Che Guevara

We have debated the existence of posters of political leaders in Cuba, Certainly Che Guevara is still an icon there.  The National Geographic (October, 2003) has an article on it.  In  the world at large, he has become a chic symbol, used by people who often do not know who he was.  This disturbs  the Cuban photograph Alberto Korda, who shot the classical picture of Che. When it appeared in an ad campaign for Smirnoff vodka, Korda brought suit against the ad agency. A London court upheld his copyright in 2002, but the picture is still widely used without his permission.  Is Korda still in Cuba?  Every year on October 8 there is in Cuba national holiday honoring Che, and young pioneers vow to be like Che. He was executed in Bolivia on March 9, 1967. Martyrdom has enhanced his image.The implication seems to be that the Pioneers  are prepared to die for the Cause. Castro seems to be promoting Che's image rather than his own.  Che, a widely traveled Argentine, has much more universal appeal than Castro. who is declining into senility. Bobby Kennedy tried to kill him with a cigar which would explode or with a poison pill in his milkshake. Another plan was to give him something which would make his beard fall out.  All these plots failed,  but dying beardless because of a Yankee pill in his milkshake would not have been as glorious as dying in combat.

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Ronald Hilton 2004


last updated: November 19, 2004