Inspect the intricate details of this bronze statue, which displays various references to the life of the Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara.
The Statue of Che Guevara Holding a Child (Escultura de Che con un niño en brazo) is a popular tourist attraction and a magnificent work of public art in the city of Santa Clara. It commemorates the death of Ernesto Che Guevara, the world-famous revolutionary, guerrilla leader and close ally of Fidel Castro. This life-sized bronze monument was created by the Spanish sculptor Casto Solano.
On first inspection, the Statue of Che Guevara Holding a Child appears to be a simple representation of its protagonist. However, look closer to discover allusions to Guevara’s life and character.
The statue features Guevara wearing a trademark beret and clasping a cigar in his right hand. The star on the beret symbolizes his rank as a military commander. Cradled in his left arm is a boy holding a toy in his hand. Find subtle images all over his torso. Among these are images of a girl peering out of a window, a naked boy on a goat and a man riding a horse.
Look for the bullet marks from shots fired by his executioners in the Bolivian village of La Higuera in 1967. Note the tiny icons of men engraved on his belt buckle. They symbolise those murdered alongside Guevara in Bolivia. In one of the pockets is Cervantes’ novel Don Quixote, which he read while hiding at farms in Cuba’s Sierra Maestra mountains.
The monument stands in front of Santa Clara’s provincial headquarters of the Cuban Communist Party. Guevara and his supporters were based here during the 1958 Battle of Santa Clara, the final battle of the Cuban Revolution.
The Statue of Che Guevara Holding a Child is one of several memorials to the revolutionary hero in the city. While here, be sure to visit the Plaza de la Revolución. Dominating this vast square is the Che Guevara Monument (Monumento Ernesto Che Guevara). It includes a statue, a museum of original objects and a mausoleum with the remains of Guevara and some of his soldiers.