Photo Feature by Elio Delgado
HAVANA TIMES, August 29 – Some of us find Che’s farewell letter to Fidel or the melody “Las Américas” sufficiently emblematic to bring us to tears. The same occurs when we hear our children chanting the Pioneer slogan: “We shall be like Che” (all children in Cuba belong to the Union of Pioneers of Cuba).
For us, consequently, we find it paradoxical to see his image used in Cuba to commercialize products – everywhere from markets run by cuentapropistas (people authorized to set up small businesses) to stores owned and operated by the State.
The image of Che is constantly used on adornments of various types – key rings, shoes, T-shirts, bags, hats, berets, clocks, paperweights and drums… always sold in hard-currency: the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC), which is difficult for average Cubans to obtain.
It’s also interesting that we can find his face alongside the image of the Patron Saint of Cuba, the Virgin of the Caridad del Cobre; as well as on logos for Havana Club rum, Cohiba cigars, deities or attributes of African religions here, US jalopies from the 50’s and musical instruments.
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