Che Guevara, survival

It is incredible how most of the immediate testimonies to the fall of Che Guevara in La Higuera, that October 1967, and the expressions coming from all latitudes in solidarity with Cuba and the pain of its people, spoke about sadness but especially, survival.

I find it incredible because I figure out that the misery of that time must have been great, the feeling of emptiness, the irreparable loss, and however certainty was unanimous: intellectuals, in the midst of their grief, clearly sensed that Che had not been killed, that there was a second birth of man for Latin America and the world.

In that sense, a phrase especially overwhelms me, that of Rodolfo Walsh when he writes: "Sooner or later someone will get the hell out of this continent. It will not be Che's memory, that now is scattered in one hundred cities. "And it is that the Commander had delivered during his life, as Lezama Lima says, "the terrible and magnificent tests of his size for transfiguration". A transfiguration and a myth that conservatives try to steal, re-write, reconfigure and sell today. To make him sterile, impossible to reach. It is the way to smash that October, a bet on forgetfulness, banalization, boredom.

And since he does not fall from a quick death, then let him die slowly in the market of ideas and reality. This is how we have seen him in T-shirts and cheap goods, movies and posters, but I want to think that much of his example remains in those who buy or watch the merchandise; which rather than a fashion is a motive, a trigger. At least it is my impression after reading these words by Rigoberta Menchú: "Like many people from my country, my first knowledge of Che was more for his image and symbolism than for his writings and his work.”And it is the same security when I look at my contemporaries, star dreamers, Quixotes, who know that immobility would be Che's real death.

Then it is not unreasonable to reiterate Cortazar's invocation in those sad, seed-like days: "I ask for the impossible thing, the most undeserved thing, what I dared to do once, when he lived: I ask that it be his voice that appears here, that it is his hand that writes these lines. I know it is absurd and it is impossible, and that's why I think he writes this with me, because no one knew better how the absurd and the impossible thing will one day be the reality of men, the future whose conquest he gave his young and wonderful life for. Then use my hand once again my brother, it has been worthless to cut off your fingers, it has been worthless to kill you and hide you with their clumsy tricks. Take, write: what is left for me to say and do, I will always say it and will do it with you by my side. Only then will it make sense to go on living ".

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff

La Higuera: 50 Years after Che’s Death

Every people from all five continents arrive in La Higuera to pay homage to the guerilla commander.

Getting to know and abound on the history of Che’s presence in Bolivia is important to visit La Higuera, town located at about 60 km from Vallegrande, where the Heroic Guerilla fighter stayed the last days of his life.

Until that village a group of Prensa Latina journalists traveled because of the activities organized there for the 50th anniversary of the revolutionary leader's physical disappearance.

The trip to La Higuera is usually complicated, especially for the uphill and winding road leading there and many times vehicles must drive by the edge of the abyss.

But arriving to the place is like a trip in time because there can still be felt that special atmosphere that remembers the years of guerilla fight.

Ernesto Guevara de la Serna came to Bolivia in November 1966 to lead a liberation movement known as La Guerrilla de Ñancahuazú, which wanted to spread to the south of Latin America.

For 11 months the group commanded by Che traveled difficult roads of the Bolivian southeasterly forest and participated in 22 battles and skirmishes. On October 8th, 1967 Che was wounded and captured in Quebrada del Yuro (Churo) and moved to the school of La Higuera, where he was murdered next day on orders of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States.

Today the school turned into a museum where pictures can be seen, written documents, furniture of the time and replicas of the clothing and objects used by the guerillas fighters.

'This is a place to spread Ernesto Guevara's ideas, declared to Prensa Latina the French photographer Juan Lebras who lives there for 12 years now.

Lebras organized an exhibition of pictures under the name 'To the Heart of the Guerrilla', where there are many unpublished images, of Ernesto Guevara's last days in Bolivia.

'They are 50 pictures for the 50 years of Che’s death, he said.

Every year people from all five continents arrive to pay homage to the guerilla commander.

'I have been preparing this trip for a long time', said the Argentinean Victor Hugo Leiva who arrived at La Higuera on the fiftieth anniversary of Che’s death.

For Leiva, Ernesto Guevara is still a leader and his teachings today they are more necessary than never because poverty still exist in the world and capitalism has not solved any problem.

This year, as part of the homage to Che and its guerrilla partners, will have a 15 km walk from Pucará town to La Higuera to which is expected the participation of social and political organizations from several countries of the region.

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