Byline: Kelebogile Masemola

13 July 2022

Ernesto Che Guevara remains a symbol of anti-imperialism and socialism, and is one of the most prominent colonist to have lived.

The Cuban Embassy alongside his strategic partners took time to remember Guevara on Monday, 11 July 2022.

The conversation to honour Guevara was held at the Freedom Park, one of the respected sites where the freedom fighters who fought against colonialism and apartheid are honoured.

Guevara once served in Fidel Castro’s administration, the South African government says this is quite a very special moment between the two nations as they paid homage to the freedom fighter.

Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Sibongiseni Dhlomo said Guevara was an intentionalist who fought for the struggles of the Cuban people.

“This blow by blow lecture by Professor Jorge Gonzalez Perez on how Guevara’s remains were discovered in Bolivia and what happened there is something really emotional.

We are delighted that on the 11th of July they decided to have this lecture in South Africa,” said Dr. Dhlomo.

Professor Jorge Gonzalez Perez appointed by Castro to lead the scientific search.

Guevara was captured and assassinated in Bolivia in the 1960’s.

His remains were eventually found in the early 90s after a search by Paris who led a team of biologists, geologists, forensic anthropologists and other experts.

The Cuban ambassador in South Africa, Enrique Orta Gonzalez said history is very important.

“The meaning of these kind of events is to have remembrance of what Ernesto Che Guevara means not only to the Cubans but to the world.

Today we are celebrating the victory of the Cuban when trying to intend to overcome the system that we the Cubans decided to implement in our country.

That is why this is a good opportunity to celebrate between all the Cubans and South Africans,” said Gonzalez.

“Every country is facing many difficulties because of the pandemic economic global crisis faced by the whole world, but in the case of Cuba because of our government which works for the people, the Cubans live in peace,” said Gonzalez when questioned whether Cuba is facing a humanitarian crisis.

The late icon is also a sympathiser of Africa’s course against colonialism, he may be gone but his face remains the central symbol of resistance.

“We felt that it was very important to understand and get that context in terms of what happened when he died, and when his remains were missing for years for almost 28 years and eventually when they were discovered because South Africa is going through the same thing.

There are families currently, who still don’t know where the remains of their loved ones are,” said Freedom Park CEO, Jane Mufamadi.

Gonzalez Perez said Guevara’s family was extremely relieved when they finally brought back to Cuba the freedom fighter’s remains.