‘Another Cuban woman’

THESSALONIKI – Her resemblance to her father is amazing. Aleida Guevara has her father’s features and has inherited the revolutionary fire and international solidarity of the legendary commandante of the 1960s. The only thing missing is the black beret with red star and a beard. Aleida Guevara, one of Che’s five children, is in Thessaloniki to attend a conference of the Europe-Cuba friendship associations. She objected strongly when Kathimerini asked her to comment on comparisons that have been drawn between her father and Osama bin Laden. There is no comparison. My father was a revolutionary while (bin Laden) is a creation of the CIA, she said. Guevara calls herself an international worker committed to the socialist revolution, volunteering her services as a doctor wherever necessary, such as in Nicaragua and Angola. The Egyptian writer Kemal Geitani recently warned that bin Laden could become the Che Guevara of the Arab world, and in fact found similarities between them in that both abandoned a comfortable life to take up arms. What do you say to that? Every person is an individual and each person lives at a particular time. My father was a revolutionary; his ambition was to change the world in order to bring about a more just and democratic society. In the case of this person, we do know what exactly he is in favor of. Apart from that, it would be very sad for the Arab world to be led by, or to set up as an example, someone who was created by the CIA. There is, therefore, no comparison between the two. What do you think your father would have said if he had seen the aircraft crashing into the Manhattan skyscrapers, the ultimate symbols of capitalism? I respect my father and so I never speak in his name since he is no longer alive. But I believe that he would reject, he would condemn any form of terrorism, even though some people used to call him a terrorist himself. My father was a very honorable and sincere person. The world doesn’t change if you punish someone who has committed a crime by committing the same crime yourself, but only by changing conditions so that the crime is not repeated. What do people in Cuba say about what is happening, given that they are still suffering from the continuing trade embargo by the USA? As a country that has known terrorism on the part of the USA, since the embargo is a form of terrorism, Cuba does not want another nation to suffer from it. We have always said and we repeat that we will never become enemies of the people of the United States. We do not want anyone to be harmed. Nevertheless, we realize that the US itself is responsible for what is happening, because it has managed to spread hate among people as well as the desire for revenge because of the things (it) has done. Where is Cuba going today? Is it completing its course toward socialism or is it sliding back into capitalism, as many people claim? In my country, the themes are socialism or death, my country or death. For us, the only course possible is to develop socialism and that has become embedded in our consciousness. Do you feel that your name is a heavy burden to bear? My father was my father, and I am very proud of him, but I am who I am. I am just another Cuban woman who was born and brought up during the socialist revolution and I am a militant of the Cuban Communist Party. I am an international worker, in Nicaragua and Angola, and I believe I am doing whatever my people expect me to. What is your relationship with Fidel Castro? He is an uncle to me, at least that is what I have called him since I was a child. You know he is the father figure that has always been with me since I was very young. I couldn’t even get married before my uncle came to the house to give his consent, as is our custom.

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