Segments in this Video

Che Guevara: Martyr and Legend (01:43)


Che Guevara came to represent the dreams of millions of protesters in the late 1960s who went to the streets in an effort to stop all war. Death transformed Che Guevara into a legend, and a martyr for oppressed people everywhere.

Che Guevara's Ambitions (02:55)

In 1959, Fidel Castro's revolution triumphed. The American-backed regime was overthrown. Che Guevara was Castro's right-hand man. Che's ambitions went way beyond Cuba--he wanted to spread the socialist revolution abroad.

Castro's Plans for Cuba/Alliance with U.S.S.R (03:04)

Castro inherits a Cuban economy that relies on sugarcane exports to the U.S. Castro wants to rebuild Cuba as an industrial state. He appoints Che as Minister of the Economy. Castro aligns himself with the U.S.S.R. In Cuba, Che's policies fail.

Castro and Che Guevara Part Ways (04:04)

Che becomes disillusioned with the U.S.S.R., but Castro cannot afford to lose their patronage. In Cuba, Che makes speeches attacking the Kremlin. Che goes to the Congo to lead guerrilla warfare, though he is not wanted there.

Che Guevara: Unwanted in Bolivia (03:15)

Che Guevara's dream of international revolution seemed to dissolve into fantasy. He was a leader looking for a cause to lead. Castro sent Che to Bolivia to fight imperialism. Bolivia did not want Che or his revolution.

Che Guevara's Military Failures in Bolivia (02:44)

Che and his Bolivian guerrilla soldiers are forced prematurely into battle with the Bolivian army. The army discovers the identity of Che's rebels, forcing them to flee. Che is the object of a manhunt by the C.I.A. and the Bolivian army.

Capture and Death of Che Guevara (03:20)

In Bolivia, though Che Guevara came to liberate the peasants, he never earned their trust. The army catches up with Che's rebels and massacres them. Che is left with only 20 men. Che is captured and executed. He was 39 years old.

Che Guevara: Martyr and Saint (03:08)

Che's body is taken to a remote town where it is put on public display. In so doing, his enemies elevated the man into a martyr. Today, peasants believe Che brings them miracles. Che soon belonged to rebellious youth everywhere.

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A Rebel with a Cause: Death of a Man, Birth of a Legend

Part of the Series : Red Chapters: Turning Points in the History of Communism
DVD Price: $149.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $224.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $149.95



On October 9, 1967, Ernesto "Che" Guevara was summarily executed. After his mangled body was dumped in an anonymous grave, his killers hoped he would be forgotten—but Che’s enemies had underestimated him. In this program, Edward George, of the University of Bristol; General Gary Prado, the officer in charge of Che’s capture; and nurse Susan Osinaga, who cleaned Che’s dead body, discuss Che’s appeal as a Communist martyr, probe the contradictions in his character, and speculate on whether, if allowed to live, he might have slipped into obscurity as his early success in Cuba receded farther and farther into the past. (25 minutes)

Length: 26 minutes

Item#: BVL10523

Copyright date: ©1999

Closed Captioned

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Only available in USA and Canada.