Home / World

Cuba marks 50th anniversary of revolutionary Che Guevara's death

China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-10 07:34

SANTA CLARA, Cuba - More than 60,000 people turned out on Sunday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Latin American revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara.

Cuban President Raul Castro, dressed in his general's uniform, was present at a mass rally at the Che Guevara Mausoleum in Santa Clara, a town which is 300 kilometers east of the capital Havana.

The rally capped a week of tributes to the guerrilla fighter who helped overthrow Cuba's dictatorship and bring Fidel Castro to power, before he was ambushed and killed in Bolivia on Oct 9, 1967.

More than 60,000 people participated in the rally at the Revolution Square where an imposing bronze statue of Guevara is located.

On the ground floor of the memorial, a cavern-like enclosure holds the remains of Guevara and 30 of his comrades who fell in Bolivia. An eternal flame, lit by then president Fidel Castro, paid homage to the fighters.

Cuba marks 50th anniversary of revolutionary Che Guevara's death

On Sunday, Raul Castro and other Communist Party leaders paid tribute to Guevara and his guerrilla partners inside the memorial.

Addressing those present, Cuban First Vice-President Miguel Diaz-Canel said: "Che is not dead, as his enemies wanted. His figure grows larger as time passes and younger generations recognize his revolutionary paradigm."

Guevara is now a "universal symbol" and inspiration in the struggle for the liberation of different nations "oppressed by imperialism", said Diaz-Canel, 57, who is expected to replace Raul Castro as president next year.

"He had a very original way of facing life, and his comrades knew how to appreciate his simplicity, sincerity, naturalness, companionship, stoicism, reckless disposition to always face the most difficult situation," he said.

Elena Gonzalez, a 56-year-old textile worker, was among those who turned up at the crack of dawn to pay her respects to Guevara.

"Yes, we got up very early but it's worth it," she said. "We're keeping his example alive and his legacy of independence and sovereignty for Latin America and the world."

"For me, Che is still here - his life, his work, his example," said 79-year-old Luis Monteagudo, who fought alongside Guevara in the Congo and was wearing a white T-shirt with his picture.

In Bolivia, President Evo Morales, accompanied by his cabinet and other leading figures, completed a 2 km pilgrimage to La Higuera, where Guevara was killed by CIA-backed mercenaries.

Born in the Argentine city of Rosario in 1928 and trained as a doctor, Guevara joined Fidel Castro's insurgency in 1956 to overthrow Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, and played a leading role in the rebel victory.

With Cuba under new leadership, he left the country to continue his struggle against oppression, first to Congo and then to Bolivia, where he was ambushed and killed by mercenaries.


 Cuba marks 50th anniversary of revolutionary Che Guevara's death

Cuban President Raul Castro participates in the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Ernesto "Che" Guevara's death at the Che Guevara Memorial in Santa Clara, Cuba, on Sunday.Yamil Lage / Agence France-presse

(China Daily 10/10/2017 page11)

Today's Top News

Editor's picks

Most Viewed

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349