Che Guevara was a prominent communist figure during the Cuban Revolution. But after his execution, authorities seem to have lost his remains? Were they able to recover it?
After Che Guevara was executed in 1967, his hands were severed for identification purposes. Shortly after, his body went missing. His remains were finally found in 1997 near an airstrip in Vallegrande, as revealed by a retired general.
Who is Che Guevara?
Ernesto Guevara dela Serna was born on June 14, 1928 in Rosario, Argentina. He was the eldest of five children born to a Spanish-Irish family. Being of middle-class, he had what he needed. He had developed an affinity for the poor and leftist views as influenced by his family at an early age.
He had acute asthma, but even so, he excelled in several sports activities. He enjoyed swimming, football, golf, rugby, and shooting. Guevara also excelled in academics that he finished medical school by 1953.
Before graduating from med school, Guevara went on a hiatus for nine months. He went on a trip with his friend Alberto Granado, with his motorcycle called The Powerful. The duo went through Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela. Guevara continued the journey to Miami alone and returned home by plane since they ditched his motorcycle when it broke down. During this trip, Guevara kept a journal that was published under his family’s guidance. The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey. It was then adapted to a film by 2004. In his journal, he expressed how much his views on the world had changed after the trip. (Source: Britannica)
The Rise of the Che Guevara
In 1953, Guevara went to Guatemala. At the time, Jacobo Arbenz headed the progressive regime that was starting a social revolution. It was also then when Guevara acquired his nickname Che. In 1954, Arbenz’s regime was overthrown by a coup that the US CIA supported. This gave Guevara the idea that the United States would always oppose any progressive leftist government.
Guevara’s goal became clear at this point; bring about socialism through a worldwide revolution. It was in Guatemala when Guevara became a dedicated Marxist. (Source: Britannica)
What Was Che Guevara’s Involvement in the Cuban Revolution?
Guevara left Guatemala and headed to Mexico. There he met Fidel Castro and his brother Raul Castro. As political exiles, they were planning to take over Fulgencio Batista’s regime in Cuba. Guevara joined the Castro brothers’ 26th of July Movement. They were almost wiped out, as Batista’s Army detected them. There were only a few survivors, including Guevara, who was wounded.
The group reached Sierra Maestra, and there they started the guerrilla army. They slowly gained strength and recruits. The rebel group also armed themselves by seizing weapons from Batista’s Army. Guevara’s initial role was to be the force’s doctor, but he was also trained in weapon use and became quite close with Castro. (Source: Britannica)
How Did Che Guevara Die?
Guevara resigned from his position in the Cuban government. He also renounced his citizenship. After his failed attempts in Congo, he fled to Tanzania then moved to a village near Prague. By 1966, Guevara went to Bolivia to start and lead a guerrilla group in Santa Cruz.
Unfortunately, the rebel group found themselves on the run from the Bolivian Army. By October 8, 1967, the group was almost annihilated by a special task force aided by the CIA. Guevara was severely wounded in this attack; he was then captured and shot.
Before his body disappeared, his hands were cut off and preserved in formaldehyde so that his fingerprints could be used to confirm his identity. (Source: Britannica)
Where Did They Find Che Guevara’s Body?
In 1995, Jon Lee Anderson, one of Guevara’s biographers, announced that several of the rebels were buried in a mass grave near Vallegrande. A retired general had tipped them off. By 1997, a skeleton believed to be Guevara’s had been recovered and transported to Cuba. (Source: Britannica)