The Cuban people once again expressed their love for Ernesto Che Guevara on October 8, when over 60,000 people gathered in the square bearing his name to honor the Heroic Guerilla and his comrades in arms, on the 50th anniversary of his death.
The ceremony was attended by Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Party Central Committee and President of the Councils of State and Ministers of Cuba who, shortly before the ceremony, and together with other Party Political Bureau members, paid tribute to the Heroic Guerilla and the Reinforcement Detachment at the memorial erected in their honor.
The words of Fidel at the solemn wake, when he announced the sad news of Che’s death to the people of Cuba, could be heard once again, moving all in attendance:
“If we want the model of a person, the model of a human being who does not belong to our time but to the future, I say from the depths of my heart that such a model, without a single stain on his conduct, without a single stain on his action, without a single stain on his behavior, is Che! If we wish to express what we want our children to be, we must say from our very hearts as ardent revolutionaries: we want them to be like Che!”
This oath, “We will be like Che!” was then repeated by 50 elementary school children who were presented with their blue kerchiefs identifying them as members of the José Martí Pioneers Organization.
During the ceremony, ninth grade pupil Leyanis Águila, and pre-university student Sara Mary Vega, spoke on behalf of Cuba’s new generations who have grown up with the example of Che, and who have the enormous responsibility of continuing one of his greatest legacies: the Cuban Revolution.
Artists from the province also paid homage to the Heroic Guerilla, performing songs and reciting poems dedicated to Che.
Also participating in the political-cultural act were members of the Party Political Bureau, the Central Committee Secretariat, and vice presidents of the Councils of State and Ministers, as well as senior officials from the Party, government, youth and mass organizations, Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, Ministry of the Interior, and others.
Relatives of Che and his compañeros in Bolivia were also present, as well as a delegation of combatants from the invading columns of the Battle of Santa Clara.