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    Che Guevara's Legacy: A Revolutionary Path for the 21st Century

    By Ali Yerevani
    It was a warm spring evening on the 14th of May 2005, seventy-seven years after the birth of Ernesto Che Guevara. On this day Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC) brought over 150 people together for a hot Havana night at Britannia Community Centre to celebrate Che’s life with a forum entitled, “Che Guevara’s Legacy: A Revolutionary Path for the 21st Century”.

    Che was an internationalist and a revolutionary fighter. The panel of speakers refl ected this, with Tim Louis, Vancouver City Councillor; Dr. Luis Dominguez-Nieto, Cuban doctor and union organizer; Dr. Tayseth Fuentes, Cuban doctor and member of the Partido Comunista de Cuba (PCC); Carlos Lopez, member of La Surda Latin American Collective, organizer with Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba and Mexican political and social justice activist; and Ivan Drury, from the Editorial Board of the Fire This Time Newspaper and an organizer of Youth-Third World Alliance (Y3WA). Translation was provided by Nino Pagliccia a well- known and long-time pro-Cuba activist.

    The presentations brought forth the life of Che, his impact on the revolutionary process in Cuba and his role in Latin America as both a symbol of resistance and teacher of struggle and humanity. Tim Louis opened the event discussing the long lasting impact of Che’s ideas. He said, “The CIA thought they’d finished Che off in 1967 when they murdered him. But in fact Che lives on today in the hearts and minds of every Cuban child, Cuba which has the highest infant morality rate of any nation in Latin America. That’s a result of Che’s inspiration.”

    Tim Louis was followed by Dr. Luis Dominguez-Nieto who gave a short biography on Che and talked especially well about Che’s impact on the work of doctors in Cuba.

    After Luis, Dr. Tayseth Fuentes gave a slide show and talk about Che’s ideas and the implementation of his revolutionary ideas into his life.

    Carlos Lopez followed Tayseth opening with statistics on the poverty and misery faced by the people of Latin America today in the face of neo-liberal globalization and imperialism. Carlos outlined how Che inspires people to struggle and fight for change in all Latin American countries.

    “Che represents the future,” explained Ivan Drury, who spoke following Carlos. “He represents the future because he represents the interests of oppressed people around the world against imperialism and against capitalism.” Ivan went on to explain the changes that need to be made here in Canada in fighting against both imperialism and capitalism and how the ideas of Che are relevant to that struggle.

    The forum was attended by a diverse crowd with many young people, people of colour, women, students, immigrants and refugees coming to learn more about the ideas of this popular icon. Through the presentations on Che’s experiences people learned more about the Cuban revolution and the fight for social justice and human dignity being fought for today in Cuba.

    While wrapping up the speakers Tamara Hansen co-ordinator of Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC) introduced the group’s newest campaign, a petition against Luis Posada Carriles an anti-Cuban terrorist. The petition was read out loud and through clapping and cheering the forum passed a resolution demanding: No asylum for Luis Posada Carriles in the US! Defend Cuba against terrorist attacks! Honour the extradition demand of Venezuela! (For More information see the “Who is anti- Cuban Terrorist Luis Posada Carriles?” article in this issue of Fire This Time.)

    After the speakers spoke there was only time for one question which was, “What will happen in Cuba after Fidel Castro dies?” Cuban doctor Tayseth Fuentes responded saying that people around the world seem to be very concerned about this question, but most Cubans are not. She said, “After Fidel dies the Cuban revolution and the people of Cuba will continue on, much like after the death of Che, with Fidel’s legacy in their minds and hearts.”


    Hasta la Victoria Siempre!

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