Hasta la victoria, siempre


For decades, Che Guevara was the most maligned figure by the CIA. An Argentine instrumental in Castro’s Cuban revolution, Guevara stood for communism, the toppling of governments by “popular uprising,” even the overthrow of the USA. To be honest, his picture struck me with fear back in the day when I was a teenager. But the Cold War has gone, well, cold. A re-evaluation might be permitted without war-whipped paranoia.

“El Che” was an inspirational personage. Free from the weight of wanting materialistic comforts, he fought unreservedly. His slogan, in Spanish in the title, is translated: “Towards (unto) victory, always.” Not even death would deter him from trying for triumph.

You may not like his atheistic humanism, but you ought not to dismiss his life — such sacrifice, such fearlessness, such passion. Where’s the Christian nowadays who matches his commitment?

For Guevara, self-denial meant dying, executed by Rangers in Bolivia, where he had tried to spark revolution. For us, “sacrifice” means getting out of bed to go to prayer. It means turning off the TV to read the Bible. Are we willing to go to the most God-forsaken lands to bring a revolution of Christian truth?

Nowadays, the insignia of Guevara has become watered down, a harmless symbol for adolescent rebelliousness. He’s become as mild as Pancho Villa or Bob Marley. My hope would be that our Christianity would retain its edge and not go mild.

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