Cuba Celebrates Che

Casto, too weak to attend, calls comrade 'a flower yanked prematurely from its stem'
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2007 5:16 PM CDT
Cuba's acting President Raul Castro greets Aleida Guevara, Che's daughter, during a ceremony in honor of the late Argentine-born Cuba's revolutionary leader Ernesto 'Che' Guevara in Santa Clara, Monday,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – About 10,000 Cubans gathered today to honor Che Guevara, the man who helped Fidel Castro take power in the 1959 communist revolution. Calling Che "a flower yanked prematurely from its stem," Castro, too weak to attend, praised the icon in a message read to the crowd. The rally was held to recognize the 40th anniversary of Guevara's death at the hands of CIA-backed Bolivian troops.

Some attendees used the event to rally support for Che's political ideals. Guevara's daughter called recent changes in Latin politics a vindication of her father; one official vowed that Cuba will never come "under the Yankee boot." Che is also a symbol of resistance in the US, adorning chic products like Swatch watches and baseball caps, Reuters reports.