Che as journalist Part IV

Che as journalist Part IV


Photos by: Prensa Latina and Liborio Nobal

Even while fighting as a guerrilla in Cuba's national liberation struggle, Che was thinking like a journalist. He kept notes in a diary and, after the revolutionary triumph, these helped him write a series of accounts he published in the Verde Olivo (Olive Green) magazine. Later they appeared in the book, Episodes of the Cuban Revolutionary War.

Che as journalist Part IVFrom the time of the military campaign in the Sierra Maestra, Che was particularly concerned with the dissemination of ideas and news related to the struggle to overthrow the tyranny of Fulgencio Batista. He called his journal EI Cubano Libre (The Free Cuban) and founded the rebel radio station Radio Rebelde, which began broadcasting from the Sierra Maestra and played a significant role throughout the war.

After the victory January 1, 1959, Che continued contributing to the creation of important media: the above-mentioned Verde Olivo magazine as well as becoming a founder of Prensa Latina Latin American News Agency.

At the end of 1959, returning from a tour of Asia and northern Africa, he published articles in Verde Olivo about his experiences and examined the prospects of Cuba's relations with the countries of those regions.

Starting in 1961 and in the same Cuban magazine, he began publishing his experiences in the Cuban revolutionary war and made commentaries on current events in the section called Sin bala en el directo (Without bullet in the barrel), using the pen name EI Francotirador (The Sniper).

One of his most important works was the essay published in the Uruguayan weekly Marcha in March 1965, under the headline Socialism and Man in Cuba.

In addition in 1965, when he contributed to the revolutionary struggle in the Congo and afterwards in Bolivia, Che kept written accounts of his experiences and assessments of the events.

During a good part of his life and due to the many activities in which he was involved, Ernesto Guevara de la Serna spent a lot of time away from his beloved parents, brothers and sisters, wife and children.

Che as journalist Part IVFirst his travels, then his involvement in the liberation struggle in Cuba and as a leader of the Cuban Revolution and, finally, as an internationalist fighter in Congo and Bolivia. Despite this, he kept in touch through emotional letters, or short notes or postcards in which he conveyed his love and the respect he felt for his parents, his children and other relatives.

He started by reporting his experiences during his first trip through American countries in 1952. He then continued the practice in Guatemala and Mexico as well as when he was taking part in the armed struggle in Cuba.

Bound to the development and defence of the revolution, Che stayed in Cuba for several years but, as he explained to Fidel, his internationalism did not cease and he yearned to be able to contribute directly to the struggle of other peoples and, very much in particular, the peoples of America, including his homeland.

Che was, in fact, in the vanguard in the battle by underdeveloped countries for the establishment of a much fairer world economic order.

If, as a son, nephew or grandson, Emesto showed the love he felt for his family, as a father he displayed his sensitivity and tendemess, as can be judged from the letters he wrote to his children. In a short but emotional letter to his eldest daughter in February 1965, during his tour of Africa, he wrote:

"When you receive these lines, I will be in some African country and you will have reached your ninth birthday. I'm sending you this little present so that you'll wear it as a keepsake. I don't know if it will fit or be too big for you, but you can wear it on one of your five small fingers.

Che as journalist Part IVI really want to see you. I've already been away for two months and everything has changed a little.

Let's see if, this year, you become a model pupil to make me, as well as your mother, feel proud.

Little old woman, I give you a big kiss and a tight, tight hug from your daddy, who loves you.

Greetings to everybody there."

Che's affection for his children, parents and other relatives also appears in his campaign diary in Bolivia, where, with a simple phrase or with their names, he notes the birthdays of his loved ones. He continued affirming his internationalist ideas to the end:

"The ever-growing sense that the name of Cuba is galloping across the fields of America and the fields of other countries in the world that fight for their freedom, carrying the same meaning: the image of what can be achieved through revolutionary struggle, the hope of a better world; the image that it is worthwhile to risk life, sacrifice to the death in the battlefields of all the continents of the world.

Justice is being claimed from trampled rights, and this has started to rise from the lands of Latin America. This tide won't stop, this tide will grow every day because this tide is made up of the many who accumulate riches for others with their work, who turn the wheel of history and now are awakening from the long dulling dream they had been forced into. Because this great tide of humanity has said 'enough' and has started to moved ahead and its giant march will not stop until achieving real independence."

Ernesto Che Guevara was captured by CIAassisted Bolivian forces and executed on October 9, 1967 at the schoolhouse in the village of La Higuera in Bolivia after several months of active guerrilla fighting.