Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s work is entitled Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War. He elaborates on how Cuba was revolutionized and what happened during those days. It was published in Australia in 2006 and runs to 314 pages. Guevara is conscious of his place in history and writes for posterity, to preserve a history of the armed struggle against the tyranny of the dictator Batista.
The revolutionary icon Ernesto Guevara states that the Cuban Revolution has had a very important role in bringing consciousness and liberty to the Latin America region. Because of the Cuban revolution the country has become one of the most influential nations in the world. Cuba has achieved its goal of the gradual eradication of illiteracy and unemployment is solved. Social security is also guaranteed and for the young there is the assurance of education. Aside from all the hindrances and challenges that Cuba had experienced before, the country still manages to stand up and fight for their rights and liberties through social revolution. Socialism is said to be improved and will be accredited for the duration of the Cuban Revolution. Even through the darkest days and the blockades that were done to Cuba, the people did not stop their revolution.
Guerilla warfare played an important role in the Cuban Revolution according to Guevara’s writings. Guevara’s guerrillas were able to overcome superior firepower and succeed over superior forces by living off the land and utilizing hit and run tactics. They knew where they would attack next and the government forces did not. They were trusted by the people and therefore were better organized politically by listening to the people.
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Guerilla warfare was a rebellious movement which was formed to overcome economic, political and cultural adversities. It promotes changes which aim to eradicate corruption in the government, to stop tyranny, repression and remove the power of aristocratic elites. Guevera relates that in liberated territories the need for health care, industry and education is basic and paramount. Before the Cuban revolution there was exploitation and cultural repression which made clear the division and inequality of wealth within the nation. In this environment the rich became richer and the poor became poorer.
From my own perspective it seems that people of Cuba became radical about what was happening in their society, and that made rebellion or insurgency a viable option. According to Guevara’s writings, violence should only be an option if there is an illegitimacy of the government and the people of that nation believe that there is really injustice and inequality in their society. Local radical tribunals were formed to lead what they call people's justice, to try to solve public arguments in Cuba. Cuba became the center of international liberalism because of this, but the truth is it was really different.
Ernesto Guevara was an influence in building a new political and social government in Cuba. He constantly utilized the teachings of Marxist Leninism leadership in his revolution, but he never confirmed this no did he deny it. Che was very willing to negotiate with the communists in Sierra, and he was likewise intolerant of Fidel Castro’s aggression and distrust of them. But still, Guevara’s attitude toward Castro made him realize that revolution must be done in Cuba and he must apply Marxism. An analysis of Marxism shows that classes are the central players in the process of history, yet for Guevara these classes are lacking and are replaced by the revolutionaries. Guevara used Marxist themes in his writings, and he used the philosophy of Karl Marx in his own theories of economics.
In this vein it is also necessary to say that Guevara embraced not only communism but a particular branch of it, called Stalinism. He applauded the Soviet invasion of Hungary that crushed the workers’ uprising there in 1956 and rejected Khruschev’s denunciation of Stalin’s crimes. Politically he seemed to be a Guevarist. I would say that Guevara played the biggest role in the Cuban revolution in political consolidation and the formulation of economic strategies. Unlike what Castro had believed, being a pragmatist, Guevara used his power in the leadership towards the creation of a powerful and independent state.
Guevara did not favor nor did he totally support Fidel Castro’s pragmatic leadership, and he immersed himself in his writing, deciding the best method to refute Castro. He read a work entitled Eastern European Handbook On Planning during this period. Guevara found that the key to Cuba’s survival is industrialization and economic growth. In his speeches on the economy between 1959 and 1965, his persistent themes were the importance of planning and development. According to Che, there is a need for industrialization and diversification and a need for consequently winning workers over to the idea that they must delay their anticipation of immediate material enhancement in their lives.
In addition, Guevara’s analysis of the economy was influenced by Soviet thinking. The state is given authority over the revolutionary army; the guiding tenet of economics is the market, and the perception is that of a beleaguered state defending its survival in opposition to the looting marketers. But according to Guevara, he knew the dangers of isolation. He then pursued a version of internationalism that takes into consider the problems unique to Cuba when it comes to its dependency.
Therefore, internationalism is just a part of the problems that Cuba experiences during the revolution. Knowing that Cuba exists in a global milieu and by the stability of internal forces, then what political, social and economical alterations can make it stable, Guevara asks. For Ernesto Guevara, the response is, of course the Cuban Revolution. He does not consider the production and exportation of revolution elsewhere. According to him, the only thing that Cuba can export is their political and economical state.
Guevara is a most compelling and convincing revolutionary leader. Aside from his health problems, he disregards the material, and his undying dedication evokes the near worshipful devotion of others. At this period, he becomes at ease with Fidel Castro.. Being recommended as the Director of the National Bank made him the center of economic policies. Then Guevara formed the National Institute of Agrarian Reform which he designed for economic transformation. It can be said that agrarian reform becomes the basis of change and the peasants become the first liberating army.
Starting with a more competent agriculture, and the eradication of joblessness, Cuba is now ready to become an industrialized country. Guevara also predicts that in five years, his country will be adequate in the production of textiles. It will be able to develop mines for nickel, iron and manganese production. Further, Cuba will have its first car plant up and running. Because of Cuba's economic organization, its reliance on sugar exportation, its need for spare parts, machinery and industrial plants, and also due to the drain of professionals and technicians, it is possible that Che's projections are very idealistic. Politically speaking, Cuba will not work or function independently for long, and formation of socialism in a hostile capitalist hemisphere was unattainable and utopian thinking.
Che made his predictions and published them in an article during March of 1962 as he introduced the socialist theory. Simplistically, the impossibility of finding spare parts, the lack of technologies and the shortness of immediate resources needed to raise productivity could only be realized by an intensified management of labor. Guevara realizes the absurdity of animosity among the leadership and comes to understand what can be lost in the face of fraternal rivalry, and what is to be gained by a cold realistic approach
Guevara’s writings are expository and sensitive as to how the revolution in Cuba came about. He also explicitly reveals the scenario of the various occurances during in those days. Cuba is obviously a nation built on revolution that has made a major impact on the world. The Cuban Revolution might well be considered the greatest contribution to the world of liberalism and revolution.
Many transformations and drastic changes have occurred in Cuba. Ernesto Guevara is certainly an icon of revolution. He sets a standard for true revolution through his life, his analyzations and his writings. His writings on the intricate workings of the Cuban revolution is a great contribution to Latin America history for it is stated in his writings what he believes and how he has transformed and liberated Cuba. I enjoyed reading the book. I find it to be full of facts and insights that Guevara conceptualizes.
Guevara, E. Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War (Authorized
Edition) Melbourne: Ocean Press, 2006.
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