Che Guevara, whose real name was Ernesto Guevara, was born and raised in Rosario, Argentina. He was executed by an American CIA agent in Bolivia in 1967.
Guevara’s family came from a mix of Spanish, Basque, and Irish ancestries, so it is safe to assume that his family was Catholic, if they were anything. But Che didn’t think too highly of religion. His religion was revolution and Marxism. As one biographer noted:
His dedication to his revolutionary beliefs was deeply religious. Che had a missionary’s faith in the innate goodness of man, in the ability of workers to dedicate themselves to ideals and to overcome selfishness and prejudices… He saw the solution in an exalted form of Marxism that would bring freedom and brotherhood.1
Given his violent nature, Che didn’t think too highly of the peaceful Jesus and the many religious sects that pay homage to Christ. He once said:
In fact, if Christ himself stood in my way, I, like Nietzsche, would not hesitate to squish him like a worm.2
Furthermore, after the success of the communist revolution in Cuba, Castro and Guevara put certain religious people into forced labor camps including Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and members of the Afro-Cuban mystical religion Abakua.3
Ironically (in the colloquial sense), Guevara is now worshiped as a saint by some Bolivian farmers, who call him Saint Ernesto. The Catholic Church does not sanction this activity.4
Politics of a revolutionary
Guevara’s political views can be summed up quite simply: Marxist.
Guevara saw capitalism and its many promoters–France, Britain, and particularly the United States–as imperialist dogs, exploiting their people for profits. He said:
Whilst contemplating the final defeat of capitalism, we must decide who is at its head, and it is the United States of America.5
Che led Marxist revolutions in Mexico, Congo, Bolivia, and most successfully, in Cuba. He took quite seriously the Marxist view that only a violent revolution would install communism in society. He said:
There are no frontiers to this struggle… A victory for any member against imperialism is our victory, just as any country’s defeat is a defeat for all.6
For all his hatred of imperialism, isn’t it a bit hypocritical that he endeavored to spread his ideology across the world? Such is the blindness of the ideologue.
- Ernesto Che Guevara, a brief bio. History of Cuba. [↩]
- 10 Che Guevara quotes the left would rather not talk about. I Hate the Media. [↩]
- Assessing Che Guevara. CLIO History Journal. [↩]
- Top 10 Things You didn’t Know About Che Guevara. Listverse. [↩]
- Che Guevara quotations. Heyche. [↩]
- Famous Quotes from El Che Guevara. Hey Che. [↩]