Guevara, Aleida 1960- (Aleida Guevara March)
Guevara, Aleida 1960- (Aleida Guevara March)
Born November 17, 1960, in Havana, Cuba; daughter of Ernesto "Che" Guevara (physician and revolutionary) and Aleida March; married; children: two daughters. Education: Attended University of Havana and the University of Managua in Nicaragua.
Physician, writer, and political activist. Has worked as a doctor in Angola, Nicaragua, and Ecuador; helps run the Che Guevara Studies Center of Havana, Cuba.
(Author of foreword, as Aleida Guevara March) Ernesto "Che" Guevara, The African Dream: The Diaries of the Revolutionary War in the Congo, translated from the Spanish by Patrick Camiller, introduction by Richard Gott, Grove Press (New York, NY), 2001.
(Author of preface) Ernesto "Che" Guevara, The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey, Ocean Press (New York, NY), 2003.
Chávez, Venezuela and the New Latin America: An Interview with Hugo Chávez (also a documentary film, see below), Ocean Press (New York, NY), 2005, published in Spanish as Chávez: un hombre que anda por ahi, Ocean Sur (New York, NY), 2005.
(Author of preface) Ernesto "Che" Guevara, Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War, Ocean Press (New York, NY), 2005, published in Spanish as Pasajes de la Guerra Revolucionaria, Ocean Sur (New York, NY), 2006.
(Author of preface) Ernesto "Che" Guevara, Pasajes de la Guerra Revolucionaria: Congo, Ocean Sur (New York, NY), 2006.
Chávez, Venezuela and the New Latin America, Ocean Film (New York, NY), 2004.
Aleida Guevara Remembers Her Father, Che, directed by Carlos A. Garcia, Ocean Press (New York, NY), 2007.
Contributor to periodicals.
Aleida Guevara is the daughter of the famous revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara and Aleida March, who also worked in revolutionary movements. An Argentinean Marxist, author, and global political figure, Che Guevara was also a leader among the Cuban and internationalist guerrillas and worked to bring Fidel Castro to power in Cuba. He eventually had a falling out with Castro, traveled to Africa, and was killed in Bolivia in 1967 while leading another revolutionary movement. Commenting on her father in an interview with Angelique Chrisafis in the Guardian, the author noted: "He was a special, magical human being, with a capacity to give himself completely to something, to a cause, to inspire. He gave himself completely to my mother, with a great thirst for love—a great lover. He was never afraid of succumbing to any cause or emotion."
A physician who specializes in children's allergies, Aleida Guevara is also an author and political activist who has followed in her father's footsteps in fighting, albeit nonviolently, for what she believes are the rights of the poor and disenfranchised. In an interview with Liz Else in the New Scientist, the author addressed the idea of science and activism, noting: "We who are of the left are fighting so that there will be more people in the world who will have all of the possibilities. I think that for us science is crucial, starting from the way we use our resources to the way we will be able to use whatever comes to us. For example, in the early 1960s my dad said that he would like to study nuclear science because at the time it was something from the future."
As a practicing pediatrician, Aleida Guevara has worked in several countries caring for poor children, including Angola, Nicaragua, and Ecuador. In an interview with Gail A. Reed for the MEDICC Review Web site, Guevara noted: "The indigenous people and their roots give me strength. And they have taught me important lessons. A Guayu woman in Venezuela said to me ‘I don't want to be seen by a white doctor.’ And when I asked her why, she said, ‘Because white doctors ask you what your name is, what your address is, where you live … but what does that have to do with the pain I have?’" Guevara went on to note: "She was the person who taught me that I first have to ask: ‘What's wrong? How is the child feeling? How can I help?’ What's important is to begin this doctor-patient relationship with what really matters."
Aleida Guevara is also an avid antiglobalization activist and has been outspoken about many issues concerning the United States, including the embargo on Cuba. In her interview with Else for the New Scientist, Guevara noted: "The U.S. is isolating Cuba, and that is very costly for the country." As an example, Guevara pointed to the lack of certain medical technology due to the embargo. Guevara has also traveled to various countries to speak about the jailing of Cuban spies who were ferreting out efforts by members of Florida's large Cuban community to commit what she has called terrorist activities in Cuba.
As an author, Aleida Guevara has written for periodicals and is the author of forewords to several of her fathers' books, including The African Dream: The Diaries of the Revolutionary War in the Congo. The diaries cover the time after 1965 following Che Guevara's departure from Cuba and his traveling incognito in Africa, where he hoped to help the oppressed people of the Congo rid themselves of colonial imperialism. These unabridged journals of the expedition reveal how Che Guevara dealt with the failure of a political and ideological dream, and they reveal the thoughts and emotions of the man that many consider to be the twentieth century's greatest revolutionary martyr. The book also includes Che Guevara's letters to Congolese guerrilla leaders, whom he often criticized in his diaries. A Publishers Weekly contributor noted that "readers will find that these writings further their understanding of one of the late twentieth century's most intriguing historical figures."
Aleida Guevara is also the author of Chávez, Venezuela and the New Latin America: An Interview with Hugo Chávez. Aleida Guevara conducted the interview with Chávez in 2004 as part of a documentary film. Chávez was the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution in the 1990s and is a strong proponent of democratic socialism as well as Latin American integration. His anti-imperialist beliefs have also led him to be a strong critic of globalization and of United States foreign policy. A highly controversial figure around the world, Chávez and his policies have been welcomed and criticized, both in Venezuela and elsewhere. Many people in the U.S. government view Chávez as a threat to democracy in Latin America. Time magazine named Chávez one of the world's one hundred most influential people both in 2005 and 2006.
Chávez, Venezuela and the New Latin America covers topics such as the status of modern Venezuela, including its social welfare programs and the national oligarchy. Also discussed is Chávez's revolutionary awakening and political rise to power as he was elected president by an overwhelming popular mandate in 1998. His fiercely nationalistic vision for Venezuela and outspokenness against many policies of the United States has made him one of the most controversial leaders in Latin America. In the book, Chávez discusses his relationship with Fidel Castro and the United States, the war in Iraq led by the United States, and the military coup against his government that occurred in 2002. The book also includes Chávez's discussion of Venezuela's democratic constitution, military dictatorships in Latin America, and even Chávez's children and grandchildren. A contributor to Tikkun noted that the author gives "voice to Chávez's remarkably eclectic and consistent intellectual apparatus."
The author has continued her own efforts in political activism. In an article she wrote for the Guardian, the author summed up her activist views this way: "We all need to live in a better world. Solidarity and unity are indispensable in these times. Let us do our best. It is likely that only humans can dream. I do not know. But what I know is that only we have the capacity to make our dreams come true."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Africa News Service, March 26, 2007, "KK—Lest We Forget."
EFE World News Service, May 1, 2001, "Cuban Revolution to Outlast Castro, Che Guevara's Daughter Says," p. 1008075; July 6, 2003, "Che's Daughter Says She Admires Struggle of Anonymous Heroes," p. 1008187; September 30, 2003, "Daughter of Che Tours Canada to Blast U.S. on Detainees," p. 1008273; October 1, 2003, "Che's Daughter in Canada to Denounce Jailed Cuban Spies' Plight," p. 1008274; September 22, 2004, "Che's Daughter Campaigns for Cuban Spies Jailed in U.S.,"; April 19, 2007, "Libyan Leader Gadhafi Meets with Che's Daughter."
Guardian (London, England), May 3, 2002, Angelique Chrisafis, "Che, My Father," profile of author; October 13, 2004, Aleida Guevara, "Time to Act, Not Just Talk."
Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2001, review of The African Dream: The Diaries of the Revolutionary War in the Congo, p. 1088.
New Scientist, December 11, 2004, Liz Else, "Daughter of the Revolution," interview with author, p. 44.
New York Review of Books, October 6, 2005, Alma Guillermoprieto, "Don't Cry for Me, Venezuela," book reviews, p. 26.
New York Times, July 14, 1997, "Last Respects to Che Guevara"; October 9, 2007, Marc Lacey, "A Communist He Was, but Today, Che Sells," p. 4.
Publishers Weekly, August 27, 2001, review of The African Dream, p. 65.
Reference & Research Book News, November, 2006, review of Chávez, Venezuela and the New Latin America: An Interview with Hugo Chávez.
Tikkun, January 1, 2006, "Chávez: An Interview with Hugo Chávez," review of Chávez, Venezuela and the New Latin America, p. 81.
Cuban Libraries Solidarities Group,http://www.cubanlibrariessolidaritygroup.org.uk/ (March 13, 2008), includes interview articles with author.
MEDICC Review,http://www.medicc.org/publications/medicc_review/ (March 13, 2008), Gail A. Reed, "A Conversation with Internationalist Aleida Guevara, MD."
MWC News,http://mwcnews.net/ (March 13, 2008), Ben Heine, "Life & Legacy of Che Guevara; Forty Years after His Death."
Tim Worstall Tabloid Edition,http://timworstall.typepad.com/ (October 16, 2004), "Aleida Guevara Speaks Out!," interview with author.