Ernesto Guevara de la Serna (1928-1977) more commonly called “Che Guevara” was an Argentine born Marxist revolutionary, medic, political figure, and internationalist guerilla. As Che studied medicine he traveled across Latin America, upon seeing the impoverished conditions in which many people lived, Guevara intensified his studies in Marxism, believing only through revolution could the social and economic injustices be remedied.
Guevara traveled to Guatemala learning about the Agrarian reforms being implemented by the nations President, Jacobo Guzman. After leaving Guatemala in 1957, Guevara traveled to El Salvador where he participated in the overthrow of dictator Jose Lemus and the subsequent Civil War that followed suit. When the CIA backed military defeated the Communist Guerilla’s and seized control of the country in 1961, Guevara fled El Salvador for Bolivia. After spending two years in Bolivia, Guevara traveled to Angola to fight against the Portuguese colonial government.
It was during the Angolan War (1962-1968) that Guevara became a popular icon for the Socialist Movement in the Third World. After Angola won its independence from Portugal, Guevara accepted a post in the Government, but resigned after a year to participate in the Israeli-Arab War, and later the Palestinian-Jordan War. Guevara traveled the world in the 1970’s participating in various campaigns in an attempt to spread Marxism to the third world. He was killed in Zaire fighting for Kivu independence in 1977. His remains were buried in Bukavu, leading to an international dispute between Argentina and Kivu in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.