Ernesto "Che" Guevara was an Argentine Marxist Revolutionary, physician, author, guerilla warfare leader, diplomat, military theorist, and a major figure during the Cuban Revolution. Today he has become an icon among popular culture and is worn on many t-shirts. 3/4 of those who wear his shirt do not even know much about Che. Che was simply a product of his environment and after travelling all over South America with his friend Alberto Granado, he was very disturbed by the poverty, sickness, and injustices he witnessed. These travels of his are written down in "The Motorcycle Diaries." He believed that these problems in South America existed because of monopoly capitalism, imperialism, and neocolonialism. In addition, he believed that the most sufficient solution to these problems was a world revolution. Guevara became even more radical in his beliefs after witnessing the coup d'état of Guatemala's government which was carried out by the United States government and CIA. Guatemala’s government was then replaced by a military junta, headed by Colonel Carlos Castillo. Che later met Raul and Fidel Castro while in Mexico City and decided to join their revolutionary group - the 26th of July Movement (named after the day of Fidel's failed attack on the Moncada barracks). They then boarded an old beat up yacht appropriately named the “Granma” and headed to Cuba to begin their revolution in an attempt to overthrow the U.S. backed dictator Fulgencio Batista.
Upon their arrival, Batista’s army takes out 2/3 of the 82 rebels and only about 12 witness their victory over Batista’s governenment after Batista flees Cuba. In January 1959, rebels led by Che Guevara captured La Cabaña and used it as a headquarters and as a military prison for several months while leading the Cuban revolution. During his five-month tenure in that post, Guevara oversaw the revolutionary tribunals and executions of suspected war criminals, traitors, chivatos (informants), and former members of Batista's secret police. Che acquired the additional position of Finance Minister as President of the National Bank, which along with Minister of Industries, placed him at the zenith of his power, as the "virtual czar" of the Cuban economy. After their victory in Cuba, Che made trips to China, the Soviet Union, and also helped rebels during the Congo Crisis. When he began his revolutionary campaign in Bolivia, no one was sure about whether he was alive or not. Ultimately, Che was discovered and captured by Bolivian forces. His finals words to his executioner were, “I know you are here to kill me. Shoot, coward, you are only going to kill a man.” As he was getting shot, he bit into his wrist to prevent himself from crying out. His body was then buried in an unmarked grave. His hands were cut off and sent to Fidel Castro with a picture of his corpse as proof of his death. In 1997 his remains were discovered and buried in Cuba.