On the 50th anniversary of death of Tania the Guerrilla — the only woman to fight alongside Marxist guerrillas under the late Che Guevara during the Bolivian insurgency — tributes have been paid to the fighter at an event titled “Woman and Revolution”.
“Che, Tania and the guerrillas in Bolivia today are a source of inspiration for those in Latin America who fight against the advance of the right and the assault of the American empire,” said Cuba’s ambassador to Bolivia, Benigno Pérez.
The forum, held in the Bolivian city of La Paz, highlighted Tania’s role in the conflict from 1966 to 1967.
Perez said that her example is “a sign of the value of women as the embryo of a revolution.”
The East German was born Haydee Tamara Bunke, and later nicknamed Ita by her family. She went on to fight under the nom de guerre Laura Gutierrez Bauer.
But she became best known as Tania The Guerrilla.
A revolutionary and spy, whose communist family fled to Argentina during the rise of the Nazis, she was killed in battle by the CIA-backed Bolivian Army Rangers on August 31, 1967.
The 'Women and Revolution' forum commemorates Tania.
Her life had has been highlighted in a newly-released documentary which premiered earlier this year in Bolivia, called “La Histoire de Ita” — “The Story of Ita”.
"They accused her of being Che's lover, of following him because she was in love. It is one thing to follow someone for ideas and another for love," said Cuban historian Froilan Gonzalez, co-writer of the documentary, of the hotly-spread rumors that she was Che’s romantic partner.
“Her life was very rich and intense because when she traveled as a youth to Germany she became politically involved, which formed her ideological base,” he added. “When she arrived to Cuba she became active in political activities … from there the Argentine-German was selected to join the guerilla group that would form in Bolivia under the command of Che Guevara.”
The event commemorating Tania included discussions on “the role of women in the revolutionary struggle, the contribution of peasants in the process of change, and the achievements of women in the cultural democratic revolution,” Prensa Latina reported.