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Previous | Next :: Che Painted on the Wall : Havana : Cuba | March 6, 2011, 1:42 am

Che Painted on the Wall : Havana : Cuba
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I see Alberto Grando the friend and motorcycle companion to Che Guevara has died today at the age of 88. Born in Argentina he was a childhood friend of Che Guevara. He took the now famous 8 month trip with Che around the whole of Latin America by motorbike. This trip exposed the two young medical students to the political oppression and extreme poverty that the people of that region suffered at the time. It turned Che Guevara into a revolutionary.

Their trip is immortalized in the film 'The Motorcycle Diaries' that is based on the diaries that both men kept of that time.

After Che had helped Castro overthrow the disgusting Batista regime in Cuba he invited his old friend Alberto Grando to join him in Havana. Alberto spent his time there teaching biochemistry and was still living in Cuba at the time of his death.

Alberto's death is a reminder of the decency and hope that that motivated some early revolutionaries. Even Guevara who is accused of unwarranted executions and cruelty was genuinely motivated by a struggle against injustice and poverty.

Its sad how little the Cuban revolution amongst others has actually delivered in this regard. Che remains the only credible hero of that revolution still bathed in the glow of its glorious early days as he was killed attempting to ferment revolution in Bolivia back in 1967.

He did not go on to be sullied by the 50 year rule of Fidel Castro with all its suppression of dissidents and writers and the grinding poverty for the people of Cuba.

Today two events occurred as if to underscore the difference between the long gone radical hopeful days of the motorcycle diaries and the present heavy repression and autocracy of the Communist/Fascist Cuban state run by the diktat of the Castro brothers. Today Alberto Grando died. Today the two day trial of 61 year old Alan Goss ends. Goss is an American and a human rights activist working to promote democracy, through bringing information and connection to the outside world, he currently faces 20 years in prison.

He is charged with having illegally connected people to the internet. It is feared will receive the full sentence of 20 years imprisonment. He has already been held in prison for over a year.............. For connecting people to the net......... think about it.

Sadly Che and even Alberto lent their support to a regime they thought would bring freedom from oppression and poverty......... but in the long run it really did nothing of the sort.


PS.............. Harv always suggests some great stuff......... this is the contact sheet of Korda's amazing Che image........ the horizontal in the second bottom row is the image that made Che the icon as you see him above........... Harv is right his politics his revolutionary zeal his life and achievements ........ combine with ......... but are almost surpassed by this massive iconic image of him that lives on.

PPS........... Here is more about the afterlife of Che and the photographer Korda and his famous photograph ........ how Che has lived on through this image ....... how this iconic image has a life of it's own ............

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