Posts Tagged ‘Cuba’

Where’s the blood on Che Guevara’s hands?

June 23, 2008

On October 12, 1992 I walked up to Coit Tower in San Francisco to gaze upon the statue of Christopher Columbus. The day marked the 500th Anniversary of his discovery of the new world. I unexpectedly would find the statue to be a work of collaboration of artists, from that of the sculpturer and a stealth painter who with a few strokes of red paint changed the entire emotional content of the statue. The red paint depicted blood spilling from his hand grasping a blood stained sword. These few strokes of red paint left a deep impression upon me, without which the statue would have remained a forgetful figure. The red paint was removed within days. Mankind insists on whitewashing history to preserve its myths.

I recalled this vivid memory upon reading of a new 80 foot bronze statue of a Che Guevara standing proudly in his hometown of Rosario, Argentina.

Who was the real Che Guevara? Was he the compassionate man of the people as portrayed in the eye-opening film, The Motorcycle Diaries? Or, was he the brutal butcher portrayed in the underrated mini-series, Fidel. Perhaps, both were true. As a younger man, he may have shunned violence. Then later on in life, when he donned the fatigues of war, he believed it became necessary to purge — MURDER! — real and imagined enemies of a Stalinist, hardline communist ideology.

The new statue of Che Guevara is incomplete. Where is the blood on his hands?