The Amazing Legacy of Che Guevara - 40 Years After His Murder
Forty years after Ernesto "Che" Guevara was captured and killed by soldiers in a Bolivian jungle, Western newspapers have begun writing their obligitaory Che stories. As the google snapshot above (oh so) perfectly illustrates, there is some confusion as to the message they are supposed to contain. The killing of Che was celebrated in the West in 1967. US elites thought their struggles to dominate Latin America were over. And perhaps they were for 30-some odd years.
However today, with Che posters and t-shirts pretty much ubiquitous on college campuses of all continents and socialists taking back their country's natural resources from foreign companies, the elites are not quite so sure about this whole "dustbin of history" thesis. Some try to get around this fact by concentrating a story on Cuba, where they find a couple well known dissidents to back up the 'man on the street' view that while Che is still widely admired, Cuba has a ways to go to live up to his ideals. Others are more honest.
To me, Che is much more than an important symbol. He is a true model of what a human being can be. He never stopped trying to learn and relate political theory to the state of the world. He inspired and was inspired by the youth. He knew a better society was possible - one that shared, cared for each other and fought for justice. He criticised the Soviet Union and believed there was more to life than consumerism. He was a brave and inspired leader on the battlefield and as a Cuban Government Minister .
Who could predict how right on he would be when he yelled out to his shooter 40 years ago: "Shoot, coward, you are only going to kill a man".
Check out what Gary Hart, Evo Morales, the founder of the Buena vista Social Club and British artist Gavin Turk had to say about "What Che Meant to Me."
As a fitting aside, the BBC recently reported that Cuban doctors in Bolivia saved the sight of the Bolivian army officer who puit the final bullet in Che - Mario Teran - as a part of their humanitarian health programs across the Continent.
Labels: che guevara cuba bolivia