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A model revolutionary

che monumentoExcerpts from Fidel’s speech delivered during the memorial ceremony for Comandante Ernesto Che Guevara, in Havana’s Plaza de la Revolución, October 18, 1967

“Che was one of those people who was liked immediately, for his simplicity, his character, his naturalness, his comradely attitude, his personality, his originality … the type of man who, when a difficult mission must be completed, doesn’t wait for you to ask him to take on the mission …”

“This was one of his principal characteristics: his willingness to instantly volunteer for the most dangerous mission. And naturally this aroused admiration – and twice the usual admiration, for a fellow combatant fighting alongside us who had not been born here, a person of profound ideas, a person in whose mind dreams boiled of struggle in other parts of the continent, and who nonetheless was so altruistic, so selfless, so willing to always do the most difficult things, to constantly risk his life.”

“Che was an incomparable soldier. Che was an incomparable leader. Che was, from a military point of view, an extraordinarily capable man, extraordinarily courageous, extraordinarily aggressive. If, as a guerrilla, he had his Achilles’ heel, this Achilles’ heel was this excessively aggressive quality, his absolute contempt for danger.”

“Che was a master of war… Che was an artist of the guerilla struggle…The artist may die – especially when he is an artist in a field as dangerous as revolutionary struggle – but what will surely never die is the art to which he dedicated his life, the art to which he dedicated his intelligence.”

“He was a man of profound thought, of visionary intelligence, a profoundly cultured man… Che, as a revolutionary, possessed the virtues that can be defined as the fullest expression of the virtues of a revolutionary: a man of total integrity, a man with a supreme sense of honor, of absolute sincerity, a man of stoic and Spartan living habits, a person in whose conduct not a single stain can be found. He constituted, given his virtues, what can be called a truly model revolutionary.”

“…That is why we say, when we think of his life, when we think of his conduct, that he constituted a singular case of a most extraordinary man, able to unite in his personality not only the characteristics of the man of action, but also of a man of thought, of immaculate revolutionary virtues, and of extraordinary human sensibility, joined with an iron character, a will of steel, indomitable tenacity.”

“Che’s writings, Che’s political and revolutionary thought, will be of permanent value to the Cuban revolutionary process and to the Latin American revolutionary process. And we do not doubt that his ideas… have and will continue to have universal value.”


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