Cuba honors guerrilla hero ``Tania'' before burial
SANTA CLARA, Cuba (Reuters) -- Thousands of Cubans paid their last
respects on Tuesday to "Tania the Guerrilla," the only woman to fight with
legendary leftist rebel Ernesto "Che" Guevara on his last, fateful revolutionary
mission in 1967.
The remains of "Tania," whose real name was Haydee Tamara Bunke Bider,
were flown in an urn from Havana early on Tuesday to the central city of
Along with the remains of nine other slain rebels, including Cubans and
Bolivians, they were displayed to the public, decked in national flags, in a
civic building. Crowds lined the streets and filed past the remains.
"Tania"'s bones were uncovered in September in the remote corner of
Bolivia where Guevara's band was hunted down and killed by soldiers
during an abortive attempt to export Cuban-style revolution to South
The guerrillas' remains were to be buried on Wednesday with state honors
a mausoleum in Santa Clara already holding the remains of Guevara and
other members of his band in Bolivia.
The Argentine-born Guevara-- a medical doctor who was Fidel Castro's
right-hand man in Cuba's Jan. 1, 1959, revolution-- was killed in October
1967 in Bolivia. His remains were recovered last year and returned to Cuba.
"Tania" was born in Argentina of German parents but moved to Cuba in
1961. She died in Bolivia when her group was ambushed by soldiers on
Aug. 31, 1967. Cuban specialists found her bones about two-thirds of a
mile (1 km) away from where they unearthed Guevara's remains.
The ceremony in Santa Clara, a city dedicated to Guevara, was timed to
coincide with this week's official celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the
On Dec. 29, 1958, Guevara's rebel column was attacking Santa Clara in the
last, decisive rebel victory before dictator Fulgencio Batista fled and Castro
Copyright 1998 Reuters.