Monday, June 15, 2009

11 Things Most People Don't Know About Ché Guevara

It seems the days of the classic "revolutionary" figure are over for now. Today revolting often implies putting a controversial bumper sticker on your car, or wearing a t-shirt with a political a message on it, as well as creating and signing petitions, and sending out mass emails etc... One aspect of Ernesto "Ché" Guevara that's intriguing to the western world is what he represents. Ché represents things that most people in our comfortable society are to chickenshit to do. But, this shows progress, because revolutions in Ché's time were mainly fought with weapons (and that wasn't long ago but things are changing fast). If man is to progress it's only logical that the new battles increasingly be fought with strategy and intelligence.

Ché Guevara is loved and loathed at the same time. Here is a list of lesser known facts about Ché.

Mr. Lynch

The name "Ché Guevara" is the icon of icons for freedom fighting. But Ché’s birth name was Ernesto Lynch. It makes one wonder how much of an effect a name has on ones life? (Quite a bit I think. Change your name to Hitler and you'll see what I mean.) His surname comes from the fact that his family was half Irish. Ernesto Lynch is pictured above at the age of 22.

Stinky Ché

Ché Guevara as a youth was nicknamed “Chancho” (pig) because of his bathing habits (or lack thereof) and the fact that he proudly wore a “weekly shirt” – ie, a shirt he changed once a week. All through his life people commented on his smelliness

Geeky Ché

This is a photo of Ché's fake passport. He shaved his head to look like a bald man, and changed his name to gain entry into what would ultimately be Bolivia. The country he was executed in. He had to go into an airport restroom to re-shave because stubble was starting to show on his head.

Guevara was quite geeky. He loved playing Chéss :-) and even entered local tournaments. In between hanging out with his chess buddies, Ernesto would read poetry which he loved with a passion. His favorite subjects at school were mathematics and engineering. If he were a teenager today he would be really into computers, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Indy Music.

Irish Ché

Though Guevara is best remembered for his actions in Cuba, he was actually born in Argentina to wealthy parents and he never became a Cuban citizen. When he was born, his father said “the first thing to note is that in my son’s veins flowed the blood of the Irish rebels.”

Dr. Ché

In June of 1953, Guevara completed his medical studies and graduated as Doctor Ernesto Guevara. While studying he was particularly interested in Leprosy.

Ché in New York

In 1964, Guevara traveled to the United States to give a speech to the United Nations in New York. You can watch a portion of it in the video clip above. Whilst there he condemned the US for their racial segregation policies: “Those who kill their own children and discriminate daily against them because of the color of their skin; those who let the murderers of blacks remain free, protecting them, and furthermore punishing the black population because they demand their legitimate rights as free men — how can those who do this consider themselves guardians of freedom?”

Ché Had Five Children

Ché had one child with his first wife, Hilda Gadea, a daughter who was born in Mexico City on February 15, 1956, and he had four children with his second wife, the revolutionary Aleida March. Pictured above is Camilo – Che’s son.

Ché's Hands Were Cut Off

After his execution, a military doctor amputated Che’s hands. Bolivian army officers transferred Guevara’s body to an undisclosed location and refused to reveal whether his remains had been buried or cremated. The hands were preserved in formaldehyde to be sent to Buenos Aires for fingerprint identification. (His fingerprints were on file with the Argentine police.) They were later sent to Cuba. (That's fawked up huh?)

Ché's Rolling In His Grave

The high-contrast monochrome graphic of Ché's face has become one of the world’s most universally merchandised and objectified images, found on an endless array of items, including t-shirts, hats, posters, tattoos, wallets, purses, necklaces etc... Ironically contributing to the consumer culture he despised. The original image was snapped at a memorial service by newspaper photographer Alberto Korda. At the time, only Korda thought highly of the shot, and hung the picture on his wall, where it stayed until an Italian journalist saw it, and asked if he could have it. Korda obliged.

Ché's Money

Guevara remains a beloved national hero to many in Cuba, where his image adorns the $3 Cuban Peso. In his native homeland of Argentina, where high schools bear his name, numerous Che museums dot the country, and in 2008 a 12 foot bronze statue of him was unveiled in his birth city of Rosario.

St. Ché

Guevara has been sanctified by some Bolivian farm workers as “Saint Ernesto”, to whom they pray for assistance. The Catholic Church does not consider Guevara to be a saint and strongly opposes the adulation of him.


  1. Anonymous12:37 AM

    Most people didn't know he was a medical doctor? Sure about that? Oh, and he actually did become a Cuban citizen, dumbass.

  2. Anonymous11:12 PM

    Forgot to mention he executed 500 people without trial, including boys as young as 14 years old.