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Guerrilla Heroico

Che Guevara

[Introduction To Hispanic Studies – Coursework Essay] Discuss how textual and visual representations of the Rebel Army during and after the Cuban Revolution contributed to the myth of the heroic guerrilla in Latin America.    The original iconic 1968 stylized ‘Guerrilla Heroico’ Che Guevara image created by Jim Fitzpatrick, based on Alberto Korda’s Original Photograph    The Cuban Revolution was an earth-shattering event with huge consequences internationally, not just in Latin America, but further afield. I felt the impact myself whilst travelling across Scandinavia in 2005. I’d run out of clean underwear and, while scanning the aisles of a Göteborg department store, I came face to face with a nice, bright pair of red socks, graced with the iconic Guerilla Heroica motive. Half a century on from the Revolution and one of Fidel Castro’s chief Comandantes is creating fashion trends on the opposite side of the planet. What was the impact of the Cuban Revolution in the immediate temporal aftermath and across the local region? Revolutions ripple outwards and surely the focus and legacy of the fulfilled 26 Julio movement will have affected Latin America? We must first address the key facts of the revolution itself. Subsequently we can analyse the legacy of the rebel army propaganda and the images and texts that have been gifted to posterity. A critical view of the subsequent insurgency movements across Latin America will allow us to judge the true impact of the ‘Guerrilla Heroica’ myth. On 2nd December 1956, a ragtag bunch of 82 Cuban exiles, the vanguard of the 26 Julio movement, reached shore in their homeland, aboard the yacht Granma, having trained up in Mexico under the auspices of their leader, Fidel Castro. An initial assault by right-wing dictator Fulgencio Batista’s government forces almost wiped out the brigade. Batista claimed to have killed Castro and fewer than 20 of the Granma’s crew made it into the depths of the Sierra Maestra, to embed and regroup so that the path to victory could unfold. The arrival of the Granma provoked other civil unrest across the island and there were various other revolutionary movements who rose up against state oppression. With the aim of raising support among the island’s population and to foster the movement’s international image, Castro and his surviving comrades began a serious propaganda mission to complement their initially defensive military guerrilla campaign. New York Times journalist, Herbert Matthews, was given…

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