Photo: Ernesto 'Che' Guevara
This month UNESCO gave guerrilla revolutionary Che Guevara’s manuscripts including the “Motorcycle Diaries’ world heritage status. In doing so UNESCO recognized that the items belonging to and about Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara are worthy of preserving for prosperity and must be protected with the assistance of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
UNESCO gave this exclusive status to Guevara’s documents that include the original manuscripts of Che’s youthful adventures across Latin American that became the “Motorcycle Diaries’ as well as his personal diary in Bolivia that he kept shortly before he was executed by the military in 1967.
This Argentine Marxist and guerrilla leader fought along side Fidel Castro in the Cuban revolution in the 1960’s. After fulfilling several roles in the post-revolutionary Castro government he went on to assist in other revolutions including those in Africa and Bolivia.
The inventory of documents includes 1,007 documents that cover the period of Guevara’s life from 1928 to 1967. The documents concern his revolutionary work, essays, personal writings, biographical material and correspondence. 431 manuscripts were written by Che himself while 567 are documents about or related to him.
Negative reaction was swift from Cuban-American legislators like Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen who felt the honor was not befitting for someone like Guevara who she views as a mass murder and a “blood thirsty, murderous sadist”.
Guevara’s family, including his widow and two children, attended a celebration in Havana to celebrate the UNESCO honor.