From today's entry in The Oxford Companion to the Year, by Bonnie Blackburn and Leofranc Holford-Strevens (1999):
In 1966, the revolutionary Ernesto Guevara, commonly known as 'Che' (i.e. 'the Argentinian', from the Argentine Spanish for 'mate'), was handed over to the Bolivian army by the peasants of La Higuera, amongst whom he was preaching a political message in which they took no interest. The western counter-culturists whose posters proclaim 'Che Lives' may be surprised to learn that he is now honoured on this day at La Higuera as San Ernesto, who never fails to answer prayers for rain.
I would wish a Happy Che Day and Feast of San Ernesto to all the Guevarists and counter-culturalists out there, but any of my readers who thinks Che was anything but a thug deserves a very bad day. (I'm assuming none of my readers is a Bolivian peasant. Do leave a comment if you've ever prayed to San Ernesto for rain.)Posted by Dr. Weevil at October 08, 2004 12:05 PM