June 14, 1928 –October 9, 1967


Ernesto “Che” Guevara was born on June 14, 1928 in Rosario, Argentina. While he was growing up, politics played a major part of his life. His father was a supporter of the Republicans during the Spanish Civil War, which had an impact on Che’s future political views. As a child he was diagnosed with asthma, which made it hard for him to be an active child. His struggle with asthma was one reason that led him to attend medical school at Universtistario de Buenos Aires. After he became a doctor he focused his attention on the poor, as documented in his memoirs, The Motorcycle Diaries. While working with poor people, Che realized that being a doctor alone was not going to make the large-scale impact he thought was necessary.

While traveling around South and Central America, Che witnessed the horrible conditions that people were working in. He saw the affect that the American companies had on the country and on the people who lived there. He was outraged by this injustice. He thought that people should be treated with more respect. While in Guatemala he met Hilda Gadea who introduced him to the concept of Marxism,[1] which had an affect on how Che saw the world. Shorty after he met Fidel Castro who was part of the Cuban revolution and enlisted Che to join the cause. Che’s involvement in the Cuban revolution caused him to experience combat and he was even wounded at one point. Che become a celebrated leader by leading the Cuban revolutionary army to overthrow the brutal dictator Batista. Even though he eventually failed during another revolution in Bolivia and was killed, he is still looked at as one of the most famous revolutionaries.

Challenge Discussion
Che’s biggest challenge was taking on Bastia’s regime that was supported by the United States government. According to Guevara, while he and the other revolutionaries were training in Mexico, they “were fighting Mexican government, agents of the FBI, and also those of Batista-three forces that in one way or another join each together, or whom money and buying people off were an essential tools” (Guevara 35[2] ). While most leaders only have one enemy to focus on, Che and his guerrilla army had multiple forces to content with. In his diary he talks about how some of them spent time in jail and how they were fearful that they were going to lose their lives. While he was in Mexico, he was there illegally and he had a series of charges against him, so it was hard for him to accomplish anything. Che overcame these challenges with the support of Fidel Castro by leaving Mexico and going to Cuba where he led the revolution.
While they were sailing to Cuba, they faced many challenges. At one point it started to rain so badly that it caused them to lose control of the boat. They tried to find the lighthouse so they could see where they were going, and eventually they found one, but soon recognized that they were running low on fuel, water and food. This could not have happened at a worse time because in addition to that they had been spotted by a coastguard. Che writes, “A coastguard boat spotted us and radioed the discovery to Batista’s army” (Guevara 38[3] ). This made it harder for them because Batista knew that they were coming so he was going to be ready for them. To overcome this challenge, they changed their direction to make Batista’s army think that they left. When they first arrived in Cuba, the Cuban army under Batista started to shoot at them. After a shoot out for a couple of hours, Che and his army escaped to the woods. They lost some lives and others were wounded. After that there were several battles that lasted for days. Che and Fidel lost the first two but in the end they won the war. Che played many roles in the Fidel Castro ‘s government. After years in power, Che stepped down and left Cuba. There was no reason why he left Cuba, but some people say he left to help other countries start their own revolutions, while other say he left because he and Fidel were not getting along. Che always went looking for the next challenge that he could conquer. He took it upon himself to fight for the oppressed. In a letter that he wrote to Fidel before he left Cuba, he hints that they did not get along at first:

Today everything has a less dramatic tone, because we are more mature, but the event repeats itself. I feel that I have fulfilled the part of my duty that tied me to the Cuban revolution in its territory, and I say farewell to you, to the comrades, to your people, who now are mine. I formally resign my positions in the leadership of the party, my post as minister, my rank of commander, and my Cuban citizenship. Nothing legal binds me to Cuba. The only ties are of another nature — those that cannot be broken as can appointments to posts. Reviewing my past life, I believe I have worked with sufficient integrity and dedication to consolidate the revolutionary triumph. My only serious failing was not having had more confidence in you from the first moments in the Sierra Maestra, and not having understood quickly enough your qualities as a leader and a revolutionary[4] (Guevara,1956)

Che was the type of person who had a hard time talking to people. Che was also hardheaded and it took a long time for him accept other people’s ideas because he thought that his were always right. Che always over-thought everything because he did not want to do anything wrong that would cause him or the people he loves pain. So one could say that it was a Challenge for him when he first met Fidel to join the forces right away. While they were on the same side they still had disagreements on what plan of action to take. Che faced many challenges, both political and personal that helped shape his characteristics and virtues.

Virtue Discussion

Humble: He gave up his family money and everything he had to help the poor. He was someone who wanted to help those in need. Che wanted to bring medical relief and food to the people that needed it the most.

Courageous: He risked his life to help those who were oppressed and challenged powerful people and governments.

Choice Worthy

Che’s political and personal virtues led him to the choices he made. He was determined and when he met a challenge he worked to solve it. Even though he was shy, he did not let that get in the way of what he was trying to accomplish. He used his challenges to make himself a stronger leader and it helped him achieve his goals of giving people the support and justice that they deserved. The fact that he questioned his actions before he followed through showed that he cared about the affect those actions would have on the people who impact.

Cultural ill
Under Batista the people of Cuba suffered a lot. The poverty rate rose and Batista did not care about the issues that affected his citizens. He was only worried about keeping his power instead of protecting the people. Batista let the American companies come into his country and take the natural resources from his people, even though the GDP was high in Cuba and they had one of the best in Latin America.
Under Batista, Cuba did not have health care, food, or education given to the people at all. Batista let his friends and those who supported him get away with crimes. The poor never had a chance to do anything that could help them get out of poverty. He brought a lot of the American ideals to Cuba instead of ones that the people wanted to see. Batista also started to take away people’s rights. Batista took away people rights to vote because he knew that if people voted that he would lose his power. Batista also changed the constitution to his favor, which gave him complete power over the country. Batista was the type of person that would do anything to make sure the people could not challenge him as a leader. Batista was a leader that only cared about himself and nobody else. Batista was a person who wanted to do good put the power got to his head. The people under Batista were the ones that Che wanted to help.
Che was not going to just sit around and let Batista abuse the people of Cuba. Che was tried of seeing people get hurt everyday just because they were not wealthy. When people were being oppressed by their leader or by anyone Che was going to stand up and fight for them. This is what Che lived for; he always wanted to fight for the people that he knew were in need. Batista was the type of person who only cared about what he wanted and his needs instead of trying to help of the people. Bastia was taking his power where he should have not taken it because he was not taking care of his citizen he was only focused on how he could make the economy grow. When put plans in place that help the rich grow instead of the middle class. Che was the type of person who fought injustice whenever he saw it.
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