On the 53rd anniversary of his death, Joe Weaver explains the origins of an iconic image of the world’s most famous revolutionary.
Song to Fidel by Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara 1956
Che Guevara was an Argentinean-born, Cuban revolutionary leader who alongside Fidel Castro goes down in history as one of the greatest figures of the Cuban Revolution and arguably the 20th Century. One of his portraits, from the lens of Alberto Korda, is one the world’s most reproduced images.
Che Comandante by Nicolás Guillén, 1967.
“Che Comandante,” by Nicolás Guillén (1902 – 1989), Cuba’s National Poet Laureate, read on that solemn evening of October 18, 1967, in Havana’s Plaza de la Revolución José Martí, shortly after Che’s death was announced to the world.The first verses were prophetic.
Over twenty years ago, Che’s remains were found where they had been hidden following his murder and were transferred to Cuba. Che was laid to rest, with six of his fellow combatants with military honors in a specially built mausoleum in the Cuban city of Santa Clara, where he had commanded over the decisive military victory of the Cuban Revolution.