The search for Che Guevara

I’ve waited 50 years to meet Che Guevara. It doesn't take long: Che's image greets us shortly after arrival at the José Martí International Airport in Havana.

The first thing we see in Cuba’s capital are the taxis: a line of pristine pre-‘60s American cars –- Chevys, Oldsmobiles, Buicks . . .

But then, looming beyond the parking lot, is a billboard with that famous image of Che: black beret with its single star, a guerrilla’s beard and scruffy hair, confident stare into the future. “We see you every day. . . Che Comandante, amigo,” the billboard says in Spanish.

What? Is he still alive?

Che’s portrait is all over Cuba: on billboards, banners, posters, books, t-shirts, even an eight-story-high iron sculpture on a high rise overlooking Havana’s massive Plaza de la Revolución.

But Che is most evident in Santa Clara, 170 miles east of Havana. We visit the park-like complex with its 22-foot-high bronze sculpture of Che. Fronting the monument is another of those huge billboards, this one a tribute from Fidel Castro, "We want to be like him (Che)."

Che's ashes are entombed in his mausoleum here; his life celebrated in a small, but attractive museum.

We look for the gift shop, for some small memento of our trip here. The search is in vain; this is sacred ground –- no commercialism permitted.

Join us as we explore Che's mausoleum and museum

Check out our other blogs on Cuba

Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.