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companero che .com - the truth about Ernesto Che Guevara
 
Argentina South America Mexico Cuba Soviet Union Africa Bolivia
  - first year        
    - meeting with Fidel        

  - prison        

1956

On 24th June 1956 together with several Cubans, Ernesto was arrested by the Mexican police at the Santa Rosa ranch in Chalco. Several days before, the police had arrested Fidel Castro and after a thorough search of Mara Antonia Gonzlez's house, they found some documents that revealed the existence and location of the training camp. Both Fidel Castro and Ernesto Guevara, as well as the rest of the detainees, were sent to the Miguel Schultz prison in Mexico City.

 

"This delayed the beginning of the last part of the first stage. Some were in prison for fifty-seven days, counted one by one, under the ever-present threat of extradition hanging over our heads ... "

 

On 6th June 1956 From the Mexican prison, Ernesto sent a letter to his parents explaining the situation he was in and the cause for his arrest.

 

"Some time ago, rather a long time now, a young Cuban leader invited me to join his movement, an armed movement to liberate his country, and, of course, I accepted. Devoted to the physical training of the young people who will some day tread Cuban soil, I spent the last few months under the guise of a professor. On July 21 -- I had been absent from my home in Mexico for a month, for I was in a ranch on the outskirts -- Fidel was arrested with a group of comrades and in the house they found our addresses, so that we were all caught in the raid. I had my documents attesting to my condition as a student of Russian, which was enough to make me an important link in the organization and news agencies friendly to US imperialism started an uproar all over the world.This is a summary of these past events; future events are divided into two: the short and long terms. On the short term, let me tell you that my future is linked to the Cuban revolution. Either I succeed with it or die there ..."


On 7th June 1956 in prison he wrote a poem entitled "Poem to Fidel", in which he reaffirmed his willingness to support the young Cuban leader on his efforts to free his homeland.

 

Let's go,

Fervent prophet of the dawn,

Along hidden wireless paths

To free the green

Alligator that you love so much.

Let's go,

Routing affronts with our brows

Full of Mart's insurgent stars.

Let's swear to attain our triumph or meet death. (fragment)

 

On 31st July 1956 Ernesto Guevara was released together with Cuban Calixto Garca, after serving more than a month in jail. They were the last to leave prison, since the other detainees had been set free earlier, thanks to contacts General Lzaro Crdenas made with the Mexican president. After their detention and later release, Fidel Castro and his comrades resumed preparations, although they redoubled precautions to prevent another potential arrest.

 

Finally on 25th November 1956 from the Mexican port of Tuxpan, Ernesto Guevara traveled on board the Granma to Cuba, as part of a group of 82 expeditionaries headed by Fidel Castro.

 

"The Granma had been prepared at lightning speed: all the groceries we managed to get -- very few, as a matter of fact -- were loaded, as well as uniforms, rifles, equipment, two anti-tank guns almost with no ammunition. Finally, on November 25, 1956, at two o'clock in the morning, Fidel's words, which had been the target of derision by the official press, were beginning to come true: In the year 1956, we shall be free or we shall be martyrs. We sailed, with all the lights off, from the port of Tuxpan, amid a hellish jumble of all kinds of material and men. The weather was very bad ..."


<- Meeting with Fidel Baptism of fire in Cuba ->

   
A detailed chronology of Che's life you can find
in this book "A Brave Man" on Cuba Directo website
   

     
 

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