by Pedro Martínez Pírez
The Cuban province of Villa Clara celebrates this Monday the 22nd anniversary of the inauguration of the great monumental facility located in the municipality of Santa Clara to pay tribute to Commander Ernesto Che Guevara, who led one of the most decisive battles of the Rebel Army in this city during the national liberation struggle.
Fourteen months before, in October 1977, a memorial was built there to place the remains of Che and several of his comrades who had fallen in Bolivia. The artistic design of the Che Monument in Santa Clara was in charge of the admirable Cuban sculptor José Delarra, who died fifteen years ago in Havana due to a heart condition.
The monument of Ché in Santa Clara holds an outstanding universal value. It has become a sacred site on the island visited by millions of people from all over the world.
Before the military achievements of Ché, Santa Clara was known as the City of Marta, in memory of the Cuban patriot Marta Abreu, who devoted her fortune to the construction of charity works and public utilities for the city, in addition to donating important resources for the development of the independence struggle against the Spanish domination.
For years, Santa Clara has been the city of Marta and Ché, two great symbols of that town that was founded by families from the neighboring Remedios on July 15, 1689.
This Monday also marks the 61st anniversary that the Central University Marta Abreu in Las Villas awarded Ché Guevara the Honorary Doctorate in Pedagogical Sciences during a ceremony presided over by the university Rector and lawyer Mariano Rodríguez Solveira.
Upon receiving the high distinction, Che asked the professors that the university be painted black, as a mulatto, as a worker, as a peasant, since this and the other educational institutions in the new Cuba belong to the people.
According to the Cuban musician Gerardo Alfonso, the author of the beautiful song SON LOS SUEÑOS TODAVÍA, it was a star that led Che to Santa Clara.