Hasta Siempre, Comandante

On this day, October 9, 46 years ago, Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara was murdered by a Bolivian soldier, Mario Terán.

Guerrillero Heroico (photo taken on 5 March 1960 by Alberto Korda)

‘Che’ Guevara had been captured in Yuro ravine, Bolivia, one day before by Bolivian troops run by a CIA killer, Felix Rodriguez. According to the 2007 documentary My Enemy’s Enemy, directed by Kevin McDonald, the nazi war criminal  Klaus Barbie “The Butcher of Lyon” advised and helped Che’s capture.

Che Guevara’s last words are known, his executioner told them later:

I know you’ve come to kill me. Shoot. Do it. Shoot me, you coward! You are only going to kill a man!

There are a lot of versions of the song “Hasta Siempre, Comandante”. I’ve chosen Joan Baez’s version, because I love her voice. Here it is. And below, English translation of the lyrics.

We learned to love you
from the historical heights
where the sun of your bravery
laid siege to death

Here lies the clear,
the dear transparency
of your beloved presence,
Commander Che Guevara

Your glorious and strong hand
over History it shoots
when all of Santa Clara
awakens to see you

You come burning the breeze
with springtime suns
to plant the flag
with the light of your smile

Your revolutionary love
leads you to new undertaking
where yearned is the firmness
of your liberating arm

We will carry
as we followed you then
and with Fidel we say to you:
“Until forever, Commander!”


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