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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2345

Evocation-A Woman behind a Martyr

By Leel Pathirana

Legendary revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara’s Widow Ms. Alida March unveiled her intimate memoir, "Evocation," recently, in which she narrates her six years with Cuba's hero before he left her for his clandestine trip to make a revolution in Latin America. Aleida March, widow of Argentine-Cuban revolutionary leader Ernesto Che Guevara, which talks about her life with Guevara, taken during the presentation at the Casa de las Americas cultural institution in Havana. (Photo / Adalberto Roque)Aleida March, widow of Argentine-Cuban revolutionary leader Ernesto Che Guevara, which talks about her life with Guevara, taken during the presentation at the Casa de las Americas cultural institution in Havana. (Photo / Adalberto Roque)

Aleida March, 71, dedicated her book to 'my children, my greatest source of inspiration' and to her late husband's comrade-in-arms, former Cuban president Fidel Castro, 'to whom I owe everything.‘ The book already published in Italy, Spain, Greece, and Serbia also will be present in Japan soon. I wonder if there is going to be released also in US, as until now I didn’t find any source that confirms this she added.

Aleida March became the second wife of the Cuban legendary Che in 1959 and they spent together eight years. Their children encouraged her to write the book, forty years after Che Guevara’s death in Bolivia. She tenderly describes behind the revolutionary icon in her book.

In addition, she was convinced to finally tell her story by respected Italian filmmaker Alessandro Cecconi. She reveals that after a romance that began when they were guerrilla comrades in the Cuban revolution, Che wanted their 1959 wedding to be small and private. But Raul Castro (Present President of Cuba) found out and threw a big party. Unfortunately, he neglected to invite his own brother, Fidel (Fidel Castro) who was miffed. Front cover of the book 'Evocation' by Aleida March. (Photo / Alalberto Roque)Front cover of the book 'Evocation' by Aleida March. (Photo / Alalberto Roque)

Nobody told Fidel, because of the clandestine way in which the party was planned, and he arrived complaining that nobody had invited him, "He left soon afterward" She writes.

Che gave his bride a bottle of Flor de Roca perfume by Caron, "which, of course, I never forgot," she reminisces.

But Che wouldn't let her keep the many gifts sent to them, giving them away to the poor. On his trips, he would receive gifts from his hosts, some of them were very expensive, March writes. He would get presents for me as well, and he would give them away if he considered them too ostentatious.

She was given a color TV only to see Che pass it on to a factory worker. And back then, it was sort of an unimaginable item, March says, adding once, after a trip to Algeria, he received a barrel of an excellent wine. When he arrived home, he told me to give it to the army barracks near our home. I would not always unconditionally obey his mandates. Knowing that wine was one of the few treats he allowed himself, I kept five liters.

Che had a dry sense of humor, she writes, adding that he once teased her in a postcard from Morocco, "I was planning to stay faithful to you, but you should see these Moorish girls!"

One of the most heart-rending stories March tells is how Che dressed in disguise to visit his own children before his final secret trip to Bolivia to foment revolution there. "When the kids arrived, I introduced them to a Uruguayan old man, 'Ramon' [Che], a 'friend' of dad's. They never imagined this 60-year-old man could be their daddy," March writes. "For both Che and me, it was an extremely painful moment.

The kids played with 'Ramón' all day. Then, Aleidita [then 7] hit her head after running wild, and Che [a physician] took care of her. Soon afterwards, she came to me to tell me a secret he could overhear,’ Mommy this man is in love with me!'

Che was captured 08 October 1967, killed the next day by the CIA led Bolivian Army unit and Che’s last words were with the CIA offer Felix Rodriguez, “Tell Fidel this is not a defeat, Tell Aleida to re-marry, carry on her studies, and look after the Children’s and give them good education”

Then entered the executioner, Mario Teran, "Shoot, coward! You are only going to kill a man." Che told.

After the death of Ernesto Che Guevara, French Philosopher, Dramatist, Novelist and Critic Jean- Paul Sartre stated “Che is a perfect Human Being in our Age.”

- Asian Tribune

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