By Stanley Collymore
The sheer greatness of the man fittingly combined with the altruistic and enduring legacy of Ernesto Che Guevara symbolize not only his justifiable place in the annals of history but equally as well his deservedly elevated position and hallowed status among the Immortals.
Mirroring fully what my personal and passionate views have been in the past, still are and forever will be on the specific matters of Che Guevara the man and the remarkably outstanding and permanent legacy he has altruistically left the world in the 39 years he’s lived to make such a tremendous contribution, this is what John Wight, a writer specializing in geopolitics recently had to say on the 47th commemoration anniversary of Ernesto Che Guevara’s savage execution on the 9 October 1967 by a Bolivian army officer working for the American CIA – Che’s mortal enemy – and whose execution of Che in complicity with the US installed and actively supported, brutal, fascist, Bolivian dictatorship at the time was at the direct behest of the CIA that had hoped Che Guevara’s death would deal a shattering blow to the influence of the Cuban Revolution in a part of the world traditionally viewed by the United States as its own backyard, and whose only roles as a region, as far as the American imperialists across the United States were concerned, were to provide cheap labour, raw materials, and the markets required to maintain the huge profits of avaricious and recurrently exploitative US corporations.
But the CIA were wrong, just as successive US administrations have similarly been wrong in thinking that the ideas for which Che Guevara fought and died could ever be ended or silenced forever with an assassin’s bullet. On the contrary! Since over four decades on from Che Guevara’s death the Cuban Revolution to which this amazing man and stalwart human being was wholeheartedly committed to and died for strikingly and very impressively in the most altruistic fashion continues as a very enlightening beacon of inspiration and an immeasurable hope in respect of the future, qualitative improvement and betterment of their lives to the poor of the undeveloped world.
That a tiny Caribbean island nation with a population of just 11 million people, located 90 miles off the coast of Florida, should have the temerity to assert its right to political and economic independence from the United States and survive for so long is immense.
Indeed, many believe that not only have the ideas for which Che Guevara gave his life survived, they have never been more potently illustrated by the left turn taken throughout the Latin American and Caribbean regions in recent years. And is a political turn responsible for transforming, particularly in Latin America’s case, a part of the world traditionally associated with military juntas, rightwing autocracies and US puppet regimes into the very opposite.
Today Latin America is a part of the world where democracy has taken root, where the tenets of the Washington neoliberal consensus have been rejected in favour of social and economic justice as the objective of governments. However, despite the myriad articles, analyses and commentaries produced on Che Guevara and his life, one incident sums up more than any article ever could the enduring force of the Cuban Revolution whose ideas Che Guevara died trying to spread.
In 2006 Mario Teran, an old man living in Bolivia was treated by Cuban doctors volunteering their service free of charge to Bolivia’s poor, just as they have and do to the poor in every corner of the developing world in medical missions that have transformed the lives of millions – some 80 millions and counting so far upwards to 2014. These Cuban doctors in Bolivia in 2006 performed among an array of other medical work, operations to remove cataracts from the eyes of many who were going blind or had already done so, and in the process restoring these patients’ eyesight. One of these patients was Mario Teran whose sight was restored, thanks to the Cuban doctors who carried out the operation on him to restore his eyesight.
Mario Teran though is not just any old man. He is in fact the Bolivian army officer who to great plaudits and a tremensous fanfare of applause from his CIA bosses, the US administration at the time and others subsequently, their puppet regimes then and subsequently across Latin America, similarly US stooge governments throughout Europe, including that of the United Kingdom, and, of course, the western media had executed Ernesto Che Guevara in 1967.
Altruistically and in keeping with the enshrined and instinctively carried out Cuban tenet of not being judgemental or discriminatory to those in need, regardless of who they are or were, Mario Teran like the useful idiot that he was, too blind even in 1967 when he had excellent eyesight to see let alone understand what Che Guevara and the Cuban revolution he was committed to were essaying to do for the poor and undeveloped world ruthlessly exploited by the white Caucasian and imperialist one, having done the dirty work of his puppet masters in the United States was like all such useful idiots then, previously and even now in 2014 systematically utilized by the American Empire but who like the prime morons they are never seem to learn from what had transpired in the past to other useful idiots, that on becoming superfluous to requirements were simply disposed of or mercilessly forgotten.
True, Mario Teran still had his life accorded to him; but what a life! Poor, discarded, forgotten and blind. Living in the dark world of ignorance he’d voluntarily chosen for himself at the behest of the Americans, who now didn’t give a darn about him, and moreover wouldn’t have commissioned any of their high profile or expensive surgeons to restore his sight.
And how very ironic that it was the offspring of Che Guevara’s assisted Cuban Revolution that in customary practice and without any fanfare whatsoever altruistically did for Mario Teran the complete opposite of what he had attempted with the savage execution of Che Guevara, but rather thankfully had miserably failed to accomplish in doing, namely assist in bringing down the Cuban Revolution that ultimately, and physically at least through medical surgery, prevented him from continuing to be the blind pillock that he evidently was; left by the Americans to live out the rest of his life – long bereft of US fair-weather friends – in abject poverty and the darkness of self-pity!
So rest in eternal peace Ernesto Che Guevara and in the certain knowledge that your enduring and commendable legacy in partnership with that of the Cuban Revolution is absolutely admired and immensely appreciated by all those who conscionably see the world not only through your eyes and deeds but also the sensational and amazing inspiration that you and the Cuban Revolution have jointly and selflessly given to enormous millions of people around the globe that everlastingly will be deeply indebted to and tremendously grateful for what you’ve done.
Ernesto Che Guevara: born June 14, 1928, Rosario, Santa Fe Argentina; died October 9, 1967 (execution) aged 39, La Higuera, Vallegrande, Bolivia. Occupation: Physician, Author, Cuban Revolutionary. Resting place: Che Guevara Mausoleum, Santa Clara, Cuba.