Ernesto "Che" Guevara
(June 14, 1928 â€“ October 9, 1967) commonly known as Che Guevara,
El Che, or simply Che, was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, military theorist, international statesman and major figure of the Cuban Revolution. Since his death, his stylized visage has become a ubiquitous countercultural symbol and global insignia within popular culture.
As a young medical student, Guevara traveled throughout Latin America and was transformed by the endemic poverty he witnessed. His experiences and observations during these trips led him to conclude that the region's ingrained economic inequalities were an intrinsic result of monopoly capitalism, neocolonialism, and imperialism, with the only remedy being world revolution. This belief prompted his involvement in Guatemala's social reforms under President Jacobo Arbenz GuzmÃ¡n, whose eventual CIA-assisted overthrow solidified Guevara's radical ideology. Later, while living in Mexico city, he met Raul and Fidel Castro, joined their 26th of July Movement, and invaded Cuba aboard the Granma with the intention of overthrowing U.S.-backed Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. Guevara soon rose to prominence among the insurgents, was promoted to second in command, and played a pivotal role in the successful two year guerrilla campaign that deposed the Batista regime.