Che Guevara was a great Marxist revolutionist, guerrilla leader and author. He had a major contribution in Cuban Revolution. While his followers symbolizes him as an icon, his critics have personified him as a tyrant. Anyways, I’ll not get into this debate and present you 10 relatively unknown facts about this great leader (sorry haters!).
Facts About Che Guevara:
10. Birth Place:
Although Che is remembered for his actions in Cuba, he was not a Cuban citizen. In fact he was born in Argentina, in a wealthy family. When he was born, his father supposedly said: “First thing of note is that in my son’s veins flowed the blood of Irish rebels”. Indicating that he is of Irish descent.
9. Real name:
You would be surprised to learn that “Che Guevara” is not his real name. Name Che Guevara means freedom fighting for ones and butchery for others. Instead, his real name is Ernesto Lynch. He was half Irish. For your convenience, I will use Che Guevara in this post as it is more popular than his other name.
Chancho was the nickname of Che in his young days. Chancho means pig in English. It was due to his bathing (or should I say lack of) habits. He also had a weekly t-shirt which made him smell bad. But he didn’t bother to change his habit, partly because people didn’t say it on his face, due to his immense powers (was able to get people executed in no time).
7. Ernesto: The All-Rounder:
In contrast to the freedom fighter image of Che that we all have in our minds he was quite the geek in his youth. He was very good in Chess and even contested in few Local tournaments. In between he also had a strong passion for poetry. Besides that, he was quite good in Mathematics and engineering at School level.
6. Doctor of medicine:
Only few people know, but in June 1953 Che graduated as Doctor Ernesto Guevara. In study he had a notable interest in Leprosy.
5. A Common Family Man:
We often impersonate Che as a freedom fighter and not a common Family man. But the latter thing is also very much true about him. He had his first child with first wife named Hilda Gadea and then four other children with his second wife Aleida March.
4. Tour to America and Speech to UN:
In 1964, Che arrived in America to give speech to UN in New York. Where he condemned US, due to its racial policies, and said:
Those who kill their own children and discriminate daily against them because of the color of their skin; those who let the murderers of the black people remain free, protecting them and furthermore punishing black population because they demand legitimate rights as free men – How those who do this can consider themselves as guardians of Freedom?
After execution, Bolivian army transferred Che’s body to an undisclosed location and refused to confirm whether his body was buried or cremated. A military doctor amputated both of his hands. His hands were then sent to his birthplace Buenos Aires for fingerprint identification. Later, they were sent to Cuba.
2. That iconic image:
His monochrome graphic image has become one of the most merchandised and objectified images. It could be found everywhere from hats, t-shirts, posters to even tattoos.
The original image was taken at the memorial service by a newspaper photographer Alberto Korda. He hung that image on his wall until an Italian journalist asked if he could have it, to which Alberto agreed.
1. Saint Ernesto:
Che remains as a beloved national hero for many people in Cuba. His image has been adorned on $3 Cuban peso and children begin each morning by pledging “We will be like Che”. Furthermore some Bolivian farmers call him “Saint Ernesto” and pray him for help. But Catholic Church doesn’t consider him as a Saint and strongly opposes this idea.