[sixties-l] Memories of Che, a revolutionary son of Ireland (fwd)

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Date: Thu Mar 28 2002 - 00:06:32 EST

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    Date: Sun, 24 Mar 2002 16:06:04 -0800
    From: radtimes <resist@best.com>
    Subject: Memories of Che, a revolutionary son of Ireland

    Memories of Che, a revolutionary son of Ireland

    London Independent
    21 March 2002
    By Brian McDonald

    For the daughter of Che Guevara, the visit to Galway on the west
    coast of Ireland was something of a homecoming.

    If she had chosen to walk on to the footpath outside the front door
    of the Great Southern Hotel, where she was holding media interviews
    and hosting a series of meetings, Dr Aleida Guevara would almost
    certainly have met a distant relative.

    And if she was in need of further reassurance about her whereabouts,
    the Cuban paediatrician would probably have found it just a stone's
    throw away, where Galway's most fashionable nightclub is named after
    her homeland.

    Dr Guevara is in the Republic of Ireland to explore her roots and, by
    association, the family tree of her father, the Latin American
    guerrilla leader. Galway was a vital stop. The town population
    60,000 is home to the descendants of the Lynches, one of the 14
    great tribes who once ruled the area.

    Their influence continues. Lynch's Castle dominates the city centre;
    Lynch's Restaurant does the best lunchtime trade on the west coast;
    while the Lynch window, from where a mayor of Galway hanged his son
    in medieval times, is possibly the town's biggest tourist trap. But
    until Dr Guevara's visit, few tourists would have been aware that Che
    Guevara was descended from those self-same Lynches.

    The history runs something like this. Patrick Lynch of Lydican Castle
    near Galwaymarried Agnes Blake, and their second son, Patrick, was
    born in 1715. Patrick left Ireland in the 1740s and settled in Buenos
    Aires in 1749.

    His merchant background Galway as a coastal town was a regular
    port of call for trading ships from around the world served him
    well in his new environment. He succeeded in business and married
    Rosa de Galaya de la Camera, a wealthy heiress.

    It was from this marriage that Che's grandmother, Ana Lynch y Ortiz,
    was descended. She married Roberto Guevara Castro, and their eldest
    son was Ernesto Guevara Lynch, who was born in 1900. Ernesto married
    Celia de la Serna de la Llose in 1927, and their first child, who
    would be known internationally as Che, was born in Rosario,
    Argentina, in 1928.

    Reflecting on her father in Galway yesterday, the military hero was
    not what came immediately to the mind of Dr Guevara, but rather the
    caring, sensitive man who deeply loved his wife and five children.

    "I was only four and a half years old when my father went to the
    Congo, but I remember him having a very special feature he was
    very caring, very sensitive.

    "We, his children, received all his tenderness. I remember one day
    when he was with my brother. I realise now that he was saying
    goodbye, but he was stroking my brother's head very tenderly.
    Somehow, that left a mark on me," she said through an interpreter.

    Dr Guevara, a paediatric consultant in Havana, insists that the two
    sides of her father the revolutionary and the caring father
    serve to make the complete man. "We, his family, understand all
    the sacrifices he had to make. It must have been very difficult for
    him to leave his wife and family behind and to chase his dreams.

    "My mother was very much in love with my father. It was an
    extraordinary love and if we as children have been socially useful,
    it is because she educated and formed us."

    The young Che trained as a doctor, but in 1953 he left his homeland
    because of his opposition to the Peron regime. He went to Cuba, where
    he joined the revolution led by Fidel Castro, which overthrew the
    Batista dictatorship in 1959.

    In 1965 he went to the Congo to fight against white mercenaries, and
    later travelled back to South America where he attempted to lead a
    peasant uprising in Bolivia. That conflict claimed his life in 1967.

    During her visit Dr Guevara has given talks at meetings across the
    Republic to promote understanding of Cuba.



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