Left Parties Should Work Closely With People, Says Daughter Of Che, Aleida Guevara

Aleida Guevara, daughter of Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara, was in India last week to take part in the solidarity meetings to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Cuban revolution. A pediatrician by profession, Guevara says she was overwhelmed by the love and following for Che’s ideologies in India. In an interaction at the Cuban Embassy in Delhi, Guevara spoke about Cuba’s resistance to the US blockade and the relevance of communism in the current political scenario.

Q) You are visiting India after 23 years. Tell us a bit about your experience of solidarity meetings here.

I will take back the huge amount of warmth particularly of the people of Kerala. It was an overwhelming experience.  It’s impossible to reciprocate the love I received from the people. We can have thousands and thousands of Che replicated in Kerala. My impression is that the state government has done some good work in the field of education and health. I have plans to come back next year. But I will come back as a doctor and work among the people, only then I will get to know people more.

Q) Cuba has been facing decades-long blockade by the United States of America. How is Cuba resisting the hostility towards it?

It’s extremely important that world should know about Cuban blockade. The problem is that the US doesn’t allow other countries also to trade with Cuba. For instance, Cuba doesn’t produce milk but our children love milk. US, the biggest producer of milk powder, is only 90 miles from us. Because of this, we have been able to invent many medicines and other systems to survive.

India and Cuba could have done trade on several counts. Cuba today produces extremely important medicines like vaccines for lung cancer. But India cannot acquire those medicines because of the embargo.

Q) The recent elections saw the worst performance of the Left parties in India. What could be the reasons for its decline and how can the Left reclaim its ground?

We have one serious problem with the Left in general. We have leaders who can speak and communicate very well. But people need something else. When they face a problem, the leaders should be around and in action. The party needs to work closely with people.

I cannot give a recipe for a country where I don’t live. But I can give examples of what we have done in Cuba so that you can surge ahead. Another important thing is the unity of the Left parties. They have to demonstrate to the working class that the party is with them. Umpteen examples are out there and it can be applied to our reality.

Q) World over, we are witnessing the rise of right-wing populist forces. Is it the cycle of history or beginning of the end?

It is little more than the beginning of the end. The situation is of course dangerous. Any time, we think that we are close to third world war, which of course would be the last in the planet.

One of the most important things is to defend our life. The Brazilian amazon is perhaps the last lung of the planet. There you have the largest second iron mine. Every inch of growth of the mine means destruction of the forest. We cannot live without oxygen, no one is responding.

Big countries like India and China will have to help the world open this and create consciousness. You will bear the brunt more than anyone. We have to learn a lot from our indigenous people how to respect our mother earth.

Q) In the 60th year of Cuban revolution, why do you think Che’s ideology still holds appeal?

In the last 60 years of revolution, we have suffered the impressions of the biggest empire and we have resisted almost on a continual basis. It’s not that we are better than others or are braver than others, but we are united.

When united people decide to fight for an idea, no force can stop them. For any revolutionary process, it’s paramount that it has the participation of youth and women. We need to take them along. That’s why Che’s example is always present in my heart. Che always said that ‘what’s important is that to make people follow you, don’t push them.

  • Published in Cuba

Mass rally in Cuba marks ‘Che’ Guevara’s 50th death anniversary

The Latin American revolutionary was shot dead by CIA-trained troops in a remote village in Bolivia on October 9, 1967.

More than 60,000 people took to the streets gathered to commemorate the 50th death anniversary of Latin American revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara.

Cuban President Raul Castro was present at a mass rally on Sunday at the Che Guevara Mausoleum in the town of Santa Clara, 300 km east of Havana, reports Xinhua news agency.

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

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

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

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.

“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.”

His altruism and conscious revolutionary spirit have become an ideal to follow, said Diaz-Canel.

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.

  • Published in Cuba
Subscribe to this RSS feed