Che Guevara is not only a leader of Cuban Revolution, but also an iconic hero and the cult of revolutions all over the world.

If you travel to Cuba, you need to know about him, or many people travel to Cuba because they want to see the places where he devoted his life.

Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, known as Che Guevara

Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, known as Che Guevara, was born on 14 June 1928 in Rosario, Argentina into a middle-class family.

He studied medicine at Buenos Aires University and during this time travelled widely in South and Central America.

Ministry of the interior building with face of Che Guevara in Havana

In 1951, Guevara departed for a motorcycle journey to North America with his friend, Alberto Granada. He kept the notes during and after this trip about adventures that he experienced, and it got published first as “Noas de Viaje” which is called “The Motorcycle Diaries” now.

It is one of my favorite book as well as the film adapted from the book. He is a poet. His writing is beautiful. (I will write another article about this book and film in Cultural section.) Many people became attracted by his life by this book and the film. So if you have never read nor watched it, you must read or see it before your trip to Cuba.

The monument of Che Guevara in Santa Clara

The widespread poverty and oppression Guevara witnessed, fused with his interest in Marxism, convinced him that the only solution to South and Central America’s problems was armed revolution.

In the speech that he gave to medical students in Cuba 8 years after he wrote “The Motorcycle Diaries”, he mentioned that he wanted to be a revolutionary doctor. Then he said “To be a revolutionary doctor, or o be a revolutionary, there must be a revolution.”

What evokes our sympathy with him is probably his way of seeing this world. He discovered the fact that the unfairness exists in the world, and tried to fight for it to change the reality into the ideal world.

He had the courage and strength that we wish we could have.

Che Guevara is an iconic hero of revolutions in Cuba and also all over the world.

Here is a summery of his life after “The Motorcycle Diaries” (extracted some parts of passages from BBC site):

In 1954 he went to Mexico and the following year he met Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro. Guevara joined Castro’s ’26th July Movement’ and played a key role in the eventual success of its guerrilla war against Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista.

Castro overthrew Batista in 1959 and took power in Cuba. From 1959-1961, Guevara was president of the National Bank of Cuba, and then minister of industry. In this position, he travelled the world as an ambassador for Cuba. At home, he carried out plans for land redistribution and the nationalization of industry.

A strong opponent of the United States, he guided the Castro regime towards alignment with the Soviet Union. The Cuban economy faltered as a result of American trade sanctions and unsuccessful reforms. During this difficult time Guevara began to fall out with the other Cuban leaders. He later expressed his desire to spread revolution in other parts of the developing world, and in 1965 Castro announced that Guevara had left Cuba.

Guevara then spent several months in Africa, particularly the Congo, attempting to train rebel forces in guerrilla warfare. His efforts failed and in 1966 he secretly returned to Cuba. From Cuba he travelled to Bolivia to lead forces rebelling against the government of René Barrientos Ortuño. With US assistance, the Bolivian army captured Guevara and his remaining fighters. He was executed on 9 October 1967 in the Bolivian village of La Higuera and his body was buried in a secret location. In 1997 his remains were discovered, exhumed and returned to Cuba, where he was reburied.

P.S. Recently I heard a story that the youngest son of Che Guevara has opened a travel agency in Cuba and offers the motorcycle tours. How do you think?