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Che Guevara’s Firing Squads Killed Over 30,000 Cubans. Here Are 26 Facts You Didn’t Know About Him.

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Among the political personalities that shaped 20th-century history, Ernesto “Che” Guevara is perhaps one of the most controversial. The Argentine revolutionary traveled the continent and idealistically fought against what he saw as unforgivable injustices. Following a Marxist worldview, he led guerrilla warfare efforts in countries as diverse as Cuba, Congo, and Bolivia.

He was considered by some to be a hero, the stuff myths are made of. Others, like almost every Castro regime-fleeing Cuban-American you’ve ever met, consider him to be a cruel tyrant who used violence to impose his ideas. While his image has become a symbol for political rebellion, you might want to share this article with that friend who thinks they’re in Latino solidarity by wearing that $48 Urban Outfitter’s t-shirt with his face on it.

Here are 21 facts about Ernesto’s life, from his early years in Argentina to his last days in Bolivia.

Ernest “Che” Guevara was a ruthless, systematic assassin for his political ideology.

Credit: Giphy. Anonymous.

Too often, Che supporters like to focus on his ideology and ignore the generations of Cuban-Americans who were gunned down by his extremist, violent means to a political end. Jon Lee Anderson’s biography, which cited Guevara’s own diaries, quotes a diary entry of how he resolved deserters to the cause:

“The situation was uncomfortable for the people and for Eutimio so I ended the problem giving him a shot with a .32 pistol in the right side of the brain, with exit orifice in the right temporal [lobe].”

When he visited the UN, two Cuban exiles tried to kill him.

Credit: Che: Part One. Wild Bunch.

Exiles in the U.S. thought Guevara was far from being a hero and two attempts were made. At the time, he continued to be a source of fear for anyone who didn’t support Castro’s regime.

Castro put Guevara in charge of the firing squads, which eventually assassinated 30,000 Cubans.

@CdVinEnglish / Twitter

There was no due process for the individuals who were placed against a wall, and waited for the order to leave Guevara’s lips that would cause their ultimate, brutal death by firing squad. In a letter to Luis Paredes López, Guevara casually writes, “The executions by firing squads are not only a necessity for the people of Cuba, but also an imposition of the people.”

His legacy includes a generation of Cubans whose own parents and loved ones died at his hands.

@ExposeTheMedia / Twitter

Don’t try talking about his revolutionary ideology to the thousands of Cubans whose families have been violently torn apart by his extremist methods. About 1.5 million Cubans fled their home country to the U.S. out of pure fear of ending up at that wretched bloody wall.

This face incites fear in a generation of Cuban-Americans whose lives were completely uprooted out of well-founded fear of this man.

It says something twisted about our limited historical lens that allowed this photograph to become a fashion symbol.

Credit: Giphy. Anonymous

Unless you have been living under a rock all your life, chances are that you have seen this image. It was actually shot by Cuban photographer Alberto Díaz Gutiérrez, better known as Alberto Korda or simply Korda. Its title: “Guerrillero Heroico” or “Heroic Guerrilla Fighter.” Certainly one of the most recognizable images in the history of photography.

Che-inspired consumerism is ironically known as “Che Chic”.

Credit: Giphy. Anonymous.

Oh, the irony! During his lifetime Guevara constantly fought against and criticized capitalist policies and the commodification of basically everything in life. However, his image has generated millions of dollars in sales of various products, most famously t-shirts.

Cuban exiles are vehemently in protest of this strange wave of fashion that romanticizes the mans ideology while ignoring the bloodshed of his actions.

Andy Warhol even created Che pop art.

Credit: che-guevara. Digital image. Wikiart.

Andy Warhol was obsessed with celebrity and this 1968 painting simply titled “Che Guevara” is a testament of the guerrilla fighter’s position as a polarizing pop culture icon. It’s no wonder that many Latinos have differing views of the revolutionary war icon.

Castro emblazoned his iconic photo on the $3 Cuban peso coin under “Patria o Muerte.”

Credit: Download. Digital image. Yanniel.com

On the one hand, his fanfare makes sense given that an entire Cuban government has given him the best PR an assassin could hope for. Cubans see Che’s face on a daily basis on graffiti, posters and most commonly these coins. Above Che’s head: “Country or death”.

Sounds like a good way to continually threaten your people.

So what’s his appeal? What’s his story? Nos vemos.

@DailyDream360 / Twitter

Besides the obvious reasons why he’s so often commemorated (Castro regime censoring any negative image of his right hand man in order to perpetuate a glorified image of his dictatorship), many people admire his efforts to overthrow capitalism and erase poverty lines. So that’s something. Pero, to be muy claro, it’s not enough.

While Che is best known for his role in the Cuban Revolution, he was born in Argentina to Spanish-Irish parents.

Credit: x001. Digital image. Marxists Internet Archive.

Like many Argentinians, Guevara had a mostly European heritage. His ancestors came from the Basque country (a region famous for its separatist efforts), Cantabria and Ireland via his paternal family tree.

He grew up comfortably in middle-class Argentina.

Credit: Pinterest. Yuliana Prisnawati Siboe

Guevara, known as “Ernestito” at home, didn’t come from a poor background. Rather, his middle-class family was quite comfortable in Rosario, Argentina. His parents were left-leaning when it came to politics and they supported veterans from the Spanish Civil War. Young Guevara soon showed an affinity with social issues.

Che suffered from asthma.

Credit: Giphy. Gifsoup.

Guevara had a lifelong medical condition: asthma. This limited some of his activities like rugby, a sport he was passionate about in his early years in Argentina. Wonder what would have happened to Cuba as we know it if Dios just let him breathe his way into a career of rugby. Que pena.

He graduated from the University of Buenos Aires as a medical doctor.

Credit: download.png. Digital image. United Way of Northwest Mississippi

His first wife wrote a memoir, “My Life with Che,” and describes Guevara’s obsession with creating medical equity for the working and impoverished class of Argentina. Specifically, he viewed an elderly washerwoman that he was treating as “representative of the most forgotten and exploited class.”

He travelled the continent on a motorcycle…

Credit: The Motorcycle Diaries. Miramax.

As seen in the Gael-starred movie “The Motorcycle Diaries, Guevara traveled through Latin America as a young man, an experience that put him in touch with social injustice and sparked a revolutionary drive in him.

Which led him to spend a few weeks treating a leper colony in Peru.

Credit: alberto-granado-che (1). Digital image. Vanguardia.

Leprosy is a debilitating disease, no question. It’s caused by a bacteria that is thought to be spread by armadillos and reduces the ability to feel pain, which can lead to untreated wounds, causing amputations.

Guevara was especially interested in the community that the disease creates. In “The Motorcycle Diaries,” he writes, “The highest forms of human solidarity and loyalty arise among such lonely and desperate people.”

He loved reading existentialist philosophers.

Credit: Giphy. @mcplee

Guevara was an avid reader, and among his favorite authors the French philosophers Albert Camus and Jean Paul Sartre had a privileged place. These two novelists and philosophers presented life as a senseless affair, with no answers and no way out. Existence is futile, they say. 

He met Fidel Castro in Mexico City.

Credit: che-jail. Digital image. Latinamericanstudies.org

Guevara worked as a doctor in the Mexican capital, where he met the Cuban brothers Raul and Fidel Castro. They quick found common interests and their dislike for the way in which US corporations mistreated workers and installed puppet governments. 

Castro named him his right and was the Cuban Finance Minister after the revolution.

Credit: Che: Part One. Wild Bunch.

One of the main critiques to the Cuban Revolutionary government is the fact that the newly formed government had little or no experience in public administration. Guevara went from the battlefield to a desk… he didn’t last long and single handedly destroyed the economy.

In 1964 he spoke against South African apartheid at the United Nations.

Credit: Che: Part One. Wild Bunch.

Yes, Guevara travelled to New York and gave a famous speech even if he was a sworn enemy of the US government. The hour long speech is captured by filmmaker Steven Soderbergh in his two volume epic “Che.”

He wanted to free Africa from imperialism.

Credit: CheInCongo1965. Digital image. Wikipedia.

After he grew apart from the Castro regime, Che set his sights on Africa. He trained guerrilla fighters in Congo, a former Belgian colony. He thought that a Pan-African dream was possible and the continent could be united.

But he also loved his Rolex GMT Master watch.

Credit: Che-Rolex. Digital image. Rolex Magazine.

Quite a contradiction. The revolutionary leader wore an expensive piece that was often photographed.

The CIA said he was “fairly intellectual for a Latino.”

Credit: download. Digital image. Brizreit University.

Yes, you read that right. A true WTF. Those racist words described Guevara in a government report which sums-up the framing of Latinos in the mid 20th century. As if.

It’s pretty widely believed that the CIA orchestrated his assassination.

@JMichaelWaller / Twitter

On the left is CIA agent Felix Rodriguez, with Che Guevara and his Bolivian captors. The United States openly denounced his anti-capitalist views and saw him as a threat to democracy. Many believe he was killed by the CIA for his disruptive tendencies, rather than his murderous role in the Cuban Revolution.

Every martyr for a cause is soil for iconography.

His hands were cut off after he was killed.


Credit: che-soldiers. Digital image. Latinamericanstudies.org

Right after he was executed in Bolivia his hands were amputated and sent to Buenos Aires. The reason: his fingerprints needed to be properly identified and that somehow seemed to be the most logical way of doing it. 

But what does “Che” actually mean?

Credit: Giphy. Anonymous.

His moniker is not very glamorous. “Che” translates simply as “dude”, “bro”, “ese”, “carnal” in Argentina. Because he spent most of his life abroad, “Che” was a simple way of remembering his origins.

There are no two sides to Che. There’s only the full picture.

@Ramagemilang / Twitter

My mami always said, “actions speak louder than words.” While his words and political beliefs were moving, and well-intentioned, there is no ‘means justify the end’ when it comes to murdering thousands of people without fair trial.

Feel free to educate your friends so they stop pissing off Cuban abuelos.

READ: 11 People Who Changed The Course Of History In Latin America Through Violence And Military Coups

Foundation Used To Only Have Three Colors, Here’s How We Went From Nudes To Fenty

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Foundation Used To Only Have Three Colors, Here’s How We Went From Nudes To Fenty

@bareminerals

Ah, foundation. Literally the basic building block for most of our beauty routines. It’s been around literally since the early ages and continues to thrive and impact the ways in which beauty brands develop their own platforms. But foundation wasn’t always as inclusive and complex as it used to be While it’s not uncommon to find foundation in it is starkest  blanket shades, literally dubbed light, medium, and dark, beauty brands like Fenty, Estée Lauder and Maybelline New York have all pushed for foundation hues that complement the broad spectrum of skin tones. But how did we make such progress in beauty? And where did foundation originally come from? 

Here’s a brief and insightful look at how foundation became another household item that we cannot live without.

In the beginning, foundation was only for the rich and powerful.

Credit: Twitter/@8intheuniverse

Believe it or not, makeup goes back all the way to Biblical days where it was referred to as “face painting.” Just check out the Old Testament (Ezekiel 23:40). It was also used by rich Romans and Greeks during 200 B.C. However, the practice of using makeup for spectacle purpose could be seen more prominently in the 17th-century by monarchs such as Queen Elizabeth I and in the 18th-century men began to wear it too as made fashionable by Louis XV. Back then, this group of elites would wear foundation while artists painted their portraits as part of s social affairs, and actors would then go onto wear their looks onstage. While the foundation was only worn by the wealthy, the makeup itself was made out of toxic ingredients including zinc oxide, glycerin and calamine lotion.

Foundation, as we know it today, has its roots in Germany and Poland.

Credit: Instagram/@oldhollywoodmoviemagic

Originally, German actor Carl Baudin created greasepaint to use as a tool to use on stage so his wig line would be hidden onstage. The greasepaint was made out of zinc white, ochre, and vermillion in lard. Weird, right? But it worked and he began to sell it. Then in 1914, Polish makeup icon Max Factor created his own formula that was a mix of pigment and lard and invented. Factor created the makeup specifically for actors in Hollywood and it worked so well on film that the product became a hot commodity. The Hollywood industry only used Max Factor foundations on sets. The term people used for the foundation was called pan-cake because of the density of the product but also it wasn’t only in liquid form but packed powder. 

The evolution of foundation in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s

Credit: Instagram/@monkyboxx

For the most part, foundation just came in three shades, white, medium, and dark, which didn’t leave much room for those of us with a skin tone that didn’t fall into any of those three tones. While cosmetic companies began to manufacture their own foundation, for the average woman the main brands were Maybelline and Cover Girl. Both those brands sold compact powder cases that provided inexpensive coverage that provided coverage for faces. 

Loose powder foundation. Finally a breakthrough!

 Credit: Instagram/@bareminerals

As foundation continues to evolve, we now have foundation that comes in all forms including loose powder. While liquid provides extensive coverage that basically gets applied just like paint, for women who want a natural look can easily turn to loose powder for that flawless look. In the late ’90s Leslie Blodgett, a makeup executive at Bare Escentuals, changed the foundation game when her company created Bare Minerals, released a loose powder foundation that had SPF and other vital minerals for your face. Now every cosmetic company sells their own version of loose foundation powder. 

Foundation for everyone.

Credit: Instagram/@boise.beauty

Foundation has come a long way. It’s not the pan-cake makeup of yesteryear, nor is it made just for the rich and famous. It comes in a variety forms, including liquid, matte, powder, sticks, and so much more. The great thing about this evolving makeup is that it comes in all tones and for all skin types, and it’s no longer made with harmful ingredients. Today, cosmetic companies have found ways to create a product that not only provides coverage but that can also help your skin. There’s a huge portion of the beauty industry that sells products that are vegan, animal-cruelty free and made of organic ingredients. Imagine if Max Factor knew how foundation was made today, he’d probably think you were joking and argue that foundation could not be made without the use of animal lard. The reality is that today trying to choosing which foundation might have become a bit more complex since he started making foundation but as a result, mostly everyone is able to find a brand that works for their skin tone,  beauty standards, and wallet. 

READ: 25 Brands Made For Latinas And Women Of Color That Are Totally Crushing The Beauty Game

Aristemo Will Soon Be Broadcast All Over The US Thanks To Univision Distributing This Gay Love Story

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Aristemo Will Soon Be Broadcast All Over The US Thanks To Univision Distributing This Gay Love Story

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Telenovelas have long been typecasting all the stereotypes we’ve grown up to believe to be true, and then to unlearn all over again. We’ve met the seductress duplicitous female villain, the overreactive, drama queen female ‘lover,’ and the steel-jawed masculine heart-breaker hero who finally finds his integrity and reunites with his inhumanly patient lover. Oh, and all the woman are highly sexualized and overall just the most feminine. Telenovelas have long codified the binary and the love stories of heteros. Not anymore.

Televisa’s El corazón nunca se equivoca (ECNSE) premiered in Mexico earlier this summer, and, now that Univision is picking up the novela, the U.S. is about to get its first-ever gay couple to star in a novela. 

El corazón nunca se equivoca (ECNSE) is the spin-off of novela Mi marido tiene familia that we’ve all been waiting for. 

Credit: @M3li_G3 / Twitter

We got to meet stars Aristóteles “Aris” Córcega (Emilio Osorio) and Cuauhtémoc “Temo” López (Joaquín Bondoni) meet and fall in love in Mi marido tiene familia. That said, they met as teenagers while living under their parents’ ignorant roofs. Now we get to see them build their own lives. Together, the duo has been lovingly dubbed “Aristemo” or “Emiliaco,” depending who you ask.

In Mi marido tiene familia, we watched Aristemo endure a lot of homophobic hate.

Credit: @Itgetsbetter / Twitter

Being gay in a homophobic society is incredibly isolating and dangerous. Suicide rates are nearly twice as high in the LGBTQ+ community than in the hetero community. That’s not because they’re gay. It’s because people are told that “God hates fags.” Fans have been rooting for Aristemo ever since they graced the television screen because they offer hope to all the gay niños out there watching.

ECNSE will follow Aristemo as they move from Oaxaca to Mexico City to follow their passions.

Credit: @Dacaflow / Twitter

Of course, passion ensues. They escape Oaxaca’s brand of homophobia for Mexico City’s brand, but, as is the reality for our LGBTQ+ community, Aristemo finds and cultivates a safe space for them to love each other freely. Instead of sneaking around their parent’s houses, they hide away in their own shared apartment together, free at last.

Claro, leaving the crime scene of their families’ homophobia doesn’t heal those wounds as quickly as they hoped for.

Credit: @ARISTEM0KING / Twitter

You can expect to see a reasonable representation of life for LGBTQ+ youth in Mexico City. LGBT youth are far more likely to experience depression, suicidality and mental illness than hetero folks. Instead of the “happily ever after” ending we typically get from novelas, we get to see a more realistic next chapter in Aristemo’s lives together as they cope with their own depression, suicidal thoughts, and the emotional distress that homophobic political campaigns inflict. 

American fans are emocionada AF.

Credit: @httpTahi / Twitter

This fan took the time to screenshot grabs of an interview with Bondoni and Osorio, because the duo is just as cute off-screen as they are on-screen. “Ay pero bro, que bonito lo miras,” the fan captioned. “EMILIACO EN USA!”

We’re all learning lessons in love from Aristemo.

Credit: @SHIPPERARI / Twitter

Apparently, Aristemo not only goes on to create a safe space for themselves, but they also take in other LGBTQ+ youth. 😭We’ll meet their new friends, Diego (Nikolás Caballero) and Carlota Cervantes (Ale Müller), and watch how this little family learns to take care of each other and unlearn the drama that their families created for them.

The broader Aristemo family diaspora is currently weeping pride tears everywhere.

Credit: @pride_site / Twitter

“I’m so proud and also very excited 🙂 can’t wait for aristemo to make history in the us,” tweets one fan. “Creo que sin importar lo que pase, nos sentimos muy orgullosos,” tweets another. No novela drama we’re about to witness will change how proud we are to finally give this love story the spotlight. Why? Because the heart is never wrong [cries in gay].

America, you can watch El corazón nunca se equivoca on August 13, 2019 at 9p.m., only on Univision.

Credit: @T53657190 / Twitter

It’s prep time, mi gente. Gather your friends, your micheladas and a few Costco sized bags of Fritos, because the emotional eating is about to take over your life. Plus, know that you have 26 episodes to binge, which in novela world, is simply not enough. Still, we’ll take it. Mil gracias, Univision.

READ: Univision Makes History, Announces First Telenovela That Will Star Gay Couple In Leading Role

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