Ernesto “Che” Guevara, born in Argentina in 1928, was an influential 20th-century figure: a Marxist, revolutionary, physician and author.
His experiences of poverty led him to champion revolution, a journey that began with Fidel Castro’s successful rebellion in Cuba, where he held key government roles.
His revolutionary endeavors, however, ended with his capture and death in Bolivia in 1967.
Today, Che remains a divisive figure, idolized by some as a symbol of rebellion and criticized by others as an extremist.
His enduring legacy is embodied in his speeches, writings, the ubiquitous merchandise bearing his image and his portrayal in the film “The Motorcycle Diaries”.
I have gathered the most memorable quotes by Che Guevara for you to read.
Best Che Guevara Quotes
Be realistic, demand the impossible! ~ Che Guevara.
I know you are here to kill me. Shoot, coward, you are only going to kill a man. ~ Che Guevara.
I am not Christ or a philanthropist, old lady, I am all the contrary of a Christ… ~ Che Guevara.
Democracy is not compatible with financial oligarchy. ~ Che Guevara.
A country that does not know how to read and write is easy to deceive. ~ Che Guevara.
Live your life not celebrating victories, but overcoming defeats. ~ Che Guevara.
ry day People straighten up the hair, why not the heart? ~ Che Guevara.
We must strive everyday so that love of living humanity will be transformed into actual deeds, into acts that serve as examples, as a moving force. ~ Che Guevara.
One has to grow hard but without ever losing tenderness. ~ Che Guevara.
It’s not my fault if reality is Marxist. ~ Che Guevara.
How is it possible to feel nostalgia for a world I never knew? ~ Che Guevara.
Better to die standing, than to live on your knees. ~ Che Guevara.
You know, comrade Pachman, I don’t enjoy being a Minister, I would rather play chess like you, or make a revolution in Venezuela. ~ Che Guevara.
I have sworn before a picture of the old and mourned comrade Stalin that I won’t rest until I see these capitalist octopuses annihilated. ~ Che Guevara.
I am not a liberator. Liberators do not exist. The people liberate themselves. ~ Che Guevara.
Direct aggression against Cuba would mean nuclear war. The Americans speak about such aggression as if they did not know or did not want to accept this fact. I have no doubt they would lose such a war. ~ Che Guevara.
Famous Che Guevara Quotes
We cannot be sure of having something to live for unless we are willing to die for it. ~ Che Guevara.
Many will call me an adventurer – and that I am, only one of a different sort: one of those who risks his skin to prove his platitudes. ~ Che Guevara.
In a revolution, one triumphs or dies. ~ Che Guevara.
The enormity of our endeavor escaped us in those moments, all we could see was the dust on the road ahead and ourselves on the bike, devouring kilometers in the flight northward. ~ Che Guevara.
When forces of oppression come to maintain themselves in power against established law, peace is considered already broken. ~ Che Guevara.
The guerrilla band is not to be considered inferior to the army against which it fights simply because it is inferior in fire power. ~ Che Guevara.
I finally felt myself lifted definitively away on the winds of adventure toward worlds I envisaged would be stranger than they were, into situations I imagined would be much more normal than they turned out to be. ~ Che Guevara.
At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality. ~ Che Guevara.
Our youth must always be free, discussing and exchanging ideas concerned with what is happening throughout the entire world. ~ Che Guevara.
The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall. ~ Che Guevara.
While envisaging the destruction of imperialism, it is necessary to identify its head, which is no other than the United States of America. ~ Che Guevara.
Top Che Guevara Quotes
A new era will dawn in Africa, when the impoverished masses of a nation rise up to rescue their right to a decent life from the hands of the ruling oligarchies. ~ Che Guevara.
Blind hate against the enemy creates a forceful impulse that cracks the boundaries of natural human limitations, transforming the soldier in an effective, selective and cold killing machine. A people without hate cannot triumph against the adversary. ~ Che Guevara.
Youth must refrain from ungrateful questioning of governmental mandates. Instead they must dedicate themselves to study, work and military service. The very spirit of rebellion is reprehensible. ~ Che Guevara.
Democracy cannot consist solely of elections that are nearly always fictitious and managed by rich landowners and professional politicians. ~ Che Guevara.
Revolution is impersonal; it will take their lives, even utilizing their memory as an example or as an instrument for domesticating the youth who follow them. ~ Che Guevara.
I would rather die standing up to live life on my knees. ~ Ernesto Che Guevara.
Some give the impression they go on living only because it’s a habit they cannot shake. ~ Che Guevara.
Wrapped in a police blanket, I watched the rain and smoked one black cigarette after another… ~ Che Guevara.
I don’t care if I fall as long as someone else picks up my gun and keeps on shooting. ~ Che Guevara.
I will fight with all the weapons within my reach rather than let myself be nailed to a cross or whatever. ~ Che Guevara.
Justice remains the tool of a few powerful interests; legal interpretations will continue to be made to suit the convenience of the oppressor powers. ~ Che Guevara.
The psychological effects of the sun are strange: it had not yet appeared over the horizon and we already felt comforted, just imagining the heat it would bring. ~ Che Guevara.
The true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love. ~ Che Guevara.
Real revolutionaries adorn themselves on the inside, not on the surface. ~ Che Guevara.
The word that most perfectly describes the city of Cuzco is evocative. Intangible dust of another era settles on its streets, rising like the disturbed sediment of a muddy lake when you touch its bottom. ~ Che Guevara.
Popular Che Guevara Quotes
It is a revolution that came to power with its own army and on the ruins of the army of oppression. ~ Che Guevara.
Man truly achieves his full human condition when he produces without being compelled by the physical necessity of selling himself as a commodity. ~ Che Guevara.
There are no borders in this fight to the death; we cannot be indifferent to what is happening in any part of the world. ~ Che Guevara.
Perhaps one day tired of circling the world I’ll return to Argentina and settle in the Andean lakes if not indefinitely then at least for a pause while I shift from one understanding of the world to another. ~ Che Guevara.
If you have the capacity to tremble with indignation every time that an injustice is committed in the world, then we are comrades. ~ Che Guevara.
The life of a single human being is worth a million times more than all the property of the richest man on earth. ~ Che Guevara.
I now know, by an almost fatalistic conformity with the facts, that my destiny is to travel… ~ Che Guevara.
We are overcome by anguish at this illogical moment of humanity. ~ Che Guevara.
In these circumstances people in poor families who can’t pay their way are surrounded by an atmosphere of barely disguised acrimony; they stop being father, mother, sister or brother and become a purely negative factor in the struggle for life and, by extension, a source of bitterness for the healthy members of the community who resent their illness as if it were a personal insult to those who have to support them. ~ Che Guevara.
Cruel leaders are replaced only to have new leaders turn cruel. ~ Che Guevara.
The victory of Socialism is well worth millions of atomic victims! ~ Che Guevara.
I am not Christ or a philanthropist, old lady, I am all the contrary of a Christ I fight for the things I believe in, with all the weapons at my disposal and try to leave the other man dead so that I don’t get nailed to a cross or any other place. ~ Che Guevara.
The socialist countries have the moral duty of liquidating their tacit complicity with the exploiting countries of the West. ~ Che Guevara.
There is no other definition of socialism valid for us than that of the abolition of the exploitation of man by man. ~ Che Guevara.
Silence is argument carried out by other means. ~ Che Guevara.
A smoke in times of rest is a great companion to the solitary soldier. ~ Che Guevara.
Great Che Guevara Quotes
Imperialism has been defeated in many partial battles. But it remains a considerable force in the world, and we cannot expect its final defeat save through effort and sacrifice on the part of all of us. ~ Che Guevara.
Distant countries, heroic deeds and beautiful women spun around in our turbulent dream. ~ Che Guevara.
We travel just to travel. ~ Che Guevara.
The fundamental principle is that no battle, combat, or skirmish is to be fought unless it will be won. ~ Che Guevara.
I knew that the moment the great governing spirit strikes the blow to divide all humanity into just two opposing factions, I would be on the side of the common people. ~ Che Guevara.
It is not a matter of wishing success to the victim of aggression, but of sharing his fate; one must accompany him to his death or to victory. ~ Che Guevara.
It is important to emphasize that guerrilla warfare is a war of the masses, a war of the people. The guerrilla band is an armed nucleus, the fighting vanguard of the people. ~ Che Guevara.
Let the world change you and you can change the world. ~ Che Guevara.
If any person has a good word for the previous government that is good enough for me to have him shot. ~ Che Guevara.
A revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate. We must create the pedagogy of the ‘The Wall’! ~ Che Guevara.
To send men to the firing squad, judicial proof is unnecessary. These procedures are an archaic bourgeois detail. This is a revolution! And a revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate. ~ Che Guevara.
Terrorism should be considered a valuable tactic when it is used to put to death some noted leader of the oppressing forces well known for his cruelty, his efficiency in repression, or other quality that makes his elimination useful. ~ Che Guevara.
The desire to sacrifice an entire lifetime to the noblest of ideals serves no purpose if one works alone. ~ Che Guevara.
Revolution cleanses men, improving them as the experimental farmer corrects the defects of his plants. ~ Che Guevara.
Once again I feel beneath my heels the ribs of Rocinante. Once more, I’m on the road with my shield on my arm. ~ Che Guevara.
Terrorism should be considered a valuable tactic when it is used to put to death some noted leader of the oppressing forces well known for his cruelty, his efficiency in repression, or other quality that makes his elimination useful. But the killing of persons of small importance is never advisable, since it brings on an increase of reprisals, including deaths. ~ Che Guevara.
Above all, always be capable of feeling deeply any injustice committed against anyone, anywhere in the world. ~ Ernesto Che Guevara.
The world must not only be interpreted, it must be transformed. Man ceases to be the slave and tool of his environment and converts himself into the architect of his own destiny. ~ Che Guevara.
In fact, if Christ himself stood in my way, I, like Nietzsche, would not hesitate to squish him like a worm. ~ Che Guevara.
Inspiring Che Guevara Quotes
It is not just a simple game, it is a weapon of the revolution. ~ Che Guevara.
My tired eyes refused to sleep and in them a pair of green spots swirled, representing the world I had left for dead behind me and mocking the so-called liberation I sought. They harnessed their image to my extraordinary flight across the lands and seas of the world. ~ Che Guevara.
Individualism as such, as the isolated action of a person alone in a social environment, must disappear in Cuba. Individualism tomorrow should be the proper utilization of the whole individual, to the absolute benefit of the community. ~ Che Guevara.
The question is one of fighting the causes and not just being satisfied with getting rid of the effects. ~ Che Guevara.
The final hour of colonialism has struck, and millions of inhabitants of Africa, Asia and Latin America rise to meet a new life and demand their unrestricted right to self-determination. ~ Che Guevara.
As long as imperialism exists it will, by definition, exert its domination over other countries. Today that domination is called neocolonialism. ~ Che Guevara.
One does not necessarily have to wait for a revolutionary situation: it can be created. ~ Che Guevara.
The sea danced on the small stretch of beach, indifferent to its own eternal law and spawning its own note of caution. ~ Che Guevara.
For me, the sea has always been a confidant, a friend absorbing all it is told and never revealing those secrets; always giving the best advice – its meaningful noises can be interpreted any way you choose. ~ Che Guevara.
There are no boundaries in this struggle to the death. We cannot be indifferent to what happens anywhere in the world, for a victory by any country over imperialism is our victory; just as any country’s defeat is a defeat for all of us. ~ Che Guevara.
We must not return to the practice of hiding our defects so they may not be seen. That would be neither honest nor revolutionary. ~ Che Guevara.
I wanted to take part in the liberation of even a small piece of enslaved Latin America. ~ Che Guevara.
Its vast and jarring rhythm hammered at the fortress within me and threatened its imposing serenity. ~ Che Guevara.
Guerrilla warfare is used by the side which is supported by a majority but which possesses a much smaller number of arms for use in defense against oppression. ~ Che Guevara.
Arms cannot be regarded as merchandise in our world. They should be delivered to the peoples asking for them for use against the common enemy without any charge at all, and in quantities determined by the need and their availability. ~ Che Guevara.
We must do away with all newspapers. A revolution cannot be accomplished with freedom of the press. ~ Che Guevara.
We have no right to believe that freedom can be won without struggle. ~ Che Guevara.
To execute a man we don’t need proof of his guilt. We only need proof that it’s necessary to execute him. It’s that simple. ~ Che Guevara.
Memorable Che Guevara Quotes
Che is transformed into a hardened symbol of resistance, a symbol of the fight for what is just, of passion, of the necessity of being fully human, multiplied infinitely in the ideals and weapons of those who struggle. This is what the front men and their omnipotent handlers fear. ~ Che Guevara.
Americans are given the sole option of electing their jailer for four years and sometimes do him the honour of re-electing him. ~ Che Guevara.
It’s a sad thing not to have friends, but it is even sadder not to have enemies. ~ Che Guevara.
War is always a struggle in which each contender tries to annihilate the other. Besides using force, they will have recourse to all possible tricks and stratagems to achieve the goal. ~ Che Guevara.
It is an illusion to think that the matter cannot be resolved through words. ~ Che Guevara.
The best form of saying is being. ~ Che Guevara.
What do we leave behind when we cross each frontier? Each moment seems split in two: melancholy for what was left behind and the excitement of entering a new land. ~ Che Guevara.
Peaceful coexistence cannot be limited to the powerful countries if we want to ensure world peace. ~ Che Guevara.
Youth should learn to think and act as a mass. It is criminal to think as individuals! ~ Che Guevara.
The first duty of a revolutionary is to be educated. ~ Che Guevara.
Above all, try always to be able to feel deeply any injustice committed against any person in any part of the world. It is the most beautiful quality of a revolutionary. ~ Che Guevara.
The revolution is made through human beings, but individuals must forge their revolutionary spirit day by day. ~ Che Guevara.
Words that do not match deeds are not important. ~ Che Guevara.
To accomplish much you must first lose everything. ~ Che Guevara.
The walls of the educational system must come down. Education should not be a privilege, so the children of those who have money can study. ~ Che Guevara.
Unique Che Guevara Quotes
This is not a story of heroic feats, or merely the narrative of a cynic; at least I do not mean it to be. It is a glimpse of two lives running parallel for a time, with similar hopes and convergent dreams. ~ Che Guevara.
The ultimate and most important revolutionary aspiration: to see human beings liberated from their alienation. ~ Che Guevara.
The myth of the self-made man, has to be profoundly hypocritical: it is the self-serving demonstration that a lie is the truth. ~ Che Guevara.
How can it be “mutually beneficial” to sell at world market prices the raw materials that cost the underdeveloped countries immeasurable sweat and suffering. ~ Che Guevara.
I knew that when the great guiding spirit cleaves humanity into two antagonistic halves, I would be with the people. I know this, I see it printed in the night sky that I, eclectic dissembler of doctrine and psychoanalyst of dogma, howling like one possessed, will assault the barricades or the trenches, will take my bloodstained weapon, and consumed with fury, slaughter any enemy who falls into my hands. ~ Che Guevara.
Chess is an effective means to educate and train the human intellect. ~ Che Guevara.
Whenever death may surprise us, let it be welcome if our battle cry has reached even one receptive ear and another hand reaches out to take up our arms. ~ Che Guevara.
So these were the 119 top Che Guevara quotes and sayings on revolution, love, education and socialism.