(Author’s note: This is an updated, re-edited essay, based on a 2007 written for a Celebration of Ernesto Che Guevara’s life held in October 2007 in New York City in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of his execution, attended by 300 people.)
Che died defending no other interest, no other cause than the cause of the exploited and the oppressed of this continent. Che died defending no other cause than the cause of the poor and the humble of this earth.
— Fidel Castro, October 18, 1967
On October 9, 1967, the highest levels of the United States government transmitted orders to CIA-operative Felix Rodriguez who passed them on to Washington’s flunkies in the Bolivian military regime. The orders were to murder Ernesto Che Guevara – a wounded combatant captured in battle. They proceeded to display Che’s mutilated corpse to gawking journalists and selected spectator-voyeurs before burying his remains in what they planned on forever being a secret, unmarked grave.
Above all, the Washington decision-makers understood there could be no trial, even a phony formality in their own rigged courts, for Ernesto Che Guevara. As Fidel Castro stated in his extraordinarily powerful and moving tribute to Che given before one million Cubans on October 18, 1967, the imperialist “thugs, oligarchs, and mercenaries” shamelessly conceded why they murdered the wounded and disarmed Che. “…They explain why they did it. They assert that Che’s trial…