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The Real Che Guevara and His Politics Today

The Real Che Guevara and His Politics Today Gerald A. Azul University of Central Florida

The Real Che Guevara and His Politics Today Abstract The subject of my research is Che Guevara. My purpose of this essay is to create an

objective analysis of Che Guevara. The majority of writings about Che lean left or right, leaving no middle ground or an objective view, each article seems to have an objective. For me to create this middle ground, I gathered multiple articles from an online database provided by the UCF Library and analyzed each article. I looked at the authors background for possible bias, their argument, how they support their argument, and the journal the articles purpose. These articles are a genre for the political science discourse community and a method of communication for political scientists to participate in the field and receive feedback. I analyze this genre to also understand the political science community since I am an aspiring political scientist. This research is to also help me learn to participate in this community.

The Real Che Guevara and His Politics Today References After researching my major as a discourse community, I realized scholarly journals and journal articles are an important genre. This is how political scientists/analysts communicate with everyone in the field. To exemplify this, in my preliminary genre analysis, I gathered articles on Che Guevara. For a research project I will analyze Che Guevara as who he is rather the folk legend and a polarized political figure. He mainly known for his part in the Cuban Revolution, and his communist policies afterwards. His actions have spurred much controversy, many love or hate him. After his death his popularity resurged, and created a strong cult of personality. My purpose is to remove the romance cloaked around this popular political figure. The writers of these articles claimed to have exposed the real Che Guevara (Fontova, 2007;

Minogue, 1972; Harris, 1998,), analyzed aspects of Che (Payne, 2011; Yaffe, 2009; McCormick, 1997), and were just pro Che (Petras,1998; McLaren, 2001). These articles show how political scientists read and write articles. It is the way they participate and receive feedback in this field. The writers read other articles and build upon their analysis. Fontova, H. (2007). Exposing The Real Che Guevara: And The Useful Idiots Who Idolize Him. New York, NY: Penguin Group. Fontova, a Cuban exile in his 2007 book asserts that Che Guevara was a bad man, on the lines of a terrorist. The author develops his argument by presenting evidence that no one has heard of or disregards. He presents this evidence in order to show the real Che Guevara and debunk all the a myth surrounding the character. The intended audience is those who are subjective Che, and attempts to disprove his praiseworthy legacy. The author wants everyone to know who the real Che is.

The Real Che Guevara and His Politics Today This helps my research because it shows me the other side of the political spectrum. Many article revere or respect Che Guevara as a politician, guerilla fighter, and overall as a person. This author is the complete opposite. For example, the writer states that the term useful idiot was coined to refer to Che. This writer from that quote shows he has no respect for Che, unlike the majority of the articles I have obtained. Having both sides of the political spectrum is very critical to this project. This source is much like McCormicks and Paynes articles since they find Che Guevara not up to par with his legacy. Yet McCormick and Paynes articles are

much less biased than Fontova. He writes his book based on the passion that opposes Che, yet he does support his claims with evidence. Guevara, E. (2003). The Motorcycle Diaries. New York, NY: Ocean Press. Guevara, the writer of this diary shows who he was in his youth. He develops this diary by writing and reflecting upon his journey on a motorcycle around Latin America. His purpose is to have an adventure before he graduates as a doctor in order to explore. The audience is anyone who picks up the book. The Motorcycle Diaries was a New York Times Best Seller, the audience for this book is beyond only academics, it is mainstream. This book can be very helpful to my research or the other way around. Many who read it could find the text as a reflection of the true Ernesto Guevara. Others interpret this writing as a propaganda channel. The book had to be approved by Fidel Castro before it was published. Many believe the Che posters and other memorabilia are just propaganda, it creates a cult of personality. For example, The enormity of our endeavor escaped us in those moments; all we could see was the dust on the road ahead and ourselves on the bike, devouring kilometers in our flight northward. The writing is beautiful almost poetic, you fall for the personality, propaganda, or both.

The Real Che Guevara and His Politics Today Harris, R. (1998). Reflections On Che Guevaras Legacy. Latin American Perspectives, 25(4), 19-32. Richard Harris, the coordinating editor of Latin American Studies in his 1998 article Reflections On Che Guevaras Legacy asserts as to why Che Guevara has a strong legacy. He

develops his argument by presenting evidence from other writers and his own personal research. His purpose is to analyze Che Guevaras legacy in order to see how it still remains strong to present day. This is meant for researchers, especially Che Scholars, academics who dedicate themselves to learning more of Che Guevara. Harriss article is relevant to my topic since the argument draws from other sources. Within the article he analyzes another writing, then pulls his own viewpoint. You can see how he created his argument. For example he writes, This essay focuses on the recently published biographies of Che written by John Lee Anderson, Jorge Castaneda, and Paco Ignacio Taibo I like how the writer presents his evidence from other writers. Mainly from the books, the author pretty much writes his own point of view, regardless of support. My only problem is that the writer was an editor for Latin American Perspectives. Latin Americas perspective is usually leftist, no necessarily unpolarized. McCormick, G.H. (1997). Che Guevara: The Legacy of a Revolutionary Man. World Policy Journal, 14(4), 63. McCormick, a Department of Defense analyst in his 1997 journal article, Che Guevara: The Legacy of a Revolutionary Man asserts the Che Geuvaras idea of a guerilla sprouted from the Cuban Revolution. He develops this argument by analyzing Ches decisions chronologically and through his personal writing Guerilla Warfare: A Method. The authors purpose was to present an analysis of Che Guevaras rise and fall in order to obtain a general understanding of

The Real Che Guevara and His Politics Today the political figure. The authors intended audiences are political analysts and those who have interests in Che Guevara, and he targets this audience by writing in an academic journal called World Policy Journal. This source is relevant to my research since it gives a general overview of my subject. For example, it covers how Ernesto Guevara became Che. It also gave an in depth analysis of Ches demise. This analysis is strictly from a military point of view rather political which is

more easily skewed. As an analyst for the Department of Defense and an instructor of warfare in a naval post graduate school, his analysis is not necessarily skewed. Hes doing what he can to learn from this guerilla fighter and maybe apply it to his teachings. For example he wrote, Che operated on the assumption that Bolivias president, Gen. Rene Barrientos was another Batista. McCormick analyzes Che from a military analyst perspective. This quote somewhat establishes a middle ground. Majority of people with knowledge of Che support his views, or disregard him as whole. This article is not blatantly biased. McLaren, P. (2001). Che Guevara, Paulo Freire, and the Politics of Hope: Reclaiming Political Pedagogy. Critical Studies: Cultural Methodologies, 1(1), 108-131. McLaren in his 2001 article in Critical Studies analyzes why the youth love Che, and his teachings to the youth. The author develops his argument by writing about a man name Paulo Freire, a fellow freedom fighter. His political have been written on walls alongside Che. He and Che have the same passions. His pupose is to analyze Freire in order to see how Che captures the hearts of youths. The audience intended could be education majors, sociologists, and Che scholars. The article is completely releveant to my topic. The title refers pedagogy, the teacing of kids. One way Che can be so popular is by capturing the hearts of young kids. Others may find

The Real Che Guevara and His Politics Today

this to be indoctrination. Freire says, The pedagogical project is created in order to place ... lives inside the classroom and to employ knowledge and transformation as weapons to change the world. The most impressionable people are the children. This article gave me great insight on Che since his popularity is mainly among youth as a symbol of rebellion. The fact that Che attempts to place an impression upon impressionable children, gives me insight into who Che really is. As in does he sound like Joseph Stalin, or John Kennedy? Minogue, K. (1972). Che Guevara. In Maurice Cranston (Ed.), Prophetic Politics (pp. 17-48). New York, NY: Touchstone. Minogue in his 1972 essay in Prophetic Politics about Che Guevara analyzes as to why he is so famous. The author develops his argument by analyzing Che in different aspects of his life. His purpose is break down Che in order to understand his revolutionary personality. This essay is geared towards political scientists, revolutionary studies, psychology and sociology majors, and individuals interested in this topic. This essay is relevant to my research since he briefly attempts at my subject. The writer attempted to analyze Che without the clouds of folk legend and myth surrounding him. He writes, Whoever seeks to disentangle a legend must begin by distinguishing the man himself from the stories woven around him. This author has already establish a middle for an analysis of Che. He looks at his personality as a whole, and certain aspects of him like his tactics. In the selection the author seems to look at Che at face value. Yet, I dont see much hardcore evidence like Richard Harris does in his writing. Payne, K. (2011), Building the Base : Al Quaedas Focoist Strategy. Studies In Conflicts and Terrorism, 34(2), 124-143.

The Real Che Guevara and His Politics Today Payne in his 2011 article in the scholarly journal, Studies In Conflict and Terrorism, he

asserts that Al- Qaeda has adapted Che Guevaras foco theory from Guerilla Warfare: A Method. He supports his argument by referencing Che Guevaras theories, and information taken from jihad strategists. The writer makes this connection between Che Guevara and Al-Qaeda in order to create an appreciation for Al-Qaeda. As in we now know Al-Qaeda is more sophisticated then we assumed. The audience intended for this article is scholars who specifically study conflict and revolution. This article is highly relevant to my research since it shows how Ches ideology is surviving today. The article did not focus on politics but guerilla strategy, and explains how AlQaeda has so much influence today. The author writes, Al-Qaeda and its affiliated global Islamists have developed a focoist strategy akin to that espoused in the 1960s by Ernesto Che Guevara. This article is not necessarily biased for or against Che. The author mainly creates a connection between Che and the modern terrorist group. This looks at Che and other movements in another light. It is a reflection on the principles they use. For example Ches foco theory, it could be in use today by a contemporary terrorist group. It presents these groups with a more sophisticated look, their actions are more deliberate. Petras, J. (1997). Latin America: Thirty Years After Che. Monthly Review, 49(5), 8-21. Petras in his 1997 article in the Monthly Review called Latin America: Thirty Years After Che suggests the extent of Ches influence even after his death. He develops his argument by presenting evidence, they were the dates of revolutions after the execution of Che. The author looks at these revolutions in order to understand Ches influence. The intended audience are those who have respect for Che. You call these people Che scholars.

The Real Che Guevara and His Politics Today This article is relevant to my research since it show the continuity of Ches ideology. I dont like that I am using the same author twice, since I am using the same bias twice. He still has the remain respect for Che as he did in the article, but the abundance of the articles about

Che by Petras establishes himself as a Che Scholar. The abundance there of can be a reflection upon Che rather the author. For example, Che Guevara's revolutionary practice and thought evolved in close relationship to the larger revolutionary processes in Latin America. The authors tone is that of El Che Vive! Petras, J. (1998). Che Guevara and Contemporary Revolutionary Movements. Latin American Perspectives, 25(4), 1-3. Petras, a political activist wrote an article in 1998 called Che Guevara and Contemporary Revolutionary Movements where he suggested that Che Guevaras ideology is widely used today. He develops his argument by first explaining Ches views on subjects like globalization, imperialism, and revolution. Then elaborating on how his idea of revolution works and how that idea remains today with contemporary guerilla factions. His purpose is to analyze Che Guevaras ideology in order to fully understand Latin Americas tendency to the left wing. The audience this article is intended to be those who are interested in leftist ideas and of course Che Guevara himself. This article is crucial to my research since it suggests how Ches ideologies are still in use today. One slight problem would be that the author leans left. The objective of my paper is to remove polarized opinions and present Che Guevara as he truly is. He writes for Latin American Perspectives, and Latin America is mostly a refuge for leftist ideologies. Yaffe, H. (2009). Che Guevaras Legacy: Not the Foco but the Theory of Socialist Construction. Latin American Perspectives, 36(2), 49-65.

The Real Che Guevara and His Politics Today Yaffe, an economist in his 2009 article called Che Guevaras Legacy: Not the Foco but the Theory of Socialist Construction in Latin American Perspectives analyzes Che Guevaras


economic policies on how and why they are changing. The author develops his analysis by going through history first. As in how Che constructed the first communist economy, and then goes into how it broke down in contemporary times. The authors purpose is to analyze the economy in order to understand why Cuba is on the path to capitalism after fifty years of communism. The intended audience are the economists. Unlike most articles about Che, this focuses on his economic policy. This article is relevant to my subject since it analyzes Ches economic policy in contemporary times. The majority of Che articles are about guerilla warfare, where he is a legend and a folk hero. This article not being in that aspect of Che removes that legendary mystique most articles have. For example, On the eve of the fiftieth anniversary of the Cuban Revolution, they declared this the death knell of Che Guevaras new socialist man. The romantic image Che in this article is removed.