Che Guevara’s father ‘was more into his Irish than his Basque side’

Che Guevara’s brother speaks about family’s Irish and Basque heritage

Juan Martin Guevara Lynch, youngest brother of the revolutionary legend Ernesto 'Che' Guevara, speaks about his brother and his interest in Irish affairs. Video: Paul Byrne / www.paulbyrne.com

 

The father of Che Guevara embraced his Gaelic heritage, especially the rebellious nature of the Irish and their fondness for partying, according to the brother of the Cuban revolutionary figure.

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the death of the famous Argentinean- born Ernesto “Che” Guevara Lynch, at the hands of Bolivian security forces, and his revolutionary legacy is being commemorated in countries around the world.

An Post has released a special-edition stamp featuring Dublin artist Jim Fitzpatrick’s iconic red, white and black rendering of Guevara, a move which prompted a rebuke from Fine Gael Senator Neale Richmond who accused the company of immortalising someone who committed “heinous” acts.

Speaking at the launch of an exhibition featuring images of Guevara in his native Buenos Aires, his youngest brother Juan Martin Guevara Lynch recalled their father Ernesto Guevara Lynch’s connection to his ancestral homeland.

“My grandmother was North American. A Lynch, but born in the US. She was born in San Francisco. The family moved from here, the province of Buenos Aires, but moved to San Francisco where she was born. But her father yes, he was born in Ireland, ” he said, continuing.

“Then on the other side the Guevaras were Basque. It is because of that our aunt always said we are the descendants of the Basque and Irish, meaning we have one steadfast idea of how things are and we are not for turning.

“With my old man a bit, yes. He used to speak about the rebellious nature of the Irish. Beyond that he liked the Irish because of their party nature; they like to drink a drop of whiskey! He was really fond of all that.

“The Basque are a bit more serious. So he was more into his Irish than his Basque side.”