Thursday, October 2, 2008

Che Guevara The Cuban Revolution In This Era


Ernesto 'Che' Guevara has long polarized opinion, with followers hailing him as a revolutionary hero - Nelson Mandela called him "an inspiration for every human being who loves freedom" - but others seeing him in a very different light.

Today, despite such debates, he is a character of popular culture and the monochrome graphic of his face has been reproduced on thousands of t-shirts, posters and banners across the globe.

Che's international renown is matched by his acclaim in his own country and backpackers staying in various Cuba hostels will find he is still prominent character in the national consciousness.

Havana

In the center of the capital lies the Plaza de la Revolucion and at 72,000 meters square, it's one of the world's largest. It's also the site of public political speeches from Fidel Castro and other significant figures.

On one edge of the Plaza is the building of the Ministerio del Interior and a huge ironwork mural of Che hangs down its side. Such an iconic image of Cuban culture is a must-see for any traveler staying in Havana hostels.

Santa Clara

Travelers looking to find out more about this enigmatic character in Cuba should head on to Santa Clara, the provincial capital of Villa Clara.

Just three hours from Havana, the city is home to a Museum dedicated to Che, as well as his remains which are interred in the mausoleum along with those of his comrades from Bolivia.

Exhibitions at the Museo Historico de la Revolucion include items related to his role in the Cuban Revolution of 1959. It attracts around 170,000 visitors each year, ranging from curious travelers to dedicated supporters.

In the heart of Santa Clara, another square called the Plaza de la Revolucion also contains a large bronze statue of Che.

However, there's much more to both the man and the myth of Che Guevara than these monuments and it's perhaps worth buying one of the books from the museum at Santa Clara.

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