Published: 08th October 2021
What happened on October 8: Che Guevara was captured, an earthquake hit Kashmir
This day in history is remembered as a black day by many as the two events that took place on October 8 are marred by death and destruction
This day in history marks the end of a revolutionary and the beginning of his legacy as an icon for Marxists throughout the world. Ernesto 'Che' Guevara and his comrades were captured by the US-backed Bolivian forces on October 8, 1967. Soon after his capture, the populist Bolivian President, René Barrientos, wasted no time and ordered his execution the following day.
There was just too much risk as Barrientos knew very well that if Che was allowed trial, he would call out the social ills perpetrated by the government in open court. There is more, Che's body was inhumanely put on display in the laundry house of the hospital in Vallegrande, Bolivia, after his execution.
Che writes in his memoir The Motorcycle Diaries, "I now know by an unbelievable coincidence of fate that I am destined to travel." Little did this young doctor know then that the journey throughout South America on a motorbike would first change him...and then the entire world. It was for the very first time that Che lived amidst the oppressed people of the continent, he was their friend, he was their doctor. But he wanted to cure much more, he wanted to cure the terrible disease of poverty, homelessness and oppression. Thus began his tryst with Marxism that eventually led him to Fidel Castro...and, the rest is history.
Speaking of Castro, by the early 2000s Cuba had managed to take its healthcare to new heights. In fact, to this date, Cuban doctors are deployed in parts of the world the moment a health crisis hits. This happened when COVID hit and this happened when Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir was shattered by an earthquake on October 8, 2005. With 7.6 magnitude, it was one of the worst ones the world had ever seen and it left years of trauma on the lives of thousands. The death toll is reported to have been at least 79,000, at least 32,000 buildings had collapsed.