October 9th, 2008 Headsman
As of 1:10 p.m. Bolivia time this date in 1967, Ernesto “Che” Guevara was no longer a man: he was only a god.
The Argentinian-born doctor turned Cuban revolutionary icon and the man who wrote the book on guerrilla warfare had put abroad to foment insurgency. His efforts in the Congo foundered; his bid to replicate the Cuban revolution in Bolivia was doing likewise when he was captured.
After holding him overnight, the government sent a coded order to execute him in the field. Che had done the same thing with his own hands to several who betrayed the Sierra Maestra guerrillas.
“Shoot, coward, you’re only going to kill a man.”
CIA asset (and George Bush Sr. confidante) Felix Rodriguez took his watch as a trophy. The rest of Che Guevara belongs to the world.*
“We cannot be sure of having something to live for unless we are willing to die for it.”
* Especially, of course, its marketers.
Also on this date
- 1569: Vladimir of Staritsa, royal cousin
- Feast Day of Saint Denis, cephalophore
- 1401: Llywelyn ap Gruffydd Fychan, an army marching on his stomach
- 2002: Aileen Wuornos, Monster
Entry Filed under: 20th Century,Arts and Literature,Bolivia,Capital Punishment,Cuba,Cycle of Violence,Death Penalty,Doctors,Execution,Executioners,Famous,Famous Last Words,Guerrillas,History,Infamous,Intellectuals,Martyrs,Myths,No Formal Charge,Notable Participants,Politicians,Popular Culture,Power,Revolutionaries,Shot,Soldiers,Summary Executions,Wartime Executions
Tags: 1967, alberto korda, che guevara, christ, cia, communism, counterinsurgency, cuban revolution, ernesto che guevara, felix rodriguez, fidel castro, francesco guccini, george bush, icon, mario teran, marketing, national security archive, october 9, photography