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Che Guevara was executed 40 years ago

October 25, 2007

The Argentine revolutionary forever remembered as joining Fidel Castro in recapturing Cuba from the capitalists was executed 40 years ago in a Bolivian jungle while unsuccessfully trying to incite a popular rebellion. He leaves a lasting legacy of superhuman determination to fight for human justice, no matter the cost or consequences. The darker sides of his legacy include rampant militaristic attitude, so well adopted by current resurrected US imperialists and his persecution of gays and political opponents during the nascent Cuban revolutionary regime.

As Ariel Dorfman so pointedly said in her article:
“Perhaps in these orphaned times of incessantly shifting identities and alliances, the fantasy of an adventurer who changed countries and crossed borders and broke down limits without once betraying his basic loyalties provides the restless youth of our era with an optimal combination, grounding them in a fierce center of moral gravity while simultaneously appealing to their contemporary nomadic impulse. To those who will never follow in his footsteps, submerged as they are in a world of cynicism, self-interest and frantic consumption, nothing could be more vicariously gratifying than Che’s disdain for material comfort and everyday desires. … Is it conceivable that one of the only two Latin Americans to make it onto TIME’s 100 most important figures of the century can be comfortably transmogrified into a symbol of rebellion precisely because he is no longer dangerous?”

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