Mike Gonzalez, in the article The Resurrections of Che Guevara, analyzes the reasons behind the latest incarnation of Che Guevara the legendary Cuban revolutionary. Since Che’s execution on 9th October 1967 in the Bolivian jungle, there has been a huge proliferation in the use of Che’s image as an icon not only in Cuba and the other Latin American States but the world over. The image of Che represents the revolutionary ideals of selflessness, sacrifice for greater good integrity, and courage.
The world has seen an unprecedented usage of Che’s image depicting Che donning his trademark long beard and black beret. Gonzalez argues that the present reincarnation of Che through iconography both domestically in Cuba and internationally is ambiguous (Gonzalez 55). The Cuban government intentionally incarnated Che by painting his murals in every public space in Cuba so as to achieve the government’s political ideology of rectification (Gonzalez 63). The rectification ideology was a political special purpose vehicle used by the Fidel Castro’s government to make assurance to Cubans that he intended to rectify all the social evils that had permeated in the country due to negation of Che’s ideas thus the urgent need to incarnate Che’s memory among Cubans (Gonzalez 88). On the international plane, Che is a symbol of defiance and liberation hence his image is widely used by liberation fighters fighting against government forces and establishments world over.
I agree with Mike Gonzalez’s opinions with regard to the modern incarnation of Che through his portraits and images. Though Che is a revolutionary icon his image should not be used to indoctrinate citizens into blindly following a ruling government’s policies.
Critical Reflection on The Solitude of Latin America by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The famous Latin American novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez delivered a Nobel Lecture entitled The Solitude of Latin America on 8th December 1982. In the lecture, the Nobel literature laureate makes his case against imperialism and foreign domination on Latin American domestic issues. Latin America suffered under the grip of imperialism and continues to experience varying levels of domestic interference from the First World nations of Europe and America.
Imperialism and foreign domination of Latin America by superior nations of Europe and America saw the permeation of wars, dictatorship and armed revolutionary activities in various Latin American countries in the recent past. In the lecture, Gabriel Garcia advocates for the solitude of Latin America by the foreign powers and states (Marquez 16). Garcia argues that the foreign powers of Europe and America should not use the same yardsticks they use to measure themselves to measure Latin America as the ravages of life are not the same for all populations (Marquez 17). He further argues that the quest for establishing an autochthonous Latin American identity is just as arduous and messy as it is for any other people thus the realities of Latin America should be interpreted through their own patterns and not foreign models. He further argues that Latin development should be informed by the Latin with minimal interference from foreigners.
I agree with George Garcia’s sentiments expressed in the speech. All people have a right to develop their own identity and sense of self without foreign interference. I further hold that Garcia’s in his speech, speaks not only for Latin America but also for other Third World countries.
Part B: Analysis of The Movie Evita And A Comparison of The Fictional “Evita” Character in The Movie with The Historic Eva Peron. Comment on The Controversy Surrounding Madonna Playing the Lead Role
The movie Evita was produced in 1996 by Robert Stigwood, Alan Parker and Andrew G. Vajna. The movie was based on a musical going by the same name, Evita, produced by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1976 (Nash). Both the movie and the musical are both named Evita and are based on the real-life story of Eva Peron a former first lady of Argentina. The director of the movie, Alan Parker, decided to make the film a musical drama film to show the correlation between the movie and the musical, Evita, produced in 1976 by Rice and Webber (Nash). The movie, being American, the main cast, producers, Production Company and distributing firms are all American. The main actress, Madonna, who plays Eva Peron, Evita, is a famous Hollywood personality whose role in the movie caused a furor in Argentina. The private life of Madonna heavily caused great controversy with regard to her acting as Eva Peron in the movie.
Eva Peron was born on 7th May 1919 in the poor rustic village of Los Toldos in Argentina. Argentina was one of the richest countries in Latin America during the early 19th century (Taylor 23). However, most of the wealth was owned by a few individuals who belonged to the ruling class as the vast majority of the people languished in poverty (Taylor 25). Faced by the harsh economic realities of rural life, a young Eva left her village town for Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires in 1934 while aged 15 to pursue her dreams of becoming an actress (Taylor 45). In the city, his philandering manager who had taken her to the city left her forcing Eva to venture into modeling and acting to fend for herself cite. On January 22, 1944, in a charity event, Eva met Colonel Juan Peron who was then the Labor Minister of Argentina and got married in 1945 (Taylor 122). Juan Peron had presidential ambitions and was soon arrested by the then-president Pedro Pablo Ramirez who was worried about his ever-growing influence in government (Savigliano 160). Eva Peron quickly swung to the aid of her arrested husband by initiating national rallies targeted at mobilizing the support of the majority poor of Argentina with whom she related to and was well adored. Through her selfless and ingenious political actions, Colonel Juan Peron was released and elected the president of Argentina in 1946. Colonel Juan Peron ruled through a benevolent dictatorship Eva Peron retained her close connection with the Argentinian poor and come up with the Eva Peron Foundation aimed at alleviating the suffering of the poor in Argentina (Savigliano 165). Though Eva Person died at a young age of only 33 from womb cancer she was and is still regarded as a saint in Argentina by the poor.
In the 1990’s, Madonna was already a successful Hollywood celebrity who had made her name as one of the best singers in the world. However, Madonna had a rather bohemian private life that involved lavish parties and nude photoshoots that made the poor who are mostly modest and conservative deem her in a bad light (Nash). Madonna, being a celebrity, had picked fights with everyone ranging from the government to the church due to her quite lascivious private lifestyle and this did not auger well with the fanatical supporters of Eva Peron who deemed Eva a saint (Díaz 185). Due to Madonna’s party-girl antics, most Argentinians felt that she would belittle the character of their beloved Eva Peron by painting her as a gold digger and prostitute (Díaz 189). Thus, most of the people, more so in Eva Peron’s native Argentina, called for Madonna’s removal from playing the lead actress role in the movie.
Despite the controversy and the furor raised by Madonna’s presence in the cast list, Evita was filmed and released for the cinema. The movie was a commercial success as it raked over $100 million in revenue. The movie also opened a bright career for Madonna as an actress something she had failed to achieve before in her illustrious Hollywood career.
Díaz, Gwendolyn. “Making the Myth of Evita Perón: Saint, Martyr, Prostitute.” Studies in Latin American Popular Culture 22.181-192 (2003).
Gonzalez, Mike. “The Resurrections of Che Guevara.” International Socialism (1997): 51-80.
Marquez, Gabriel García. “The Solitude of Latin America.” Revista do Imea 2.1 (2014): 15-17.
Nash, Elizabeth. “Evita and Madonna.” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 23 Oct. 2011, www.independent.co.uk/news/evita-and-madonna-1325780.html
Savigliano, Marta E. “Evita: The Globalization of a National Myth.” Latin American Perspectives, vol. 24, no. 6, 1997, pp. 156–172. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/2634311
Taylor, Julie. Eva Perón: The myths of a woman. University of Chicago Press, 1981.