Fidel Castro’s Eulogy for Che Guevara
Speech given October 18, 1967, at Havana’s Plaza de la Revolucion
The death of Che — as we said a few days ago — is a hard blow, a tremendous blow for the revolutionary movement because it deprives it, without a doubt, of its most experienced and able leader.
But those who boast of victory are mistaken. They are mistaken when they think that his death is the end of his ideas, the end of his tactics, the end of his guerrilla concepts, the end of his theory. For the person who fell, as a mortal person, as a person who faced bullets time and again, as a soldier, as a leader, was a thousand times more able than those who killed him by a stroke of luck.
However, how should revolutionaries face this serious setback? How should they face this loss? If Che had to express an opinion on this point, what would it be? He gave this opinion, he expressed this opinion quite clearly when he wrote in his message to the [Tricontinental] Latin American Solidarity Conference that if death surprised him anywhere, it would be welcome as long as his battle cry had reached a receptive ear and another hand reached out to take up his rifle.
His battle cry will reach not just one receptive ear, but millions of receptive ears! And not one hand but millions of hands, inspired by his example, will reach out to take up arms! New leaders will emerge. The people of the receptive ears and the outstretched hands will need leaders who emerge from their ranks, just as leaders have emerged in all revolutions.