Che: Part One (2008) Script

So they wanna get a sound level. Could you say something?

Translate, boy. What did she say?

Sorry? I wanna get a sound level.

Could you say something into the microphone?

One, two, three...

Is that where you're gonna sit?

Unless you'd like me to move.

That's a good place. As long as that's it, that's fine.

Okay, we're set.

What if recent United States efforts to help the Latin American people are successful?

If the ruling classes agreed to land reforms and tax reforms, if the standard of living could be raised, wouldn't the message of the Cuban revolution lose its power?

Do what you want, but don't mess with the Americans.

It's pretty simple. All we have to do is organize a coup.

What did Batista do? He led a coup and took power in one day.

The main issue is to control power. The rest is nonsense.

It's not about taking power, but knowing what to do with it.

That's right. That coup must be based on principles.

Let's eat. Fidel is late.

Argentine! Could you give me a hand?

It's not about making concessions but establishing conditions.

Sorry I'm late. It's about time!

Good evening. Sorry I'm late.

This is Ernesto.

The Argentine doctor. Pleased to meet you.

My pleasure. Let's eat!

Twenty percent of all Cubans are permanently unemployed.

One-point-five percent of the landowners control 46 percent of the land.

Half the population has no electricity. Over half live in bohios.

Sorry, what's a bohio?

What's a bohio in Argentina?

A shack.

Thirty-seven percent can't read or write.

Infant mortality is through the roof.

What's more, while the thugs of the dictatorship gun down anyone who speaks out, most corrupt officials steal hundreds of millions of dollars from the public treasury and deposit it into U.S. and European banks.

It's the same in all Latin American countries.

In the last few years, the balance of payments between the U.S. and Cuba has been favorable to the U.S. by 1 billion dollars.

What does this mean?

That this poor Caribbean island is helping to support the economy of the most developed country in the world.

As Marti used to say, if the U.S. takes Spain out of Cuba, then we would have to take out the U.S.

Do you have a boat?


Not yet.


We've smuggled 30 into Mexico. We'll get some more.

Do you think I'm crazy?

A little.

Well, some craziness is good.

Fidel have extraordinary faith that once we left for Cuba, we would make it there, and that once we made it to Cuba, we would fight.

And that in fighting, we would win.

And so it was that in November of '56, we left Mexico in a...

A leaky boat, with 82 men on board.

And of those 82, only 12 would survive to witness our victory.

Murderer! Assassin!

Get out of Cuba, Che! Murderer!

Among Fidel Castro's top lieutenants, one of the most powerful is Major Ernesto "Che" Guevara, the Argentine revolutionary who became a Cuban citizen and, as Minister of Industries, now presides over the Cuban economy.

Major Guevara is a Marxist, a soldier, a physician, and the author of the classic handbook on guerilla warfare.

He is 36 years old.

He has been called the brains of the revolution and the power behind Fidel Castro, though he denies both assertions.

From this point forward, we experienced 10 bitter days.

The only way I could walk was to hold myself up with the trees, or by leaning on the butt of my rifle.

As if that were not enough, I was traveling with a soldier who panicked every time my asthma made me cough.

Soldiers! Soldiers are coming! There's a lot of them!

They're going to kill us! We have to hide!

That's Epifanio's house!

Close the door.

Where's Fidel?

My name is Ernesto Guevara. What's yours?

Jorge Sotús, why?

I have orders from Fidel to command you and your men, and lead you to where he is.

Where are you from?


I don't trust anyone. I'm the only one leading these troops.

Frank Pais said to deliver these men to Fidel, personally.

Listen! We'll stop for five minutes.

Sit down, everyone.

Hey, what's going on?

Fidel is coming! Go and tell the doctor.

Stand up, come on! Fidel is coming.

Stand up.

Come on, up! Grab your rifle.


Good to see you. Are you all right?

This is Epifanio.

Raúl. How are you?

Very good.


How was your vacation? Vacation? What vacation?


Hello, Ramiro.

Hi, Vilma. Good to see you.


Hello, Celia.



Fidel wants to talk to you about what happened with Sotús.

Let him speak.

If you say something, it could sound defensive, and he's not going to like that.

I left you in charge of the reinforcements.

I don't have anything against Jorge Sotús, but how can you let someone with no experience take charge of the troops?

You still have this complex about being foreign, and it's pointless.

You trained with us, you came in the boat with us, you were wounded fighting with us.

You are as Cuban and revolutionary as everyone here.

We are forming three columns.

Raúl will lead the first one.

Almeida will be in charge of the second one.

And Jorge Sotús will command the third one.

I did all my studies, finished high school, then I worked as a mechanic for two or three years.

I then delivered milk around the area. Also worked as a boxer.

And in a circus, working as a magician, among other things.

In a circus? How old are you?


Who gave them to you? The one and only Celia Sánchez!

He looks like John Wayne.

A cowboy from the Wild West. The Little Cowboy.

That's it: "The Little Cowboy"!

Little Cowboy! Little Cowboy!

The army keeps moving up and down the road, Fidel.

It would be pretty easy to hunt a couple of patrols.

We must be patient. I agree, it would be easy to do.

We could do it fast and safely. No, listen a second.

If we attack one of the trucks, then the army would say it was a crash on the road.

But if we launch a full attack on the Uvero barracks, it will be impossible for them to deny our victory.

It will have a huge psychological impact. Do you understand?

Sotús isn't in position, but he can't move because it's getting light out.

I don't know about the others. It's hard to see because...

Fuck, I missed!

Get down!

I have a saint watching over me! He protects me from everything!

Are you okay?

It's my arm and leg. Stay calm.

Don't fall asleep.

In War and Peace, Tolstoy remarks that military science assumes that the bigger the army, the stronger it is.

On the other hand, only vaguely do they recognize that during military combat, the final strength of an army is also its true physical capacity, multiplied by one unknown "x."

This "x" is none other than the spirit of the troops, measured as the greater or lesser desire to fight and confront danger.

Men with the desire to fight, who also understand why they are fighting, regardless of who they are fighting, whether under the command of military geniuses or those of normal intelligence, fighting with clubs or with machine guns that fire 30 rounds a minute, these men will put themselves in the most advantageous conditions for fighting, and they will triumph.

Light this up! Come on!

What are we going to do now?

Take the barracks.

Come on!

Take this, motherfuckers!

From then on, Batista began to close his Sierra Maestra barracks, and Fidel was right.

It was exactly as José Marti said:

Whoever takes the Sierra Maestra takes Cuba.

On our side, six comrades are dead and 17 are wounded.

Of the 17, six can't walk.

How is Almeida?

He's fine. He's being treated.

Get the prisoners. They're coming with us.

Excuse me, doctor.

I have no experience in this kind of situation.

There's a man over there who is choking.

Okay, guys, we gotta get out of here. Come on, they're coming.

Let's go, guys.

Leave that.

You're okay. Help him.

Che, we have to leave right now.

Hey, shithead. Leave that.

We have to go! Come on!

Israel Pardo's farm is not far.

Ernesto can take the wounded there. No.

When they recover, we can meet up with you later.

That could be very dangerous.

They're going to flood this area with troops now.

Fidel. We don't have a choice.

Let's think about it.

Anyway, give him the best weapons.

So Fidel is off attacking towns to the west.

Was it frustrating to you as a revolutionary, nursing 20 wounded men, trying to get them inland?

A real revolutionary goes where he is needed.

It may not be direct combat.

Sometimes it's about doing other tasks: finding food, dressing wounds, carrying comrades for miles and then taking care of them until they can take care of themselves.

This is what it means.

Was it during this period that you discovered what you were fighting for?

I always knew why I was fighting, but I can tell you that it was during the March of the Wounded in June of 1957 that I became the fighter I am today.

And once that happens, it leaves you only one path.

Then it seems you can never stop being a revolutionary.

I do not have any plans to retire.

It's infected.

We'll have to leave it uncovered.

I have to walk with my ass naked?


Vilo smells something.

Let's pick some guavas before going back.

Stop there, buddy.

What are you two doing here?

We're from here. What's your name?

Israel. Israel what?

Israel Pardo.

What's his name? He's my brother, Guile.

Ernesto Guevara. Did we scare you?


Good, man, good.

We have to take him to a hospital.

Give me a swig.

Can we trust anyone to take him out of here?


Soldiers tell people that the rebels kill them and steal their food.

My mother is from here and my father came from Haiti.

When he met my mother, we moved to a farm that belonged to Juanito Echevarria.

He gave us a piece of land to grow coffee.

But we had to clear it and plant the seeds.

And we had to give him a third of our crop.

And one day Juanito decided to kick us out.

When my father knew he had to leave, he stood in front of Juanito Echevarria and said, "I'll leave if you want, but you have to pay.

You have to pay me for the four years that I worked here."

Do you know what Juanito Echevarría paid us for four years of work?

One hundred pesos.

My old man got 100 pesos for four years.

Be careful.


This is the bullet I removed from your body.

You're a champ.

I'm going to get better now. Yes.

COP 1: Let's go. Keep them back, back.

Keep them back.

They have missiles aimed at the United States.

Good morning. Would the commander like some makeup?

No. No, thank you.

You sure? All right.

Maybe a little powder.

Excuse me? Excuse me.

Maybe a little powder? All right.

Two hundred million Latin Americans that die of hunger.

All these people contribute to the economic greatness of the United States.

Revolutions are not exportable.

Revolutions are created by the oppressive conditions that are imposed by the Latin American governments against its people.


Well done. Good job.

Listen, I'd like to ask you a few more questions off the record.

Should we do that? Yeah.

If I don't work, I don't eat. And you are on welfare.

Go back to work in Cuba.

The people of the Third World must be able to fight for their own freedom, even if this means defying the wishes of the Soviet bloc?

Cuba doesn't align herself with blocs, she aligns herself with justice.

The United States wants us to pay a very high price for the not-so-peaceful coexistence that we live in today.

And we're willing to pay the price that takes us to the frontiers of dignity, not beyond.

What's the point of the U.N. if our fate is determined by the OAS, an organization that expelled us and to which we no longer have ties?

Excuse me, Comandante.

Will you need me tonight?

Little boy, no one is so necessary or indispensable in this life.

Don't go thinking that you are indispensable.

Go, do what you need to do.

I am going to give you a little checkup... beginning with your ears. Is that okay?


Too much work and not enough to eat.

Maria, try to eat meat whenever you can.

All right? Thanks, doctor.

Let's go, Laura. Goodbye.

Mommy, that guy's a liar. He says the same thing to everyone.

Where does it hurt? Nothing really hurts.

I just came to see you because I've never seen a doctor before.

Well, you've seen one now. I'm here for you.

Excuse me.

Can I have your canteen, so I can fill it?

Thank you, Guile.

Listen, doctor.

I want to go with you all.

First you have to learn to read and write, man.

I can learn.

Very good, Guile.

But I still can't take you because I don't have a gun to give you.

But I don't care, I want to help.

We need your help here.

Good morning. Good morning.

Where do you come from? From Bayamo.

All of you?

If you are armed, you can stay.

If you're not, you have to leave right now.

Esteban, come here.

Man, didn't I tell you to only bring men with weapons?

If we're attacked, how the hell are they going to defend themselves?

Have you been drinking?


Where did you get that from?

I found it.


Listen, what's your name?



How old are you?


They gave you a tremendous shotgun.

They must like you.

If they liked me they'd let me keep my rifle and not this stupid shotgun.

They would have made me leader of a column, and we would be fighting by now instead of crossing these mountains.

With your permission, doctor.

We were standing guard last night but our relief never came.

We stayed until 6 in the morning. We never found out where they were.

We try to follow the rules, but it's not easy.

Hey, Joel!

Didn't you organize the watch last night?

Yes, sir. Why?

Omar and Carlos were on watch for four hours and relief never showed.

Those guys are stupid shitheads.

No, you're the only shithead here.

Me? Why?

Ernesto, they should've found out where their relief was sleeping.

That's not my fault. What the fuck were you thinking?

That was your responsibility.

You organized the watch! You had to guarantee the shift relief!

Fuck! Yes, sir.

Tonight you'll stand watch for four hours.

Stay focused!

It's ready, Che.

Esteban left to meet Cuervo at the sentry post.

When did he leave? Half an hour ago.

Those bastards are gone!

Bandera, come here.

Esteban and Cuervo took off. We have to find both of them.

We're from Fidel's group.

We're looking for food and money.

You can put the money in this bag.

The Comandante here wants to talk to your daughter.

We searched all over, but nothing.

All right.

Well, it is impossible to defeat imperialism without identifying its head: the United States of America.

In a capitalist system, most people live in an invisible cage.

For example, there you accept the myth of the self-made man, but don't understand that the opportunities of most people are determined by forces they do not even see.

This is ugly.

I want the vanguard a hundred meters ahead of us at all times.

We should bury them.

Because yours is the kingdom, the power and glory forever and ever.



Locals say there's a terrible battle in the Estrada Palma military base.

They say Raúl is wounded, and that the army is coming toward us.

Forget about it. We're surrounded.

The only way out of here is to cut through el Turquino.

I'm ready to take the mountain.

Good to see you again. Very, very eager to meet you.

I want you to talk to Chris.

He's this guy who's writing this fabulous book.

Are you hungry? Would you like...?

Yes, come on, let's get something.

I'll bring them back. Come on.

Major Guevara, I'd like to introduce you to Senator Eugene McCarthy.

A pleasure. Pleasure, major.

He would like to thank you

for the Bay of Pigs Invasion.

There was no better way

to give the people solidarity with its revolution

like a U.S.- backed invasion.

Some of our problems we owe to the United States.

Others are our own fault.

Comandante, has the U.S. embargo against Cuba succeeded in isolating it from the rest of Latin America?

If Cuba is ever to be completely free,

it has to be important not only for sugar, for its sugar.

Sir, would the Comandante object to giving me his autograph?

Good night.

That was a good party.


He says he wants to talk to you. I'm sorry.

The problem is that one of your men who says he is Lalo Sardiñas is down there with a group of rebels, and if a patrol arrives they're going to burn my shack and kill my family.

And that can't happen! No way!

Pleased to meet you. My name is Ernesto Guevara.

What's your name? Emilio Cabrera.

Emilio, don't worry. No one is going to touch anything.

Vilo, tell people to get ready, they're about to meet Fidel Castro.

No, now listen to me.

Raúl wasn't really wounded. We were the ones surrounding the army.

And those bastards escaped.


Come on, motherfucker. Give me a hug.

How are you?


Where did you get those peasants? Those are my troops, man.

They're working out all right.

I don't speak out loud because they'll get big heads.

We've missed you.

Some coffee?

Hey, Joel.

Fidel asked me why I hadn't made you lieutenant.

I told him because you didn't know how to read or write.

Well, I want to learn.

But I need someone to teach me.

Then get a pencil and a pair of notebooks and put them in your backpack.

Look, Che.

This is the new recruit I wanted to introduce to you.

Dr. Martínez Páez.

Doctor? Doctor.

Pleased to meet you.

I have a present here.

From now on, I stop being the medic to become a guerrilla.

What, are you giving up your job? Yes, sir.

Who are they? Chibás and Pazos.

They're signing an agreement.

What agreement?

A political alliance.

During the early stages of the revolution, wasn't there a conflict between Fidel and the urban movement?

I would say the only conflict we've had was with Fulgencio Batista. Are you saying you had no conflict with the urban movement?

We differed in our tactics.

They wanted to oust Batista with a general strike, and we wanted to overthrow him with an armed struggle.

And as you can see, our method proved the most effective for removing Batista.

All right, gentlemen.

The provisional government, first, will free all political prisoners, civilian and military.

Second, it will guarantee freedom of information for the radio and press, and individual and political rights established in the 1940 Constitution.

The provisional government will also establish terms for the Agrarian Reform leading to the distribution of public lands.

Have a good trip.

Excuse me, Fidel.

I can't understand how you can meet with those clowns, and much less, how you can make an agreement with them.

They're fighting against the same enemy we are.

No, you're fighting, they're negotiating.

They have lots of followers, Ernesto.

People I can't afford to turn away.

Let's see how it goes.

But I'm sure that if we win the war, those guys will hand the keys over to the U.S.

Listen, when this war is won, no one's handing any keys to anybody.

I'll guarantee you that.

Come here, I need you to sign something for me.

It's a letter of condolence for Frank Pais.

They killed his brother in Santiago.

They killed his brother?

Sign as "Comandante."

Sign as "Comandante."

I'm forming a new column on the eastern side of Mount Turquino.

You'll have three captains:

Lalo Sardiñas, Ramiro Valdés and Ciro Redondo.

You have to wear out Mosquera's troops, harass them constantly. Don't let up on them.

Don't even let them breathe!

You cannot give them a break.

I want you to establish a base at el Hombrito.

Got it?

No one can leave a wounded comrade on the battlefield.


If any of you leave weapons behind during battle or anywhere else, you'll have to go back for it, alone.

And if anyone falls asleep on guard duty, he won't eat for three days.

Is that clear?

Thank you, Ciro.

I want to say something else to make myself clear.

We respect the peasants, so no one is allowed to touch their harvest or mess with them or their families.

If anyone does, he will be punished to the full extent of the revolutionary code.


Come here.

Here you go. Take care of it like it's your girlfriend.

Thank you, Comandante.

Do you need help, Comandante?


Gustavo. Yes, Comandante.

Take your math notebook out and do some work.

I'm exhausted, Comandante.


What is the most important quality for a revolutionary to possess?



Let me tell you something, at the risk of sounding ridiculous.

A true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love: love of humanity, of justice and truth.

It is impossible to conceive of an authentic revolutionary without this one quality.

Don't move, asshole!

Please don't shoot! Freeze!

I'm a doctor.

Che, they're shooting mortars!

How many men are in your troop?

One hundred forty.

Under whose command?

Merob Sosa.

Mortars! Let's go.

Tell me. Ramiro.

Go back and keep shooting until Lalo Sardiñas' squad has passed.

We'll do a second line of resistance up there, on the hill, 200 meters away.

See you. Let's go, gentlemen.

That's Gustavo!

No, Roberto! Roberto!

Are you optimistic about the normalization of relations

between Cuba and the United States?

Friends, it would be very difficult, it would take many, many years.

By this, I mean with the U.S. government, because we have nothing against the American people.

There is not even a trace of hatred in our country for the American people.

Comandante, there's a page missing.

How is this possible? The fourteenth.

Here is the page. It's torn out.

Excuse me, Comandante.

There's a small problem.

Bomb threat at the U.N.

What did he say?

They called the station 30 minutes ago.

Hector, you go with Pedro and the Cuban delegation in the second car, and I will go in the first car.

I think I should go with you.

I didn't ask your opinion.

Comandante, with all due respect, I came here to protect you.

And I'd like you to give me that opportunity, at least.

That way we'll die together if... No one is going to die.


Go away! Traitor! Murderer!

Not only did you desert with your weapon and terrorize the area, stealing from the poor in the name of the revolution, but also, because of your betrayal, peasants were tortured and murdered by Batista's army.

Why, Esteban?

The punishment for treason is death.

And you boasted of your authority as a messenger for the Rebel Army, and passing yourself off as Comandante Almeida you raped Juan Carlos Estévez's daughter,

a teenager, and this also deserves the death penalty.

Bring him here.

Would you like a sip of rum?

Roberto, give him a swig.

Do you have a last wish?

Let me confess to Father Chávez.

We can't bring you the priest. He's far away, we have no time.

Something else? Then give me another swig.

Give him another.



Make sure everyone knows I asked for my last confession.


Mr. President, fellow delegates.

The world has developed a great deal in this political arena, but American imperialism, above all, has led people to believe that peaceful coexistence is the exclusive right of the world's most powerful nations.

Cuba, my fellow delegates, free and sovereign, with no chains tying it to anyone, without foreign investments in its territory, free from occupant military bosses determining political status, can stand tall at this assembly and demonstrate the correctness of the cry with which it was baptized.

Free territory of America!

The United States intervenes in Latin America claiming they defend freedom.

One day this assembly will acquire enough maturity to demand equal rights for blacks and Latin Americans living in this country as they awaken from the long, brutal sleep to which they've been subjected.

We need to say here something that is a known truth.

And this is a truth we have always presented to the world.

Executions? Yes, we have executed.

We execute, and we'll continue to execute when it is necessary.

Our fight is a fight to death.

These are the conditions in which we live because of the imposition of American imperialism.

Good morning.

How are you, doctor?

Good. And my brother?

Very good.

What's your name? He's Enrique, my brother.

We're from Remedios.

We worked for the 26th of July Movement.

My brother and I, with a group, tried to burn down the stable at the town barracks, but one of the soldiers identified my brother, so we came here to find Fidel.

What's your name? Rogelio Acevedo.

How old are you, Rogelio? Sixteen.

And you? Fourteen.

Sixteen and 14.

I can't accept you, you're too young.

What are you here for? Same reasons as you.

Is that so? Very good.

Do you know how to read and write?


Raise your hands, the ones who know how to read and write.

So you know how to read and write?

Yes, Comandante. I made it through 6th grade.

We are not here in the middle of the mountains just to fire guns.

A country that doesn't know how to read and write is easy to deceive.

Since none of you have weapons, I'm picking only eight of you. The rest will have to go.

This is no piece of cake, we're here to fight.

We won't eat for days. We'll sleep on the ground in the rain.

We're risking our lives here.

Is that clear?

Yes. Is that absolutely clear?


Good. You will be a teacher.

And the rest will learn from her. You came here to fight and to learn.


And you?

Come on, boys, you gotta go. No.

Fuck, no. You have to go.

If I have to go back to Remedios I'd rather shoot myself.

Me too.

My God.

Are you listening? Let's go, man.

Let's get moving.

Come on.

Wait, wait!

You can't do that, man.

Stand up! You're stopping the column!

Hold my gun. Let's go.

The next letter is...

No? Look.

Here. Yello...

Excuse me, Che. He says he needs to talk to you.

What's going on?

Comandante, Camilo calls me a bad word every time he sees me.

What bad word? Something rude I don't like.

Go and get Camilo. Like what?

I don't want to be a bother, but I'm a man who shouldn't be disrespected.

Everyone is laughing and making fun of me.

I don't really understand what he's saying, but I don't like it.

What's going on, Comandante?


What's the story?

Okay, friend, now tell me what Camilo's been saying to you?

He calls me "vanilla piss."

Ventriloquist, man, ventriloquist.

That's not a bad word. But it sounds bad. I don't like it.

A ventriloquist is someone who talks without moving his mouth.

Why are you calling me that? Yes, Camilo, why?

Because he's a good messenger and he's always popping up with information, and he reminds me of a ventriloquist puppet that moves like this.

Albertico, it's not a bad word.

It's not an insult, man. I say it with affection.

He's a very good messenger. Really?

No, it's true. He's doing things really well. He's always there.

Yes, he is.

You wanna play ball, Che?

Today is a perfect day to abandon the guerrilla movement.

Another chance like this may not come along for weeks.

Let's see.

Anyone who'd like to leave this column, step forward.

Stand up there.

Come on, the quitters and the horses' asses!

Stay there.

I'm not leaving because I'm scared. I have a pain and...

You are a moron. Shut up.

My mother is sick. You are a moron!

You'll have to give back everything that belongs to the column.

You're a bunch of cowards.

You have 30 minutes to get out of here.

If we find you, you're deserters. Israel, Roberto, take them out.

Dickhead, aren't you leaving with them?

Another faggot.

Anyone else?

So did you grow balls?

We can still stand a little bit more.

You already behaved with dignity, but you have no chance of adapting to this warfare.

Okay, I'll make an exception.

I'll let you take your things with you, I'll give you a guide and 10 pesos to each of you.


I think you should forgive me in advance, as I know you will not like what I'm going to say.

If we joined the troops, it wasn't to go back humiliated.

We prefer, and I speak for both, to die on this mountain rather than return home as failures.

We'll make the maximum effort even if it costs our lives.

This is the last straw.

While the strong grow weaker and leave, these snot-nosed kids get more courageous.

Is there any logic here?

The important ones aren't the ones who leave, but the ones who stay and the ones who will join us in the future.

Listen to me.

Comandantes Raúl and Almeida will come with me.

They will open the second and third front with their columns.

Camilo will replace Sardiñas as your new captain.


Look how generous the revolution is.

Individualism, the isolated action of a person alone in a social environment, must disappear in Cuba.

But are people built that way? Isn't it really human nature?

It is very easy to claim that in capitalism, the individual has the option to satisfy or to express true human nature.

A child has one toy and wants two.

That child gets two toys and wants four. This is human nature, isn't it?

But when a whole society behaves in the same way, or when it becomes a monopoly, oppressing the less fortunate, is that human nature?

It is then that one has to stand up and do something.

And aren't you acting as an individual? Isn't Fidel an individual?

Yes, of course, we are individuals who have accepted the challenge and the responsibility to lead in the name of a society as a whole.

Long live free Cuba!

Will they have much time to respond?

Each one will have 10 minutes.

From the podium? No, from the floor.

And my rebuttal? Ten minutes.

Also from the floor? No, from the podium.

My government has nothing to do with the fact that every day, in Cuban circles, to bolster the illusions of the Cuban people, they announce the formation of invading brigades armed with revolvers and small-caliber weapons to confront an army that, according to the declarations of their leaders, has at their disposal, the most modern nuclear arms.

The collective and individual actions of the governments of this hemisphere to restrict trade with Cuba are defensive measures, taken in response to Cuba's continued promotion of subversion and violence elsewhere in this hemisphere.

We do not support or condone hit-and-run attacks against ships in the Cuban trade, or against other targets in Cuba.

The surveillance flights are authorized by the resolution approved by the Organization of American States under the Rio Treaty on 23 October 1962.

Absolutely false are the accusations that acts of genocide are being committed in Venezuela.

Moreover, it is simply absurd and intolerable that a Cuban representative dares to make judgments about Venezuelan sovereignty, the unique and exclusive patrimony of the Venezuelan people, a truly free people, which has a democratic government with elections whose legitimacy are known to the entire world.

The tragedy of the Cuban revolution lies in not having known how to institutionalize this great movement into an administration with legal rights in the Americas.

The greatest flaw of their leaders is that they suffer from excessive vanity which blinds them and prevents them from observing past examples which are typical of America, like the Mexican revolution in 1910.

I, who lived many years of my youth in Cuba, and who perhaps feels more than Che Guevara that there has been enough suffering and pain for the Cuban people.

In my brief reply to your capricious intervention into Panamanian issues, I'd like to finish by saying to you:

Don't defend me, compadre.


Take the sick to the shelter!

To the shelter! Take them to the shelter.

Don't run. Don't run.

Hurry up!

Come on!

One, two, three.

Polo. Take the prisoners to your house and keep them there.

Polo. Make sure no one mistreats them, verbally or physically.

Understood, Roberto? Sure.

Come on, walk!


They killed Ciro. They shot him in the head.

We couldn't recover his body.

May I talk to you for a second, sir?

They were very well organized.

More than we expected? Much more.

They have a school, hospital, printing press, a power plant.

They must have been here months.

What do you want me to do with this?

Torch it.

I need you to go to Minas del Frio and create a training camp.

What for?

I want you to be personally in charge of the new recruits.

What about my column?

Ramiro can take your place for now.

You know we're days away from an attack.

I don't understand. This is more important.

It makes sense, teach.

Who can do that better than you?

Tell me. No one, man.

Look, when this is over, Cuba and the revolution will need you even more.

After the loss of El Hombrito, Fidel took away your column and sent you to train new recruits.

Did you feel it was a demotion? No.

Was that what you thought at the time?

Even if I had a different opinion, even if I felt I had been demoted, I knew Fidel had his reasons, and you can be sure of that.

And around this same time, many others were trying to do this in a more peaceful way.

Yes, that is why Fidel backed the general strike.

But he always made it very clear that we were the only ones capable of defeating the enemy.

A t the outset, a lot of the other rebel groups didn't share Fidel's belief that agrarian reform was a core principle of the revolution.

What was the turning point?

How did he finally bring them around?

After the failure of the general strike of April 9th, there was no more doubt.

The 26th of July Movement was the only group that could defeat Batista.

That is what a leader does: He convinces people to share his vision.

Are you a leader? Do you get people to share your vision?

He wants me to tell you that you have proved one thing to him for sure:

He would rather face a soldier than a journalist.

They see us rebels as agitators, people who want to gain prestige by complicating Batista's life.

But we don't see ourselves like that.

We see ourselves as a small army that will become a bigger army...

Fidel has to be the commander in chief of the entire rebellion.

But we have to propose it with tact.

Our relationship with the Communist Party still makes people nervous.

We raised funds by naming Fidel as leader of our revolution.

Outside of Cuba, he's the only recognizable figure we've got.

No one is saying that in the plains they screwed up.

But what is clear in the Sierra Maestra is that defeating Batista doesn't assure the end of the dictatorship.

We also have to overthrow Batista's army in order to prevent another coup.

Being under the command of the Soviet Union isn't any better than being under the command of the United States.

Latour, you're still thinking like a colonized person does.

Cuba won't be under anyone's command.

Cuba is for the Cuban people.

I'll do everything I can with the Stalinists from the PSP, but I don't think it will be worth it.

And we understand it, Faustino.

That's precisely why we always want to include...


From now on, the coordination of the plains militias will serve the needs of the guerrillas in the Sierra Maestra.

Fidel Castro will become commander in chief of all the armed forces.

Long live the revolution!

I want to congratulate you, Fidel, because today you entered the path of the greatest men of the Americas.

A path that will prove to the world it's possible to get to power with an armed struggle supported by the people.

It's not only me, Ernesto.

It's all of us.

This wouldn't be possible if I were on my own.

I want you to organize a new front.

Once we start this offensive, I want to take the war down from the Sierra Maestra into the plains.

You'll have to unite all the rebel factions.

We have to take control of Las Villas Province, dividing the island in two.

Camilo's going to head in the same direction, leading his own column.

There will be no victory in Havana without victory in Las Villas.

Getting all the groups to work together will be difficult, Ernesto.

So I hope you have sharpened your political skills.

And one other thing.

I know you are very reckless, but you can't always put yourself on the frontline.

You are too important to us.

It's an order.

I want to respond to the Nicaraguan delegate even though I did not understand his argument about accent.

I believe he referred to Cuba, Argentina and somewhat to Russia of the Soviet Union.

In any event, I hope the Nicaraguan delegate found no North American accent in my speech, because that would be truly dangerous.

But one thing is for sure, we don't commit assassinations like the ones being committed right at this moment by the political police of Venezuela who are called DIGEPOL if I am not misinformed.

This police force has committed a series of barbarous acts, executions, which is to say assassinations.

The Panamanian delegate, who has been kind enough to call me "Che" as I am called by the Cuban people, began speaking about the Mexican revolution.

While Cuba spoke about the North American massacre in Panama, the Panamanian delegation continued speaking in this vein, without referring at all

to that American massacre for which the Panamanian government broke off relations to the United States.

On to Mr. Stevenson. Regrettably, he is not present here.

Mr. Stevenson again claims there is no violation of the law that neither airplanes nor boats leave from here and, of course, that pirate attacks just happen. They just come out of nowhere.

Due to the demands of imperialism, our prime minister declared five points to secure peace in the Caribbean.

And these are...


A halt to the economic blockade and all forms of commercial pressure imposed by the United States all over the world against our country.

Second: Halt all subversive activities, such as the launch and distribution of arms and explosives by air and water, organization of mercenary invasions, infiltration of spies and saboteurs, and all actions carried out from the territory of the United States or accomplice countries.


Halt all pirate attacks carried out from bases located in the United States and Puerto Rico.

Fourth: Halt all airspace and territorial water violations by U.S. aircraft and warships.

Fifth: Withdrawal from the Guantánamo naval base and return of Cuban territory occupied by the U.S.

This great mass of humanity has said "Enough!" and has stepped forward.

This march of giants will not stop until true independence is won, for which so many died in vain.

All of this, my fellow delegates, is the new stance of the American continent, a stance captured by the cry that is shouted every day by our people as an expression of our irrefutable decision to fight, paralyzing the strikes of armed intruders, an outcry that counts the support of all the people of the world and especially the socialist camp headed by the Soviet Union.

This cry is " Homeland or death!"


That's Las Villas, behind the clouds.

Camilo arrived a few weeks ago and we put ourselves under his command.

Very good.

I see you received our supplies. Yes, thanks.

Of all the groups operating in the area, the Communist Party was the only one to send help.

I'm not surprised, Comandante.

Most of these groups are too busy fighting each other.

Months ago, Menoyo broke from the Directory, creating a Second Front.

Since then, each one has carved out its own territory.

There's been open hostility between the two factions.

Where does the 26th of July Movement stand in all of this?

Recently, Menoyo met with Víctor Bordón.

I think both groups are on the brink of an armed confrontation.

We're ready to cooperate with the 26th of July Movement in all military maneuvers.

We even agree with agrarian reform as long as it's done reasonably and brings in money.

Landowners should be pressured to sell their idle land to the peasants.

But it should be sold at cost.

Will you be the one fixing the price?

How can a peasant with no money buy land?

But what do you want? Just give it to them?

So they can destroy it like they did in Mexico?

The owner of the land is the one who works it.

Comandante, you have permission to institute agrarian reform in the region, but the Second Front will continue to charge the land taxes.

Menoyo, the region belongs to us all. What we have to do here is fight.

The only thing the Directory won't do is any kind of deal with Menoyo's Second Front.

We'll never do business with that bunch of bandits.

We need to attack all the army garrisons in the area.

But you can't attack Güinia de Miranda, because that zone is ours.

We have more experience and more weapons than you do.

Do you think the Americans are just going to sit and watch this happen?

No, man, listen.

We shouldn't be doing things so openly.

So you're one of those who think we can make a revolution behind the backs of the Americans?

No, man. A real revolution cannot be hidden.

I can do more with the 400 rifles I have than you can with your little bazooka and all the balls your troops may have.

Look, Peña, the day I have to take arms against my comrades will be the day I stop fighting.

If you don't take Güinia de Miranda in five days, we'll do it ourselves.

I am Comandante Ernesto Guevara.

He is Comandante Ramiro Valdés.

And he is Captain Victor Bordón.

I just want to say three things.


From now on, I am the only one in charge of the region of Las Villas.


We will enforce strict discipline.

And third:

The fighting is going to intensify.

Whoever is not ready to sacrifice himself for his homeland can leave his gun on the ground and abandon the column immediately.


Give it to me, damn it!

Homeland or death!

You're ready?

Thank you.

Tell Oltuski the money will be put to good use.

Will do.

Excuse me.

The police are looking for me in Santa Clara and want to arrest me.

I need to stay here. I'm not going anywhere.

Well, you can stay and work in the infirmary, because we don't allow people to just hang around.

I want you to know that for the last two years I've been working in the clandestine movement.

I've been taking weapons, bombs and fugitives all across the province.

I think that gives me the right to become a guerrilla.


We've started taxing some of the largest landowners.

I need someone to collect the money.

You can start with that and then we'll see.



The girl here will collect the taxes. Okay.

Finally we were working with the other groups.

It was like a wave.

When we arrived in the towns, people received us with open arms, and many of them even joined us.

And you took a lot of towns in less than a week.

Isn't it now called "the lightning campaign "?

True, but in reality, the battle had been building steam for nearly 100 years.

When people hate their government, it's not very hard to take a town.

One machine gun, 180 rifles and 9,000 rounds of ammunition.

Victor, we need you to blow the Cabaiguán bridge.

The Cabaiguán bridge? Now?

Yes. Now.

How did it go?

I couldn't collect the money.

In Placetas, the police are looking for me too.


Take the compañeras back to camp.

Wait a minute. With all due respect, I know these towns like the back of my hand. Let me be your guide.

I already have a guide.

Don't worry. I know you're going to stay with us.

Don't be like that. Calm down, girl.

Don't worry.

Do you know Cabaiguán?

And tell Milián to have his people ready.

We'll attack the garrison.



We have to give you a tetanus shot.

No, it might trigger an asthma attack.

Give me some aspirin.

Comandante, this is the Virgin of Caridad del Cobre, the patron saint of Cuba, to help your arrival in Havana.

I hope it helps us arrive in Placetas.


How are you? Does it hurt? A little, but that's unavoidable.

Here, for your arm.


Long live the revolution!

Shit, Argentine. You broke your paw?

It's nothing. I fell off a roof. So, what happened?

I just spoke to Fidel. And?

Santiago has almost surrendered.

Santa Clara is the only thing standing between us and Havana.

Batista's throwing everything he's got to Santa Clara.

That's why, when you take Remedios and I take Yaguajay, we can then take Santa Clara together.

Give me a light.

I know what I'm going to do when we win this thing.

I'll put you in a cage, tour the country and charge admission.

We'll be rich, man!

What made you join the Movement?

Well, I was in college when Fidel attacked the Moncada Barracks.

When I read his defense plea, " History Will Absolve Me,"

I knew he was the only one who could take down Batista.

And that he would do it fighting, and I liked that.

Does your family support you?

Of course.

My cousin was killed.

The brutality of the army intensified after the general strike.

I think they got scared when they saw so many people against them.

You don't look like a Communist.

And what do Communists look like? Well, not like you.

We come in all colors.

Do you expect to stay in Cuba after the success of the revolution?

My wife and my daughter are in Mexico.

I have to keep them in mind.

Of course.

I'm Lieutenant Pérez Valencia.

The rebel army is not what you have imagined.

Hand over your weapons and no one will be injured.

Stay on the air, over.

Santa Clara hasn't sent reinforcements.

It's a lost cause for these people.

Attention, Che, attention. Che, attention, Che.

Listen, could you resolve the problem and follow the instructions, the instructions, the instructions you gave me with the man I sent?

So tell me if you understand, understand, understand me. Over, Che.

Camilo, I hear you perfectly.

Your record is broken, you have to change it. Over.

How long will you be in Yaguajay? Over.

Three days, maybe a week. Over.

The more time you stay there the harder it will be here, Camilo. Over.

Don't dare to enter the city without me, do you hear?

Camilo, it's fair to share the glory sometimes. Over.

Sharing the glory is fine, but with an Argentine, don't do that to me.

Over and out, Che.

It's good to have you in Santa Clara, Colonel Casillas.

The city's forces are at your disposal.

Can those forces get me some coffee?

The best beans in the world, colonel.

Sit down.

Camilo Cienfuegos wanted you to wait for him, but you kept going.


Santa Clara was all they had left, the only thing linking Havana to the country as a whole.

And though we had not slept for days and the army outnumbered us nine to one, at that point, safely waiting for Camilo seemed to us more dangerous.

People of Santa Clara, this is Comandante Guevara speaking.

The enemy wants us to live in fear, but it is they who should be afraid.

The situation of the military regime is getting worse every day, because their soldiers don't want to fight.

Santa Clara, if there has ever been a time to fight for our freedom, that time is now.

That moment has come.

I want air strikes all around the neighborhoods.

Torch those bastards!

He's dead.

Cover him with that sheet.

I need more help.

Aleida. The situation is critical.

Talk to Camajuani and ask for more doctors.


Comandante, it's Rogelio calling from the station.

Speak to me, Rogelio.

Comandante, we took the train station.

Is it safe?


Go with 15 men to the train tracks between Toscano and San Pedro and wait there.

All right.

The tank is screwing us. The machine gun doesn't let us get closer.

For Guile and Ramiro.

What's the highest position? The church at the end of the street.

Then you have to take the church, you must take the church.

Of course, Comandante.


Hit it hard.

How many houses do we have to cross? Five.

Little Cowboy, it's too many.

Hit it hard. Fuck. We have to break it down now!

Get down, Little Cowboy. You're going to get hit.

Stay here.


What the fuck are you doing? The SIM is on the hotel rooftop.

They hit Little Cowboy.

Tamayo. What happened?

They got Little Cowboy, Comandante.

What happened to him?

We claimed a rooftop to get a good position, and then he got shot in the head. They killed him.

Take him to the medical station.


You are now in charge of the suicide platoon.

Keep breaking the walls until you reach the church.

They need to pay for this.

The rebels have surrounded the city and our tanks can't cross the barricades.


Get Havana on the phone.

Tell them to airlift men from Cienfuegos.

We're going to secure this city neighborhood by neighborhood and street by street.

Send a battalion.

Where are you going?

I don't want to fight anymore. I'm tired of this.

Let me go.

Anyone else want to leave?

Cease fire!

Cease fire!

Tell your men to put down their arms.

I'm not going to negotiate with a subordinate.

You forgot to leave your gun.

Give me that gun. Take your belt off.

I said I wouldn't negotiate with a subordinate.

That's okay. This isn't a negotiation.

Comandante, I give you my word of honor that if you let us return to Havana, we won't fire another shot.

I believe your word of honor.

But I can't let those bullets kill more Cubans. Here or anywhere else.

You have 15 minutes to convince your men to surrender.

If not, you will be responsible for any bloodshed.


Send this box to Camilo in Yaguajay.

Aleida, come here.

Call them on the telephone.

We agree to a ceasefire to get our dead and wounded.

I advise you to surrender. Over my dead body.

What's wrong with you? Where are you going?

Your colonel wants you to fight to the death.

We don't want more Cubans to die.

Give up your weapons and you will live.

Turn in your weapons!



The colonel and I are going on a special mission to check our positions.

Keep up the resistance until I return, is that clear?

Whatever you say, colonel.

Shoot anyone who tries to leave.

Who is this?

That's Sánchez, the police captain.

We found torture instruments in the station.

You know, I have an idea to take the hotel.

Tell me.

Leave it to me.

Don't shoot, don't shoot! We surrender!

Turn in your weapons!

Come on, hurry up!

Camilo took Yaguajay and he and his troops are heading this way.

We just heard the news on the shortwave.

It looks like Batista abandoned the country.

Yes, sir. Right now.

It's General Cantillo calling from Havana.

Okay, leave.

Yes, general?

I'm negotiating directly with the U.S. ambassador.

I'm in command of the army now, acting on behalf of Fidel Castro.

I authorize you to negotiate a truce, but not to surrender.

You can't surrender under any circumstances.

As you say, general.


I need to talk to Guevara.

I've spoken to Fidel Castro. There's been no deal with General Cantillo.

This is a revolution, not a coup.

It's either unconditional surrender or we'll take the garrison by force.

And you'll be responsible for the bloodshed.

Be aware of the possibility that the U.S. government will intervene militarily in Cuba.

If that happens, it would be an even bigger crime, as you will be supporting a foreign invasion.

In that case, your only remaining option would be for you to shoot yourself for committing treason.

Mr. Guevara, I need to talk with my superiors about that.

It's 19 minutes past 10.

At 11, I'll give the order to attack using all our forces.

Sir, may I return home to my family? No.

But we won the revolution already!

We only won the war, the revolution begins now.

Get all your things, we're leaving for Havana tomorrow.

Aleida. You too.

I'll need a guide.

But I don't know Havana very well. Neither do I.

This man wants to say hello to you. Thanks for all you've done for Cuba.

Not me, all of them. All of them.

Get ready. We're leaving for Havana tomorrow.

He told me he was heading to Havana to participate in a military junta which was going to resolve the problems of the Cuban people.

I told him murderers like him weren't going to resolve anything anymore.

When I told him I was bringing him to you, he pissed in his pants.

He begged me to take him to another chief.

What do you want me to do with this guy?

Keep him as a prisoner of war. He will be judged by a tribunal.

Comandante, place him under special watch.


Son of a bitch. Bandit.

I can't see anything, then I turn around and I see Roberto in the jeep, holding the grenade with the pin still in it.

You're kidding.

So he's looking at me, smiling, like I'm stupid.

But when he came out of the jeep, I swear to you, he stood up, acting like a tough guy, still holding the grenade in his hand, just like this, boy.

He could barely walk because his knees were shaking so hard, and suddenly his eyes went up, and then he fainted with the grenade in his hand with the pin still in it.

Good one.

Who has a light?

Not me.

Hey, this was mine!

Gentlemen. So, then?

I'm going to the capital. Thanks for everything.

See you in Havana. Of course.


Take care. Yes, Che.

Don't worry, my man.

Ultimately, what we can say is that the revolution has moments of complete madness.

The attack, for instance...

The attack, for instance, against the Moncada Garrison, the expedition of the Granma.

The continuous struggle of the small group of men that were left from that exp...

The resistance against those last attacks by the dictatorship in the Sierra Maestra.

The invasion of Las Villas.

The taking of the key cities in Cuba.

If you analyze each one of those things,

you come to the conclusion that there was craziness involved.

So, then?

Are you coming with us?

Yes. Under one condition.


When we're done in Cuba, you let me bring the revolution to all Latin America.

You, too, are a little crazy.

It's a thing that I haven't seen anybody doing.

The rice is the most important thing, if you take...

Comandante, do you need my services tonight?

Son, you're killing me.

Did I make you angry with what I said the other night?

I'm sorry, I don't know what I was thinking.

No, son, you are loved, as they say in Cuba.

Thank you, Comandante. Do what you need to do.

Good night.

How does it feel to be a symbol?

A symbol of what? A symbol of the revolution.

There is one thing I can tell you.

We were very aware that we represented the hopes of an unredeemed America.

And all eyes, those of the oppressors and those of the oppressed, were fixed upon us.

In January of 1959, how old were you?

I was 30 years old.

See you in Havana!

It's Rogelio.

Tell him to stop.

What? Rogelio.

Yes, tell him to stop.

What are you doing with that car?

I'm driving it to Havana.

Who gave you authorization?

I took it. It belonged to one of the snipers, man.

Don't "man" me, Rogelio.

Even if it was Batista's, this car isn't yours.

Go back to Santa Clara immediately and give it back.

And then you will go to Havana by bus, by jeep or on foot.

I'd rather walk than drive to Havana in a stolen car. Let's go.