Saturday, April 25, 2009

Now this is different


The Ché brand still sells

Vondo Sreeharsha reports for The Miami Herald, Forum on Guevara just part of U.S. rebranding: A U.S.-sponsored discussion of the branding of Ernesto "Che' Guevara signaled a new approach to Latin America.

The U.S. charm offensive in Latin America took a small but provocative step forward on Friday when the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires sponsored two readings of a new book that explains the enduring iconic power of Ernesto "Che" Guevara.

U.S. taxpayers funded the discussion at the Buenos Aires 35th International Book Fair of the Argentine revolutionary who dedicated his life to armed struggle against capitalism and imperialism. For one day at least, photos of Guevara shared space with the Stars and Stripes. Dozens attended, including local grade school students.

Mara Tekach, the embassy spokeswoman, said that the United States was simply promoting free expression.

Che's Afterlife: The Legacy of an Image, by journalist Michael Casey, is one of the first books on a rarely discussed aspect of Guevara - his branding and why it has endured for more than four decades.
Ché Guevara is a perfect example of how an historical figure can become a symbol for people that may be distictly different that what he himself was in life. Killed by the Bolivian army in 1967 while organizing a guerrilla war against the Bolivian regime, he is honored today by Evo Morales, the elected President of the government of Bolivia, who has no interest in establishing a Cuban-style Communist regime.

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