Ernesto Che Guevara by Public Domain
I had begun another piece about May Day and I abandoned it. It was
filled with interesting quotes about May Day. May Day began as a
struggle for the eight hour day. It grew and grew until it was world
wide event. It was smeared as being leftist or Communist by the usual
suspects but as I was researching this legacy of humanity yearning to
breathe free, I found this. May Day is supposed to be about educating
ourselves so I will turn you over to one far wiser than myself.
"Dear Hildita, Aleidita, Camilo, Celia and Ernesto,
If you read this letter one day, it will mean that I am no longer alive.
You will hardly remember me, and the smallest among you will have
entirely forgotten me.
Your father was a man who acted as he thought best and who has been
absolutely faithful to his convictions. Grow up into good
revolutionaries. Study hard to master technique, which gives you mastery
over nature. Remember that it is the Revolution which is important and
that each of us, taken in isolation, is worth nothing. Above all be
sensitive, in the deepest areas of yourselves, to any injustice
committed against whoever it may be anywhere in the world.
Yours always, my children. I hope to see you again.
A big strong kiss from Daddy." - Ernesto Che Guevara
Che Guevara was a young man when he died, he left behind a wife and a
family of small children. So why did he do it? Why did he abandon a
career as a physician to become a revolutionary? He was sick, he had
asthma and was eating a poor diet
"Dear old folks:
Once again I feel beneath my heels the ribs of Rocinante*. Once more,
I'm on the road with my shield on my arm. Almost ten years ago I wrote
you another farewell letter. As I recall, I lamented not being a better
soilder and a better doctor. The latter no longer interests me; I am not
such a bad soilder. Nothing has changed in essence, except that I am
much more consious.
My Marxism has taken root and become purified. I believe in armed
struggle as the only solution for those peoples who fight to free
themselves, and I am consistent with my beliefs. Many will call me an
adventurer, and that I am".only one of a different sort: one who risks
his skin to prove his truths. It is possible that this may be the end. I
don't seek it, but it's within the logical relms of probailities. If it
should be so, I send you a final embrace. I have loved you very much,
only I have not known how to express my affection. I am extremly rigid
in my actions, and I think that sometimes you did not understand me.
Nevertheless, please believe me today.
Now a willpower that I have polished with an artist's delight will
sustain some shaky legs and some weary lungs. I will do it. Give a
thought once in awhile to this little soilder of fortune of the
A kiss to Celia, to Roberto, JuÃ¡n MartÃn and PatotÃn, to Beatriz, to
everybody. For you, a big hug from your obstinate and prodigal son,
Ernesto" -- Ernesto Che Guevara
*Rocinante was Don Quixote's horse.
Ernesto Che Guevara went on because he thought that we were all worth
the struggle. Che could have stayed home, he was doing good work at
home, he had a family and he was sick. All good reasons to stay home but
there was something more to Che than just his own desires.
"After graduation, due to special circumstances and perhaps also to my
character, I began to travel throughout America, and I became acquainted
with all of it. Except for Haiti and Santo Domingo, I have visited, to
some extent, all the other Latin American countries. Because of the
circumstances in which I traveled, first as a student and later as a
doctor, I came into close contact with poverty, hunger and disease; with
the inability to treat a child because of lack of money; with the
stupefaction provoked by the continual hunger and punishment, to the
point that a father can accept the loss of a son as an unimportant
accident, as occurs often in the downtrodden classes of our American
homeland. And I began to realize at that time that there were things
that were almost as important to me as becoming famous for making a
significant contribution to medical science: I wanted to help those
people." - Ernesto Che Guevara