Ernesto “Che” Guevara Research Paper

This sample Ernesto “Che” Guevara Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Free research papers are not written by our writers, they are contributed by users, so we are not responsible for the content of this free sample paper. If you want to buy a high quality research paper on history topics at affordable price please use custom research paper writing services.

The Argentine-born revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara is renowned worldwide for his commitment to international social justice during the mid-twentieth century. Although he was both hated and loved for the guerilla warfare tactics he advocated in Cuba, the Congo, and Bolivia, his writings continue to offer insight into world history from the perspective of an internationalist, rather than one committed to a nation-state.

Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s image is known worldwide, appropriated globally by people identifying with his sense of social justice, idealism, and rebellion. An Argentine who fought for independence in Cuba, the Congo, and Bolivia, Guevara represents a stateless “new man” committed to international socialism. His published critiques of capitalism and imperialism reflected an understanding that both the problems and solutions of the twentieth century were global in scope.

Born in Rosario, Argentina in 1928, Guevara was homeschooled until he was nine years old due to severe asthma. All his life Guevara read voraciously and by adulthood was knowledgeable on subjects that included literature, Latin American and Spanish poetry, French existentialist philosophy, Marxism- Leninism, psychology, and archaeology. In December 1952, Guevara took an eight-month break from medical school to travel to South America with a friend. He witnessed the general condition of indigenous peoples throughout South America and was particularly moved by the working conditions of copper miners in Chile. He attributed Latin America’s economic problems to heavy penetration by foreign corporations.

After graduating in 1953, Guevara continued traveling, winding up in Guatemala City where President Jacobo Arbenz was challenging the U.S.-owned United Fruit Company’s claim to Guatemala’s fertile land. Here Guevara met Hilda Gadea, a Peruvian activist who introduced Guevara to the ideas of Mao Zedong. Together they watched the 1954 CIA-sponsored coup overthrow Arbenz, plunging Guatemala into more than four decades of political violence. The coup solidified Guevara’s belief that Latin America’s major problem in the 1950s was “Yankee imperialism,” which he understood as the combined political, military, and economic power that U.S. policy makers and corporations and their local collaborators held over the region’s economy. It also persuaded him that armed revolution would be required to fix the problem in most of Latin America.

Guevara and Gadea parted ways, seeking the protection of their respective national embassies; by coincidence, they reunited in Mexico City and married. It was here that Guevara met Fidel Castro (b. 1926), who had led a failed effort in Cuba to overthrow the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in 1953. After serving less than two years in prison, Castro and other Cuban exiles were regrouping in Mexico City. Castro and Guevara connected immediately. The Cubans shared Guevara’s concern for the power wielded over Latin America by the United States and planned to do something about it. On 25 November 1956 eighty-one Cubans and Guevara launched their invasion of Cuba.

Originally the group’s doctor, Guevara proved an excellent guerrilla fighter, earning the highest rank among the rebels, and it was his column’s January 1958 entry into Havana that marks the victory of the Cuban revolutionary forces. During the war, Guevara established a school for teaching guerrilla fighters to read, a printing press, and a radio station. He also met Aleida March, who became his second wife. He later published the first official history of the Cuban Revolution and popularized the foco theory of guerrilla war, which argued that small groups of committed individuals could create the conditions for revolution on a wider scale.

After the war, Guevara served as minister of industry and head of the national bank. But Guevara’s numerous publications, speeches, and worldwide role as the Cuban Revolution’s public face were what made him a celebrity both hated and loved. The prototype for the “new man,” Guevara was motivated by moral incentives and hoped to eventually eliminate money. Encouraging international cooperation to establish socialist societies, Guevara represented a humanist Marxism, offering new possibilities for communists opposed to Stalinism.

Although a diligent bureaucrat, the position did not suit him. In 1965, Guevara “disappeared” from Cuba, quietly organizing a disastrous guerrilla war for independence in the Congo. Despite renouncing his Cuban citizenship in a farewell letter to Castro, Guevara returned to Cuba in March 1966. Determined to remain no longer than necessary, Guevara launched his final guerrilla campaign that fall, hoping to inspire a peasant revolution in Bolivia. His guerrillas fought their last battle on 8 October 1967 against Bolivian army rangers working with the CIA. Guevara was captured and executed the next day.

Controversy surrounds Guevara’s legacy and revolutionary methods, but his analysis of imperialism as a way of understanding the past and present offers insight into world history from the perspective of an internationalist, rather than one committed to a nation-state. His ideas and martyrdom continue to inspire social justice movements. While Guevara’s place in world history as a global revolutionary is secure, his contribution as a social and political thinker continues to unfold.


  1. Anderson, J. L. (1997). Che Guevara: A revolutionary life. New York: Grove Press.
  2. Castaneda, J. G. (1998). Companero: The life and death of Che Guevara (M. Castaneda, Trans.). New York: Vintage Books.
  3. Gadea, H. (1973). Ernesto: A memoir of Che Guevara: An intimate account of the making of a revolutionary by his first wife, Hilda Gadea. London: W. H. Allen.
  4. Guevara, C. (1961). Guerrilla warfare (J. P. Morrat, Trans.). New York: Monthly Review Press.
  5. Guevara, C. (1968). Reminiscences of the Cuban revolutionary war (V. Ortiz, Trans.). New York: Monthly Review Press.
  6. Guevara, C. (1969). Che: Selected works of Ernesto Guevara (Bonachea & Valdes, Ed.). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  7. Guevara, C. (1972). Venceremos: The speeches and writings of Che Guevara (2nd ed., J. Gerassi, Ed.). New York: Macmillan Co.
  8. Guevara, C. (1995). The motorcycle diaries: A journey around South America (A. Wright, Trans.). London: Verso.
  9. Perez-Stable, M. (1993). The Cuban revolution: Origins, course, and legacy. New York: Oxford University Press.

See also:

Free research papers are not written to satisfy your specific instructions. You can use our professional writing services to order a custom research paper on political science and get your high quality paper at affordable price.


Always on-time


100% Confidentiality
Special offer! Get discount 10% for the first order. Promo code: cd1a428655