July 02, 2003


Che Guevara's daughter is in Australia to make money selling a book of her father’s stupid writing -- and to complain about the commercialisation of Che’s image. The Age provides some free publicity:

For millions, Guevara represents freedom, youth and the idea of rising up and being strong enough to change the system we live in. But who was the real Che?

Answer: He was an interrogator of elderly goat wranglers:

OCTOBER 7, 1967: The last entry in Che’s diary is recorded exactly eleven months since the inauguration of the guerrilla movement. The guerrillas run into an old woman herding goats. They ask her if there are soldiers in the area but are unable to get any reliable information. Scared that she will report them, they pay her 50 pesos to keep quiet. In Che’s diary it is noted that he has "little hope" that she will do so.

Way to go, Che. We now return to The Age’s worshipful report:

Aleida Guevara, his eldest daughter, is now touring the world to separate the myth from the man. It is a personal journey as much as a political one ... She bears a remarkable resemblance to her father and like him, she has studied medicine. Che was passionate about the future of young people. Aleida, 42, expresses her passion for youth through her work as a pediatrician at a children's hospital in Havana, where she lives.

And where others die after summary trials. How, by the way, do bullshit phrases like “personal journey as much as a political one” and “passionate about the future of young people” make it past a conscious editor?

She shares her father's idealism about creating a world free from oppression and is a prominent figure in the anti-globalisation movement ...

Which explains the world tour.

Visiting Australia for the first time, she is promoting a new book, Che Guevara Reader, a collection of her father's writing. Asked if she tries to be like her father, Aleida replies: "Everyone in Cuba has that commitment - to try to be like Che."

True enough. Che, after all, left Cuba.

On October 1967, 39-year-old Guevara was gunned down in the jungle by US-backed Bolivian troops. Aleida was seven at the time. She has only "very small memories" of her father, but she remembers his warmth, tenderness and capacity to love. The rest of the picture is filled in by stories that her mother told her and through her enduring friendship with Fidel Castro, whom she calls "uncle".


Aleida says she didn't really know her father "physically and personally" but she recalls the lessons he taught her. "The most important one was to try to understand another human being, even though you may not be sure of what's going on. And even when you are sure, be as delicate as possible with that other person."

While you are shooting that other person in the face.

In 1965 he wrote to his children: "If you ever have to read this letter, it will be because I am no longer with you . . . your father has been a man who acted on his beliefs and has certainly been loyal to his convictions."

Every murderer “acts on his beliefs”. Manson was “loyal to his convictions”. Big deal, Mr Philosopher Warrior.

Since his death, Aleida has maintained an affectionate relationship with Castro. "It's like a relationship of a father and daughter; whatever I don't understand, I ask him to explain it to me . . . I demand that he explains."

”Tell me, Uncle Dictator, why did you imprison the homosexuals?”

The 76-year-old Cuban president has been in power for 44 years. During much of that time American trade and travel embargos have crippled the island's economy.

But you don’t want globalisation!

She is an unwavering member of the Cuban Communist Party and she does not question Castro's leadership.

Maybe that's why she’s alive and able to be interviewed by The Age.

In a clear message to the Bush Administration that Cuba will not tolerate efforts by the US to build a dissident movement in Cuba, the Castro regime this year sentenced at least 36 dissidents charged with opposing Castro to up to 27 years' jail - the toughest political crackdown in decades.

There's a sure way to strike fear into Bush’s heart: imprison your own citizens.

Aleida is angry the dissidents have received worldwide attention while five Cubans jailed in Miami on conspiracy and spying charges remain largely ignored. She claims they were not given a fair trial.

Presumably she said that with a straight face.

She is committed to carrying on her father's fight for freedom for the oppressed by travelling the world and telling people about the real Che Guevara.

So why isn’t she trying to kill us imperialist scum -- you know, like Daddy did -- instead of pushing “Chicken Soup for Idiot Marxists” in the bourgeois press? Some commitment.

Posted by Tim Blair at July 2, 2003 02:27 PM

Yep, she looks just like Dad. Except she shaves more often.

Posted by: Cracker Barrel Philosopher at July 2, 2003 at 02:37 PM

How the F did she get a Visa for christ sake?

Posted by: Razor at July 2, 2003 at 02:47 PM

Here in Madison Wisconsin, we have a little sandwhich shoppe called Radical Rye. Che's face is plastered on all the windows. There is even a Che's lounge on the second floor were lefties can meet and sip their fair-trade lattes.

Oh, but here is the real kicker. The restaurant is owned by a former 1970s vietnam radical named Karl Armstrong. This guy planned the sterling hall bombing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison which killed one student.

Sooo, Karl Armstrong has killed an innocent person because of his radical insanity AND he's making a killing on a Che-themed restaurant....

Sometimes I wish I had a sharpie, a piece of paper, a length of string and a big red brick....

Posted by: Aaron the Mad at July 2, 2003 at 03:16 PM

She's as ugly as the cretinous beliefs she avows.
And, quite right Razor, how did the evil bitch get a visa?

Posted by: d at July 2, 2003 at 03:22 PM

I love how the nasty Americans have crippled Cuba's economy with their sanctions. Why, you just have to look around the rest of the communist countries to see what great economic successes they were.

Posted by: PJ at July 2, 2003 at 03:22 PM

Did she drive a '55 Chevy to Australia?

Posted by: wallace at July 2, 2003 at 03:30 PM

One thing for her dear old dad- at least he only stuck his stogies in his mouth.

Posted by: paul bickford at July 2, 2003 at 04:30 PM

Re the visa question- Australia is a democracy that believes in freedom of speech, so we allow any addled ratbag in to have their two bobs worth; oops, except for David Irving.

Posted by: paul bickford at July 2, 2003 at 04:34 PM

Have you all seen the Dissident Frogman's brilliant photoshop job of Che Guevara with a Mickey Mouse hat?

El Che gets the Mickey! I recommend that Aaron above order one of the t-shirts and wear it to the cafe he describes.

Here's the link

Posted by: Tokyo Taro at July 2, 2003 at 04:56 PM

Che Guevara? which one? Not "Ernesto" Che Guevara.
Kind of takes the whole romance out of the name.
"Hey Ernie,"
"Yeah Fidel, whats up?"

Posted by: Kevin Marshall at July 2, 2003 at 10:09 PM

I think the question should be "How did she get permission to leave Cuba?"

Posted by: Geoff Matthews at July 3, 2003 at 05:06 AM

C'mon, Geoff, if she were trying to leave your country, would you stop her? Maybe the real question should be "Will she get permission to return to Cuba."

Posted by: T. Hartin at July 3, 2003 at 08:16 AM

Mastercard accepted
Hyatt hotel booked
Flight paid and confirmed

Done! We're off to the next anti-globalization protest!

Posted by: The at July 3, 2003 at 08:37 AM

Whilst she is there asking Fidel to explain - she can ask him to explain why he left poor old Che to die in the jungles of Bolivia???

I bet you she doesn't mention that in her book.

Posted by: Rob at July 3, 2003 at 09:54 AM


"evil bitch"....yep

just another day's discourse on Blair's Buddies Booby Board...ay caramba, this level of comment is gonna pull harder on those A & B readers huh?

up here in afro-Cuban heaven, we'll blow a horn for all the heroes & villains of our history.

more invigorating than tapping hate into the keys kids. or am i dreaming? better go liberate some oppressed folks and teach them how to live.

busy, busy.

Posted by: chico o'farrill at July 3, 2003 at 12:29 PM

To "The" - Heh! I've also often wondered about the rationale behind those involved in the globalized effort to stop globalization. ;)

Posted by: cardeblu at July 3, 2003 at 04:11 PM

I know you're busy. You, Che, Fidel and the other Commies are the guys wearing that boot that Orwell wrote about. The one stamping on a human face, forever. But it won't last forever, fascist.

Posted by: Michael Lonie at July 3, 2003 at 04:42 PM

The human spirit forever yearns to be free, Chico. Now you can't say you didn't learn something today.

Posted by: Tongue Boy at July 4, 2003 at 12:42 AM

'For millions, Guevara represents freedom'

Except for the millions enslaved in the Communist gulag of Cuba.

Posted by: Jack Tanner at July 4, 2003 at 02:37 AM

The US destroyed Cuba's economy? What about all the other nations they trade with, including the beloved EU?

One of the US business magazines reported recently (I think it was Forbes) that Castro is richer than the Queen of the Netherlands, who's no slouch herself since her family owns a huge chuck of Shell Oil.

Posted by: Susan at July 4, 2003 at 10:47 AM