Alice Walker on Che

Alice Walker on Che
by Alice Walker

Going to visit Che in his final resting place in Santa Clara was an incredibly moving experience for me. Like so much of what the Cubans do to honor those they love, his mausoleum is beautiful. The plants were healthy, the fire glowing. I wept to see the spaces left empty
for those whose bodies had not yet been found; those others who believed the poor of the world must rise, as Che believed.

In the guestbook I wrote the feeling that came to me most powerfully: that Che is the new “Christ.” The enlightened Being whose ears could never close to the cries of those who suffer. Those who are impoverished, those who are denied education, health care, food, friendship.

I felt very strongly the radiance of his sacrifice, his sense of duty to the human race, his moral dignity. But above all, as with any “Buddha” or “boddhisatva” or any “Christ” I felt his magic.

He is someone we will never truly fathom because his enlightenment re: the suffering of others, and his dedication to ending that suffering, will always seem mysterious to us, who on most days cannot even imagine the equanimity of his inner freedom.


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