The Chilean Lower Chamber of Congress voted on Tuesday against a right-wing project to have Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s accomplishments erased from school textbooks and to include instead alleged “war crimes” committed in the Cuban Revolution.
“The Chilean right seeks to distort the historical reality of our country and now the rest of the world,” Communist Party legislator Carmen Hertz emphatically said when taking the floor, adding that “they intend to create a false tie between those who were supporters and accomplices of extermination policies and those who were its victims.”
After a heated debate, the project was rejected with 70 votes against, 62 in favor and 12 abstentions. Right-wing lawmakers from the Democratic Independent Union (UDI), who spearheaded the law project, aimed to demystify Che’s figure as a “hero of the left,” as many right-wing governments have tried to do so for decades yet failed once again.
Che was Argentine by birth but was a committed internationalist that helped to overthrow the Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959, under the command of Fidel Castro.
After his murder by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the hands of a Bolivian soldier in the village of La Higuera, Bolivia, on Oct. 9, 1967, Che became an international symbol of resistance, revolutionary fervor, and socialism for many generations.