(Che fishing with Fidel, 1960)Che Guevara has been labeled everything from a bloodthirsty Stalinist to a humanitarian saint, but one epithet he can't be smeared with is traitor. His devotion to revolutionary struggle was so implacable that Alberto Korda's ubiquitous Guerrillero Heroico portrait has become synonymous with anything to do with "rebel chic." As a result, much of Che's legacy has been drained of its vitality by the culture industry's relentless branding prowess.
At least Cuba has managed to retain a modicum of Che's dignity intact, ironically as a result of its isolation from the rest of the world. The hero of the Cuban Revolution was an Argentine doctor. He wasn't a Stalinist or a saint. He was a man for all times; a realist who dreamed the impossible.