Cam Guevara




Cam Guevara 2

Originally uploaded by cameronreilly

I have always wanted one of these caps that Che Guevara used to wear. I’ve looked all over Melbourne but couldn’t find one. Then last week I found The Che Store. The cap is said to be “the same Basque-style beret, with a silver metal star on the front and tip on top, worn by Che.”

30 thoughts on “Cam Guevara

  1. Che Guevara was the left wing equivalent of Hermann Goering, he was a murderous tyrant and contributed nothing in terms of any advancing human political organisation . He just has a better public image and it’s always sad to see people wearing his image as they would a fashion label brand.

  2. Peter, where did you get that impression of Guevara from? How many biographies have you read about him? How many books have you read about the Cuban revolution? What facts can you bring to your argument? Or are you just regurgitating anti-Cuban propaganda developed by the USA to discredit the leaders of the revolution who overthrew a corrupt and violent US puppet government then survived 50 years of American attacks on their leaders and homeland?

  3. Cameron

    If you are really interested, and not just trying to defend yourself because you have fallen for the false allure of a capitalist brand that so ironically was born from an ardent anticapitalist, I will provide you with some titles below to read.

    There are many first hand accounts of his ruthlessness sending people to firing squads and labour camps for expressing their disagreement with Marxist ideology. An ideology that mandated violence to enforce what has been proven by history as a disastrous failure to those trapped within countries under stifling totalitarian regimes.

    He was no leader he was just a mindless and ruthless follower and should only be remembered as exactly that, he was in no way the martyr in to which his modern image has grown. If you really admire him you shouldn’t consume like a capitalist by wearing a Tshirt with his face on it or parade around in a hat you should go and live in his model of the workers paradise of Cuba or North Korea.

    For reference see “The Hidden Face of Che” by Jacobo Machover or even better read from his own mouth “Message to the Tricontinental” where he describes his own recipe for turning a soldier into a “cold-blooded killing machine”

  4. Also see The Che Guevara Myth By Alvaro Vargas Llosa, I read books Cameron not just get my picture taken in front of them.

  5. Peter, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the very nature of a revolution is violent. Overthrowing a corrupt regime doesn’t happen with roses and chocolates. The American revolution, the French revolution, the Russian revolution – don’t make the simplistic mistake of thinking Communist revolutions are the only ones where blood is shed. And you don’t think ALL soldiers are taught to be cold-blooded killing machines? Come on. Che, Fidel and their compadres threw an extremely corrupt regime out of Cuba, a regime that was backed by the US military and the mafia. And when the US’s attempted invasion failed, they took refuge behind economic warfare which STILL hasn’t crippled the Cuban people’s resolve to stand apart from American imperialism.

    BTW, I’m not saying I’m a fan of Marxism or Communism by wearing the hat. It’s a statement in the same way I call myself “El Comandante” – it’s about a media revolution. However I am very interested in what Fidel has achieved and I would be hesitant to make simplistic, pithy statements about a 50 year political movement.

  6. Whatever your motives or interest the fact is Guevara was the No2 of on immoral totalitarian regime in charge of the killing of dissidents as was Hermann Goering.

    Antone wearing clothing with his image is displaying a poor level of political awareness.

  7. Cameron,

    What about the opinions of the thousands of Cubans who now live in South Florida?? At least they, unlike most of the people under Castro’s dictatorship, live in a society where they can voice their opinions without fear of government crackdowns.

    The fact is that the US didn’t want a MARXIST regime, which Soviet weapons had access to, sitting 90 miles off of the US coast. That would be called Soviet Imperialism, aka International Communism.

    Guevara was a brutal murderer – not anything like our Founding Fathers in America or someone like Napoleon Bonaparte. While I do believe at times Guevara was motivated by the plight of the poor, his actions later speak differently (summary trials and executions, brutal state sponsored murder).
    He and Castro were more like a Robespierre, Danton, Lenin, or Mao. Yes, the Cuban government under Batista had been corrupt Cameron, but there were other alternatives to the bloodshed and suffering this revolution wrought. Even if bloodshed had to occur, no one at the time though Castro would trade in a right wing dictatorship for a new Marxist dictatorship.

    A good movie to watch was one from a couple years ago on HBO starring Andy Garcia (The Lost City – also with Dustin Hoffman and Bill Murray). It kind of shows the plight of all sides at the time: both the oppressive military dictatorship of Batista and then the Communist regime of Castro.

    The only reason Fidel is still in power is precisely because he does not believe in the democratic opinions of his people. I do think you have a right to wear whatever cap makes you happy – I just don’t understand why it’s acceptable to wear a Che cap, but if I wanted to wear a replica of Mussolini’s or Franco’s cap (which I stress I DO NOT) I would be called a Fascist pig.
    2 sides of the same coin to me. I saw a woman walking down the street the other day outside my work with a pair of fur boots with huge red hammer and sickles on them. No one batted an eye. I see people wearing old CCCP jackets. I guarantee holy hell would break loose if a bald man wearing jackboots with swastikas on them or an iron cross around his neck did the same thing.
    Why the double standards?

    -Michael

  8. Correction, the Lost City was actually in theaters, I just saw it on HBO. I was just looking at the wikipedia article on it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lost_City_%282005_film%29

    Also, apparently it was banned in several Latin American nations for portraying the Cuban Revolution unfavorably (or we might say for giving a balanced look at it – again, where’s the free media here?) Hel, Castro even banned the saxophone in Havana’s night clubs because it was deemed a “capitalist” instrument…as a sax player I am highly offended!! 🙂

  9. Peter – comparing Guevara to Goering is asinine. I don’t believe you can credibly compare the Cuban revolution to the actions of the Nazi party.

    Mike – I don’t know all of the ex-Cubans now living in Florida, so I don’t want to speak for them, but I do know that the US government has spent a huuuge bunch of money over the last 50 years paying Cubans and ex-Cubans to discredit the Cuban government. It’s a propaganda war. You can’t take it on face value. Be careful you’re not getting your information about Guevara and Cuba from tainted, biased sources. The US has become excellent at propaganda against their enemies. Take a look at the basic living condition of Cubans now and compare them to Cuba pre-Castro. Infant mortality rate. Literacy rate. Agrarian reform. Health care.

  10. Cameron – I believe consuming a capitalist brand, which is what Guevara image has metamorphosed, in order to label yourself outwardly is asinine. The actual person and the ideology for which he killed and was killed for is the antithesis of the meme that has infected your brain.

    As for what you claim as the achievements of Cuba, improvements in living standards in command economies as measured in hard empiric data like infant mortality rates rather govt published propaganda only improve when market based reforms are introduced see China & Vietnam.

    Marcelo – that is not me

    Michael – yes I agree, identifying with one and raging against the other is hypocritical.

  11. All revolutions are imperfect, and all revolutions have casualties. Everyone makes mistakes in war.

    El Che and Castro are the way they are because of external pressures, not due to intentions on their part. I know this because my father was a member of Los Tupamaros (yes, you´d hate them too) – It is so typical of westerners, living in their comfortable little safe environments to pass judgement on the actions of other men who are in extreme pressure cooker conditions. These men who initially couldnt give a fuck about the market place, who do things because they see people suffer and realise that it is the U.S. supported capitalist dictatorships that cause the suffering, and feel a huge passionate urge to do something about it. Which is something that someone like you would never have the balls to do.

    Injustice isn´t necesarry, but violence is a part of life… you need to grow up.

  12. Marcelo – First of all that guy on the link you posted says he is in Manhattan I am in Australia which can be checked from my IP. If you can be absolutely certain and so wrong about that without evidence you should realise how wrong you can be about your politics.

    “Che and Castro are the way they are because of external pressures, not due to intentions on their part.”
    a typical and weak rationalisation strategy used to excuse acts of evil we were sending a lot of people for execution when they were right and we were wrong about Marxism being in the best interest of wider population but none of it is our fault.

    Yes the U.S. supported right wing unethical dictatorships as a strategy to stem the spread of communism, today we have the benefit of hindsight but we also have the responsibility to be aware and learn not fall for false idols.

    Enjoy your right to express your opinions on a blog Marcelo because under a regime you supposedly admire the security police would be coming round to pick you up and punish you without due process which is exactly what Guevara was responsible for.

  13. Michael – there is a massive difference between the Cuban revolution and the Fascist / Nazi movements of Italy, Spain, Germany, etc. Castro overthrew a corrupt regime for the benefit of the poor. Tell me one incidence of Cuba acting violently towards other countries since the Revolution? Granted – Cuba isn’t a democracy. But democracy isn’t perfect either. I don’t think democracy is always right for every situation.

    Peter – Cuba isn’t against people selling products for money. They have a communist economy. So I bought a cap. How is that “consuming a capitalist brand”? What’s the difference between “consuming a capitalist brand” and just buying a product?

    “Market based reforms” are impossible to achieve when the world’s largest economy prevents you from trading with the most prosperous countries. Rather than let the Cubans run their country the way they want, and allow them to trade with the rest of the world freely, the US embargo has forced draconian measures to be carried out, especially since the collapse of the USSR.

    Marcelo – well said.

  14. Again, Cameron – was it for the benefit of the poor or for the benefit of Castro and his buddies…Cuba had one of the largest middle classes of developing nations at the time of his revolution. Just as in the French Revolution, the Cuban Revolution was driven by middle/upper class elements (not the peasants as was always beaten into our heads in history classes). They may have been justified in opposing Batista’s corruption, but they had no right to impose yet another dictatorship on their own people, and in a very brutal fashion. The poverty you see is a partial result of the embargo yes, but directly because Castro still will not allow FREE ELECTIONS in Cuba. I really don’t believe that the Cuban people want to live under that system of government. Heck, maybe lifting the embargo would provide the economic impetus for change and cause another revolution, this time a democratic one.
    Speaking of which….
    How can you say sometimes democracy isn’t always right for every situation, yet you would be the first to criticize any government today implementing any law that is not in line with UN human rights standards or any law not sanctioned by the “people” or by some other international body. That’s just not consistent Cameron. I usually try to genuinely sympathize with your arguments, but to me you only support Casto and Che because they were part of a left wing internationalist revolutionary movement – it has nothing to do with democracy or freedom for the Cuban people. Of course democracy isn’t perfect, but WHY – WHY after almost 50 years has Cuba still not had free elections? Castro has even implemented a succession plan for his brother Raoul once he dies. To me that is just desperation.
    Cuba is surely not a threat to the US now, but from the time of the revolution until the 1980s it was basically a Soviet military base stationed 90 miles off the coast of Florida.
    And I still say a bonnet a poil is a cooler hat than that one! 🙂

  15. “Cuba isn’t against people selling products for money” – You need to check, you can be arrested in Cuba for simply running a street stall.

    “Market based reforms are impossible to achieve when the world’s largest economy prevents you from trading with the most prosperous countries.” – Not true they can allow the internal free trading of commercial produce as Vietnam & China did 15 years ago delivering huge domestic social benefits such as increased food production and dramatically improved infant mortality rates. The only economic benefits achieved in Cuba have been achieved via the growth of tourism from the west.

    “How is that consuming a capitalist brand ? What’s the difference between consuming a capitalist brand and just buying a product?” – Many individuals in capitalist societies make futile attempts to achieve a sense of themselves by acquiring material goods. The best way to test this is to notice the loss of the allure of a material good once you actually own it. Another good example is fashion trends are just capitalisms way of getting people to keep re-buying the same products.

    Guevara’s modern image is a capitalist brand, just like a fashion label people put it on their body and walk around to make a statement that they identify with what they think Guevara killed and died for. The sad irony is the act of doing that is the antithesis of the Marxist prescription of the sense of self for individuals within his model society. Marx wanted to do eradicate the individual in favor of the communist state.

    You think you are just buying a product but if you were more mindful you would see this false image of Guevara is making you buy the product, in other words your mind is a defenseless host to the meme.

  16. Michael – What benefits has Castro enjoyed? Does he live in a castle? No. Does he sit around enjoying the benefits of his position? Not according to the recent bio by Ignacio Ramonet. He depicts Castro, in his 80s (before his recent hospitalization) still working 20 hours a day, 7 days a week, with young assistants around him asleep on their feet. Are there statues or portraits of Castro around Cuba, Saddam-style? Not a single one.

    I think democracy has pros and cons. We only need to look at the USA to see the downsides of democracy. Democracy is easily corrupted by wealthy parties to meet their own ends. Socialism and Communism have their own flaws, it’s true, but they aren’t the complete evil as portrayed by certain people. Why doesn’t Cuba have a democracy after 50 years? Perhaps because Castro fears they would quickly end up back where they were in 1959 – the country being run by a handful of rich, white Americans to the detriment of the common people, and all of their gains of the last 50 years (which other countries in Latin America are still fighting for) would be lost. When did Cuba EVER threaten the USA? When did Castro ever threaten violence? Tell me.

    Peter – I believe you CAN still own a business in Cuba, as long as it isn’t on the list of nationalized industries. And my beret doesn’t feature an image of Che on it. It’s a plain, black basque-style beret as worn by many of the world’s para-military orgs, with a silver metal star. I bought it, and like wearing it, because it is (to me) a symbol and reminder of revolution. And yes, it reminds me of Che. If that is a “defenseless host to the meme” then… okay.

    Claiming Marx wants to “eradicate the individual” is just plain misleading. The very basis of Marxism is a belief that the ultimate interests of workers best match those of humanity in general. It has, in theory at least, the best interests of the individual at its center. And I don’t remember reading anywhere in Das Kapital that wearing someone’s face on a shirt was damaging to the proletariat. The fact that I live in a social capitalist country means I don’t abide by Marx every day, how is buying a beret any different?

  17. If you need to look for references to a face on a tshirt in the text of Das Kapital to understand the point or to understand Marx at all, you are in trouble.

    Marxist stated plainly and repeatedly that Marxism is designed to achieve the transcendence of the self-estrangement caused by material consumption and pursuit of private property by the bourgeois leading to the transformation of man into a new social being.

    I will say it again what you are doing is exactly what Guevara executed people for saying that they had an individual right to do.

  18. Peter, to the best of my knowledge, Cuba never threatened the USA. They certainly never attacked the USA until the USA sent planes over their air space. Are you saying Cuba wasn’t allowed to have a missile defense system? Particularly after the Bay Of Pigs Invasion, I think they had every right to set up a defense system.

  19. Have either of you two ever been to Cuba, or Latin America? You talk as if you have, and have suffered at the hands of Castro, or Che. If so, please tell us the ordeal that you went through.

    Castro and Che come from a long line of people who have resisted U.S. aggression. As long as their is a more powerful group trying to attack a small Country, there will always be resistence to that by the people of that Country and always a leader rallying the people.

    I was in Latin America during the early 80s, and saw the result of U.S. aggression. And even though I don´t agree with everything thats happened, as far as the result of resistence towards this type of U.S. terrorism, we can see that positive change is slowly happening as the old Catholic/Christian belief systems slowly lose their grip.

    Machismo is a big issue, but it is clearly slowly changing in Latin America. Thanks to people like Marcos of the Zapatista movement, and with Gay and Womens rights changing throughout Latin America (including Cuba which seems to be leading the charge)

    http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/jun/07062806.html
    http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/43b/172.html

    So, for some, previously repressed people under Castro´s Cuba, their is light at the end of the tunnel.

    http://www.monthlyreview.org/openvein.htm

    I know for fact that Castros Cuba is not the picture thats painted by western media. There is opposition as their will always be in any society. In a country suffering from a long standing blockade, there will be many fucked up things going on- and lots of people acting like, well… people-not sweet little fluffy angels, but people under pressure. And that goes for both the Government and the people.

    What would happen if the U.S. backed off? If the embargo was lifted. If the people of Cuba could live the life they have been struggling for?

  20. I’m currently reading Companero: The Life and Death of Che Guevara by Jorge G. Castaneda
    (http://www.amazon.com/Companero-Life-Death-Che-Guevara/dp/0679759409)
    and the picture he paints of Che couldn’t be further from the violent maniac described by Peter.

    As for the value of having Che’s face on t-shirts, check out this review on Amazon:

    I was tired of seeing his face on all the t-shirts (as I am a college student) and not knowing just who Che was. Having read Castaneda’s book, I now feel that I can say with confidence that I understand why Che’s face has become such a countercultural symbol.

    I suspect this guy isn’t alone. People will see the face, wonder what it’s all about, and look him up. And discover (hopefully) the story of a man who gave his life fighting for the oppressed peoples of South America. I highly recommend Castaneda’s book on Che along with Ramonet’s new book on Castro for anyone wanting to learn more about the story behind Cuba.

  21. >>story of a man who gave his life fighting for the >>oppressed peoples of South America
    So Guevara saw that people were oppressed, which they obviously were, then saw that he and a select few others had ethical justification for subjecting them to another oppressive regime that failed to deliver on any of it’s promises.

    You are never going to dislodge the false ‘Myth of Che’ meme from your brain until you stop trying to defend you ego. If you really want to understand what Guevara was you need to understand that he expressed and exercised extreme Marxist views. And also understand Marxist theory perspectives on individuals attempting to express their sense of self via consumption of material goods. Only then will you see how ironically disillusioned you actually are posting blogs with the title “Cam Guevara”.

    That’s all from me I will let you have the last word.

  22. Really, Peter, is there any need to lapse into ad hominem arguments (“stop trying to defend your ego”) instead of using reasoning? What makes you think you have the final truth when it comes to Che or Castro or Cuba? The image you are choosing to portray of Che just doesn’t mesh with the facts as we know them.

  23. “thats all from me I will let you have the last word”

    Thats insanely childish Peter. Lets face it, you´ve got no proof only hearsay from a right wing media establishment. It sounds like your the one thats been brainwashed.

    If your so passionate to save the lives of Latin American people. Then get off your arse and go over there. See for yourself, and if you feel the need to actually help instead of just throwing uninvestigated tantrums up in the air, then offer your services to the poor. Volunteer to feed the poor, or those kids addicted to petrol and glue. Get your hands dirty before you charge allegations like that.

    Secondly, the majority of South Americans support Castro and Che, and like in my family, is considered a hero of the poor.

    Unfortunately, the rich don´t like Che, or Castro or Hugo or Eva. Thats obvious. The rich are bitching and moaning now because they have lost the power thay had before. Well, Stiff shit! Too friggin bad… learn to fucking share, understand empathy’ care for your fellow man, and put your own personal desires aside for the benefit of something greater than you.

    Stop defending the rich. they are the ones that supported these dictatorships that tortured, raped, and destroyed most South and Central American countries.

    Cam, On a completaly different subject. I was curious what you thought about this non-particle stuff. I read some article in The New Scientist where a scientist has come up with a new theory to explain – well, thats were I get stumped. What is he trying to explain? He is saying that non – particles are in everything. Is he pointing to no-thing? What else could a non-particle be? Or is no-particle just a bad word for another thing?

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