Monday, July 13, 2015

CUBAN EVOLUTION - Che Guevara's Son Comments

"Che Guevara’s son on Cuba’s coming identity crisis" PBS NewsHour 7/7/2015


SUMMARY:  When Omar Perez was 25, he found out his father was the revolutionary Che Guevara. For Perez -- a poet, artist and musician -- the revelation didn’t much change his outlook on life, or on Cuba.  Jeffrey Brown talks to Perez in Havana about the Cuban Evolution, art and how closer ties with America may change his country.

JEFFREY BROWN (NewsHour):  Omar Perez is an artist, a musician, and a poet.

OMAR PEREZ, Poet:  It’s very much in the culture.  There’s no difference between a song and a poem.  The brain gets active when you listen to a melody.  So that’s exactly what happens with poetry, too.

JEFFREY BROWN:  And Perez has another claim to unusual fame.  He is the son of revolutionary Che Guevara.  His mother was a student at the University of Havana in the 1960s.  Both she and Guevara were married at the time of their affair, and Perez grew up unaware of who his father was.

OMAR PEREZ:  When I was 25 years old, I was already a human being, and then somebody told me, did you know your father is Che Guevara?  I said, no, I don’t.  What am I going to do now?  I’m 25 years old, I’m a writer, I’m a poet, I’m a translator.  Should I change now?

What should I become?  Should I become something different?  I didn’t want to become anything different.  I was — that’s what I wanted to be, a poet.

JEFFREY BROWN:  Generations of Cubans have lionized Che Guevara, the Marxist revolutionary from Argentina who, alongside Fidel Castro in the 1950s, overthrew Cuba’s government.  His image is still seen all over Havana.

Omar Perez lives in one of the once elegant, now crumbling buildings alongside the city’s famous seawall, the Malecon.  For his part, he doesn’t seem to hold on to a romantic view of Che Guevara or the Cuban Revolution.

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