Author background: Che was born in 1928 to a middle class family in Argentina. During and after his studies at medical school in Argentina, he traveled Latin America by motorcycle, performed numerous odd jobs, and witnessed first hand the poverty and misery of the region in the early 1950s. He was among the “vanguard” of the Cuban Revolution, which ousted the repressive regime of Batista in 1959. US-trained Bolivian counterinsurgency forces killed him in Bolivia in 1967.

Thesis: The Cuban Revolution was the model for a war of liberation for Latin Americans against oppressive regimes and US imperialism. The people could destroy the dictatorships of Central America and the Caribbean through guerrilla warfare.

Argument: Che was not a strategic military genius. He operated by simple, realistic principles. They included mobility, movement by night, careful use of ammunition (supplies), flexibility, careful study of the ground, and surprise and fury.

  • Mobility is the fundamental characteristic of a guerilla band. Striking and moving freely while avoiding detection puts a strain on government forces, which must spread thin.
  • Guerillas know the ground better than government forces, who have a “garrison attitude,” so the guerillas can attack at night with surprise, withdraw, and contribute to the impression that they are everywhere and can attack at any time
  • Ammunition was Che’s most critical supply item and most was only available from government forces.
  • Che a better theorist than leader
  • Che and Fidel were middle class and wanted more power
  • Lenin (Mao too) worked towards the peasants (not enough workers, and to use the agricultural society)
  • Marx focused towards the factory works, and have them drive the revolution
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