14ymedio, Havana, 7 January 2017 — In December the Cuban parliament banned the use of name of the deceased former president Fidel Castro to designate public spaces and banned the marketing of his image. It was not the same with Ernesto Che Guevara, whose face adorns everything from ashtrays that are sold to tourists, to a sign promoting the sale of beer on tap in a Havana bar.
The ex-guerrilla is also seen in school murals, hospital rooms and shirts sold to foreign visitors in all the airports in the country. A thriving industry of souvenirs is sustained with the image of a man who was an outspoken critic of capitalism and the market.
Reinterpretations of the image of Che have taken all possible and imaginable forms: from the American musician Jim Morrison to Christ. As he figures so prominently in the daily landscape, many Cubans no longer even notice the frowning expression that stares out over them from so many walls.