Che Guevara Joins Japanese Nuclear Protest
Odd choice for a poster boy
30 June 2012—Today, a crowd in Tokyo estimated at over 150,000 protested the restarting of nuclear reactors in Japan.
The protesters carried placards which read “Rise Up Against The Restart” and “The Nuclear Era Is Over” lined the streets around Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s residence in central Tokyo.
The placards with Che Guevara’s iconic likeness above the slogan “No Nukes” are an odd choice—especially for the Japanese.
Guevara, who was practically the architect of the Soviet-Cuban relationship, played a key role in bringing to Cuba the Soviet nuclear-armed ballistic missiles that precipitated the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 and brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.
A few weeks after the crisis, during an interview with the British communist newspaper the Daily Worker, Guevara was still fuming over the perceived Soviet betrayal and told correspondent Sam Russell that, if the missiles had been under Cuban control, they would have fired them off.
While expounding on the incident later, Guevara reiterated that the cause of socialist liberation against global “imperialist aggression” would ultimately have been worth the possibility of “millions of atomic war victims”.
The Japanese nation suffered the devastating consequences of atomic weaponry—the Japanese protesting against nuclear energy failed to make the connection with Guevara’s support of nuclear weapons.
Have the protesters failed to make the distinction between nuclear energy and nuclear weapons too?