Che Guevara in ‘Evita’ a great historical error
I would like to make some clarifications in connection with Lea Salonga’s article, “A charming Ricky Martin as Che Guevara.” (Inquirer, 5/10/12)
“Che” is a slang in the Spanish, the language used in Argentina and Uruguay. It means friend, mate, man, etc. And because we, Argentineans, use a lot of this expression, we are called che in many Latin American countries. Che, thus, has become almost synonymous with Argentinean. It is usual to hear in Central America: “¿Tú eres un che?” (Are you Argentinean?)
In the case of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, the famous Argentinean revolutionary, his Cuban comrades called him “Che,” because he used this expression.
This explains why these two uses of the word che have caused a lot of confusion and mistakes.
In the case of the musical play “Evita,” there is a great historical mistake: the presence of Che Guevara. Guevara never joined the Peronismo (Peron’s Party) and neither was he ever Peron’s follower. In this connection, when Evita passed away in 1952, Guevara was on his way to Cuba.
Even though some versions of the musical “Evita” presents the Che character as Che Guevara the revolutionary, the Che there is more the symbolic representation of the simple and poor Argentinean workers who loved and admired Evita.
I hope this letter will help clarify the usual mistake.
—FR. FACUNDO MELA, FDP,
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