Che Guevara, Capitalist Tool
CHE GUEVARA, THE SWORN enemy of capitalism who helped launch the Cuban revolution, is now, well, a merchandising tool.
Switzerland's Swatch Watch, maker of some 100,000 Che watches, says the Argentine-born rebel feeds a wave of nostalgia for when just the mention of Che--killed by the Bolivian army in 1967--packed a political wallop. Their product: a $40 timepiece bearing Che's visage topped with a beret, and "revolucion" on the band. Says Swatch spokesman Bill Schoonmaker: "It's more of a fashion style than a political statement." The watches sell well from Europe to South Florida, that anti-Castro bastion.
In London bars, you can order fruit-tinged Che Beer. Brewed in Britain, it has citrus juices from Cuba and other Caribbean spots. Because Cuban products are used, the brew may not be sold in the U.S.