasionally Catholic priests.

In an effort to find out information about the rebels people were pulled in for questioning. Many innocent people were tortured. Suspects, including children, were publicly executed and then left hanging in the streets for several days as a warning to others who were considering joining the revolutionaries. The behaviour of Batista’s forces increased support for the guerrillas. In 1958 forty-five organizations signed an open letter supporting the July 26 Movement. National bodies representing lawyers, architects, dentists, accountants and social workers were amongst those who signed. Castro, who had originally relied on the support of the poor, was now gaining the backing of the influential middle classes.

General Fulgencio Batista responded to this by sending more troops to the Sierra Maestra. He now had 10,000 men hunting for Castro and his 300-strong army. Although outnumbered, Castro’s guerrillas were able to inflict defeat after defeat on the government’s troops. In the summer of 1958 over a thousand of Batista’s soldiers were killed or wounded and many more were captured. Unlike Batista’s soldiers, Castro’s troops had developed a reputation for behaving well towards prisoners. This encouraged Batista’s troops to surrender to Castro when things went badly in battle. Complete military units began to join the guerrillas.

The United States  supplied Batista with planes, ships and tanks, but the advantage of using the latest technology such as napalm failed to winthem victory against the guerrillas. In March 1958, President Dwight Eisenhower, disillusioned with Batista’s performance, suggested he held elections. This he did, but the people showed their dissatisfaction with his government by refusing to vote. Over 75 per cent of the voters in the capital Havana boycotted the polls. In some areas, such as Santiago, it was as high as 98 per cent.

Fidel Castro was now confident he could beat Batista in a head-on battle. Leaving the Sierra Maestra mountains, Castro’s troops began to march on the main towns. After consultations with the United States government, Batista decided to flee the country. Senior Generals left behind attempted to set up another military government. Castro’s reaction was to call for a general strike. The workers came out on strike and the military were forced to accept the people’s desire for change. Castro marched into Havana on January 9,1959, and became Cuba’s new leader.

In its first hundred days in office Castro’s government passed several new laws. Rents were cut by up to 50 per cent for low wage earners; property owned by Fulgencio Batista and his ministers was confiscated; the telephone company was nationalized and the rates were reduced by 50 per cent; land was redistributed amongst the peasants (including the land owned by the Castro family); separate facilities for blacks and whites (swimming pools, beaches, hotels, cemeteries etc.) were abolished.

In 1960 Guevara visited China and the Soviet Union. On his return he wrote two books Guerrilla Warfare and Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War. In these books he argued that it was possible to export Cuba’s revolution to other South American countries. Guevara served as Minister for Industries (1961-65) but in April 1965 he resigned and become a guerrilla leader in Bolivia .

In 1967 David Morales recruited Félix Rodríguez to train and head a team that would attempt to catch Che Guevara. Guevara was attempting to persuade the tin-miners living in poverty to join his revolutionary army. When Guevara was captured, it was Rodriguez who interrogated him before he ordered his execution in October, 1967. Rodriguez still possesses Guevara’s Rolex watch that he took as a trophy.

In their book, Ultimate Sacrifice , published in 2006, Larmar Waldron and Thom Hartmann argued that in 1963 Guevara was involved in a plot withJuan Almeida Bosch to overthrow Fidel Castro.

source

(Source: youtube.com, via thepeacefulterrorist)

fuckyeahmarxismleninism:

“Your examples lives, your ideas remain”

fuckyeahmarxismleninism:

“Your examples lives, your ideas remain”

(Source: noriegaortega)

A Brief History of Cuba:

Cuba is located ninety miles south of Key West, and lies at the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico between Florida and Central America. It is the largest island in the West Indies. Cuba’s geography is diverse. Most of Cuba is low, rolling country with hilly parts. The eastern end of the island is mountainous. Most of the southern part of the island is very flat and suffers from tsunamis driven by hurricanes. The highest point in Cuba is Pico Turquino, in the southeast. Its altitude is 6560 feet. From the east the land drops suddenly under the sea. There are few inland lakes, and the only navigable river is the Rio Cauto. Cuba has a tropical climate and a flora and fauna that are generally found in this climate. A large population of reptiles, insects and wide array of plants. Cuba was discovered by Cristobal Colon in 1492. It was settled nine years later in 1511 by his son Diego Colon who founded the city of Santiago three years later. Its original inhabitants the Arawak Indians were wiped out by the Spaniards. Cuba remained under Spanish rule for the next four centuries. Except for a brief period of British occupation in the eighteenth century. The soul of the Cuban nation was forged during the nineteenth century. Its teacher born in Havana on November 20, 1788 was Father Felix Varela. The culminations of his philisophical writings in Cuba was his Lecciones de filosofia which was for decades the textbook in logic, metaphysics, ethics, natural philosophy, and chemistry in the colleges of not only of Cuba, but of Mexico and other countries of Spanish origin. A random sample of the section headings give you an idea of Varela’s thought: “On the Good Use of Reason and on Its Opposites, Fanaticism and Pedanticism;” “On the Light of Reason and Natural Right;” “On the relations of Man with Society;” “On the Nature of Society and of Patriotism;” “The Knowledge Which Man Has of His Creator and His Consequent Obligations.” He viewed science and religion as not being in conflict. That one could not be blind to the truth surrounding one, and that truth would lead one closer to God. Among his studentswere the leaders of the ten years war. The Ten Years’ War was led by the Cespedes and Agramonte families who liberated large number of slaves that joined together for the independence of Cuba. Although this struggle failed it led to further uprisings in the 1890’s. One of the leaders described Varela as “the one who taught us Cubans to think.” These works and students went on to have a dramatic influence on Jose Marti the “Apostol” of the revolt against Spain in the 1890’s.

Jose Marti was born in Havana in 1853. At 17 he was exiled to Spain for his opposition to colonial rule. While in Spain he published a pamphlet exposing the horrors of political imprisonment in Cuba, which he himself had experienced. During his exile he became an accomplished writer and journalist drifting throughout Latin America trying to avoid living under dictatorship. His views on racism, liberty, class, patriotism, were heavily influenced by Varela. Marti stated, “there is no racial hatred, because there are nor races… the universal identity of man is evident in his victorious love and his turbulent appetites. The same soul, equal and eternal, emanates from bodies different in shape and color.” He was annoyed at the talk of social classes. Because to “recognize their existence is to contribute to them.” To refuse to would result in their destruction which was his end goal. Marti’s analysis of societal conflicts were that the root cause was not race or class based, but rather the ancient conflict between good and evil. In 1878 he returned to Cuba under a general amnesty, but he conspired against the Spanish authorities and again was banished. Marti then lived in New York from 1881 to 1895. In 1895, he left to join the war for Cuban independence that he had painstakingly organized. There he died in one of the first battles.

Cuba’s independence came about when the United States won the Spanish American War in 1898 and granted Cuba independence in 1902 after four years of U.S. occupation. The Platt Amendment was the price the Cuban rebels paid to get a withdrawal of U.S. troops. This amendment, grafted into the Cuban constitution of 1902, guaranteed the right of the U.S. to intervene in Cuban affairs to protect U.S. interests on the island. During the next thirty two years the U.S. continuously intervened in Cuban internal affairs.

The result was the rise of a corrupt political culture with two parties: Liberal and Conservative (which by the way wasn’t conservative) who often had business holdings with American corporations. This process continued until the election of Machado in 1924. Extending his rule to a second term by dubious means Machado’s administration fell right into the Great Depression. This aggravated the already existing resistance to his regime. In 1933 the crisis reached breaking point. Major uprisings along with pressure from U.S. ambassador Sumner Welles led to Machado’s resignation and the establishment of a U.S. backed regime under Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, son of the same named patriot of the Ten Years’ War. On September 4, 1933, Sergeant Fulgencio Batista led a revolt with student revolutionaries. Fulgencio Batista, a mulatto of modest background, would oversee and manipulate the Cuban political landscape for the next 26 years. Ramon Grau San Martin, a university professor, became provisional president, but refused to swear allegiance to a the 1901 Constitution with the planks that contained recognition of the Platt Amendment as US warships circled the island. 127 days later his government is brought down by a Batista led coup. Grau’s government had not been recognized by the United States. In 1934 the U.S. recognized that the Platt Amendment had been abolished. The end of the liberal and “conservative” governments led to the formation of two new parties “el Autentico” and later “el Ortodoxo” which claimed to be against the “corrupt Autentico’s.” Between 1934 and 1940 Batista controlled the Cuban government through a series of puppet regimes. In 1940 a constitutional convention meets in which all political forces in Cuban society are represented. After the new Cuban constitution is established in 1940. Batista is elected in 1940 as the constitutional president. The communist party made up part of the coalition that brought Batista to power. Batista described himself as a “progressive socialist.” He used the communist party to take control of the labor unions.

In 1944, Batista is defeated in a fair election and Grau San Martin is elected President. In 1948 Grau’s successor Carlos Prio Socarras is elected President. During the Autentico regime’s rule political gangsterism swept through Cuba and shook Cuban society to its very core. According to the constitution of 1940 the University of Havana was an area in which civil and millitary police were not allowed. The result was that these political gangsters were able to murder with impunity and use the University as refuge from the authorities. These groups were used by the Autentico’s to wipe out communist infiltration of the Unions. The situation worsened under Prio Socarras to the point that Fulgencio Batista was able to justify a coup de etat which took place on March 10, 1952. One of these political gangsters Fidel Castro would plan an ill fated attack on the Moncada barracks on July 26, 1953. Thanks to Batista’s abrogation of the constitution and an economic downturn in the 1950’s opposition to Batista begins to grow. Less than two years after the failed attack, Batista declares an amnesty in which the Castro brothers are released from prison. Castro leaves for Mexico to train and organize. He returns on the Granma and lands in Cuba. Taking up residence in the Sierra Maestra. Four months later the Directorio Revolucionario assaults the Presidential palace, but fails in assassinating Batista and are crushed. Leaving Castro’s July 26 movement as the main opposition group. Nearly a year later a general strike fails. Towards the end of 1958 the United States under the Eisenhower Administration began an arms embargo on the Batista Regime which is interpreted as U.S. support for Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries.

On January 1, 1959 Batista leaves Cuba and Castro takes over Cuba’s government. During the next year and a half Fidel Castro consolidates power and siezes properties. Castro allies himself with the Soviet Union. Due to the residual anti-Americanism left over from the Platt-Amendment the Cuban people enthusiastically support Castro’s independence from the United States. In 1961 Cuban exiles trained and armed by the C.I.A. formed Brigade 2506 which landed at the “Playa de Giron” otherwise known as the Bay of Pigs. Due to leaks within the State Department the Cuban government had for knowledge of the invasion. In addition to preserve “plausible deniability” the Kennedy administration renegged on its pledge of air and naval support. Cuban exile troops were left on the beaches to get shot up and or imprisoned. A number of American pilots refused to abandon them and died in action. Due to this fiasco and the Kennedy administration’s percieved or actual indecisiveness the USSR believed that it could place offensive missiles in Cuba. This would alter the strategic balance of power. In 1962, Soviet nuclear missiles could only reach Western Europe; while the United States had ICBM’s capable of targeting Soviet territory in the United States as well medium range weapons in Turkey. Missiles in Cuba would give the USSR the ability to accurately target U.S. assets and population centers.

The result of these developments was the Cuban Missile Crisis and the resulting Kennedy-Kruschev pact which guaranteed Castro’s rule for the next thirty years.In 1966 the Cuban Adjustment Act was signed into law. Over a million and a half Cubans sought political refuge in the United States. Building an enclave of economic and cultural power in Miami which has changed the face of South Florida. Cuban exiles organized into a huge umbrella of political and para-millitary organizations throughout this period. Groups such as Alpha 66, Commandos L, and Omega 7 targeted Castro agents abroad and millitary and security targets inside the island. In the 1970’s Cuba embarked on millitary adventurism in Africa and Latin America. Angola, Ethiopia, Nicaragua, and El Salvador just to name a few nations would experience revolutionary “struggles” aided and abetted by Cuban arms and or Cuban troops. In 1980, Cubans seeking freedom invaded the Peruvian embassy in Havana. The resulting wave of refugees came to be kn own as the Mariel boatlift. Castro in a cynical attempt to taint the exiles mixed in mental patients, homosexuals, and criminals into the mass of refugees. These elements totalled less than 5% of the over 125,000 Cubans that entered the U.S.A. During the Reagan Administration, Radio Marti began to operate. This terminated Castro’s monopoly on information. As a result human rights, and dissident groups began to gain strength and momentum. The knowledge that somone out their could know the truth filled them with hope and energy. The collapse of the USSR in 1991 placed the Castro regime in dire straits. It’s economy shrank by more than 60% as its Soviet subsidies dried up. During this special period Castro issued a new mantra for a weary populace: Socialism or Death. The Cuban people answered by taking to the ocean in innertubes and risking death on the high seas. In addition some of the banners proclaiming socialism or death were vandalized to read socialism is death. On July 13, 1994 a group composed of primarily women and children was attacked by the Cuban coast guard. According to eyewitness accounts the women begged for the lives of their children and the Castro’s henchmen responded by using high pressure hoses to wash women and babies overboard to their deaths. The coastguard then rammed and sank the ship. A month later, on August 5, 1994, this incident sparked uprisings in Havana. Once again Castro offered the people a chance to leave and the rafter crisis overshadowed the uprising. Scores of dissidents and human rights monitors were detained. One year later on July 13, 1995 a group of Cuban exiles traveled into Cuban waters to another those who died, a year earlier in the sinking of the 13 de Marzo. The flotilla’s lead boat Democracia, was rammed by two Cuban gunboats. Crew members were injured. Less than eight months later, on February 24, 1996, two Brothers to the Rescue Planes were shot out of the sky by Cuban MiGs. They had been shceduled to travel to the Bahamas, but thanks to the combined actions of the spy Roque, and the Cuban government they were forced to cancel their flight plan. Roque arrived earlier, with out Brothers To The Rescue’s knowledge, and incited the Cuban refugees in the Bahamian camps to riot. The Cuban government decided to send a delegation on February 24. Brothers to the Rescue was told not to land in the Bahamas. Leaving them their back-up plan which was to do a patrol in the Florida straits for Cuban rafters near the 24th parallel. They were assassinated in a premeditated fashion by the Cuban government. The Cuban government botched the assassination with their failure to blow Jose Basulto’s plane out of the sky. Thus, they were unable to turn Roque into a survivor and witness of Brothers to the Rescue’s intentions.

source

(Source: thepeacefulterrorist)