Today is the 50th anniversary of the killing of Che Guevara. Just recently, his image had to be removed from an Aer Lingus advertising campaign in which they had used the pictures of famous people of Irish descent to advertise their new route to Miami. Apparently, this was offensive to the families of people who were killed by Che Guevara and the rebels who, in 1959, started to fight the Cuban regime that had converted Cuba into a casino and playground for the US Mafia. This morning, RTÉ interviewed a Cuban-American radio presenter who is asking the Irish government to withdraw the one euro stamp with the famous image of Che, painted by an Irishman, that the Post Office just issued to commemorate his death.
The interviewer asked the American lady what she thought about the 20 dollar note showing an image of president Jackson who is not universally admired for his treatment of native americans. The lady said that Jackson had been an elected president of the USA and that we and civilisation had moved on from the time that Jackson was president.
Pádraig went into hospital today, this time not to be treated but to visit. A reversal of roles in a way. We heard how vital it is to get up, to move, to breathe deeply, to cough. That lying in bed without doing any of these things, even when you are weak, is really bad for you.
I had this strange feeling today that things are looking up – strange, because things, at the moment, seem to be really difficult and complicated. But I thought that we are probably (almost:) over the most difficult hurdles towards some kind of ‘normality’, whatever that might be.
I had to think of what that Germany lady told me on the phone: that they were not worn out, that they were not hopelessly lost and beaten, but that they got stronger as they were profoundly challenged over the past 10 years since the accident of their daughter.
A bit like Che Guevara Lynch who started as a doctor, exploring Latin America on a motorbike, and ended up as probably the most iconic revolutionary of the 20th century. He grew and became stronger as he took on injustice, exploitation, and poverty. And he never stopped. Until he was assassinated by US-backed Bolivian forces at the age of 39, on this day 50 years ago. Hasta Siempre.