Presentation on Commander Ernesto Che Guevara Memorial by Representative of Casa Las Americas
50 years have passed since the fall of Commander Ernesto Che Guevara in Bolivia, a fervent fighter for the freedom and well-being of the suffering peoples of America and the world; a hero of the glorious Cuban revolution.
Che belongs to a lineage of men and women who have attained eternal glory by their achievements for the good of humanity. With his death, an extraordinary human being was lost, and a brave fighter, who gave his life for the greatest force that flows through the universe: love. That is why his image has spread throughout the sphere of the planet.
On the fateful afternoon of October 9 at one and 10 minutes of the afternoon of 1967, in La Higuera, Bolivia, with the assassination of the heroic guerrilla, a new star in the sky was born.
Other compañeros and compañeras here tonight discuss different aspects of the historical trajectory of Comandante Che. Casa de las América today shares theirs and narrates a brief chapter in the life of Che, a little known one—-as it was directly linked to the founders, specifically with a companion of ‘Casa:’ the late Don Pablo Estremera who, by the way, was the first president of Casa Cuba, what we now know as Casa de las Américas.
This comrade was a member of the July 26 movement in NY, founded by Fidel during his stay in this city in 1955. There it was established that said committee would be a support group for the combatants once they were on the war front that turned out to be in the Sierra Maestra. In due time after their arrival, the committee of 26 in NY is asked for a sum of money, which must be delivered to Fidel in the Sierra Maestra. Don Pablo Estremera was selected for this task because, despite being Puerto Rican by birth, he was the only one familiar with the region, having been raised around the Sierra Maestra.
Says the unpublished history, that Don Pablo, undertook his trip to the Sierra Maestra in search of Fidel, there he met with a brigade of guerrillas led by Che and they took him as a prisoner. When Che interrogates him, he tells him that he has an assignment from the July 27 NY committee to meet with Fidel. Che tells Don Pablo that if what he says is not true, he runs the risk of being shot.
After three days of touring the mountain range, they arrived at Fidel’s camp. Che went forward to alert Fidel of Don Pablo’s presence and told him that there was a parakeet there who said he had an assignment from NY to meet Fidel.
After three days of touring the mountain range, they arrived at Fidel’s camp. Che went forward to alert Fidel of Don Pablo’s presence—that there was a ‘parakeet’ who said he had been entrusted from NY to meet Fidel.
Parakeet? Fidel asked. Che relates tod the word parakeet because the man talked so much, did not stop talking on their way to Fidel. His name is Pablo Che replies. “Oh, that’s Pablito,” make it happen responded Fidel. Both men talked, in this way fulfilling the much difficult and dangerous task.
Since then Don Pablo was baptized by Che with the nickname of “Periquito.” A man of short stature and giant in bravery, at 65 years of age he became Fidel’s “mail delivery man” as he returned to the mountains when necessary. A great friendship was forged from that unexpected encounter between Che and the “Periquito” Pablo Estremera, the anonymous hero of the Cuban revolution.
In his visit to the United Nations, Che asked to meet with the compañeros and compañeras of Casa Cuba, especially Don Pablo Estremera, to thank him for the great work they did during the Cuban liberation war. A great friendship was established between Don Pablo and Che.
Long live Che, long live Fidel, and long live the great Cuban revolution.
Data acquired from the archive of Arnaldo Barrón