"Ever onward to victory! Our country or death! I embrace you with all my revolutionary fervor" (Guevara). These words of Ernesto "Che" Guevara bid farewell to Fidel Castro in a letter written to him after long and turbulent times. The life of Che was one of rebellion, liberation, and revolution in which all of his blood, sweat, and tears went into. He was a man that could identify the problems with society and act on them and he lived his life to correct its ailments. These activities in Cuba and other third world countries have brought Che to be probably more renown than he could ever have imagined in his own time; millions of people look up to him as a symbol of the quest for independence and freedom (Dorfman, 100: Heroes.). However, with fame comes many detrimental consequences that have nearly turned a man of liberty and anti-conformity into a "pop" icon of fashion and marketing. Ernesto Guevara, a symbol of revolution and liberty, is regarded by many as a hero and a legend for his unique personality, actions, and ideas, but the exploitation of his image in pop-culture and marketing must be put to a halt, for these degrading acts undermine his true beliefs and personal convictions. .
Some may question the need for addressing such a topic or if heroes of the past like Guevara are even worth mentioning at all, but this issue effects the citizens of the United States and the rest of the world. The exploitation of a nation's heroes for such things as fashion and marketing is an atrocity. Americans can certainly relate to this issue with "President's Day" sales of "patriotic" low prices and the exploitation of such figures as Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote Cingular Wireless telephones. A telephone company using a symbol of freedom and national pride to sell a material object is appalling! Likewise is the way that the world has come to see Guevara as an ideal symbol of liberation, fortitude, and rebellion; for when his face is used to advertise, his beliefs, ideas, and true image are being undermined and the essential message that he conveyed is lost.