November 24, 1960 |
She is a doctor of medicine, and, like her father, a Marxist. She is based at the William Soler Children's Hospital in Havana and has also worked as a physician in Angola, Ecuador, and Nicaragua. She is interviewed about the philosophy behind universal health care in Michael Moore's film Sicko.
Although Aleida was only four and a half when her father left Cuba to foment revolution in the Congo, and almost 7 years old when he was executed in Bolivia, she still has fond memories of him. One such story that she has shared publicly is that her father (Che) would make up animal stories for his faraway children, stating:
My father didn't have the opportunity to enjoy our childhoods. But when he was away, which was most of the time, he would send us stories and drawings on postcards. My brother Camilo was told off at nursery school for using swearwords, and my mother confronted Che because he had a habit of swearing – as all Argentinians do. He was in Africa and he wrote to Camilo telling him that he couldn't swear at school, or Pepe the Caiman [invented by Guevara] would bite off Che's leg. So he had to stop swearing to protect his father.
Her father's influence
My father's writings are like those of José Martí, the values they encapsulate are everlasting.— Aleida Guevara 
Guevara refers to her father Che as a source of personal inspiration. While giving speeches throughout the world she often mentions his writings, while remarking that she finds his diaries particularly helpful for their "political insights and emotional maturity". She has also stated that she finds herself occasionally exclaiming: "Caramba! If only we'd put in practice this or that suggestion we would be in a better position now." In reference to her father's widespread use as a symbol of rebellion, she has stated that when she sees a child carrying his image on a march and the child says "I want to be like Che and fight until final victory", that she feels elated.
In discussing her father's legacy, Aleida has remarked that:
My father knew how to love, and that was the most beautiful feature of him – his capacity to love. To be a proper revolutionary, you have to be a romantic. His capacity to give himself to the cause of others was at the centre of his beliefs – if we could only follow his example, the world would be a much more beautiful place.
Angolan medical mission
Guevara cites her time as part of a Cuban medical mission in Angola as leaving a lasting mark. She describes the impact of this experience with these words:
"I managed to save many children's lives, but sometimes I just couldn't. The sorrow and regret stay with you forever. The impotence felt at the time motivates me to act against racism, the exploitation of human beings, and the frequent indolence of those who accept things as they are."
Current work and personal life
As of 2009, Guevara helps run two homes for disabled children in Cuba and two more for refugee children with domestic problems. As a pediatrician specializing in childhood allergies, she has also been involved in medical support for a community in the flooded area around Rio Cauto in eastern Cuba, while she has announced plans to work on the Island of Youth, which was devastated by several 2008 hurricanes.
She also participates as public intellectual and activist in conferences, debates and festivals, such as the Subversive Festival on May 4–8, 2013 in Zagreb, Croatia, where she is guest speaker next to other notable public thinkers like Slavoj Zizek and Tariq Ali.
She has two daughters, Estefania (aka 'guapísima') and Celia.
- Time to Act, Not Just Talk by Aleida Guevara, The Guardian, October 13, 2004
- Riding My Father's Motorcycle by Aleida Guevara, The New York Times, October 9, 2004
- Che Guevara's Daughter Recalls her Revolutionary Father by Libby Brooks, The Guardian, July 22, 2009
- Daughter of the Revolution by People's Weekly World Newspaper July 7, 2009
- "Oliver Stone, Alexis Tsipras Join Croatia ‘Subversives’". Balkan Insights. Retrieved 2013-05-03.
- Che Guevara's Daughter Offers Flowers at A-Bomb Monument in Hiroshima May 14, 2008, Associated Press.
- Che Guevara's Daughter Voices Cuban Fears That Bush has Country in His Sights by Terri Judd, October 16, 2004, The Independent.
- Che, My Father by Angelique Chrisafis, May 3, 2002, The Guardian.
- Guevara's Daughter has a Cause, in the Image of her Father June 28, 2003.
- Journey Around My Father July 2, 2003.
- On the Motorcycle Behind my Father, Che Guevara by Aleida Guevara, October 12, 2004, International Herald Tribune.
- Che's Daughter to Rally Reds for May Day March by Andrew Picken, Edinburgh Evening News, April 11, 2009
- Dr. Aleida Guevara Speaks at 2010 International Che Guevara Conference by The Vancouver Observer
- Aleida Guevara at the Internet Movie Database