Havana, Oct 7 : The famous image of Che Guevara, immortalized by the photographer Korda, is again seen in every corner of Cuba in honour of the man called a heroic guerrilla, a pop icon whose picture is sold as souvenirs in stores everywhere.
In the emblematic Plaza de la Revolucion in Havana, the most sought after, most photographed attraction is the image of Ernesto “Che” Guevara (1928-1967) on the Interior Ministry building: pictures taken by tourists, often by those wearing replicas of his legendary black beret with a star in front, are mostly of him.
That beret plus T-shirts, paintings and post cards bearing his picture are widely sold in the street markets of Old Havana, the city’s historic centre, which attract thousands of tourists looking for souvenirs.
“His image is as popular as the vintage American cars or the famous Bodeguita del Medio restaurant,” EFE was told by Freddy, an artisan who sells his works in the San Jose Warehouses of Old Havana.
“In Cuba, Che is a hero, a historic figure. But everywhere else in the world he is also a pop icon,” he said.
“As a tribute to his legacy and not to make money,” Neida, a veteran artisan with 20 years in the business, sells for a “reasonable price,” about $15, posters with the hand-painted portrait of Che.
Beyond the commercial use of the snapshot taken in 1960 by the Cuban Alberto “Korda” Diaz, the image and legacy of Che – raised into a venerable “Saint of the Revolution” – serves as an example for the new generations.