Some view Che Guevara as a hero.
For example, Nelson Mandela referred to him as “an inspiration for every human being who loves freedom” while Jean-Paul Sartre described him as “not only an intellectual but also the most complete human being of our age.”
In his native homeland of Argentina, where high schools bear his name, numerous Che museums dot the country, which in 2008 unveiled a 12 foot bronze statue of him in his birth city of Rosario. Additionally, Guevara has been sanctified by some Bolivian campesinos as “Saint Ernesto”, to whom they pray for assistance.
Conversely, others view him as a spokesman for a failed ideology and as a ruthless executioner. Detractors have theorized that in much of Latin America, Che-inspired revolutions had the practical result of reinforcing brutal militarism and internecine conflict for many years. Che Guevara remains a hated figure amongst many in the Cuban exile community, who view him with animosity as “the butcher of La Cabaña.”
A high-contrast monochrome graphic of his face has become one of the world’s most universally merchandized and objectified images, found on an endless array of items, including t-shirts, hats, posters, tattoos, and bikinis, ironically contributing to the consumer culture he despised. Yet, Che Guevara still remains a transcendent figure both in specifically political contexts and as a wide-ranging popular icon of youthful rebellion.
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