[News] October 8th - Day of the Heroic Guerilla
news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Oct 7 13:10:47 EDT 2016
*Day of the Heroic Guerilla*
Today, October 8, the world recognizes the most famous and prominent
revolutionary of the 20th century, Ernesto "Che" Guevara de la Serna. In
Cuba, the site of his final resting place, this day is known as "The Day
of the Heroic Guerilla." Argentinean born, the doctor met Cuban
revolutionaries in exile in Mexico. After meeting Dr. Fidel Castro, he
signed up to be the 2nd member of Castro's revolutionary army (the 1st
was Castro's brother, Raul Castro) and returned to Cuba in a poorly
equipped ship called the Granma in 1956 to wage a guerilla war.
They set up a rebel base in the Sierra Maestra Mountains. At first, Che
was the field unit's doctor but after volunteering for some of the more
daring missions, he grew in prominence. Despite his severe asthma, Che
grew from a soldier to a military commander. In the final stages of the
revolutionary war, he captured the strategic city of Santa Clara which
facilitated the fall of Havana to the rebel army. A true
internationalist, he resigned from the Cuban government to go fight for
revolution in first Africa and then Bolivia. On October 8, 1967, he was
captured alive by Bolivian armed forces, who were trained in
anti-guerilla warfare by the American CIA. Anyone who knows Guevaran
history can conclude that he was not one to be taken alive. In fact, his
rifle had become incapacitated and thus, he did not have the option to
die fighting and was captured alive. He was executed the next day.
The Bolivian authorities buried his body in a secret location because
they feared that people would build a shrine on his final resting place
and that it would turn into a pilgrimage site. His martyrdom,
nevertheless, survived and his revolutionary message grew to be bigger
in death than in life, so much so, that they even made songs dedicated
to him on the other side of the globe. After restoring diplomatic ties
with one another, Cuba sent an excavation team to Bolivia in 1997 and
retrieved Che's body and brought it back to Cuba and buried it in the
city that he captured in the revolutionary war, Santa Clara. 38 years
after his death, his tomb is Cuba's main tourist attraction and is an
international pilgrimage site. Che certainly left behind a living legacy
*Farewell letter from Che to Fidel Castro*
« Year of Agriculture »
Havana, April 1, 1965.
At this moment I remember many things: when I met you in Maria Antonia's
house, when you proposed I come along, all the tensions involved in the
preparations. One day they came by and asked who should be notified in
case of death, and the real possibility of it struck us all. Later we
knew it was true, that in a revolution one wins or dies (if it is a real
one). Many comrades fell along the way to victory.
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.
I have lived magnificent days, and at your side I felt the pride of
belonging to our people in the brilliant yet sad days of the Caribbean
[Missile] crisis. Seldom has a statesman been more brilliant as you were
in those days. I am also proud of having followed you without
hesitation, of having identified with your way of thinking and of seeing
and appraising dangers and principles.
Other nations of the world summon my modest efforts of assistance. I can
do that which is denied you due to your responsibility as the head of
Cuba, and the time has come for us to part.
You should know that I do so with a mixture of joy and sorrow. I leave
here the purest of my hopes as a builder and the dearest of those I hold
dear. And I leave a people who received me as a son. That wounds a part
of my spirit. I carry to new battlefronts the faith that you taught me,
the revolutionary spirit of my people, the feeling of fulfilling the
most sacred of duties: to fight against imperialism wherever it may be.
This is a source of strength, and more than heals the deepest of wounds.
I state once more that I free Cuba from all responsibility, except that
which stems from its example. If my final hour finds me under other
skies, my last thought will be of this people and especially of you. I
am grateful for your teaching and your example, to which I shall try to
be faithful up to the final consequences of my acts.
I have always been identified with the foreign policy of our revolution,
and I continue to be. Wherever I am, I will feel the responsibility of
being a Cuban revolutionary, and I shall behave as such. I am not sorry
that I leave nothing material to my wife and children; I am happy it is
that way. I ask nothing for them, as the state will provide them with
enough to live on and receive an education.
I would have many things to say to you and to our people, but I feel
they are unnecessary. Words cannot express what I would like them to,
and there is no point in scribbling pages.
Written: April 1, 1965
On the Day of the Heroic Guerilla, we remember Che Guevara
Oct 09, 2012
On October 8, 2012, the Day of the Heroic Guerilla, the Popular Front
for the Liberation of Palestine remembers Comandante Ernesto “Che”
Guevara, revolutionary leader, fierce fighter, and principled struggler
whose true commitment to internationalism and liberation lives on in the
struggles of peoples around the world for freedom, justice and socialism.
Following the revolutionary victory in Cuba in 1959, Che’s commitment to
international revolution did not diminish, and he joined Bolivian
revolutionaries in 1966. On October 8, 1967, Che and his comrades were
captured and surrounded by the US-backed Bolivian military, and executed.
Nine days later, Fidel Castro spoke, memorializing Che and commemorating
October 8 as the Day of the Heroic Guerilla, saying “Che died defending
no other interest, no other cause than the cause of the exploited and
oppressed of this continent. Che died defending no other cause than the
cause of the poor and humble of this earth … Before history, people who
act as he did, people who do and give everything for the cause of the
poor, grow in stature with each passing day and find a deeper place in
the heart of the people with each passing day.”
In Palestine, Che’s spirit, his commitment to liberation, rises in the
streets of our occupied homeland. We mourn and honor our Guevara Gaza,
Mohammad al-Aswad, and the thousands of Palestinian Guevaras, the
eternal martyrs, who have struggled, fought, sacrificed and died for the
liberation of Palestine, and the thousands of Palestinian Guevaras still
to come, to hold high the banner of the resistance until the day of
victory is ours.
On the 45th anniversary of Che’s death, we remember him as one of the
martyrs of Palestine, a great martyr for the freedom of the oppressed of
the world. And we continue to live his words: “Let us sum up our hopes
for victory: total destruction of imperialism by eliminating its firmest
bulwark: the oppression exercised by the United States of America…And if
we were all capable of uniting to make our blows stronger and infallible
and so increase the effectiveness of all kinds of support given to the
struggling people – how great and close would that future be!… Wherever
death may surprise us, let it be welcome, provided that this, our battle
cry, may have reached some receptive ear and another hand may be
extended to wield our weapons and other men be ready to intone the
funeral dirge with the staccato singing of the machine-guns and new
battle cries of war and victory.”
Che Guevara Presente! Viva viva Palestina!
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