What Was Che Guevara Looking At In The Iconic Photograph?

Guerrillero Heroico (Heroic Guerrilla Fighter), the iconic photograph of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara, has been reproduced countless times and adorns the walls of student accommodation worldwide, but what lies behind his gaze?

On 5th March 1960 in Havana, Che Guevara attended a memorial service for victims of the ship La Coubre which exploded, killing over a hundred people and injuring several hundred more.


President Fidel Castro claimed that the CIA staged the attack to weaken the regime, so called for a memorial service and rally to be held with Guevara in attendance as Minister of Industry for the newly formed government.

As Guevara glared angrily at the line of coffins, photographer Alberto Korda caught just two frames of film. He said: “I remember it as if it were today, seeing him framed in the viewfinder, with that expression. I am still startled by the impact… it shakes me so powerfully.”