Che Guevara was a men from another era.
Probably a bit of both.
But, compared to his adversaries, I would say he was rather benign. He would have his enemies execute by firing squad, instead of being tortured, and compared to the rest of Latin America, he would be responsible for less atrocities relative to the ones committed later and before both by enemies and allies alike.
Americans have tried to hard to demonize him and certain elements have tried to hard to make him into a "secular saint".
But regardless, Che Guevara represents a push for freedom and human dignity, even if his actions did not further this goal, that is what is celebrated trough his iconography.
There is a poem by Mario Benedetti, that I think captures what many think of Che:
"They have covered him with posters/ with placards
with voices on the walls/
with retroactive complaints/
They have turned him into a piece of consumption/
Into trivial memory/
into embalmed anger/
They have chosen to use him as an epilogue/
as the last remnant of vain innocence/
as an aged archetype of saint or Satan/
And perhaps they have resolve that the only way/
of getting rid of him/
and leave him to the elements/
its to empty all passion from him/
and turn him into a hero/
of plaster or marble/
And so forth immobile/
Or better yet, a myth/
the silhouette of a ghost/
of the stepped on past/
Nevertheless, the unclosable eyes of Che/
Look as if they couldnt stop looking/
amazed, maybe, that the world hasnt understood/
that 30 years later he is still braking his back/
sweet and tenacious for the happiness of men./
edited 26th May '12 4:05:00 PM by Baff
I will always cherish the chance of a new beggining.