Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Revival of Che

It seems like almost every article concerning Latin America recently mentions Che. Leaders like Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales have been citing him as one of their heroes. Posters of Che are present at anti-American and pro-socialist demonstrations. And journalists are taking note.

How much of this has to do with the popularization of Che through the movie Motorcycle diaries and the fact that in 2007 it will be the 40th anniversary of Che's death? And how much of this has to do with the fact that the US is still deeply frightened of Che's legacy?

Since the release of Motorcycle Diaries, Che has been everywhere. IMDB lists a movie about Che's life being made with Benicio Del Toro as Che, directed by Steven Soderbergh.

The US had Che assassinated because they were afraid of his revolutionary rhetoric and tactics. The Soviet Union deeply disliked Che because he openly criticized Soviet policies. By alienating to two world superpowers, Che forged the path of Latin American socialism - a unique variant that was systematically suppressed by the US.

As I've mentioned before in this blog, the renewed rise of Latin American socialism is in part due to US involvement in the Middle East. And with that renewed rise comes a vocal homage by the new Latin American socialist leaders to their hero and the hero of Latin American independence from the US - Che.

It amazes me that the spectre of Che can still arouse such concern in the US. The threat of global Communism is long gone - North Korea isn't about to gather followers to its Stalinist policies of oppression and China is Communist in bureaucracy and repression only.

The mark of greatness is that you are remembered long after your death, and while to the youth of the United States, Che is a picture on T-shirts and posters, to many young Latin Americans, he represents the continuing struggle of Latin America to free itself from the yoke of US oppression.

I know that I've written about this topic before - and I hate to be repetitious - but I don't ever remember Che being in the news as much as he is these days. Make of that what you will.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sharon could totally take Che, given that both are in prime of life.

9:28 PM  

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