Ernesto Guevara de la Serna is born June 14, 1928 in Rosario, one of the most important cities in Argentina, in a well off family. A family with aristocratic roots but socialistic ideas.
In 1937, Ernesto is 9 years old and goes to the third grade of primary school; he follows up engagingly the Spanish Civil war. On a map he indicates the military evolution.
In 1947, Ernesto Guevara meets the young Berta Gilda Infante, also known as Tita. She is a member of the Argentine Communistic Youth. They build up a profound friendship. Together they read Marxist texts and discuss the actualities.
In 1948, Ernesto, who is 20 years old at that time, undergoes an examination at the faculty of medicine at the University of Buenos Aires. In March he passes for the examinations of the first year, in June for those of the second year and in December for those from the third year.
January 1 1950, Ernesto Guevara attempts his first voyage. He traverses the northern provinces of Argentina on a bicycle on which he adjusted a small motor. He arrives at San Francisco del Chahar, near Córdoba, where his friend Alberto Granado runs the dispensary of the leper-centre. With the patients he has long conversations about their disease.
He continues his university studies and is above all interested in the scientific research for allergies, asthma, leprosy and nutritive theory.
While he is studying, he works as a male nurse on trading and petroleum ships of the Argentine national shipping-company. Like that he travels from the south of Argentina to Brazil, Venezuela and Trinidad.
· A journey through Latin America
In October he decides to make his first trip through Latin-America. Together with Alberto Granado he leaves in January 1952 on an old 'Norton' 500-cc motorbike.
In Valparaiso Chile he writes in his diary: "We are looking for the bottom part of the town. We talk to many beggars. Our noses inhale attentively the misery."
About Chile he writes: "The most important effort that needs to be done is to get rid of the uncomfortable 'Yankee-friend'. It is especially at this moment an immense task, because of the great amount of dollars they have invested here and the convenience of using economical pressure whenever they believe their interests are being threatened."
On March 24 they arrive at the Peruvian Tacna. After a discussion about the poverty in the region, he refers in his notes to the words of José Marti: "I want to link my destiny to that of the poor of this world."
On May 1 they arrive in Lima. Che meets doctor Hugo Pesce, a Peruvian scientist, and director of the national leprosy program and an important Marxist. They discuss several nights until the morning comes. Year's later Che puts that these conversations were very important for the change in his attitude towards life and the society.
On May 17 he leaves for the leper-centre of San Pablo in the Peruvian Amazon forest. He arrives on June 7. During his visit to this place, he complaints about the miserable way that the people of that region and the sick have to live. There were no clothes, almost no food and no medication. After working there for a few weeks, he leaves for Leticia, Colombia via the Amazon River.
July 17 he arrives in Caracas. There he decides to go back to Buenos Aires to finish his studies in medical science. He travels with a cargo-plane via Miami, where the technical problems with the aeroplane give him a delay of one month. To survive, he works as a waiter and he washes dishes in a bar. On regular base he is apprehended and questioned by the police. They ask him if he, his mother or father are communist. He is back in Buenos Aires on August 31.
· On his way to the revolution
Che Guevara finished his studies early 1953. He gets summoned for military duty but he was rejected. On July 7 he goes by slow train to La Paz, Bolivia, 6000km further. Che arrives at Panama late October. He is indignant about the submissive attitude of the Panamese leaders towards the U.S. In Costa Rica he learns about the domination of United Fruit and the exploitation and of the misery that is the result of it. In a letter to his aunt Beatriz he writes: "In El Paso I traversed the vast domains of United Fruit. Once more I was able to convince myself how criminal the capitalistic octopuses are. On a picture of our old and bewailed comrade Stalin, I swore not to rest before these capitalistic octopuses are destroyed. In Guatemala I want to get perfect in becoming an authentic revolutionary."
Via Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador, Che arrives late December at Guatemala where Jacobo Arbenz leads a revolutionary process. In a letter to his mother he writes: "I've finally reached my aim . . . If everything goes well, I think I will stay here for about 2 years."
June 14-16. Che sees how North American Aeroplanes fly over Guatemala and bomb down the military installations and the poor popular quarters. He writes: "This incident has united all Guatemalese with their government and with all who, just like me, were attracted by Guatemala." The U.S. chooses Castillo Armas as 'leader' of the coup.
June 18, 1954. He lives to see de coup d'état against the Arbenz government, planned and executed by the U.S. He transports weapons and tries to assemble some youths to fight; he helps to bring political leaders in safety. On June 20 Che writes to his mother: "These attacks, together with the lies of the international press, have woken the indifferent. A combative climate rules. I have applied as a voluntary for the medical help services and I have registered in the youth-brigade to get a military education and to go there where necessary."
On June 26 the national radio declares the resignation of president Arbenz and the exile of almost all-political leaders and their families. This causes a great commotion with the revolutionary people. Che puts it like this: "In Guatemala it was necessary to fight but almost no one fought. Resistance had to be put up and almost no one wanted to do it."
Repression breaks loose. Latin-American embassies are getting filled with political refugees. Che is indicated as a dangerous Argentine communist and may not remain in Guatemala.
Early 1955 Che Guevara finds work as a doctor in the "Hospital Central" of Mexico City.
In June he meets Raul Castro. They become friends. On July 8 Fidel Castro arrives in the Mexican capital. About their first meeting Che said: "I've met him during one of the cool nights in Mexico and I remember that our first conversation was about international politics."
That same night - towards morning - I was one of the future participants of the expedition with the Granma." Fidel Castro about that meeting: "He knew much about the Marxism-Leninism, self-thought, very eager to learn, he was a convinced. When we met Che he was already an educated revolutionary."
On June 24, the Mexican police have arrested Che together with Cuban comrades.
On July 3 the press agency UPI notifies: "The Argentine doctor Guevara will be deported to his land of origin, because of his presumed participation of the failed conspiracy against the Cuban government of Fulgencio Batista." The Mexican ex-president Lázaro Cárdenas interferes to defend the Cuban revolutionaries. Late July the last, among them Che Guevara, are released. They continue their revolutionary activities in clandestinely.
· With Fidel Castro to Cuba
November 25: the yacht Granma leaves in a stormy night with on board 82 man from the mouth of the river Tuxpán in Mexico.
On December 2 they landed in Los Cayelos, at the East Coast. The next day the Cuban and Latin-American newspapers announced about the expedition: " . . . Fidel Castro, Ernesto Guevara, Raul Castro and all other members of the expedition have perished . . ." Their arrival is noticed and they get hunted. The group splits. On December 5 in Alegría del Pino, Che gets ambushed. Later on he writes about this: "I've got wounded in my neck. I stayed alive thanks to my luck of a cat. A box of bullets I was carrying close to my chest stopped a bullet of a machine gun and it ricochets up to my neck."
With the help of other he could escape in the sugarcane fields. In these circumstances Che had to make the, so often told about, choice between his duty as a doctor and his duty as a revolutionary soldier. To escape he had to choose between a backpack filled with medications and a crate of bullets. It was impossible to take them both. Che takes the crate with bullets and hurries into the sugarcane. Later they leave a great deal of their cargo with a farmer. On December 21 Che's group arrives at a coffee plantation where Fidel is already waiting for a couple of days.
Hope you you enjoyed reading my post & found it useful
You may be also interested in