Yesterday, Pope John Paul II held his first mass in the Cuban city of Santa Clara. Located 3 hours away from Havana, it is also the place where, on December 28, 1958, Che Guevara led an attack on the forces of the former dictator Fulgencio Batista, leading to his ouster and to the Cuban revolution’s triumph on January 1, 1959.
Guevara is revered in Santa Clara, where thousands gathered for three days of festivities last year when his remains were buried after being returned from Bolivia, where he died leading an abortive revolution in 1967. A monument to his Santa Clara victory sits on a hill overlooking the field where the pope celebrated Mass. The Pope’s handlers, however, were careful to prevent him from being photographed against any backdrop honoring the slain revolutionary.
When Amy was in Cuba several weeks ago, she visited a production company called Mundo Latino. Today, we play the audio of one of their video-documentaries. It’s called “Che — Love, Politics, and Rebelry.”