En este momento estás viendo Cuba evokes the discovery of Che’s remains

Cuba evokes the discovery of Che’s remains

Cuba today commemorates the 27th anniversary of the discovery of the mortal remains of the Argentinean Cuban guerrilla Ernesto Che Guevara, an event considered a milestone in Cuban science and a symbol of victory.

On 28 June 1997, the bodies of Che and six other comrades were found on the runway of an airport in the town of Vallegrande, Bolivia, on the site where 30 years earlier he had been assassinated by Bolivian soldiers.

The search was launched in November 1995, following statements by the military officer Mario Vargas Salinas, a former high-ranking officer in the Bolivian armed forces, who confessed to knowing the location of Che’s remains.

The historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, appointed the doctor of Medical Sciences, Jorge González, then director of the Institute of Legal Medicine in Havana, to head the scientific search, which had to be carried out under multiple pressures due to its symbolism.

One day after the Bolivian government gave the Cubans 48 hours to finish, the discovery was made.

Attached to Che’s remains, part of his olive green jacket was found, as well as pieces of the leather belt he was wearing the day he was killed.

The decades-long collection of information and testimonies by Cuban and other researchers was key and facilitated the work of Cuban geologists, forensic anthropologists, biologists, geophysicists and other social scientists from 15 institutions who worked on the search.

Under custody, the remains were studied on Bolivian soil and subjected to numerous identification tests, and on 12 July 1997 they arrived in Havana, where they were received with honours and respect.

On their arrival, Che’s daughter Aleida Guevara said: «Today their remains come to us, but they do not arrive defeated; they come converted into heroes, eternally young, brave, strong, audacious. No one can take that away from us; they will always be alive with their children, in the people.

A whole generation of Cubans was marked by the images of the arrival of the coffins at the military airport of San Antonio de los Baños and their subsequent transfer to the mausoleum in the city of Santa Clara, in central Cuba, where Che fought one of the most important battles of the war of liberation on the island.

Thousands of people visit the installation every year, which also treasures documents, photos and historical pieces related to the life and work of the man also known as the Heroic Guerrilla.

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