Better than that, have a PHOTO of him with the 
Cuban guerillas ... somewhere (where?) Probably 
would require a major search and destroy operation through my apartment!

Ah, when in doubt turn to Wikipedia!


Sturgis, with a 26 of July Movement armband, 
stands on a mass grave of 71 Batista supporters 
that he helped execute on San Juan Hill on Jan. 11, 1959.

Here ya go, Chandler:

At 05:53 PM 3/30/2019, you wrote:
>Thanks, Mitchel.  Many things here I would like 
>to know more about, though I don't promise I 
>would then agree with you perfectly (that's 
>life).  One is Frank Fiorini: you must have his 
>life story in your files somewhere, and it would be good to have a citation.
>On 2019-03-30 3:04 p.m., Mitchel Cohen wrote:
>>REMEMBERING CHE GUEVARA (June 14, 1928 – October 9, 1967)
>>Guided by Great Feelings of Love:
>>The Revolutionary Legacy of Che Guevara
>>by Mitchel Cohen
>>Che was captured, tortured and murdered in 
>>Bolivia under the direction of the CIA on 
>>October 9, 1967. Fifty-two years have passed. 
>>Still Che is remembered, not as some ancient 
>>and hazy patriarch, but vividly, as one who 
>>exemplified the spirit of liberation … and the 
>>ideals of our own youth. He inspired so many 
>>ordinary people to commit themselves to their 
>>vision of a different world and called on us to 
>>persevere, even in the face of bureaucratic 
>>intransigence and the enormous power of U.S. imperialism, against all odds.
>>Che Guevara did not concern himself with 
>>“elections” as a means for transforming 
>>capitalist or authori­tarian states, unlike 
>>many in the U.S. and European “Left” today. But 
>>he was extremely concerned about finances, and how to fund the revolution.
>>There is a piece in the documentary film, 
>>“Ernesto Che Gue­vara: The Bolivian Diary,” 
>>which is eerie in that it shows Che as part of 
>>a Cuban delegation in Moscow begging for funds 
>>for Cu­ba. In the film, the 34-year old Che 
>>Guevara is barely able to bite his tongue and 
>>check his scathing sarcasm for the Russian 
>>bu­reaucrats, in order to gain funding from them.
>>I.F. Stone revealed that in 1961, at a 
>>conference in Punte del Este, Uruguay, Che 
>>Guevara ­ born in Argentina and a student of 
>>medicine there ­ huddled in discussion with 
>>some new left­ists from New York. A couple of 
>>Argentine Communist Party apparatchiks passed. 
>>Che couldn’t help shouting out: “Hey, why are 
>>you here, to start the counter-revolution?”
>>Like many in the emerging new left around the 
>>world, Che had first-hand experience with party 
>>apparatchiks and their attempts to impose their 
>>bureaucracy on indigenous revo­lutionary 
>>movements. He hated the Cuban revolution’s 
>>uneasy reliance on the Soviet Union. As the 
>>only one among the victorious guerrilla 
>>leadership in the Cuban revolution who had 
>>actually studied the works of Karl Marx prior 
>>to the Revolution’s victory in 1959, Che 
>>inspired New Left activists to take a critical 
>>stance towards the “socialism” of the Soviet 
>>Union and the local parties that blindly followed the Soviet line.
>>Indeed, contrary to the conceptions of many in 
>>the U.S. to­day, the revolution in Cuba was 
>>made independent of, and at times in opposition 
>>to, the Cuban Communist Party. It was not until 
>>several years after the revolution succeeded in 
>>taking state pow­er that an uneasy working 
>>relationship was established leading to a 
>>merger of the revolutionary forces and the 
>>Party ­ a merger that provided no end of 
>>problems for Che, and for the Cuban revolution itself.
>>We can learn something for our situation in the 
>>US today ­ particularly with regard to the role 
>>of non-governmental and not-for-profit 
>>organizations within progressive circles ­ by 
>>ex­amining Che’s strategies in Latin America. 
>>Fundamental to Che’s understanding was that 
>>“Yankee imperialism is like an octopus; its 
>>tentacles reach across the globe. We must cut 
>>them off: create two, three, many Vietnams.”
>>Cuba took that strophe to heart, and for a 
>>while gave materi­al assistance (at Che’s 
>>insistence) to anti-imperialist struggles 
>>throughout the world. However, in doing so Cuba 
>>became in­creasingly dependent upon the Soviet 
>>Union (in some ways simi­lar to radical 
>>organizations’ increasing dependence on 
>>Foun­dation grants and other hoop-providing 
>>jumpsters). In its des­peration for currency to 
>>buy needed items, the government ­ after 
>>stren­uous debate ­ decided to forego 
>>diversification of Cuba’s ag­riculture in order 
>>to expand its main export cash-crop, sugar, 
>>which it exchanged for Soviet oil, using some 
>>and re­selling the rest on the world market. 
>>Despite Che’s (and others) warnings, Cuba 
>>gradually lost the capability to feed its own 
>>peo­ple ­ a problem that reached devastating 
>>proportions with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
>>One crisis after another had beset the Soviet 
>>Union and other avowedly socialist countries 
>>when they pursued industrial mod­els of 
>>development and tried to pay for them by 
>>producing for and competing in the world 
>>market. Che argued that Cuba should reject 
>>cost/benefit analysis based on exchange values 
>>as the measure for what gets produced. But he 
>>also was in charge of Cuba’s economy, and the 
>>real immediate needs of the Cuban people were 
>>driving Cuba away from growing food primarily 
>>for local consumption and towards producing 
>>cash crops, hemming in the radical vision of 
>>Cuba’s leaders who wanted their revolution to 
>>set a different example of socialism for the Cuban people … and for the world.
>>A truly new society, Che believed, must aspire 
>>to and imple­ment immediately, in the here and 
>>now, what its people dream for the future. And 
>>to get there, REAL communist revolutions must 
>>reject an “efficiency” that maximizes profits 
>>(but not “efficiency” by some other measure) 
>>and instead nur­ture communalistic attempts to create a more humane society.
>>“How can one apply the term ‘mutual benefit’ to 
>>the selling at world-market prices of raw 
>>materials costing limitless sweat and suffering 
>>in the underdeveloped countries and the buying 
>>of machinery produced in today’s big, automated 
>>factories?… The socialist coun­tries have the 
>>moral duty of liquidating their tacit 
>>complicity with the exploiting countries of the West [in trading products].”(1)
>>Che considered himself a Marxist, but he 
>>ridiculed mercilessly the officials of Marxdom 
>>and bureaucrats of every stripe, breaking with 
>>the numbing mechanistic economics that Marxism 
>>had become. With the success of the Cuban 
>>revolution, the new left inspired by Che placed 
>>“Revolution” back onto the historical agenda.
>>Che’s critique of the so-called “Communism” 
>>prac­ticed by the Soviet Union and Eastern 
>>Europe came with a reassertion, not negation, 
>>of what “real socialism” could be. Given the 
>>reali­ties of the situation in Cuba with the 
>>hostile United States gov­ernment and giant 
>>industrial economy just 90 miles to the north, 
>>Che proposed utilizing a state-planned economy 
>>(“the bud­getary finance system” he called it) 
>>as a weapon in the battle to break the chains 
>>of neocolonialism. Che viewed neocolonialism as 
>>“the most redoubtable form of imperialism ­ 
>>most redoubtable be­cause of the disguises and 
>>deceits that it involves, and the long 
>>experience that the imperialist powers have in 
>>this type of con­frontation.” In a world with 
>>two competing superpowers, Che’s support for 
>>pricing terms that favored the poor were made 
>>possible by the state monopoly of for­eign 
>>trade in Cuba as well as in the Eastern 
>>European/Soviet bloc. Trade from the so-called 
>>socialist bloc assisted the Cuban revolution in 
>>resisting the U.S.-imposed blockade and 
>>provided funding to meet Cuba’s fundamental social needs.(2)
>>Che’s internationalism and identification with 
>>the poor and downtrodden everywhere, his 
>>refusal to recognize the sanctity of national 
>>boundaries in the fight against U.S. 
>>imperialism, in­spired new radical movements 
>>throughout the world. Che called upon radicals 
>>to begin the process of transforming ourselves 
>>into new, socialist human beings BEFORE the 
>>revolution, if we were to have any hope of 
>>actually achieving one worth living in. His 
>>call to begin living meaningfully NOW 
>>reverberated through an entire generation, 
>>reaching as much towards Sartre’s 
>>existentialism as the latter stretched towards 
>>Marx. Through action, through wringing the 
>>immediacy of revolution from the neck of every 
>>oppression, of every moment, and by putting 
>>one’s ideals immediately into practice, Che 
>>hammered the leading philosophical currents of 
>>the day into a tidal wave of revolt.
>>For Che, Marx’s maxim: “From each according to 
>>their ability to each according to their 
>>needs,” was not simply a long-range slogan but 
>>an urgent practical necessity to be implemented 
>>at once, occasionally rubbing the wrong way 
>>against the slower, long-range plans of Fidel 
>>Castro and other Cuban government officials. On 
>>the other hand, the harrowing constraints of 
>>trying to develop a small country (or even a 
>>radio station, food coop, daycare or 
>>alternative education center) along socialist 
>>lines ­ in Cuba’s case in the context of 
>>continued attacks by U.S. imperialism 
>>(including a blockade, an invasion, a 
>>threatened nuclear war, and ongoing economic 
>>and ideological harassment) ­ militated against 
>>achieving Che’s vision and boxed-in the 
>>revolutionary society into choosing from equally unpalatable alternatives.(3)
>>It was amid such contradictory pressures that 
>>Che tried to set a different standard for Cuba, 
>>and for humanity in general. As Minister of 
>>Finance, he managed to distribute the millions 
>>of dol­lars obtained from the USSR to artists 
>>and to desperately poor farmers – after all, 
>>these were the people who had shed their blood 
>>to liberate Cuba. In the U.S. they would have 
>>been consid­ered, shall we say, “poor risks.”
>>The Russian bureaucrats, like any capitalist 
>>banker, were fu­rious with Che’s “take what you 
>>need, don’t worry about paying it back” 
>>attitude. (They also bristled at the freedom of 
>>Cuba’s artists, who, following Che’s example, 
>>spared no metaphor in critiquing the USSR 
>>almost as much as they did the U.S.) They 
>>leaned on Fidel to control Che and to regulate 
>>the “proper” dispersal of funds, just as 
>>twen­ty years later they leaned with Brezhnev 
>>on Poland to pay back its inflat­ed debt to the 
>>western banks, causing cutbacks and hardship 
>>and leading to the working class anti-Soviet 
>>response: the formation of Soli­darnösc. 
>>Indeed, the Soviet Union at that time was the 
>>second-best friend Chase Manhattan had! And it paid the ulti­mate price.
>>U.S. Involvement in the Cuban Revolution
>>In 1959, the guerrillas, headed by Fidel 
>>Castro, swept into Havana having defeated the 
>>military dictatorship of Fulgencio Batis­ta. 
>>Although the U.S. government armed and funded 
>>Batista, the CIA had its agents in Fidel’s guerrilla army as well.
>>One lieutenant in the guerrilla army, Frank 
>>Fiorini, was actu­ally one of several 
>>operatives for the Central Intelligence Agency 
>>there. Fiorini surfaced a few years later as a 
>>planner of the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, 
>>two years after that as one of three “ho­bos” 
>>arrested in Dallas a few moments after 
>>President Kennedy was assassinated and 
>>immediately released (one of the other “hobos” 
>>appears to have been none other than 
>>CIA-operative E. Howard Hunt), and again as one 
>>of the culprits involved with the dozens of CIA 
>>assassination attempts on the life of Fidel Castro.
>>Fiorini became quite famous again in 1973 as 
>>one of the bur­glars at the Democratic Party 
>>Headquarters at a hotel known as the Watergate, 
>>under the name Frank Sturgis. Indeed, it was 
>>pre­cisely when the Watergate hearings had just 
>>begun to raise serious questions about the Bay 
>>of Pigs and U.S. covert opera­tions in Cuba 
>>that, suddenly, the existence of secret White 
>>House tapes was “unexpectedly” revealed. From 
>>that moment on, all we heard was “What did 
>>Nixon know and when did he know it?”, and the 
>>potentially explosive investigation which had 
>>been on the verge of revealing the secret 
>>history of illegal CIA interven­tions in Cuba, 
>>the murder of John F. Kennedy and attempted 
>>as­sassinations of Fidel and war against Cuba were effectively sidetracked.(4)
>>And yet it was under the constant threat of 
>>warfare by the U.S. ­ overt as well as the 
>>ongoing covert operations ­ that the Cuban 
>>revolution (which was not yet avowedly 
>>“Communist”), especially under the instigation 
>>of Che, took some of its boldest steps in 
>>introducing “socialism of a new type.”
>>Che opposed the strategy of luring capitalist 
>>investment, which some in the government 
>>believed would enable Cuba to gain much needed 
>>currency and compete in the world market – a 
>>policy that would later become a factor in the 
>>downfall of the “Communist” states as they 
>>sacrificed visionary socialist features to 
>>ensure investment. As head of the Cuban 
>>na­tional bank, Che made Cuba’s new bank­notes 
>>famous by signing them simply “Che.” The first 
>>question Che asked of his colleagues when he 
>>took over running the bank was “Where has Cuba 
>>deposited its gold reserves and dollars?” When 
>>he was told, “In Fort Knox,” he immediately 
>>began converting Cuba’s gold re­serves into 
>>non-U.S. currencies which were exported to Canadi­an and Swiss banks.(5)
>>Che was a practitioner of sound accounting 
>>principles and a version of “efficiency” based 
>>on two things: weakening the hold of U.S. 
>>imperialism on Cuba’s economy, in this instance 
>>by re­moving the revolution’s gold from the 
>>clutches of the United States government (which 
>>could all too easily invent an excuse to 
>>confiscate it, as it later did with other Cuban 
>>holdings. Che was prescient in understanding 
>>that this would happen); and, of equal 
>>importance, finding ways to foster and fund the 
>>creation of a new socialist human being without 
>>relying upon capitalist mechanisms, which he 
>>observed were undermining the best of ef­forts 
>>in socialist countries throughout the world. 
>>Che best put forth his outlook, which came to 
>>be that of the new left interna­tionally as 
>>well, in a speech, “On Revolutionary Medicine”:
>>“Except for Haiti and Santo Domingo, I have 
>>visit­ed, to some extent, all the other Latin 
>>American coun­tries. Because of the 
>>circumstances in which I traveled, first as a 
>>student and later as a doctor, I came into 
>>close contact with poverty, hunger, and 
>>disease; with the inability to treat a child 
>>because of lack of money; with the 
>>stupefication provoked by continual hunger and 
>>punishment, to the point that a father can 
>>accept the loss of a son as an unimportant 
>>accident, as occurs often in the downtrodden 
>>classes of our American homeland. And I began 
>>to realize that there were things that were 
>>almost as important to me as becom­ing a famous 
>>scientist or making a significant contri­bution 
>>to medical science: I wanted to help those peo­ple.
>>“How does one actually carry out a work of 
>>social welfare? How does one unite individual 
>>endeavor with the needs of society?
>>“For this task of organization, as for all 
>>revolution­ary tasks, fundamentally it is the 
>>individual who is needed. The revolution does 
>>not, as some claim, standardize the collective 
>>will and the collective initiative. On the 
>>contrary, it liberates one’s individual talent. 
>>What the revolution does is orient that talent. 
>>And our task now is to orient the creative 
>>abilities of all medical professionals toward the tasks of social medicine.
>>“The life of a single human being is worth a 
>>million times more than all the property of the 
>>richest man on earth. … Far more important than 
>>a good remuneration is the pride of serving 
>>one’s neighbor. Much more definitive and much 
>>more lasting than all the gold that one can 
>>accumulate is the gratitude of a people.
>>“We must begin to erase our old concepts. We 
>>should not go to the people and say, `Here we 
>>are. We come to give you the charity of our 
>>presence, to teach you our science, to show you 
>>your errors, your lack of culture, your 
>>ignorance of elementary things.’ We should go 
>>instead with an inquiring mind and a humble 
>>spirit to learn at that great source of wisdom that is the people.
>>“Later we will realize many times how mistaken 
>>we were in concepts that were so familiar they 
>>became part of us and were an automatic part of 
>>our thinking. Often we need to change our 
>>concepts, not only the general concepts, the 
>>social or philosophical ones, but also sometimes our medical concepts.
>>“We shall see that diseases need not always be 
>>treated as they are in big-city hospitals. We 
>>shall see that the doctor has to be a farmer 
>>also and plant new foods and sow, by example, 
>>the desire to consume new foods, to diversify 
>>the nutritional structure which is so limited, so poor.
>>“If we plan to redistribute the wealth of those 
>>who have too much in order to give it to those 
>>who have nothing; if we intend to make creative 
>>work a daily, dynamic source of all our 
>>happiness, then we have goals towards which to work.”(6)
>>The goals that Che set for himself took him 
>>first to the Congo in support of Patrice 
>>Lumumba, soon to be murdered by mercenaries 
>>funded, armed and instructed by the CIA. He 
>>next went to Bolivia, where he organized a band 
>>of guerrillas to serve, he hoped, as a catalyst 
>>in inspiring revolution. Che once again had to 
>>battle Official Marxdom. He struggled with the 
>>head of the Bolivian Communist Party for 
>>leadership of the guerrillas over the question: 
>>“Who should set policy for the guerrillas, Che 
>>and the guerrillas themselves or the head of 
>>the Bolivian Communist Party?” The guerrillas 
>>voted for Che ­ perhaps the only election Che 
>>was ever involved in. Not just anybody was 
>>allowed to vote, not those who happened to live 
>>in the area, for example, but only people who 
>>were actively engaged in the struggle. Once Che 
>>won that election against the Communist Party 
>>attaché ­ an election that was not only about 
>>which individual should lead, but a plebiscite 
>>on competing revolutionary strategies ­ the 
>>Communist Party, which carried great weight in 
>>the working class, abandoned the guerrilla movement.
>>Should we view Che’s decision today as the 
>>correct one? What if the Bolivian CP leadership 
>>had not been so irresponsible and doctrinaire, 
>>speaking in the same heavy-handed manner as had 
>>the Bolshevik Party leadership in the USSR to 
>>the sailors’ uprising in Krontstadt 45 years 
>>earlier and which fed the very nightmares the 
>>sailors had been opposing? (Can there be a 
>>vanguard party that does not act in such a 
>>manner?) The question still haunts: To whom is 
>>the guerrilla responsible ­ the guerrilla 
>>movement and its leadership or the larger 
>>radical organizations and movement? Who sets 
>>the framework? And what happens when those levels of responsibility clash?
>>Such questions are not easy to resolve, and 
>>recent history has provided an array of vexing 
>>examples. In Vietnam, for example, contrary to 
>>Che’s guerrilla army, the National Liberation 
>>Front’s military arm took their policy from the 
>>party’s political bureau, not the other way 
>>around. And in Chiapas, Mexico, the Zapatistas 
>>throughout the 1990s and early 2000s invited 
>>“citizens of the world” to participate in 
>>decision-making over which way forward for 
>>their movement. The Zapatistas were (and 
>>remain) concerned with democratizing “civil 
>>society”; they explicitly rejected attempting 
>>to wrest state power from those who now control it.(7)
>>The relationship of organization to 
>>mass-movement is THE problem that has always 
>>plagued radical movements when they get to a 
>>certain stage, and this was the case with Che 
>>in Bolivia, as it is everywhere. To whom is the 
>>affinity group, for example, responsible? Or, 
>>for that matter, the artist? The radio station? 
>>The “local” or “cell”? The newspaper editor?(8)
>>On the one hand, decentralization is 
>>attractive, allowing for the greatest 
>>small-group autonomy, individual freedom and 
>>creativity (one’s individual radio show, 
>>perhaps; one’s need for a paying job to support 
>>the family; an artist’s need to freely express 
>>herself and propagandize her writings, music, 
>>art). On the other hand, the larger movement 
>>must not only be able to coordinate the 
>>activities of many local groups acting 
>>independently but frame the actions of smaller 
>>groups who purport to be part of the same 
>>movement within a larger collective strategy, 
>>thus in some sense limiting or even undermining their autonomy.
>>In Bolivia, isolation of the guerrillas from a 
>>many-pronged social movement led to their 
>>demise. In his last days Che was rueful and 
>>frustrated at the lack of working class 
>>uprising in the mines, which he had hoped to 
>>incite as there was already much unrest there, 
>>along with Communist influence. An uprising 
>>would have enabled the guerrillas to have had 
>>much greater impact. Eventually ­ too late for 
>>Che and his guerrilla army there ­ the miners 
>>overcame the official Communist Party’s 
>>obstructions and they went on strike ­ a result 
>>of intense pro-guerrilla committees that had 
>>formed among the tin miners. But the peasants 
>>did not revolt, contrary to the guerrillas’ 
>>expectations. As a result, the guerrillas were 
>>isolated and their ranks depleted. Che began to 
>>question his strategy of the “foco” for 
>>Bolivia, which in Cuba had worked so 
>>effectively. He also (and perhaps 
>>contradictorily) wished for just 100 more 
>>guerrilla troops ­ that rather small number (he 
>>believed) would have made the difference.
>>Would it? Could adding more troops compensate 
>>for the qualitative refusal or inability of the 
>>miners and peasantry ­ or any social force ­ to 
>>join the revolt and defeat the massive 
>>mobilization of pro-imperialist forces that was underway?(9)
>>These are serious and complicated questions 
>>that apply to our social movements today. 
>>Understanding ­ let alone resolving ­ such 
>>matters is not helped by the demagoguery and 
>>grand-standing that plagues the left. It COULD 
>>BE helped by a transformation in the way 
>>radical projects (again, by “proj­ects” I mean 
>>physical entities such as radio stations, 
>>daycare centers, food coops, shelters, 
>>alternative educational institutions, etc.) see 
>>themselves and their mission. That 
>>transformation could be assisted by conscious 
>>attempts to develop a revolutionary culture in 
>>which all participants see their project in 
>>that light, and not simply as a “job”. The 
>>world ­ or at least OUR world ­ depends upon 
>>whether we are able to resolve (or at least 
>>live with, while we build our forces) the 
>>contradictions into which we are thrust and 
>>which we reproduce, whether we mean to or not.
>>In Bolivia in the Summer of 1967, the 
>>guerrillas were picked off one by one. Without 
>>additional revolutionary forces Che and the 
>>others were forced to deal with the reality 
>>that, at least in Bolivia at that moment, their 
>>strategy for catalyzing a mass-based 
>>revolutionary uprising had failed. Under the 
>>presidency of Lyndon Johnson (a Democrat from 
>>Texas), the U.S. government sent military 
>>“advisers” and arms to the Bolivian junta. It 
>>became only a matter of time, a few months, 
>>before Che’s forces were defeated, Che was 
>>captured and assassinated, and the guerrilla 
>>struggle ­ at least for that period ­ was wiped out.
>>A true picture of Che is not that of the 
>>flamboyant posters nor the hagiography of 
>>Hollywood, but of a man dedicated to the poor 
>>internationally, who tried with a small band of 
>>guerrillas to spark a revolutionary uprising of 
>>peasants and workers to create a better life 
>>for themselves. During the latter part of his 
>>life, Che met with numerous frustrations amidst 
>>some successes, the biggest being the victory of the Cuban revolution itself.
>>In the U.S., we portray heroes as all-knowing 
>>exceptions to the impotent (and rather dumb) 
>>masses. In so doing, we reinforce our 
>>dependence upon the myth of the heroic 
>>individual and maintain the impotence of the 
>>multitude. In our culture, we are taught that 
>>change takes place not through mass-action but 
>>through single moralistic or righteous figures 
>>(think of how Dr. King or Malcolm X is 
>>portrayed today) who are able to make the 
>>system respond positively to the rationality, 
>>importance and moral force of his or her arguments.
>>Such illusions are dangerous to any radical 
>>movement and its participants. On the one hand, 
>>the Bolivian peasants who are still living in 
>>the areas in which Che and his guerrilla band 
>>were operating were clearly touched by the 
>>brush of history. In the film “Ernesto Che 
>>Guevara: The Bolivian Diary,” the filmmakers 
>>interviewed many of them who were still alive. 
>>They movingly recounted that one world-historic 
>>experience of their lives: their encounter with 
>>Che. Some remembered his kindness towards them. 
>>One peasant woman was an apolitical young 
>>teenager in 1967 and had risked her life to 
>>bring Che food and look after him in his last 
>>hours after he was captured. Now around 50 
>>years old, she remembers Che’s kindness towards 
>>her, and how this profoundly affected her life. 
>>Although no one in the film says it in so many 
>>words, clearly Che was something of a Christ 
>>figure to them, even to those who betrayed him 
>>or fired on him. It’s quite a comment on our 
>>present condition that human touches that were 
>>once quite ordinary seem, in today’s world, exceptional.
>>As Che put it, in his most famous quote: “At 
>>the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that 
>>a true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love.”
>>John Gerassi describes Che’s capture thusly:
>>“Defeated by 1,800 CIA-trained and CIA-led 
>>Bolivian Rangers, Che was caught wounded but 
>>alive in October, tortured then summarily shot 
>>through the heart by a Cuban veteran of the Bay 
>>of Pigs who had become a CIA officer. He was 
>>then displayed bare-chested (neatly patched up 
>>so as not to show torture marks) in the hope 
>>that no more such attempts would ever again be 
>>initiated against pro-U.S. regimes. Instead, 
>>Guevara became a quasi-religious symbol of 
>>justice and liberation to the poor and 
>>exploited all over the world and to many of the 
>>socially conscious new generations, then and 
>>today. ‘Be like Che,’ Fidel boomed to Habaneros 
>>on the day he announced his death. ‘May our 
>>children be like Che,’ he still says today.”(10)
>>Che was captured, tortured and murdered in 
>>Bolivia under the direction of the CIA on 
>>October 9, 1967. Forty-six years have passed. 
>>Still Che is remembered, not as some ancient 
>>and hazy patriarch, but vividly, as one who 
>>exemplified the spirit of liberation … and the 
>>ideals of our own youth. He inspired so many 
>>ordinary people to commit themselves to their 
>>vision of a different world and called on us to 
>>persevere even in the face of bureaucratic 
>>intransigence and the enormous power of US imperialism, against all odds.
>>Such a vision seems extraordinary today. It 
>>seems inconceivable that there are people who 
>>would take huge risks, acting out of their love 
>>for humanity. Yesterday’s commonplace behavior 
>>seems beyond comprehensible. And yet, people 
>>act in such ways ALL THE TIME. We just don’t 
>>see it, or report it. The media suppresses that 
>>information, or frames it in such a way as to 
>>make that individual the “exception” in an era 
>>of robots. But that humanitarian spirit 
>>persists. It’s what enabled the new Bolivian 
>>revolution to elect Evo Morales to the 
>>Presidency, much to the chagrin of the US 
>>government. That, too, is part of Che’s legacy.
>>And, hopefully, it’s what inspires us to 
>>continue “risking rid­i­cule,” regardless of 
>>where it comes from, to make our radical 
>>efforts successful. For many of us, it’s not 
>>only the end result that mat­ters, it’s the way 
>>we live, what it means to live a meaningful life.
>>– Mitchel Cohen
>>1. “At the Afro-Asian Conference,” Che Guevara 
>>Speaks, Merit 1967, p. 108. But as one Marxist 
>>critic writes: “I’m sure this was a very 
>>popular speech in certain nations. 
>>Nevertheless, the only possible way the 
>>U.S.S.R. could have ‘abolished’ the law of 
>>value, to Guevara’s satisfac­tion anyway, would 
>>be through SURRENDERING value FROM the U.S.S.R. 
>>‘Moral duty’? Value, for those acquainted with 
>>Marx, is creat­ed either by nature, 
>>monopolization or by labor (MAINLY labor)­-NOT 
>>morals or what someone says it OUGHT to be. As 
>>far as the ‘limitless sweat and suffering in 
>>the underdeveloped countries’ and the ‘big, 
>>au­tomated factories’ of the U.S.S.R., did 
>>Guevara forget how much limit­less sweat­-nay, 
>>limitless blood­-went INTO those ‘big, 
>>automated factories’ built in the 1930s, 1940s 
>>and later which supported Cuba from immediate 
>>imperialist plunder at the hands of United 
>>Fruit, etc.? I mean, what made him such an 
>>expert on just how many resources the Soviet 
>>Union had to give? Or does MATERIAL assistance 
>>sponta­neously arise from moralistic platitudes 
>>and popular speeches?” (Paige Angle & Chuck 
>>Davis, letter to author, January 2004.)
>>2. Economics and Politics in the Transition to 
>>Socialism, by Carlos Tablada (Pathfinder), an 
>>analysis of Che’s economic thought and 
>>poli­cies as director of economic planning and 
>>president of the Cuban State Bank in the early years of the Revolution.
>>3. In a sense, many of our organizations face 
>>similar false “alternatives” today, based on 
>>the need to stay alive “in the meantime” while 
>>attempt­ing to withstand the effects of 
>>compromises one must make in order to do so. As 
>>one correspondent, Joe Dubovy, writes: “The 
>>lesson that Che and all revolutionaries had to 
>>teach us was that revolutionary radio was 
>>underground, pulling up antennas and equipment 
>>as soon as the au­thorities could sniff out 
>>their locations. These radio stations became a 
>>key part of the revolution, spreading hope and 
>>supplying inspiration. … Today’s ‘progressives’ 
>>fool themselves into believing that Wall St., 
>>gov­ernmentally licensed, high cost radio will 
>>save them. They are about to learn that 
>>so-called progressive media can become merely a 
>>disgust­ing safety valve. Highly centralized 
>>radio is not the answer. Decentral­ized 
>>communication ­ either carrier current AM or 
>>low power FM has not been taken seriously. Yet, 
>>that is the only means of dis­tributing the 
>>message of human dignity to neighborhoods and 
>>communities… True social change will take place 
>>only when the air waves belong to the people.”
>>4. See, for example, James Bamford, Body of 
>>Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National 
>>Security Agency, which discusses Operation 
>>Northwoods, a plan drawn up by the Joint Chiefs 
>>of Staff for launching a secret and bloody war 
>>of terrorism against the U.S. in order to trick 
>>the American public into supporting an invasion 
>>of Cuba. It called for shooting innocent people 
>>on American streets; for sinking boats carrying 
>>refugees fleeing Cuba; for launching a wave of 
>>violent terrorism in Washington, D.C., Miami, 
>>and elsewhere; for framing innocent people for 
>>bombings they did not commit; and for hijacking 
>>planes. Using phony evidence, all of it was to 
>>be blamed on Fidel Castro, providing the 
>>excuse, as well as the public and international 
>>backing, the U.S. government needed to launch its war against Cuba.
>>5. John Gerassi, “Venceremos! The Speeches and 
>>Writings of Che Gue­vara,” Introduction, Simon and Schuster, p. 14.
>>6. ibid. This is an edited and abbreviated 
>>extract from a 1960 speech by Che Guevara, “On 
>>Revolutionary Medicine.” The entire speech can 
>>be found in the Gerassi book, pp 112-119.
>>7. In 2005, the Zapatista leadership announced 
>>a turn towards greater electoral focus by 
>>criticizing all parties in the electoral arena, 
>>without directly participating in the elections 
>>themselves ­ a stance for which they were 
>>widely criticized by many Zapatista supporters.
>>8. This was a main theme in the movie “Reds”, 
>>in which the revolutionary writer, John Reed 
>>(played by Warren Beatty), clashed repeatedly 
>>with Party officials both in the U.S. as well 
>>as in the Soviet Union. It is also a question 
>>that comes up at listener-sponsored radio stations like WBAI.
>>9. See “Fertile Ground,” the memoir of Rodolfo 
>>Saldana (Pathfinder), a communist miner and 
>>organizer of the pro-guerrilla circles in Bolivia, for debate on these issues.
>>10. John Gerassi, ‘The True Revolutionary Is 
>>Guided by Strong Feelings of Love,” Los Angeles Times: December 16, 2001.
>>A number of people sent comments to an earlier 
>>version of this article. I did not necessarily 
>>agree with them, but they were provocative and 
>>helpful. Thanks to Peter Anestos, Peter 
>>McLaren, Paige Angle & Chuck Davis, Barbara 
>>Deutsch, Brian LeCloux, Fazal Rahman, Joe 
>>Dubovy, John Gerassi. I’d also like to thank 
>> for publishing it.
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