Forum on Che Guevara is part of U.S. rebranding

BUENOS AIRES -- The U.S. charm offensive in Latin America took a small but provocative step forward on Friday when the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires sponsored two readings of a new book that explains the enduring iconic power of Ernesto ''Che'' Guevara.

U.S. taxpayers funded the discussion at the Buenos Aires 35th International Book Fair of the Argentine revolutionary who dedicated his life to armed struggle against capitalism and imperialism. For one day at least, photos of Guevara shared space with the Stars and Stripes. Dozens attended, including local grade school students.

Mara Tekach, the embassy spokeswoman, said that the United States was simply promoting free expression.

Che's Afterlife: The Legacy of an Image, by journalist Michael Casey, is one of the first books on a rarely discussed aspect of Guevara -- his branding and why it has endured for more than four decades.

Read this story on