Che GuGuava

In a blond moment I thought (possibly, hoped) that the above pic represents actual street renaming by Durban City Council.  It turns out, sadly, that the renaming effort was done by a nursery Colonialist visited


The mind boggles.

The response to Mercedes using Che Guevara as an advertising icon, ranges from “I hope they have Mercedes ads in hell” to an absolute cry of outrage from Latin readers.

Che Guevara was apparently not well-liked in his own native Cuba. Especially not by the same underdogs he claimed to fight for. He was the man who helped Fidel Castro into his 53-year dictatorship.

Tragic, from a young man who had started out by studying medicine!

Our South African Africans are somewhat misled though if they regard him as a hero… in his personal diaries, which children in Cuba had to memorize as part of school curriculum according some of the people commenting on the Mercedes ad, he made repeated statements that today can only be regarded as racist and white-supremacist.

His apparent blood-thirst is a recurring topic; once in political power he seems to have signed death penalty for many people, sometimes 100 a day, often for menial crimes such as petty food theft; more often for politically opposing him.  Those condemned were not usually given a trial. And yet, people describe him as “forever smiling”…

Wikipedia’s account of his life portrays him as a Good Guy, much in contrast to those heated comments on the Mercedes apology blog.  If he was such a good guy, why should Mercedes have to apologize for offending the victims’ families?

His face is photogenic and that particular photo of him (untypical as he is not smiling, the photo being taken at a memorial) has become iconic, synonymous with revolution, change, the underdog arising.  It is young, energetic and intent.  His intelligence and strong emotions come through clearly (though some have referred to the image as portraying him as “stoic”). Wikipedia suggests that it is the most iconified photo in history.  The first time I saw it I was a child and it was on a newspaper article referring to Idi Amin. I used to think that was Idi Amin.  Another blond moment.

If I were really looking for trouble, I’d pull that iconic photo through Photoshop now and try a few tricks… LOL…


12 thoughts on “Che GuGuava

  1. From all I have gathered he was a disgusting character, and I seriously resent having his name on one of our streets in place of someone who earned it. I applaud the Nursery for their wry humour in the signs they display.

  2. As I was musing earlier this week. Those who seek power are usually those who will abuse it to keep the power.

    I wonder if the world had had the kind of information sharing we now can ave, if his atrocities would have been revealed earlier, and if he would have remained an icon fr so long?

    • You’ve got something there, we have to use the internet as much as we can for info sharing. It’s unbelievable how the wool was pulled over everyone’s eyes by media and politicians, for so long.

      Of course there are always “two sides” to every Great Crook – there are those who will defend him with their lives because he did something from which they did benefit. But it’s scary if the media make heroes out of mass murderers.

    • i am always amazed at how many do.

      In a group session once we were pretending to have to name streets in a new suburb. The men all went for politicians names – Stalin etc. and could NOT see why I was saying that was immoral.

      Told me just how separate we can be in our understanding

    • O jinne, ek weet nie! Miskien ‘n setting in jou WP? Ek is ook nog nie lekker hier tuis nie, leer nog die plek ken, lyk vir my mens kan ‘n blog volg in mens se reader, en mens kan ook subscribe via epos. Ek weet nie mooi hoe om die twee te onderskei nie.

    • 😦 And he’s such a looker, too! Nix cool. Then again I guess you’ll find Neonazis who will screen Hitler’s image on their t-shirts too…

  3. Pingback: Book Extract…Gloop. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter… « Arkenaten's Blog

  4. Ha! Now I found you on this blog, thanks to Col.
    I also read up on Che and was disappointed in him, his ideology etc.
    I’m glad I don’t live in the renamed street.

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