HIROSHIMA – Aleida Guevara, the oldest daughter of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara, offered flowers Thursday at a monument for atomic bomb victims in Hiroshima during her first visit there.
Later in the day, Aleida, 47, visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, which her late father visited in the late 1950s.
In the afternoon, Aleida, a pediatrician, met with Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba and atomic bomb survivors, and delivered a speech on her memories of her father and medical services in Cuba.
During his visit to Hiroshima in 1959, Che Guevara witnessed the tragedy of Hiroshima as the world’s first city subjected to nuclear warfare. In a postcard he sent to Cuba at that time, he wrote, “In order to fight better for peace, one must look at Hiroshima.”
Aleida has said the postcard, which she read later, became her motivation to visit Hiroshima.
Aleida will stay in Japan through May 28, making speeches in Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe and Naha, Okinawa.
The atomic bombing of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, had killed an estimated 140,000 people by the end of 1945. A second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki three days later, causing another 70,000 deaths.
Argentine-born Che Guevara, whose Marxist vision is said to have been shaped by the poverty he witnessed across Latin America, became a member of Fidel Castro’s revolutionary movement that seized power in Cuba in 1959.
He quickly rose through the political ranks in the Cuban government but resigned in 1965 amid rumors of differences with Castro. He was killed in 1967 in a Bolivian jungle during a battle between army troops and guerrillas.