Che Guevara – ph. Don Carl Steffen

Text Valentina Barile


Juan Martín Guevara was in Italy with Che, My Brother, the book written together with Armelle Vincent, a French journalist, published by Giunti Editore in September 2017.

We met him in Campobasso, at the Palazzo Gil Auditorium, in Molise Web’s Winter Chronicles.


Can we have an informal interview, please?

«Of course! Don’t be so formal».

You are the last of the Guevara de la Serna family, and I read that there is an age difference of fifteen years with your brother Ernesto. How much could you share with him?

«I will tell you one thing: he read in the bathroom – he read a lot in French – and if you were bothering him, he would say aloud Flaubert, Dumas and Baudelaire. In my family we were very crazy! Nobody got down on the ground to get some things because you got kicked in the ass. Once, my brother Roberto, four years younger than Ernesto, slipped an iron net into the back of his trousers. When he crouched, my cousin kicked him and nearly he broke his foot».

What do you feel when you see T-shirts, key chains and other gadgets with Che’s face?

«It is a form of capitalism. The thought of my brother has nothing to do with this marketing. La Higuera, the place where he died, is no longer a village of four houses, but an open-air boutique. It is repulsive. They even created The Che Road where people go on pilgrimage. Ernesto would not have accepted all of this».

Tell me about your foundation in Buenos Aires. What is it?

«It is called Che vive, but it is still a project. I have four thousand three hundred pages of Ernesto, of which three thousand are political writings and one thousand three hundred compose diaries. I want to spread his thought, I do not care to make it a media event».

In the collective imagination Fidel Castro betrays Ernesto Che Guevara, until he is trapped…

«…when Che was alive, it was Che’s fault. Che died and it was Fidel’s fault, and so on… Among them there was an oversized admiration. If Ernesto had never met Fidel in Mexico, he would never have become Che. He also dedicated a poem to him, and Fidel wrote him three letters, which he read to the Cubans».

Il Che, mio fratello

Juan Martín Guevara e Armelle Vincent

Giunti Editore, 2017, p. 288, €18.00

Image courtesy of Getty – @gettyimages