By: Ignacio Estrada
Havana, Cuba — Around 11:00 in the morning last Friday, April 19, while Latin America was following the inauguration of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, the distinguished intellectual and communist Alfredo Guevara died in the Cuban capital.
Guevara’s death was first announced on the multi-national news channel TeleSur and later on a cultural segment broadcast on the afternoon news. The news was further broadcast in prime time on the National News on Cuban Television (NTV), highlighting the role he occupied, the high positions in Cuban culture he held, and remembering his path as a student and his communist militancy.
Alfredo Guevara is known as one of the wealthiest Cubans in recent times, a fortune due in large part to his chairmanship of the New Latin American Film Festival and his career as a diplomat. Guevara’s wealth is exceeded, according to some, by that of the Prima Ballerina Absolute Alicia Alonso and the renowned Havana Historian Eusebio Leal.
What is true is that the next edition of the Havana Film Festival will not enjoy the presence of Alfredo Guevara, an absence that could mark an era of deterioration of this important event held every year in December.
Alfredo Guevara’s body was cremated at his request, and his ashes were scattered on the steps of the University of Havana in a ceremony attended by members of the diplomatic corp, advisers to the Cuban president, artist friends and family. Guevara’s ashes ascended the university steps before being scattered from the hands of his granddaughter.
The absence from the ceremony of the Castro family, close to the intellectual, is something that is even wondered about on Cuba’s streets, because the close ties of friendship that bind the children of former President Fidel Castro and the Cuban incumbent are well-known, children with whom he customarily went out to dinner and shared a few drinks in one of the most expensive businesses in Old Havana, the Mama Ines Restaurant. This business belongs to Ireneo, a renowned former chef to the Castro family.
Meanwhile, the national television broadcast recalled the final interview Alfredo Guevara gave to Amaury Perez Vidal, director of the television show “Con dos se quieren… basta” (When there is true affection, two is more than enough).
22 April 2013