Che gives orders from his Sierra Maestra hideout

"Che" Guevara [i.e. Ernesto Guevara de la Serna], Marxist revolutionary, major figure of the Cuban Revolution (1928-1967). Autograph letter signed.

Sierra Maestra, 12. IV. 1957.

4to. 1 leaf.


Previously unpublished letter from Che's hideout in the Sierra Maestra mountains. Just six months before, Che landed in Cuba alongside Fidel Castro. He was one of the few who survived the initial battle which killed most of his companions before they were able to flee and begin to build a network of guerrilla revolutionaries.

Addressed to "Eliodoro", Che's letter is preoccupied with the basic necessities of warfare and survival, including the common military difficulty of clothing an army. Che is working on setting up textile manufacturing in the remote countryside: "Estamos trabajando con Manuela para la ubicación y confección de la textilera. Estuvimos discutiendo igualmente la calidad de los insumos para ello, es decir, tela, hilo, cuero, etc." He stresses the vital importance of this endeavour: "Se hace sumamente necesario la agilización de esta situación ya que la gente se enemente casi desnuda". He asks that Eliodoro and Manuela work together, with their local knowledge and connections, to make this happen: "agilizan el proceso, estoy seguro jue dará sus frutos". Signed, as always, simply "Che".

The fellow revolutionaries named are likely local farmers or workers in the Sierra Maestra, with whom Che worked extensively during his time in there. Interestingly, a 1967 short film titled "Manuela" tells the story of a young woman in the Sierra Maestra who joins forces with the revolution, echoing the Manuela mentioned in this letter.

Lightly creased, minor chipping along edges. A rare glimpse of Che's life in the earliest months of the war.