Argentine-born Che Guevera and Cuba’s Fidel Castro, the two heroes of Cuba’s Revolution, together symbolized a revolutionary movement that impacted the lives and dreams of millions hoping for a socialist-communist utopia. Today, the romance of the anti-imperialist fervor is gone, the counter-revolutionaries were vanquished, and the gaze of the next generation is firmly on a different future.
Omar Perez (son of Che) and Alex Castro (son of Fidel) each have lives quite different from their fathers’, and each shares an affinity for the arts.
Che Guevara : countercultural symbol of rebellion and quintessential icon of various leftist-inspired movements.
A major figure of the Cuban Revolution, his stylized image has become a ubiquitous in Cuba. Guevara came to Cuba in the 1950s to aid in efforts to overthrow Batista. Following the Cuban Revolution, he performed a number of key roles in the new government including reviewing the appeals and firing squads at the infamous prison, La Cabana.
Guevara left Cuba in 1965 to foment revolution abroad, first unsuccessfully in Congo-Kinshasa and later in Bolivia, where he was captured by CIA-assisted Bolivian forces and eventually executed. Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
Omar is an artist, musician and poet living in Havana. An ordained Zen Buddhist monk, he passes the time composing poems that engage languages, Zen, and political and cultural transcendence. Here is one of Omar’s poems:
One fisherman alongside the other
one seagull alongside the other
seagulls over the fishermen.
Fidel Castro: a Cuban politician and revolutionary who served as Prime Minister of the Republic of Cuba from 1959 to 1976 and then President from 1976 to 2008. Under his administration Cuban industry and businesses were nationalized, and state socialist reforms were implemented throughout society. Adopting a Marxist-Leninist model of development, Castro converted Cuba into a one-party socialist state under Communist Party rule – the first in the Western hemisphere.
Castro’s son, Alex Castro, is a photographer and tour guide in Cuba. He is working with a California company to host workshops for intrepid shutterbugs offering a “Cuban vision of Cuba” for $7,450 per person. The small-group workshop, led by The Image Flow owner Stuart Schwartz and lifelong explorer Jock McDonald, guides travelers “well beyond the tourist veil of Cuba, and into the nooks and crannies of Havana ordinarily reserved for the city’s citizens themselves.”