Fifty years after his death, Cuba honours Che Guevara

HAVANA, Oct. 8th It is the 50th anniversary of the death of the Argentine-born revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara, shot dead in the jungles of Bolivia after he had succeeded in helping the Castros overthrow Cuba’s military dictatorship.

His adopted home Cuba is putting on a big exhibition to honour the man who stares down at tourists from the walls of Havana and whose image is used to sell everything from clothes to key rings. Here his hero status is unquestioned.

“The inequality that existed when he was fighting is now greater today, the problems that the world was facing when he was leading his fight, today are much bigger and much worse. That is to say that we are in need of some young Ches, men and women, to once again become leaders to take up these fights and help us find a way forward,” said Che’s brother Juan Martin.

Che came from a middle-class but free-thinking and cultured family and has become a global symbol of resistance. The mystery surrounding his death has only added to the legend, from which a few have cashed in handsomely in the huge souvenirs industry that has grown up around the man and his memory.