Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Che Guevara, fully Ernesto “Che” Guevara

Argentine Marxist Revolutionary, Physician, Author, Intellectual, Guerrilla Leader, Diplomat and Military Theorist, major figure of the Cuban Revolution

"Silence is argument carried out by other means."

"The true revolutionary is guided by feelings of great love."

"A country that does not know how to read and write is easy to deceive."

"A number of students denounce state intervention and the loss of university autonomy. This student sector reflects its class background while forgetting its revolutionary obligation. This sector has not realized that it has an obligation to workers and peasants. Our workers and peasants died beside the students in order to attain power."

"Above all, always be capable of feeling deeply any injustice committed against anyone, anywhere in the world."

"Adherence to principles, and adherence to the individual combine to make the Rebel Army an indivisible fist."

"Along the way, I had the opportunity to pass through the dominions of the United Fruit, convincing me once again of just how terrible these capitalist octopuses are. I have sworn before a picture of the old and mourned comrade Stalin that I won't rest until I see these capitalist octopuses annihilated."

"And above all always be capable of feeling deeply any injustice committed against anyone anywhere in the world. It is the most beautiful quality of a revolutionary."

"Always to victory."

"And the imperialists? Will they sit with their arms crossed? No! The system they practice is the cause of the evils from which we are suffering, but they will try to obscure the facts with spurious allegations, of which they are masters."

"A petty concern with mere evidence is an antiquated and bourgeois feature of the captalist legal system. We are revolutionaries. We convict from a revolutionary passion."

"After graduation, due to special circumstances and perhaps also to my character, I began to travel throughout America, and I became acquainted with all of it. Except for Haiti and Santo Domingo, I have visited, to some extent, all the other Latin American countries. Because of the circumstances in which I traveled, first as a student and later as a doctor, I came into close contact with poverty, hunger and disease; with the inability to treat a child because of lack of money; with the stupefaction provoked by the continual hunger and punishment, to the point that a father can accept the loss of a son as an unimportant accident, as occurs often in the downtrodden classes of our American homeland. And I began to realize at that time that there were things that were almost as important to me as becoming famous for making a significant contribution to medical science: I wanted to help those people."

"And yet every so often, the heart of America, shuddering with indignation, sends a nervous spasm through the gentle back of the Andes, and tumultuous shock waves assault the surface of the land. Three times the cuppola of proud Santo Domingo has collapsed from on high to the rhythm of broken bones and its worn walls have opened and fallen too. But the foundations they rest on are unmoved, the great blocks of the Temple of the Sun exhibit their gray stone indifferently; however colossal the disaster befalling its oppressor, not one of its huge rocks shifts from its place."

"And then many things became very clear... we learned perfectly that the life of a single human being is worth millions of times more than all the property of the richest man on earth."

"As Marxists we have maintained that peaceful coexistence among nations does not encompass coexistence between the exploiters and the exploited, between the oppressors and the oppressed."

"At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality. We must strive every day so that this love of living humanity will be transformed into actual deeds, into acts that serve as examples, as a moving force."

"At night, after the exhausting games of canasta, we would look out over the immense sea, full of white-flecked and green reflections, the two of us leaning side by side on the railing, each of us far away, flying in his own aircraft to the stratospheric regions of our own dreams. There we understood that our vocation, our true vocation, was to move for eternity along the roads and seas of the world. Always curious, looking into everything that came before our eyes, sniffing out each corner but only ever faintly - not setting down roots in any land or staying long enough to see the substratum of things; the outer limits would suffice."

"Better to die standing, than to live on your knees."

"Don't Shoot! I'm Che. I'm worth more to you alive than dead!"

"Cruel leaders are replaced only to have new leaders turn cruel!"

"Be realistic, demand the impossible!"

"Cuba became the sugar producing and exporting country par excellence; and if she did not develop even further in this respect, the reason is to be found in the capitalist contradictions which put a limit to a continuous expansion of the Cuban sugar industry, which depended almost entirely on North American capital."

"Either we are able to defeat the opposing views with the discussion, or should we leave them to express. You cannot beat the views by force, because this blocks the free development of intelligence."

"Every day People straighten up the hair, why not the heart?"

"Every day people fixes her hair, why not the heart?"

"Every person has the truth in his heart. No matter how complicated his circumstances, no matter how others look at him from the outside, and no matter how deep or shallow the truth dwells in his heart, once his heart is pieced with a crystal needle, the truth will gush forth like a geyser."

"Guerrilla warfare is a people's warfare; an attempt to carry out this type of war without the population's support is a prelude to inevitable disaster."

"Far more important than a good remuneration is the pride of serving one's neighbor."

"His wife spotted the danger in our resolutely bohemian ways. You have only one year left before you qualify as a doctor and yet you're going away? You have no idea when you'll be back? But why? We couldn't give precise answers to her desperate questions and this horrified her."

"I also know - and this won't alter the course of history or your personal view of me - that you will die with a clenched fist and a tense jaw, the epitome of hatred and struggle, because you are not a symbol (some inanimate example) but a genuine member of the society to be destroyed; the spirit of the beehive speaks through your mouth and motivates your actions. You are as useful as I am, but you are not aware of how useful your contribution is to the society that sacrifices you."

"I do not care where or when I die, but only a placebo that does not sleep bourgeois all their weight over the bodies of the children of the poor and the suffering that the world does not fall asleep with all his weight on the skulls desperate and hard-working."

"I am not interested in dry economic socialism. We are fighting against misery, but we are also fighting against alienation. One of the fundamental objectives of Marxism is to remove interest, the factor of individual interest, and gain, from people's psychological motivations. Marx was preoccupied both with economic factors and with their repercussions on the spirit. If communism isn't interested in this too, it may be a method of distributing goods, but it will never be a revolutionary way of life."

"I am not a liberator. Liberators do not exist. The people liberate themselves."

"I don't care if I fall as long as someone else picks up my gun and keeps on shooting."

"I do not agree with what you say, but I'll stand to the death defending your right to say what you want."

"I do not care where and when to die as much as I'd stay home."

"I feel on my face all the pain slap went Elymazlom in the this world, wherever he found injustice, the same is the national."

"I do not know limits national whole world."

"I don't know if the Cuban revolution will survive or not. It's difficult to say. But [if it doesn't] . . . don't come looking for me among the refugees in the embassies. I've had that experience, and I'm not ever going to repeat it. I will go out with a machine gun in my hand, to the barricades. . . I'll keep fighting to the end."

"I fight for the things I believe in, with all the weapons at my disposal and try to leave the other man dead so that I don't get nailed to a cross or any other place."

"I knew that when the great guiding spirit cleaves humanity into two antagonistic halves, I would be with the people. I know this, I see it printed in the night sky that I, eclectic dissembler of doctrine and psychoanalyst of dogma, howling like one possessed, will assault the barricades or the trenches , will take my bloodstained weapon, and consumed with fury, slaughter any enemy who falls into my hands."

"I finally felt myself lifted definitively away on the winds of adventure toward worlds I envisaged would be stranger than they were, into situations I imagined would be much more normal than they turned out to be."

"I knew that the moment the great governing spirit strikes the blow to divide all humanity into just two opposing factions, I would be on the side of the common people."

"I know you are here to kill me. Shoot, coward, you are only going to kill a man."

"If they attack, we shall fight to the end. If the rockets had remained, we would have used them all and directed them against the very heart of the United States, including New York, in our defense against aggression. But we haven't got them, so we shall fight with what we've got."

"I would rather die standing up to live life on my knees."

"If any person has a good word for the previous government that is good enough for me to have him shot."

"If you tremble with indignation at every injustice, then you are a comrade of mine."

"If you tremble before any injustice, no matter where it is, then we are companions."

"If you want to know the people, will not have an understanding of life - human life. Those buildings not only the beauty of archaeological rigid .. But the spirit of the people and attributes of living in the elderly, and in the wayfarer talk to him"