The presence of Ernesto Che Guevara in Cuba was “the worst that could have happened to my country” said Juanita Castro, sister of the ruling brothers of Cuba, (Fidel and Raúl Castro) and fellow fighters with the Argentine-born doctor in the Caribbean island revolution half a century ago
Juanita said she does not regret having collaborated with the US intelligence services (CIA) since 1961, when she still lived in revolutionary Havana, capital of Cuba.
When the leaders of the 1959 Cuban revolution turned to communism “I had only two options to follow: Cuba, my motherland, or my brothers”, said Ms. Castro.
The Castro brothers “declared war on us who believed in democracy” and who had supported the revolution; “they simply betrayed us”, said Juanita.
The 76 year old sister who lives in Miami justified her limited collaboration with the CIA saying she used many of the funds received in “humanitarian actions”, particularly helping people who were desperate to leave the country or were being persecuted by the new government.
“We had no one in the world to ask for help, for support”, she argued.
Regarding the Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara Juanita does not spare words.
“He did a lot of damage to all of us and my country; he wasn’t really concerned about Cuba”.
His ideas were quite distant from his actions “and even further from the folklore surrounding his figure”.
Ms Castro said that as soon as he landed in Cuba and in the midst of the revolution against dictator Fulgencio Batista, “he spent most of his time establishing contacts, particularly with countries from the Soviet block”.
Furthermore he didn’t care “about fair trials, prosecution or the rule of the law for those accused; he just begun having people shot for disagreeing with the revolution”.
“He was a man without a heart”, underlined Ms. Castro. Even as a doctor he didn’t care much about human life “he was completely absorbed by the international revolution”.
Even worse for Cuba Che Guevara “failed dismally in all positions” he occupied in the revolutionary government, from the Ministry of Industry to president of the Central Bank, “as could be expected, since he didn’t have a clue about economics”.
He also had “a patronizing attitude towards common people; he certainly had a bourgeois family background with a strict religious influence”, added Juanita.
In any case Che Guevara “was the natural complement for Fidel to implant a communist dictatorship in Cuba”.
Ernesto Che Guevara was captured and killed in the heart of South America by Bolivian special forces after his presence was revealed by local peasants.
The Argentine revolutionary was trying to organize guerrillas in Bolivia after having failed in a similar attempt in Africa in what is today the Republic of Congo and spending time in North Vietnam.
He was unable to convince the Bolivian indigenous population to support him and the Bolivian communist party which dominated the trade-union movement and with strong representation in government refused to accompany the adventure.
As to the current Cuban leader, Raul Castro, Juanita said “personally I love him, politically, I reject him”.