Monuments to Che Guevara
In the City of Santa Clara
This larger than life statue of Che Guevara towers
above his tomb. It's a pilgrimage site for Cubans
who revere Che as the revolution's great hero,
along with Fidel Castro.
Che was a professional revolutionary, born in
Argentina, most successful in Cuba, then killed in
Bolivia, the American CIA helping to eliminate him.
Che is forever revolutionary in
Santa Clara, the area where he
led Castro's forces to victory.
There is another Santa Clara monument to Che
which explains his glorified status. A train bringing
dictator Batista needed troops and weapons,
essential reinforcements, was derailed by Che and
a small band of followers.
The monument is a collection of boxcars that never
made it to Havana.
Without this train's troops and weapons, Batista
soon fled, and Fidel Castro marched into Havana
on January 1, 1959, as leader of a revolutionary
government. He later declared it to be Communist,
a major player in the Cold War. (I remember the
October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.)
Che was rewarded with a cabinet post as Defense
Minister. His letter of resignation to Fidel, in order
to fight elsewhere, is part of the first monument.
Both Che and Fidel have little part in the new Cuba,
under Raul Castro, in which modern reforms
slowly subordinate the 1959 revolution. That's the
real story of today's Cuba.