Che Guevara backlash grows

Dec. 13, 2004 at 11:31 AM

MIAMI, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- A backlash to the Che Guevara fad in the United States is growing, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Monday.

Sparked in part by the movie, "Motorcycle Diaries," which depicts Guevara's early life, the Cuban revolutionary's picture is showing up everywhere, especially on T-shirts and other articles of clothing.

Guevara symbolizes idealism and rebellion to many, but to others he was the ruthless killer who helped establish a totalitarian government in Cuba.

"There's a whole phenomenon going on with Che Guevara that's really difficult to explain," said Valentin Prieto of Miami, who has been supporting protests against Guevara merchandise.

"You have kids -- who don't even know who Che Guevara is -- wearing his clothes. Che Guevara to Cubans is a murderer," Prieto said.

Guevara fought alongside Fidel Castro during the revolution that propelled Castro to power. He was an influential figure in the new government and tried to export its philosophies to other countries.

He was apprehended and executed carrying out those activities in Bolivia in 1967.

Burlington Coat Factory has stopped selling clothing depicting Guevara's image, but several other companies have declined to discontinue those lines.

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