Appearances of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara (1928 – 1967) in popular culture are common throughout the world. Although during his lifetime he was a highly politicized and controversial figure, in death his stylized image has been transformed into a worldwide emblem for an array of causes, representing a complex mesh of sometimes conflicting narratives. His image has achieved a cult following and is viewed as everything from an inspirational icon of revolution, to a hipster logo of "radical" chic. Most commonly he is represented by a facial caricature based on Alberto Korda’s famous 1960 photograph entitled Guerrillero Heroico. The evocative simulacra abbreviation of the photographic portrait, allowed for easy reproduction and instant recognizability across various uses.
Che Guevara's likeness has undergone continual apotheosis
while being weaved throughout the public consciousness in a variety of ways. From being viewed as a “Saintly Christ-like” figure by the rural poor in Bolivia
where he was executed, to being viewed as an idealistic
insignia for youth, longing for a vague sense of rebellion. His likeness can also be seen on millions of posters, hats, key chains, mouse pads, hoodies, beanies, berets, backpacks, bandannas, belt buckles, wallets, wall clocks, Zippo lighters, pocket flasks, bikinis, personal tattoos, and most commonly T-shirts. Meanwhile his life story can be found in an array of films, documentaries, plays, and songs of tribute. Throughout television, music, books, magazines, and ironically even corporate advertisements; Che’s visage is an ever present political and apolitical emblem which has been endlessly mutated, transformed, and morphed over the last forty years of visual pop culture
His face has evolved into many manifestations and represents a Rashomon effect to those who observe its use. To some it is a generic high street visual emblem of global marketing, while to others it represents a vague notion of dissent, civil disobedience, or political awareness. Conversely, to those ideologically opposed to Che Guevara’s belief in World revolution, or to those that resent his veneration because of his violent actions; his propagation represents shallow ignorant kitsch, idolatry worthy of spoof makeovers, parody, or even ridicule. What is indisputable however, is that Che has become a widely disseminated counter-cultural symbol, that sometimes operates independent of the man himself. Hannah Charlton of the The Sunday Times, made note of this practice, by postulating that "T-shirt wearers might wear Che's face as an easy replacement for real activism or as a surrogate for it.
Walk through any major metropolis around the globe and it is likely that you will come across an image of Che Guevara, most commonly a stylized version of Korda's iconic Guerrillero Heroico. An archetype, capable of endless visual regeneration, which depending on your opinion, either helps tell the story of 20th century visual literacy or kitsch banality. According to Hannah Charlton, editor of Che Guevara: Revolutionary and Icon, "By the 1990’s the global market saw the emergence of what Naomi Klein has called a “market marsala" – a bilingual mix of North and South, some Latin, some R&B, all couched in global party politics.
By embodying corporate identities that appear radically individualistic and perpetually new, the brands attempt to inoculate themselves against accusations that they are selling sameness. The next stage is to present consumption as a code, where mega brands, supposedly reflecting the “indie” values of their purchasing audience, can do so with a knowing irony that of course the buyer can remain seemingly untouched by the corporate values underpinning the transaction.
Enter Che: the 60's symbol of student revolution, the all-pervasive ascetic gaze used to add allure and mystique to a product, because either a sophisticated audience is savvy enough to distinguish between revolution and commerce while enjoying the irony, or oblivious of who he is or what he represents. This began the metamorphosis from Che the martyred resistance fighter beloved by many, and Che the violent Marxist revolutionary despised by others, to his dual paradoxical position in the global corporate capitalist culture. The commodification of the image has been ongoing since his death, and since the late 1990s has seen a resurgence.
This abiding 'renaissance' of Che's visage, is chronicled by filmmaker and Guggenheim scholar Trisha Ziff, who explores the genesis, continuing adaptation, and history of Che Guevara's famous image in the 2008 documentary "Chevolution".
Hannah Charlton hypothesizes that "appropriating the aura of Che for brand building, has now given rise to a new resurgence of "Che-ness" that transcends branding in its global appeal. In the shifting complexities of intercultural values, in the search for universal images that can speak across borders and boundaries, today’s global image of Che is the most successful. The Che face, more than any other icon according to Charlton, can keep accruing new application without relinquishing its essence – a generic and positive version of anti-status quo and liberation from any oppressive force, and a general, romantic, non-specific fantasy about change and revolution.
Taking note Che's malleable essence, filmmakers Adriana Marino and Douglas Duarte created the 2007 documentary "Personal Che", which documents the numerous ways that people around the world re-create Che in their own image.
"Saint Ernesto" in Bolivia
Che Guevara's unlikely transformation into a "sanctified" figure began immediately after his execution. Susana Osinaga, the nurse who cleaned Guevara's corpse after his execution reminisced that locals saw an uncanny physical resemblance to the popularized artistic portrayals of what Jesus looked like. According to Osinaga, "he was just like a Christ, with his strong eyes, his beard, his long hair", adding that her in her view he was "very miraculous. Jon Lee Anderson, author of Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life, noted how among the hospital's nuns, and a number of Vallegrande women, the impression that Guevara bore an extraordinary resemblance to Jesus Christ quickly spread; leading them to surreptitiously clip off clumps of his long hair and keep them for good luck.
Eleven days after Guevara's execution, journalist I. F. Stone (who himself had interviewed Guevara), drew the comparison by noting that "with his curly reddish beard, he looked like a cross between a faun and a Sunday-school print of Jesus. That observation was followed by German artist and playwright Peter Weiss' remark that the post-mortem images of Guevara resembled a "Christ taken down from the cross."
In August of 1968, French intellectual Régis Debray who was captured in Bolivia while living with Che Guevara gave a jailhouse interview where he also drew the comparison. According to Debray, Che (an atheist) "was a mystic without a transcendent belief, a saint without a God.” Debray went on to tell interviewer Marlene Nadle of Ramparts Magazine that “Che was a modern Christ, but I think he suffered a much harder passion. The Christ of 2,000 years ago died face-to-face with his God. But Che knew there was no God and that after his death nothing remains.”
Beginning with the 30th anniversary of Che's death, as Western reporters returned to Bolivia to commemorate the anniversary, they began to notice that Che Guevara had been transfigured and "canonized" by the local Bolivian campesinos. No longer was he Che Guevara the guerrilla insurgent, but he was now viewed as a "Saint" by locals who had come to refer to him as "San Ernesto de La Higuera" (Saint Ernesto of La Higuera). Accompanying his "Sainthood" came prayers for favors and legends of his ghost still walking the area.
As the 40th anniversary of Che's execution approached in 2007, journalists returned to discover that in Bolivia, images of Che now hung next to images of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, & Pope John Paul II. Additionally, columnist Christopher Roper observed that "in Bolivia, Che's murdered body was now compared to John the Baptist, while Reuters reported that in many homes, Che's face competed for wall space with a host of Roman Catholic Saints. A new legend also became known, when the Los Angeles Times reported that some rural campesinos now believed that if you whisper Che Guevara's name to the sky or light a candle to his memory, you will find your lost goat or cow.
A host of local campesinos went on record to journalists from The Guardian about this phenomenon as well. Melanio Moscoso, of La Higuera stated "we pray to him, we are so proud he had died here, in La Higuera, fighting for us. We feel him so close, while Freddy Vallejos, of Vallegrande, proclaimed "we have a faith, a confidence in Che. When I go to bed and when I wake up, I first pray to God and then I pray to Che - and then, everything is all right. Che's presence here is a positive force. I feel it in my skin, I have faith that always, at all times, he has an eye on us. Remi Calzadilla, a resident of Pucara, claimed that praying to Che had helped him regain the ability to walk, adding that "now every time I speak to Che I feel a strong force inside of me.
The laundry where Guevara's corpse was displayed to the world's press in Vallegrande is now a place of pilgrimage as well, with hundreds of personal messages transcribed and carved into the surrounding walls from admiring visitors. In large letters above the table where Che's dead body once lie, an engraving now reads "None dies as long as he is remembered."
- The Church of England caused some controversy in 1999, when they drew comparisons of Jesus to Che Guevara on a red and black poster, Che Jesus, which bore the slogan: "Meek. Mild. As if. Discover the real Jesus." In response to the controversy Reverend Peter Owens-Jones of the Church Advertising Network (CAN) who designed the ad stated "We are not saying that Jesus was communist, but that he was revolutionary. We are exploiting the image of revolution, not the image of Che Guevara.
Actors who have portrayed Che Guevara:
- In the anime Eureka seveN, the character Stoner resembles Che.
- In the anime Zoku Sayonara Zetsubō Sensei (【俗・】さよなら絶望先生), one of the characters finds a shirt with che guevaras face on it in episode 12.
- Che Guevara himself was a guest on Face the Nation in 1964 with Tad Szulc.
- In an episode of the animated sitcom "King of the Hill," Bobby's activist friend wears a Che Guevara t-shirt.
- In an episode of American Dad, Stans son is sued by a communist to follow communism, after his dad ignores him. When his dad enters his room and sees communist apparel everywhere, he begins to rip them down. When he gets to a picture of Che he says "you can keep this one, I think planet of the apes is a great movie"
- Kyle wears a Che Guevara t-shirt in the South Park episode: “Die Hippie, Die”
- In the first season, the opening sequence of The Boondocks featured main character Huey Freeman stylized in the likeness of Che Guevara. A poster of Che Guevara was also seen in his room in the episode "The Passion of the Ruckus".
- In That '70s Show, the character Steven Hyde often wears a Che Guevara t-shirt.
- Eric Burdon wears a Che Guevara shirt as host of the PBS special – “The '60s Experience.”
- PBS held a forum entitled: ‘the Legacy of Che’ where they proclaimed that: “Che Guevara was a pop icon of mythic proportions.”
- In The Simpsons episode Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part Two), the Tito Puente's mambo club is called "Chez Guevara", an obvious reference to Che.
- In the Serbian television series, Vratiće se rode, Švaba has a poster of Che Guevara in his bedroom.
- The TNA Wrestling tag team Latin American Exchange show clips of Che Guevara in their entrance video.
- In the pilot episode of Mission Hill, there is a picture of Che in the background of a classroom.
- The character Max of James Cameron's Dark Angel gives her surname as Guevera, although technically she has no name and Max is merely a nickname.
- In the movie Lost and Delerious, the character Paulie has a Che Guevara poster over her bed.
- In an episode of The Venture Bros., "Dia de Los Dangerous!" Dr. Venture's "colleague" is named Ernesto Guevara
- When British comedy and TV star Ricky Gervais (of The Office) brought out a DVD of his politics live stand up show in 2004, he chose to represent himself on the cover as Che Guevara.
- The German composer Hans Werner Henze dedicated his 1968 oratorio Das Floß der Medusa as a requiem for Guevera.
- Grammy Award-winning Carlos Santana wore a Che Guevara shirt to the 2005 Oscar awards.
- In " Hasta siempre, Comandante," popular song written in 1965 by Carlos Puebla.
- "Hasta Siempre, Comandante" was versioned by numerous authors. Like Buena Vista Social Club and Joan Baez.
- In " Carta al Che," song written in 1969 by Carlos Puebla.
- French actress and singer Nathalie Cardone produced a modern rendition of the song: "Hasta Siempre" as an ode to honor Che Guevara.
- "Cliché Guevara," A song released by Against Me! in 2003, is an obvious reference to Che.
- "Comandante Che Guevara (Commander Che Guevara)," a song by Nueva Trova maestro Silvio Rodríguez
- "Indian Girl" by the The Rolling Stones off from Emotional Rescue has a lyric referring to Che. "Mr. Gringo, my father he ain't no Che Guevara, And he's fighting the war on the streets of Masaya"
- In rapper Nas's album, 'Stillmatic there is a controversial track named "My Country" that pays tribute to Che Guevara and others who were destroyed by their country.
- David Bowie's album, Lodger featured in its inside sleeve one of the famous photographs of Guevara's corpse surrounded by his executioners.
- In Pet Shop Boys's song "Left To My Own Devices" they mention with irony "Che Guevara and Debussy to a disco beat".
- In Immortal Technique's No Me Importa off of Revolutionary Vol. 1.
- In rapper Jay-Z's Black Album, the track "Public Service Announcement" contains the line "I'm like Che Guevara with bling on/ I'm complex."
- In the Manic Street Preachers song, "Revol", there is the lyric "Che Guevara, you're all target now".
- In the 2001 song "Last Train" from The Invisible Band (2001) by Scottish rock band Travis.
- In Travis Morrison's "Che Guevara Poster" off Travistan.
- In Richard Shindell's 2004 album Vuelta the track "Che Guevara t-Shirt" tells the story of an illegal immigrant imprisoned after 9/11 who may be kept in jail forever because he carries a photo of his girlfriend wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt.
- Gallo Rojo by Los Fabulosos Cadillacs.
- "McGuevara's o CheDonald's" by Kevin Johansen.
- The Ruta del Ché trilogy by Spanish punk band Boikot.
- American rock band Chagall Guevara, took their name from artist Marc Chagall and Che Guevara, to imply the meaning "revolutionary art."
- In two songs by Francesco Guccini: "Stagioni" (2000) and "Canzone per il Che" (2004)
- In the song "Transamerika" by Modena City Ramblers
- In the song "Cohiba" by Daniele Silvestri
- In the song "Cows With Guns" by Dana Lyons
- In Bandabardò's song "Tre Passi Avanti"
- The Australian punk band the Clap has a song called "Che Guevara T-Shirt Wearer" featuring the chorus lines of "you're a Che Guevara T-shirt wearer, and you have no idea who he is."
- The Nightwatchman aka (Tom Morello) references a quote from Che Guevara in the music video for "Road I Must Travel"
- On the track "It's Your World" from rapper Common's 2005 album Be, the artist states "Wish I was free as Che was."
- The band Rage Against the Machine has assorted band apparel with Che's image on it.
Songs in tribute
In books & magazines
- Che Guevara was on the cover of the August 8, 1960 - Time Magazine.
- Time Magazine named Che one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th Century.
- Laura Berquist, conducted 2 personal interviews with Che Guevara for look magazine in 1960 and 1963.
- Renowned author Ernest Hemingway held the May 15th 1960 - 'Hemingway Fishing Contest' - where he competed in Cuba against both Fidel Castro and Che Guevara.
- Guevara is on the cover of the book The Rebel Sell.
- In the novel I, Che Guevara by John Blackthorn (a pen name of former Senator Gary Hart), Guevara returns to Cuba under an alias during its first ever democratic election. Espousing an ideology of direct democracy and a government run exclusively via New England-style town meetings, he sponsors a professor's grassroots,third party run for President of Cuba, opposing both the Communist Party and a Cuban American/White House-backed, right-wing party.
- In the Novel Aberystwyth Mon Amour by Malcolm Pryce the name of one the minor characters is Gwenno Guevara, a freedom fighter.
- In the novel "King Dork" by Frank Portman, there are many mentions of the main character, Tom Henderson wearing his "Che Guevara T-Shirt" while playing in his band.
- To coincide with the 40th anniversary of his execution, "Che in Verse" reproduced 134 poems and songs from 53 countries about the enigmatic revolutionary. The book contains 19 poems by North American poets, including Allen Ginsberg, Robert Lowell, John Haines, Greg Hewett, Michael McClure and Thomas Merton. It examines how Che was celebrated or remembered from before his death to the present day, and it explores why Guevara - himself a gun-toting poet - has achieved a level of sanctification comparable to Christ.
- In the memoir "Persepolis" by Marjane Satrapi, the main character dressed up as Che as a child and played with her friends who played as other revolutionaries.
- In the manga Baki the Grappler: Son of Ogre by Keisuke Itagaki, an 'alternative universe' version of Guevara exists. This Edwardo 'Che' Guevara is a former pirate of the high seas who went on to found his own sovereign nation of 'La Serna'. His appearance is nearly identical to the real Guevara as seen in the classic photograph, and he is one of the three strongest men in the entire world, along with Biscuit Oliva and Yujiro Hanma. Much like the real-life version, this manga version of Guevara is notorious for his radical political philosophy, his anti-capitalist and more specifically anti-US stance, and his harsh discipline. It is this discipline that has made him so powerful, as he is described as 'one of the three men alive more powerful than a machine gun'. He uses a fighting style developed from the exclusive use of bare hands against all weapon types, and so is quite capable of killing someone in a single hit, defeating an opponent who has a gun to his head, or destroying several abnormally strong/skilled opponents at once.
- There is an "El Che Cola", who donates 50 % of their net profits to NGOs, and has the slogan: "Change your habits to change the world." (Company's website)
- For an advertising campaign Taco bell dressed up a chihuahua like Che Guevara and had him state: "Yo quiero Taco Bell", Spanish for: "I love Taco Bell!". Chuck Bennett, Taco Bells advertising director when asked about the allusion to Che has stated: “We wanted a heroic leader to make it a massive taco revolution.”
- Smirnoff vodka attempted to use the image of Che Guevara in an advertising campaign in 2000, but was stopped in court by photographer Alberto Korda who took the original iconic image.
- There is a Che Café in La Jolla California where atop the menu it reads: “The Che Café is a great place to hang out with other people who envision a better world.”
- Manchester, England features a Latin American themed bar called: "Che".
- Converse uses the image of Che Guevara in one of their shoe ad campaigns.
- Gustavo Villoldo, a former CIA operative, auctioned off a lock of Che Guevara's hair for $ 119,500 to Houston-area bookstore owner in October 2007. "Che's hair sold"
- Ben and Jerry's has a brand of ice cream called: "Cherry Guevara", whose label states: "The revolutionary struggle of the cherries was squashed as they were trapped between two layers of chocolate. May their memory live on in your mouth." As you finish the ice cream you're left with a wooden stick with the words "We will bite to the end!"
- A French businessman has introduced a perfume & cologne - Che Perfume by Chevignon: "Dedicated to those who want to feel and smell like revolutionaries."
- The Russian city of St. Petersburg features a Cafe Club Che (lounge, bar, & jazz club) where patrons can get their hands on a shot of Cuban rum and a fine Cuban cigar at the drop of a military beret. "Site"
- The Russian capital of Moscow also features a Club Che, which is a vibrant Latin American-themed club staffed by Cuban waiters. "Info"
- In Peru you can purchase packs of El Che Cigarettes (ultra lights). "picture"
- In an advertisement for Jean Paul Gaultier sunglasses circulated in Europe in 1999, Che is painted as a Frida Kahlo-type landscape, in front of a blazing desert sun.
- Leica (which was the camera used by Alberto Korda to capture Guerrillero Heroico) has used an image of their camera with Che's red star to advertise their "revolutionary camera."
- Actor Johnny Depp wears a pendant of Che Guevara around his neck for most public appearances, as seen on the Feb 2005, cover of Rolling Stone.
- Supermodel Gisele Bundchen caused a stir when she donned a bikini with Che Guevara on it.
- Prince Henry of Wales, caused some controversy when he was spotted in July 2006 adorning a Che Guevara T-shirt.
- Rapper Jay-Z, who raps in one of his songs "I'm like Che Guevara with bling on," commonly is seen wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt.
- Burlington Coat Factory ran a television ad called "Values" featuring a teenager in a Guevara shirt. Later they removed the ad after protest by Cuban American exiles.
- A store called La La Ling in Los Angeles sells a Che Guevara shirt for babies — actually, a "onesie." The ad text is as follows: "Now even the smallest rebel can express himself in these awesome baby one-sies. This classic Che Guevara icon is also available on a long-sleeve tee in kids' sizes ... Long live the rebel in all of us ... there's no cooler iconic image than Che!"
- In 2004 the New York Public Library's gift shop sold a Che Guevara watch. The ad for the watch stated: "Revolution is a permanent state with this clever watch, featuring the classic romantic image of Che Guevara, around which the word 'revolution'-revolves."
- During the October 7, 2002, Vanity Fair photo shoot of the Osbourne family by Annie Leibovitz, son Jack Osbourne is wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt.
- Shelf Life Clothing sells a Che Guevara shirt with the slogan "I have no idea who this guy is" underneath.
- Alberto Korda's famous image of Guevara was taken at the memorial service for the victims of the explosion of the ship La Coubre, on March 5, 1960. The Maryland Institute College of Art called Korda's photo, "The most famous photograph in the world and a symbol of the 20th century."
- Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick converted Korda's picture into a high contrast bust drawing, with a slight modification to Guevara's stance and eyes. This drawing has become iconic, and is frequently seen in silkscreen and stencil art.
- Notably, Fitzpatrick's high contrast image appears in Andy Warhol's 1962 artwork Che Guevara, a montage of brightly coloured images in Warhol's stylised screenprint.
- Rage Against the Machine's 1992 debut single, Bombtrack, uses Che's image on its cover.
- The Cuban Ministry for the Interior building features a large, stylised outline of Fitzpatrick's image.
- In 2005 an exhibition examining the Korda portrait entitled Revolution & Commerce: The Legacy of Korda’s Portrait of Che Guevara, was organized by Jonathan Green and Trisha Ziff for UCR/California Museum of Photography. This exhibition has traveled to International Center of Photography, New York; Centro de la Imagen, Mexico City; and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; with other venues planned for 2006–2008. The Victoria & Albert Museum published a catalog of the exhibition: Che Guevara: Revolutionary & Icon.
- The cover of the January 1972 edition of National Lampoon magazine features a parody of the Alberto Korda's iconic photo in which Che is hit in the face with a cream pie.
- Manhattans International Center of Photography held a 2006 exhibit entitled: “Che ! Revolution and Commerce.”
- The cover of Madonna's American Life album was inspired by the famous Che Guevara photograph.
- Former Heavy Weight Boxing champion Mike Tyson who has a tattoo of Che Guevara on his rib, in 2003 described Che as "An incredible individual. He had so much, but sacrificed it all for the benefit of other people."
- Argentine football legend Diego Maradona, has a tattoo portrait of Che Guevara on his right arm.
- A parody of the famous Che Guevara poster was used on the cover of the March 2008 edition of MAD Magazine, with Alfred E. Neuman's head replacing Guevara's.
- Che Guevara, Written by Zhang Guangtian, Productions: 2007 Beijing China, 2008 China Art Institute. Article
- Evita, Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Productions: 1976 concept album, 1978 West End, 1979 Broadway, 1996 Film, 2006 West End revival.
- In the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, Evita, the narrator and main protagonist is a revolutionary commonly held to be based on Che Guevara. Though never referred to by his name "Che" in the musical itself, the character is identified as "Che" in the libretto, and in the title of one song "The Waltz for Eva and Che", wherein he cynically tells the story of Eva Perón, and the two finally confront one another during the Waltz. This portrayal is entirely fictional; Che and Eva never actually met. Che's single interaction with Eva was writing a letter to her foundation, the Eva Perón Foundation, asking for a jeep. In the book The Making of Evita, director Alan Parker writes that the Broadway version of the musical is indeed narrated by the character of Che Guevara but that for the movie version of the musical the character of "Che Guevara" the historical figure is replaced by the character of "Che", an anonymous Argentine. (In Argentina, the word "Che" is similar to the word "dude". No one in Argentina is really named "Che," just as no one in the United States is named "Dude.") In The Making of Evita, Alan Parker writes that he didn't feel it was appropriate for the musical to be narrated by the character of the historical Che Guevara.
- Guerrillas, by Rolf Hochhuth, Production: 1970
- School of the Americas (about Che's last 2 days alive), written by José Rivera, Productions: 2007 New York , 2008 San Francisco.
- American comedian Margaret Cho, on the cover of her stand-up act Revolution (2003) combines her face into an obvious appropriation of Che Guevara’s famous graphic-portrait.
- His exploits during the Cuban Revolution were very loosely dramatized in the 1987 video game Guevara, released by SNK in Japan and "converted" into Guerrilla War for Western audiences, removing all references to Guevara but keeping all the visuals and a game map that clearly resembles Cuba. Original copies of the "Guevara" edition of the Japanese Famicom edition go for high amounts on the collectors' market.
- The box art for Just Cause, (the 2006 videogame for PC, Xbox, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 2) imitates the famous photograph of Che Guevara taken by Alberto Korda. The main character in the game of Rico Rodriguez is also based on CIA agent Félix Rodríguez, the agent present for Che Guevara's capture in Bolivia.
- Former South African President Nelson Mandela in 1991 declared that: "Che's life is an inspiration for every human being who loves freedom. We will always honor his memory."
- American civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, in 1984 visit at the University of Havana declared: “Long live our cry of freedom. Long Live Che !”
- The website of the United States National Institute of Health describes Che Guevara as an "Argentine physician and freedom fighter."
- Former Cuban President Fidel Castro (who fought alongside Che) has proclaimed that: “Che’s luminous gaze of a prophet has become a symbol for all the poor in the world.”
- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez wore a red Che Guevara t-shirt at the 2005 World Social Forum in Porto Alegre.
- On October 14, 2007 - Hugo Chavez visited Cuba to lay a wreath on the monument of Ernesto “Che” Guevara in the Cuban central province of Villa Clara, in honor of the 40th anniversary of his execution.
- October 9th, 2007 Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that doctors working for the Venezuelan public health system will get a 60 percent pay raise in honor of Cuban revolutionary hero Ernesto “Che” Guevara, who was a trained physician.
- After winning President of Bolivia in 2006, Evo Morales installed a portrait of Che Guevara made from coca leaves in the presidential suite.
- On October 9th, 2007 - Bolivian President Evo Morales, stated that: "The ideals and actions of Commander Ernesto Guevara are examples for those who defend equality and justice. We are humanists and followers of the example of Guevara."
- Cuban school children begin every day of class with the pledge: "Seremos como el Che" = "We will be like Che."
- Historian and journalist - Erik Durschmied has spoken of the significance of Che's death and pointed out that: “With the news of Che’s death, rallies were held from Mexico to Santiago, Algiers to Angola, and Cairo to Calcutta. The population of Budapest and Prague lit candles; the picture of a smiling Che appeared in London and Paris ... when a few months later, riots broker out in Berlin, Paris, and Chicago, and from there the unrest spread to the American campuses, young men and women wore Che Guevara T-shirts and carried his pictures during their protest marches.”
- In February 2008, screenshots from the local Fox News station's news reports showed that Houston, Texas, volunteer staffer Maria Isabel of the Barack Obama U.S. presidential campaign had used the Che Guevara image to decorate her office. The Obama campaign responded: "We were disappointed to see this picture because it is both offensive to many Cuban Americans and Americans of all backgrounds, and because it does not reflect Senator Obama's views."
- Bolivia features a 'Che Guevara Trail' which is overseen by Care Bolivia and the Bolivian Ministry of Tourism. The trail leads by road from the burgeoning Bolivian city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, via the Inca site of Samaipata, onto the villages of Vallegrande and La Higuera (the 'holy grail' for Che pilgrims). The tour allows visitors to travel just as Che and his comrades did — by mule or on foot through rocky forested terrain — or in four-wheel-drive vehicles along unpaved roads. The trail visits places of historical interest including the site of Che's guerrilla camp, the school where after 11 months as a guerrilla he was captured and killed, and his former grave. Visitors also are able to meet local people who met or traveled with Che.
- Cuba also offers a `14 day "Che Guevara Tour", (organized in collaboration with the Ernesto Che Guevara center in Havana) - which allows travelers to follow the historical footsteps of Che Guevara in his guerrilla struggle to oust Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista.
- Journey Latin America, offers a three-week escorted Motorcycle Diaries tour from Buenos Aires to Lima. The company also offers tailor-made trips to any of the locations along the Guevara-Granado route.
- An average of about 800 international visitors each day make the trek to Che Guevara's museum, memorial, and mausoleum in Santa Clara, Cuba - (150 miles east of Havana). The site also includes an eternal flame.
Mexican author Rogelio Villareal has noted how "The famous image is not venerated by all. It has also been aged, laughed about, parodied, insulted, and distorted around the world. There are those, both supporters and detractors that object to the use of Che's image in popular culture. Some of his supporters object to the commodification or diminishing of his image by its use in popular culture, viewing it in conflict to his ideology. While his detractors question the widespread use of the image of someone they see to be a murderer on an array of popular products.
- DeviantART: Che Guevara
- Che Guevara Photos from daylife
- RevLeft: Che Discussion Forum
- MSNBC: "'Che' Brand Irks Guevara's Children" by Andrea Rodriguez, June 5 2008
- Salon: "Che Anything" by Amy Reiter, May 5 2008.
- The Baltimore Sun: "One, Two, Che-Che-Che in Film, Print and on Stage" by Greg Morago, March 7 2004.
- The Christian Science Monitor: "Che Chic" by Elizabeth Armstrong, March 5 2004.
- The First Post: Che Before the T-shirt
- The Guardian: "Why I Killed Che" by Gavin Turk, June 3 2006.
- The New York Times: "A Revolutionary Icon, and Now, a Bikini" by Marc Lacey, October 9 2007.
- The New York Times: "Give Me a Rebel, But Hold the Politics" by Ginia Bellafante, March 30 2004.
- Washington Post: "The Che Cachet" by David Segal, February 7 2006.