Che Guevara Brigade
Iconic Picture of Che Guevara
Ernesto Guevara de la Serna (1928-1967) was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, medical journalist, author, guerilla fighter, diplomat, and military theorist. He was a major figure in the Cuban revolution.
As a young medical student, Guevara traveled throughout South America and was radicalized by the poverty, hunger and disease he witnessed. This led to a burgeoning desire to help overturn what he saw as the capitalist exploitation of Latin America by the United States. Later in Mexico, he met Raul and Fidel Castro and joined his small band of revolutionaries.
After landing in Cuba and initial losses he transformed from being the physician to a fighter and was promoted to second-in-command under Fidel Castro. He played a pivotal role in the victorious two-year guerilla campaign that disposed of the Batista regime. Following victory he served as Minister of Industry, instituting land reform, helping spearhead a nationwide successful literacy campaign, serving as Cuba’s national bank president and then traversing the globe as a diplomat.
Subsequently he returned to his life as a revolutionary, fighting in Africa and then in South America where he and his small band of fighters were tracked down by CIA-backed Bolivian forces, captured and summarily executed. Today, he is considered by many to be a symbol of rebellion and idealism.
Momument at Che Gueveras burial site in Cuba
Che Guevara Brigade
Members of the Canadian Che Guevara Brigade in Cuba
The Che Guevara Brigade is a non-profit project of the Canadian Network on Cuba. Since 1993, hundreds of people living across Canada, of various ages, skills and backgrounds have enjoyed an exciting and informative three-week stay in Cuba with the Ernesto Che Guevara Volunteer Work Brigade.
The trip provides the opportunity to look at the gains and victories of the Cuban revolution, as well as see Cuba’s challenges first hand, particularly the impacts of over 50 years of illegal economic blockade from the United States. The Che Brigade fulfills two main goals. On the one hand, it is a great way to show support for the struggle of the Cuban people to maintain their independence. On the other hand, it is an important opportunity for people from Canada to know and understand the dynamism of all aspects of life in Cuba.
The Cuban people, who are committed to maintaining their revolution and its great gains, receive the Brigade participants, known as “Brigadistas”, with warmth and friendship. The fact that Brigadistas come from Canada to share friendship, reaffirms to many Cuban people that the social change they are carrying out is important, not only for their country, but for the entire world.
The Che Brigade combines volunteer work with cultural, social, economic and political encounters in an educational context.
This is a unique chance for people from Canada to support Cuba by volunteering on an agricultural field, painting a school, or any other projects alongside Cubans. We hope you will join us for this year’s Che Brigade.
Since inception in 2000 CCFA Niagara has worked closely with the Canadian Network on Cuba in support of the Che Guevara Brigade. If you have an interest in becoming a part of this year’s brigade please give us a call and we will provide additional information as to cost, itinery, and accommodation or you may Click Here.
Vencermos translates to “we will overcome”
These 2016 American Vencermos Brigade members gathered at the Canadian side of the Fort Erie Peace Bridge preparing to cross into their homeland. Each year CCFA Niagara chapter members meet with them before they cross together. These brigade members have broken American laws by travelling to Cuba and risking sizeable fines or jail time. But each year the American customs officials turn a blind eye.
The brigade activities are coordinated with the Pastors For Peace Friendship Caravans to Cuba. Click Here.