A film on Che

Julio Fernández Baraibar julfb at SPAMsinectis.com.ar
Sun Nov 14 13:39:25 MST 1999

About the Che's campaign in Congo and Bolivia, Joao Paulo Monteiro wrote:

> > One of the testionies that Marcelo shows in his film is one of a retired
> > colonel of FAR who speak about the political error of the leadership in
> > Cuba, in relation with the participation of "el Che" in Congo and in
> > Bolivia.
> > I think that it is the first time that this discussion sees the public
> > light.
> This is a very delicate subject. All kinds of malevolent speculations have
been raised about it by bourgeois commentators.
> I think these projects were entirely of the responsibility of the "Che"
and he just could not be dissuaded from them. He had
> built such an intense relationship with Fidel and the cuban revolution -
based on an ethos of revolutionary daring and
> companionship - that it was impossible to say no to him. The cuban
republic tried to assist him with all the means at its
> disposal at the time (which were not many), but the projects were just so
flawed there was no way to make them triumph.
> The "Che" is revolutionary icon of this century and we all love him. But I
also think he can only serve as a source of
> emulation with great caution and reserve. He was right in his struggle
against economicism and for communist intransigence. He
> couldn't be forced to eat shit posing as "socialism". But I think he
greatly overestimated the power of the concentrated will
> of an individual  in shaping history. To use catholic terminology, he has
committed the sin of unbridled pride.

I agree. One of the most important discussions that we, in Argentina, had to
give, in the last sexties, when I began in politics, was precisely against
the abstract tactic of "armed struggle" and "guerrilla war" that was a kind
of plague among the university students. Each student of, say, Philosophy or
Art, wanted to convert himself in a guerrilla soldier with beard, black
beret and a Kalashnikov... in the middle of Buenos Aires city, in the
Corrientes street, with its theaters, cafes, restaurants and beatiful and
dreamy girls who died by a own Che Guevara in the bed.
I think that the comparison that you do with the catholic theology is a good
point, because in this thinking there was a kind of Salvation aura, the
religious feeling that your own sacrifice in the name of the poor people
could rescue them and yourself.
Anyway the interesting in this film is that a discussion on this issue
appears. This colonel, whose name I don't remember, affirms that he didn't
agree with going to Congo or Bolivia, but if Che would have said to him to
be part of the campaign he had done it, because he could not say no to Che.

> But then that is perhaps precisely the reason why we love him.

We love him by the great, the heroic, the intransigent, the socialist he
had. No by his teoric errors that, in the end, he self paid.

Julio F.B.

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