On this same day in 1928, the legendary political reformist was born.
On June 14, 1928, Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, better known as Che Guevara, was born in Rosario, Argentina.
To the uninformed, Che Guevara was just some guy in a beret whose image has been immortalized on t-shirts and souvenirs, but for those who took time to research and learn, the Argentine Marxist revolutionary leader is a lot more than an over hyped iconic figure sensationalized by pop culture.
Before he became politically inclined or sported those fatigues, the young Ernesto was very passionate about poetry, and immersed himself in the work of Pablo Neruda, Walt Whitman, Federico García Lorca and John Keats, among others.
He took up medicine at the University of Buenos Aires and traveled around South America while he was still a student. His journey through Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, and Panama exposed him to the poverty, hunger, and disease that was evident in the region, which he blamed on what he saw as capitalist exploitation. Such an experience motivated him to exert efforts towards social, economic and political reform.
Che first became politically active in his native Argentina, and then in Bolivia and Guatemala. In 1954, he met Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro and his brother Raul. As Castro’s military adviser, he led guerrilla troops against the domineering Batista forces in Cuba and was instrumental in overthrowing that regime.
Che Guevara was a revolutionary, reformist, guerrilla leader, military theorist, diplomat, a physician, and an author as well. He is best remembered for his ideals on socialism, revolution, and rebellion, and his life has been explored and portrayed in a number of books and on film.
“Better to die standing than to live on your knees.”
– Che Guevara