Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts
Volume 2, Number 34 September 29 - October 5, 2002 Quezon City, Philippines
Faces of Che
This uninformed obsession with Che Guevara is being exploited by capitalist-spawned pop culture. The capitalists of pop culture are making business by coopting the portrait of a man who spent most of his life in a bitter struggle against the world capitalist system.
Alexander Martin Remollino
It is common
these days to see young men and women wearing T-shirts bearing on front the face
of a man in a beret with long, unkempt hair and a thick moustache matched with a
That face belongs
to Che Guevara. Who was Che Guevara?
Ernesto Guevara y
de la Serna was born in Argentina in 1926, the son of an engineer.
He took a medical
degree, but soon turned to radical politics. While practicing his profession, he
It was as a
leftist activist that Dr. Guevara came to be known by the nickname Che. He
earned the nickname
In 1954 he was
active in the reformist government of President Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala.
He later met
Fidel Castro when the latter was exiled in Mexico. He served in Castro’s
revolutionary army as
Castro, he became one of the ideologues and military leaders of the Cuban
Revolution. In his
He served briefly
as president of the Cuban National Bank and Minister of Industry.
As an official of
the Cuban government, he opposed alliance with the Union of Soviet and socialist
In 1966, he went
to Bolivia to lead the revolutionary movement there.
He was captured
by the Bolivian army in 1967 after suffering a serious wound in an encounter.
After a few days in prison, he was executed by the Bolivian army upon orders
from Washington. His hands were amputated by his executioners for
identification, and his body was buried by the foot of a mountain.
His remains were
found in 1997. They were brought to Cuba, where they were buried.
the face of Che Guevara first became popular in the 1970s. He had become popular
Interest in Che
Guevara was revived in Cuba after the crumbling of the “socialist” bloc in
Europe in 1991.
The discovery of
his remains further fuelled popular interest in him.
All these have
added up to the immense popularity that the man now enjoys. He has become
something of a cult figure. Such is his popularity that people — most
particularly young men and women — with no inkling of who he was have been
seen wearing T-shirts that bear his face. In fact a video of the patently
non-political pop music group S Club 7 shows a dancer wearing a Che Guevara
among young people who know nothing of him can be explained by the image in
which he has been immortalized. The beret, the long and unkempt hair, the thick
moustache and beard all remind many young fellows of their rock idols.
obsession with Che Guevara is being exploited by capitalist-spawned pop culture.
The capitalists of pop culture are thus making business by coopting the portrait
of a man who spent most of his life in a bitter struggle against the world
capitalist system. Bulatlat.com