Tuesday, October 09, 2007
9 October 1967. After a few false starts and Che's telling them to get it over with, six or more shots are fired into Guevara's torso. One version of his reported last words were: "I knew you were going to shoot me; I should never have been taken alive. Tell Fidel that this failure does not mean the end of the revolution, that it will triumph elsewhere. Tell Aleida to forget this, remarry and be happy, and keep the children studying. Ask the soldiers to aim well." Others have claimed his last words to have been: "Shoot, coward! You are going to kill a man."
After his death, a death mask was made and his hands were cut off to ensure identification. His body was buried in a secret grave. Guevara was 39 years old.
In June of 1997, a team of Cuban and Argentinian scientists recovered the skeleton, missing both hands, of Guevara in the town of Vallegrande, Bolivia.
The bones have since been "rapatriated" to Cuba.
"The true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love."
~ Che Guevara
May we all be true revolutionaries then...
By PAUL J. WEBER, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 24 minutes ago
DALLAS - Anyone can get a "Che" T-shirt for a few bucks, but an actual relic from the revolutionary figure is likely to cost a bit more at an auction Thursday.
Bidding starts at $100,000 for a 3-inch lock of hair from Ernesto "Che" Guevara, the Marxist whose iconic picture has become a popular, even sometimes fashionable commodity since he was killed in a Bolivian jungle 40 years ago this month.
Heritage Auction Galleries is putting the hair, allegedly snipped off Guevara before burial, up for sale despite alleged threats made against the company by Guevara admirers since the auction was announced in September.
The Dallas-based auction house said it will have extra security on hand for the bidding after monitoring "leftist bloggers" upset that the company is profiting from Guevara's death.
"(Che) is kind of revered and hated," Heritage spokeswoman Kelley Norwine said. "It's at both ends of the spectrum. This has been one of the most ranging of emotions. ... It's crazy."
More than 30 prospective bidders are registered on the auction house's Web site to monitor the bidding, in addition to the many expected to pack the gallery room.
Norwine also said someone in Venezuela — where President Hugo Chavez venerates Guevara as a model socialist — requested that a catalog of Thursday's items be delivered overnight.
Norwine said she couldn't reveal who in Venezuela asked for the catalog but insisted she wasn't "trying to be coy."
The hair was consigned by Gustavo Villoldo, a former CIA operative and Cuban exile who was involved in Guevara's capture, according to unclassified U.S. records and other documents.
According to Heritage, Villoldo did not want Guevara's body to be returned to Cuba, where it would receive a hero's funeral, so he supervised the burial in a common grave where a runway was being built.
"I wanted proof," Villoldo said of taking the hair, "that I had completed my mission."
Norwine said the hair hasn't been forensically matched to Guevara because of fears of test tampering. But she said the auction house is confident in its authenticity.
The Cuban government announced in 1995 that its anthropologists had uncovered Guevara's remains from Bolivia, and re-interred them in Cuba without doing DNA testing. Villoldo and other exiles and experts say the body is still in Bolivia.
On the Net:
Auction house: http://wwww.ha.com
Now Che's hair...
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