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Useful Notes / Che Guevara

This face is one of the top selling t-shirts.
"It would take a thousand years and a million pages to write Che's biography."
Gabriel García Márquez, Colombian journalist

Ernesto Guevara (1928-1967), better known by his nickname "Che", note  was an Argentinian Marxist revolutionary who attained fame for his active role as a guerilla leader and strategist in the Cuban Revolution (in which he helped Fidel Castro to seize power from the United States-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista) and then later, his death in Bolivia, where he was arrested and executed by the Bolivian military with the aid of the CIA. He also took part in the Congo revolution, but it wasn't successful.. A photograph of Che by Alberto Korda became one of the most famous photographs during The '60s, which thanks to the intense gaze of its subject along with his youth and good looks made him an Icon of Rebellion well into the 21st Century, reprints of said image created a profitable market for T-shirts with his face on it.

Defending a socialist cause and being executed at a young age, Che Guevara has evolved into a symbol that represents both, "civil disobedience" and "political awareness" (The Other Wiki has several articles about him). More often than not, he is also used as the "Romantic Expression" of Guerilla Warfare: a tough but well-intentioned guy, willing to fight injustice (and American imperialism) over everything. Often treated as a hero figure in many books, film, and TV shows alike.

Lots of books, quite a few movies, and even an SNK Metal Slug-ish videogame called "Guevara" (dolled up in the USA as Guerrilla War) have been done about him.

Tropes as portrayed in fiction:

Appears in the following works:

  • He appears alongside Castro in Stock Footage in Alfred Hitchcock's Topaz
  • Richard Fleischer's 1969 Che starring Omar Sharif. It was not very successful.
  • Antonio Banderas' character in Evita is meant to be a young Che.
  • Andy Garcia's The Lost City, a loose adaptation of Gulliermo Cabrera Infante's Three Trapped Tigers has one of the few negative depictions of Che.
  • Gael Garcia Bernal played Che in The Motorcycle Diaries. Notably, the first film on Che in the Spanish Language to be internationally successful.
  • Benicio Del Toro played him in Steven Soderbergh's two-part Biopic, Che. Also shot in the Spanish language but more of an Acclaimed Flop.
  • Underground Comics artist Spain Rodriquez published in 2007, a Graphic Novel called Che: A Graphic Biography. Rodriquez always identified himself as a Marxist so his depiction of Che is positive.

Hasta la victoria siempre