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Che Guevara (1928-1967)

Born to wealthy parents in Argentina, Che Guevara earned a medical degree in Buenos Aires in 1953. He abandoned his medical career; however, and traveled around Latin America in the early 1950s, eventually winding up in Guatemala in 1954. Guevara fought with the socialist government against a CIA-led coup, but the efforts were in vain and he was forced to flee the country.

In Mexico, he met Fidel Castro, the firebrand Cuban revolutionary and went with him to Cuba in 1956. Eventually Guevara, Castro and others were able to topple the Cuban government in late 1958. With Castro taking over as leader, Guevara ascended to Minister of Industries and other important positions. Guevara also took on the task of spreading the communist revolution: using Cuban resources, he supported failed insurgencies in Panama and the Dominican Republic in 1959.

In 1965, Guevara disappeared: eventually he was found to have gone to the Congo to support communist revolutionary forces seeking to replace the Congolese government. The revolution failed, in part due to US-aided intelligence gathering by the Congolese. Guevara returned to Cuba, but soon disappeared again. He had gone to Bolivia to help local communists overthrow the government there. Once again his efforts were in vain: this time, he was captured and executed by Bolivian forces in October, 1967.

08 Mar 2010

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