14ymedio, Havana, 12 June 2018 – The image of Ernesto Che Guevara has reawakened a controversy in Rosario, his hometown, ninety years after his birth. As of this Monday, the Q Line trolleybuses circulate through this Argentinian city with the guerrilla’s face plastered on the vehicles.
The Mayor of Rosario, Monica Fein, announced on her Twitter account that the images on the buses are meant as a tribute on the anniversary of Guevara’s birth, and invited citizens to join the commemorative activities with the hashtag #90VecesChe.
Among the events published on the city’s official website are “The Che Route,” a series of offerings in the square that bears his name, art shows and musical presentations.
According to the local press, the controversy immediately broke out on social networks between supporters and detractors. The councilman from the Cambiemos (Let’s Change) coalition, Gabriel Chumpitaz, opposed the measure, posting on Twitter that the municipality “should honor Rosarinos who through their daily activities enhance our city, and not spend money on this figure who is so controversial and who brought nothing to Rosario.”
Last year, Fundación Bases, a liberal non-profit organization in the city, collected signatures to remove the monument to Che Guevara in Rosario.
“The murderous legacy of communism and this figure do not deserve homages from the state, of a party-ideological nature, financed by taxes paid by all citizens,” read the petition published on the Change.org platform, which obtained around 3,400 signatures but did not achieve its goal of removing the statue.
“Guevarismo in Cuba resulted in 10,723 people killed by the communist regime, 78,000 dead trying to escape the island, 14,000 dead in military interventions abroad, 5,300 dead in the Escambray rebellion (mostly peasants and children), persecution of intellectuals, homosexuals and dissidents,” said the petition, which also called for the elimination of other tributes to the Argentine guerrilla, such as plaques and murals.
The 14ymedio team is committed to serious journalism that reflects the reality of deep Cuba. Thank you for joining us on this long road. We invite you to continue supporting us, but this time by becoming a member of 14ymedio. Together we can continue to transform journalism in Cuba.