Manu Chao set for Che Guevara shows

French alt-rock singer will perform two concerts in Cuba

MADRID -- French alt-rock artist Manu Chao is in Cuba to play two concerts marking the 42nd anniversary of the assassination in Bolivia of Cuban-Argentine Revolutionary leader Ernesto 'Che' Guevara on Oct. 9, 1967.

Chao and his band Radio Bemba Sound System last played in Cuba three years ago at the open-air Anti-Imperialist Tribune that faces the North American Interests Section (Sina) building, which functions as a substitute for a U.S. Embassy on the Malecon seafront.

Chao, former leader of band Mano Negra, will play first on Oct. 9 at Havana University, where ex president Fidel Castro studied and developed his revolutionary ideas.

On Oct. 12 -- the Day of Hispanity that marks the 'discovery' of the Americas by Christopher Columbus -- Chao will play in Santa Clara, 270km east of Havana, where Che's remains lie. Santa Clara was the scene of the final battle of the Castro-led insurrection against the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, which was commanded by Che Guevara at the end of 1958.

Chao arrived in Havana with Polish designer Jacek Wozniak, who will join several Cuban artists to paint a mural dedicated to Che.

Author of hit songs such as "Clandestino" and "Proxima Estacion: Esperanza," Chao first visited Cuba in 1992 during a tour of Latin America with other French artists on a cargo ship.