Cuba e a fotografia
The son of photojournalist Osvaldo Salas, Roberto Salas was born and raised in New York City. He left at age 18 to photograph the revolution, on the first flight to leave New York for Havana after the rebels took the capital. “I arrived in a plane that was full of rifles and pistols and things like that, that were lying around New York, waiting for the right moment,” he recalled with a laugh. “A few days before, I’m riding on buses and subways in New York. A couple days later, I’m surrounded by long hair and beards and rifles. I was in a fantasy world.” Salas has lived in Cuba ever since.
Erwitt found Guevara to be “slightly sour,” although “he gave me a box of cigars, and that was very nice.” Salas’s experience of Che was not entirely different from Erwitt’s. “But sometime later I found out that when he was sour to people, it was because he liked them,” Salas said. “If he didn’t like you, he didn’t even talk to you.” As to why Guevara disliked being photographed, Salas explained that “Che always had a camera with him. He loved photography. And he did some things, photography from the art point of view. My theory is, he didn’t like to have his picture taken because he was a photographer. I haven’t met anybody in our profession who likes to have their own picture taken.”
Che Guevara relaxing in his room at La Cabaña fortress drinking Mate (a traditional South American drink made from Yerba Mate), 1959.
© Andrew Saint-George
Comandante Camillo Cienfuegos and Captain Rafael Ochoa at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC, 1959.
© Osvaldo Salas