Controversy over a children’s book on Che Guevara

Che, la estrella de un revolucionario (Che, the Star of a Revolutionary), was just published by Editorial La Marea. The text was written by the founder of the publishing house, Constanza Brunet and Guido Indij. The illustrations were done by South Korean artist Ju Yun Lee, whom the publishers discovered in a recent visit to Frankfurt’s Book Fair. The hardcover book, with its colorful illustrations, will soon be found in school libraries throughout Latin America.

No sooner had it been launched, the book, which is intended for readers younger than 12 years of age, found itself mired in controversy.

“We had decided to bring out a collection of books about historical characters, and what better way to start than with the story of Che Guevara.” Guido Indij said in a recent interview. The book is divided in two parts: the first narrates the story as a children’s tale, but using Che Guevara’s most famous statements. The second part offers a biography aims at older children, teachers and parents.

The author explained that the book’s division is due to the fact that “we  know that the story of Che Guevara is violent and raw,” and that is why they only address the tragic outcome in the second part, to leave the telling of those details to parents and teachers as they choose.”

“As a book, it is somewhat revolutionary and avant-guard and we know many parents and other readers will pass judgment on it, but those who read it and understand the concept will enjoy it,” Indij added.

For the moment, the book has been launched and will soon make its way to school libraries. The authors indicated that it was submitted to a program of the Ministry of Education to choose books that would be introduced into the school system and it was selected.

According to the book’s take on Che’s life, he “wanted to change the world,” and together with Fidel and ten other comrades they engaged on an uneven struggle against Cuban dictator Batista and his army.

For the original report (in Spanish)

4 thoughts on “Controversy over a children’s book on Che Guevara

  1. “Che’s life is an inspiration for every human being who loves freedom, we will always honor his memory.” — Nelson Mandela

    Now we need one in English for American kids !!!


    – Worked in a Leper colony and treated lepers

    – Was instrumental in teaching over 900,000 Cubans to read

    – Tended to thousands of sick campesinos

    – Helped construct dozens of schools throughout Cuba

    – Removed the Mafia and dictatorship of Batista from Cuba which had killed 20,000 Cubans and tortured thousands more

    – Desegregated the schools in Cuba before they were in the Southern US

    – Called out South Africa’s Apartheid in 1964, 30 years before the West!

    – Denounced the racism and KKK in America

    – Warned of the dangers of the IMF, 3 decades before most of the developing world realized they had been scammed into debt slavery

    – Left a bourgeoisie comfortable life of the upper class, a potential well compensated career as a medical doctor, and a high regarded governmental position, each time to slog through the jungle and fight guerrilla wars against impenetrable odds! … In fact, near the end it took 1,800 rangers to bring down his 25 men.

    Che’s “CRIMES” were:

    ~ Stopping American companies from owning 70 % of the arable land in Cuba

    ~ Teaching peasants to read, by bringing the Cuban literacy rate from 60 to 97 %

    ~ Having the 200 or so War Criminals who killed 20,000 Cubans for Batista shot against a wall

    ~ Fighting white mercenaries in the African Congo with an all black army

    ~ Speaking out against US and eventually USSR Imperialism while demanding that the poor of the world be allowed to live a life of dignity

    … For Latinos like myself he is a heroic figure (think George Washington minus the slaves) who tried to stand up to US corporate domination of Latin America.

    Hasta la Victoria Siempre

  2. CHE’s LAST WORDS to his children in a farewell letter:

    “Above all, always be capable of feeling most deeply any injustice committed against anyone in the world. That is the most beautiful quality in a revolutionary.”

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