Feature

Why Che Guevara was no hero of ours

The week's news at a glance.

Bolivia

Gustavo Espinoza AntezanaEl Diario

Every year around this time, foreign leftists flock to Bolivia to mourn the death of Che Guevara, said Gustavo Espinoza Antezana in La Paz’s El Diario. But most of us here in Bolivia don’t weep for the guerrilla leader, who died in La Higuera in 1967. Instead, we mourn the Bolivian soldiers who died fighting the “foreign invader.” Che, an Argentine who had helped launch Fidel Castro’s communist revolution, was trying to make our country into a “base of operations from which to wage violent struggle for communism.” He was an alien leader trying to force the alien concept of Soviet-style totalitarianism onto Bolivians. He did not succeed in teaching us to love Marxism. But he did, inadvertently, teach us how to defend ourselves against guerrilla warfare. The brave soldiers who died learning that lesson are the “anonymous heroes” we salute this week. Thanks to them, “Bolivia will never be a colony of some foreign power, but will live in freedom.”

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