Che Guevara

Let me say, with the risk of appearing ridiculous, that the true revolutionary is guided by strong feelings of love. It is impossible to think of an authentic revolutionary without this quality. This is perhaps one of the great dramas of a leader; he must combine an impassioned spirit with a cold mind and make painful decision without flinching. Our vanguard revolutionaries must idealise their love for the people, for the most hallowed causes, and make it one and indivisible. They cannot descend, with small doses of daily affection, to the terrain where ordinary men put their love into practice.

Man and Socialism in Cuba


Let us sum up our hopes for victory: total destruction of imperialism by eliminating its firmest bulwark: the oppression exercized by the United States of America. To carry out, as a tactical method, the peoples gradual liberation, one by one or in groups: driving the enemy into a difficult fight away from its own territory; dismantling all its sustenance bases, that is, its dependent territories.

This means a long war. And, once more we repeat it, a cruel war. Let no one fool himself at the outstart and let no one hesitate to start out for fear of the consequences it may bring to his people. It is almost our sole hope for victory. We cannot elude the call of this hour. Vietnam is pointing it out with its endless lesson of heroism, its tragic and everyday lesson of struggle and death for the attainment of final victory.

There, the imperialist soldiers endure the discomforts [sic] of those who, used to enjoying the U.S. standard of living, have to live in a hostile land with the insecurity of being unable to move without being aware of walking on enemy territory: death to those who dare take a step out of their fortified encampment. The permanent hostility of the entire population. All this has internal repercussion in the United States; propitiates the resurgence of an element which is being minimized in spite of its vigor by all imperialist forces: class struggle even within its own territory.

How close we could look into a bright future should two, three or many Vietnams flourish throughout the world with their share of deaths and their immense tragedies, their everyday heroism and their repeated blows against imperialism, impelled to disperse its forces under the sudden attack and the increasing hatred of all peoples of the world!

And if we were all capable of uniting to make our blows stronger and infallible and so increase the effectiveness of all kinds of support given to the struggling people - how great and close would that future be!

If we, in a small point of the world map, are able to fulfill our duty and place at the disposal of this struggle whatever little of ourselves we are permitted to give: our lives, our sacrifice, and if some day we have to breathe our last breath on any land, already ours, sprinkled with our blood let it be known that we have measured the scope of our actions and that we only consider ourselves elements in the great army of the proletariat but that we are proud of having learned from the Cuban Revolution, and from its maximum leader, the great lesson emanating from his attitude in this part of the world: "What do the dangers or the sacrifices of a man or of a nation matter, when the destiny of humanity is at stake."

Our every action is a battle cry against imperialism, and a battle hymn for the people's unity against the great enemy of mankind: the United States of America. Wherever death may surprise us, let it be welcome, provided that this, our battle cry, may have reached some receptive ear and another hand may be extended to wield our weapons and other men be ready to intone the funeral dirge with the staccato singing of the machine-guns and new battle cries of war and victory.

Message to the Tricontinental, 1967


Rigorous controls are needed throughout the entire organizational process. These controls begin at the base, in the production unit. They require statistics that one can feel confident are exact, as well as good habits in using statistical data. It's necessary to know how to use statistics. These are not just cold figures--although that's what they are for the majority of administrators today, with the exception of output figures. On the contrary, these figures must contain within them an entire series of secrets that must be unveiled. Learning to interpret these secrets is the task of the day.

Controls should also be applied to everything related to inventories in a unit or enterprise: the quantity on hand of raw materials, or, let's say, of spare parts or finished goods. All this should be accounted for precisely and kept up to date. This kind of accounting must never be allowed to slip. It is the sole guarantee that we can carry on work with minimal chance of interruption, depending on the distance our supplies have to travel.

To conduct inventory on a scientific basis, we also have to keep track of the stock of basic means of production. For example, we must take inventory of all the machinery a factory possesses, so that this too can be managed centrally. This would give a clear idea of a machine's depreciation--that is, the period of time over which it will wear out, the moment at which it should be replaced. We will also find out if a piece of machinery is being underutilized and should be moved to some other place.

We have to make an increasingly detailed analysis of costs, so that we will be able to take advantage of the last particle of human labor that is being wasted. Socialism is the rational allocation of human labor.

You can't manage the economy if you can't analyze it, and you can't analyze it if there is no accurate data. And there is no accurate data, without a statistical system with people accustomed to collecting data and transforming it into numbers."

Speech Given To A Ceremony To Winners Of Socialist Emulation Awards In The Ministry Of Industry In October Of 1965