31: A Che Guevara personally owned Bay of Pigs victory Cuba flag


Price:
Sale price£2,000
Stock:
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Description

Estimate: £2,000+ 

A Che Guevara owned Cuba flag, used to celebrate the Bay of Pigs victory. 

The companion piece to the Guevara-signed Cuba flag from the Bay of Pigs invasion (lot 30). They were discovered together.  

74 x 32 inches. 

History 

The Bay of Pigs Invasion of April 1961 was a failed CIA-backed attack to remove Castro from power. 

The invasion comprised 1,400 US-trained Cubans who had fled their homes when Castro took power. Castro’s troops outnumbered them. The invaders surrendered within a day. 

Guevara stood with Castro during the invasion. Following the victory celebrations, Guevara held on to this flag. 

After Guevara’s death in 1967, ownership of the flag passed to Castro’s mistress Natty Revuelta Clews and remained at her house until her death in 2015.  

In 1986, due to the number of items being stolen from her, Natty Revuelta Clews decided to put her name on all her important possessions, hence her name on the flag.

Provenance

Acquired by the present owner at the estate sale of Fidel Castro's mistress Natty Revuelta Clews, between December 2015 and July 2016.

The present owner is British businessman Mr Gary Shannon, who knew the Castro family and their associates for 20+ years from circa 2000. Mr Shannon helped provide technology and communications infrastructure to Cuba.

The item formed part of Mr Shannon’s private Jagdamer Museum of Castro and Guevara memorabilia, from 2016 to 2020.

Natty Revuelta Clews (December 26, 1925 – February 27, 2015) was the mistress of Fidel Castro from 1955 until her death. Their daughter, Alina, was born in 1956.

Revuelta - a wealthy socialite - was instrumental in assisting Castro overthrow the Batista regime in Cuba. 

Revuelta sold her jewels to support the Cuban rebels, helped plan the 26th of July Movement uprising in 1953 and, crucially, helped Fidel Castro co-ordinate the Cuban Revolution while he was imprisoned between 1953 and 1955, through exchanging secret messages with Castro.

Until this present auction and the revelation of Castro’s cigar box with secret compartments (lot 1), it was unknown how Castro transferred these secret messages to the 26th of July Movement while he was in prison.

The pair began their affair upon Castro’s release from prison in May 1955.

Auction information

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