Forever Camilo

By Gustavo A Maranges on September 6, 2022

Photo: EPA

Among the recent tragedies we have suffered, the early departure of Camilo Guevara March is one more that has left us with such deep sadness. When his father Ernesto Che Guevara knew about the death of his mother Celia de la Serna, he was in the middle of the jungle in Congo. People say he wanted to be alone for a while, walked whistling softly… He maybe cried, maybe he told her in those intimate dialogues we have inside: Oh my long time love, how I would like to hug you to say goodbye.

I could not believe it when a dear Venezuelan colleague told me the news of his passing a few days ago in the afternoon. I awkwardly wrote to my close friend Rosita Alizo, Camilo’s companion, and the mother of his youngest daughter and to  Ernestito and Aleidita Guevara, his siblings.

Tell me there is a mistake, that it is a lie, I said. Unfortunately, it is true, answered Ernestito, the youngest of the Guevara family. Sadly, the news is true, said Aliucha, the eldest of Che and Aleida’s children.

Now we are in deep pain, with infinite sadness for the blows that life gives us after it takes away from us an extraordinary, vital man, with integrity in his convictions and ethics. So modest and unbending, so similar in his features to his parents, both so beautiful. So serious and profound when he spoke about Che’s legacy, his ideas as a creator, and his hard-working spirit.

Camilo was a handsome and brilliant lawyer. He not only inherited from his father the deep look, the forehead, the sparse beard, and the aesthetic beauty in the photographs. He also inherited the tenacity, the work capacity, and the fact that he had to sacrifice, in some way, his deep love for the responsibility he assumed in the Che Guevara Study Center, which he directed. He set this place ready to serve the community, the children, the students, the Cuban educators, and the visitors from different countries of the world. People who came to know the extraordinarily valuable archives that the Che Center keeps to preserve his legacy, for people who wanted to know firsthand about Che.

Camilo also inherited modesty, education, a sense of family, and love for his children. He was a great father and never boasted of being Che’s son, the heroic guerrilla who is loved all over Cuba and still alive more than ever in every rebellion of our people.

In February 2020, before the damn pandemic swept the world, the children, sister, and brother-in-law of Miriam Moro and Roberto De Vicenzo, detained-disappeared by the Argentine military dictatorship, came to Cuba to present the book “Forever Young., Miriam and Roberto, a love story in times of struggles”. Like all those who visit us, especially the Argentines, they wanted to visit the Che Guevara Study Center.

We coordinated the visit and later went there. When they arrived, they could not believe that it was Camilo, Che’s son, who received them. For over an hour, he explained intensively and in detail the way the Center worked. He showed them how thousands of documents, some of them unpublished, were classified to give rise to so much information. He passionately talked about using the advances of technology to put at the service of humanity the legacy of Che, something he was tirelessly working on.

It is very difficult to imagine his mother Aleida March, his daughters, his companion Rosita and his dear brothers’ pain. A suffering that was shared by Army General Raul Castro, Commander Ramiro Valdes, the entire leadership of the Revolutionary Government, and all those who had the enormous privilege of knowing him.

In a conversation with Graciela Ramirez, the editor of Cuba in Resumen, and a good friend and colleague of Camilo’s, she elaborated on his words to those who loved him;

“Because we are family,” wrote Camilo, in 2020, to the relatives of the disappeared from Rosario in March 2020 in the dedication of the magazine “Paradigma. Che Guevara’s presence on the 90th anniversary of his birth.

Because we are family, I embrace in the grief of your whole family, which I feel so dear and close to.

Because we are family and companions in the struggle, I miss you since you left without being able to hug you, with so much life ahead, with so many dreams, with so much love.

We will always remember you, beloved Camilo Guevara”.

Source: Resumen Latinoamericano – US