Burial Lessons from Che to bin Laden

by Veronique de Rugy

Economist Tim Harford points to this New Yorker piece about the lessons that may have been learned by the United States from Che’s burial. Jon Lee Anderson writes:

It took twenty-eight years for the truth to come out. In 1995, during my research for a biography I was writing about Che, a retired Bolivian army general broke the silence and told me about the secret burial in the airstrip. Che’s body was eventually found, exhumed, and repatriated to Cuba, where it was reburied with full state honors in 1997, provoking a great deal of acrimony among Cuban exiles, who saw it as a propaganda coup for the Castro regime—which it was. Every year, tens of thousands of Cubans and foreign tourists visit the Che mausoleum in Cuba, just as others visit the schoolhouse in Bolivia where he was killed, which has become a museum-shrine. Meanwhile, in spite of published DNA evidence and the testimony of forensic experts who examined Che’s remains, there are those who persist, vainly, in denying that it was really Che’s body that was found—as if that alone would somehow diminish the power of his legacy, which remains, for all the silly T-shirts, uniquely potent.

The author argues that burial at sea does deal with the endless “Where is he buried?” saga.

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